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Private schools to be taxed £1.7billion to fund state classrooms under Labour plans

Private schools to be taxed £1.7billion to fund state classrooms under plans from Labour leader Keir Starmer

  • Labour leader to make pledge in his keynote speech to the Brighton conference 
  • He will also scrap Universal Credit and fund money to tackle climate change  
  • Labour leader is facing internal struggles over bid to change Party’s voting rules 


Sir Keir Starmer said he will force private schools to start paying tax in order to raise £1.7billion for state schools if Labour wins the next election.

In his keynote speech to the Brighton conference this week, the Labour leader will pledge to end the charity status for schools.

The VAT exemption is currently worth £1.6billion and they will also have to pay £104million in business rates.

At the Labour Party conference on Wednesday, Sir Keir will also pledge to scrap Universal Credit, announce a fully costed plan to get all under-25s into jobs or training, close the education attainment gap between the rich and poor, give more money to tackle climate change, and rebuild ‘Britain’s footing on the world stage’

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Sir Keir said: ‘Labour wants every parent to be able to send their child to a great state school.

‘But improving them to benefit everyone costs money. That’s why we can’t justify continued charitable status for private schools.’

At the Labour Party conference on Wednesday, Sir Keir will also pledge to scrap Universal Credit, announce a fully costed plan to get all under-25s into jobs or training, close the education attainment gap between the rich and poor, give more money to tackle climate change, and rebuild ‘Britain’s footing on the world stage’.

He added: ‘I want others to have chances too.

‘Instead, now we have a National Insurance hike for working people, a Universal Credit cut and their energy bills going up.’

The Labour Party conference this year is taking place in Brighton and began on Saturday.

It finished on Wednesday and this is the day the embattled Labour leader will make his speech.

Sir Keir has been facing internal party problems after he proposed to make changes to the way members vote for their new leader.

The current rules were brought in by Ed Milliband and they allowed Jeremy Corbyn to be elected as leader.

The VAT exemption is currently worth £1.6billion and they will also have to pay £104million in business rates. Pictured, the central courtyeard of Eton College)

The VAT exemption is currently worth £1.6billion and they will also have to pay £104million in business rates. Pictured, the central courtyeard of Eton College)

Deputy leader Angela Rayner told the BBC there would be no vote this weekend about the changes to the rules but it will be discussed.

The Party’s biggest union Unison said it was ‘unthinkable’ that the leaders would change party rules to ‘disenfranchise’ members.

Labour faces a rival conference as The World Transformed, described as a ‘welcoming space for a new generation of young activists who supported Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership’, is also being held in Brighton at the same time.

People speaking at the event are not just fringe Corbynites but respected politicians such as Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.

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