Anyone who earns more than £19,500 per year ‘should pay more tax’, according to a plan put forward to help fix the UK’s finances after the Covid-19 pandemic.
A think-tank has put forward a proposal for a £40billion tax hike plan that would help pay back the money used to alleviate the effects of the crisis – which so far has seen record peacetime borrowing.
According to the Resolution Foundation, the country needs a range of tax changes by the middle of the decade to avoid returning to austerity.
The Treasury borrowed £208billion in the first six months of the financial year, which is up £175billion from the same period in 2019, according to the latest official figures.
The think-tank put forward a proposed ‘health and social care levy’, which would see a 4% tax on all incomes over £12,500, offset by both a 3% cut to employee national insurance and getting rid of Class 2 National Insurance contributions for self-employed workers.
It claims the move would not penalise low paid workers and the self-employed – who have been badly affected by restrictions during the pandemic – and that it would raise £17billion annually, with a suggested £6billion going to social care.
The study says: “These offsets would leave employees earning £19,500 and below better off, as well as self-employed workers earning less than £17,000”.
It also suggests a ‘pandemic profit levy’, which would see a windfall tax on firms that have benefited financially from the coronavirus crisis, like supermarkets and private firms on government contracts.
Another suggestion was wealth tax rises of £9billion, with restrictions on capital gains and inheritance tax reliefs, and homes which are worth more than £2million paying an extra council tax supplement.
While Chancellor Rishi Sunak wants to start balancing the books and has warned of hard choices ahead, he also effectively ruled out widespread tax hikes next year – saying the government is committed to supporting the economy and people’s jobs.
James Smith, the Resolution Foundation research director, said: “The Government is rightly focused on fighting Covid-19, and will then need to turn to securing the recovery for several years to come. But the daunting task of repairing the public finances lies ahead, with tax rises of £40 billion likely to be required.
“As well as repairing the public finances, the Chancellor’s consolidation plan should help the country address many of the non-Covid challenges Britain faces – from tackling insecure work to properly funding our social care system, whose weaknesses have been tragically exposed during this crisis.
“To do this, the Chancellor should combine tried-and-tested revenue raisers with major reform of wealth taxation and a new Health and Social Care Levy. This would ensure that post-Covid tax rises reflect the very uneven nature of this crisis, but also play a part in building a better country after it.”
You can read the report in full here.
Blackpool is set to get a new £300m ‘indoor theme park’
This looks so good!
The latest development proposals for Blackpool will be the single biggest investment in the seaside town for more than a century.
The range of new attractions will include the UK’s first flying theatre, the world’s first multimedia exhibition of its kind and the most advanced virtual reality experience on an epic scale.
The development is set to span across a 17-acre plot, attracting 600,000 additional visitors a year and contribute a massive £75m a year too.
There will also be 1,000 new jobs for the people of Blackpool created as part of the development.
Based on the novels written by Eric Von Däniken in the 1960s and 1970s, the site will follow the theme of ‘Chariots of the Gods’.
It will include unsolved mysteries of the past such as the Pyramids of Egypt and Mexico as well as ancient cave drawings, the monuments of Easter Island and even alien visitors!
Flying Theatre True flight movement will provide an unparalleled real-flying sensation and is the number one attraction across major cities and theme parks. The world’s most advanced VR experience will also find a new home in Blackpool with state-of-the-art visuals, body tracking and even touch and smell.
The development will also house a new restaurant with a breathtaking ‘rollercoaster service‘, in a one-of-a-kind place of fun, adventure and discovery, all serving healthy and organic food.
Blackpool is currently working with Media Investment Entertainment – who own the intellectual property of Chariots of the Gods – and Nikal Ltd to help unlock the development of this opportunity.
The new development is set to be delivered over an eight to nine-year period and will bring new hotels, restaurants, food market, event square, residential apartments and multi-storey parking.
Boris Johnson confirms England will return to three tier system from December 2nd
Boris Johnson addressed the Commons remotely today, to lay out his ‘Covid Winter Plan’.
The Prime Minister spoke to MPs via videolink as he is still self-isolating.
Mr Johnson confirmed that England would be returning to the regional three tier system which was in place before lockdown began.
However, he announced that the three tiers would each become stricter to try and stop the spread of the virus.
In Tier 1, people should work from home where it is possible, while in Tier 2 alcohol can only be served as part of a substantial meal, and in Tier 3 indoor entertainment, hotels and all hospitality will have to close – except for deliveries and takeaways.
Also in Tiers 1 and 2, the 10pm curfew for pubs and bars will end, with last orders being at 10pm and establishments closing at 11pm, allowing people to leave in a more staggered way.
The Prime Minister confirmed that gyms, hairdressers, salons and all shops could reopen at the end of lockdown, and that outdoor sports can resume.
He also announced that some fans will be allowed back into sports stadiums in Tier 1 and 2 areas.
Mr Johnson said that ‘more regions will temporarily fall into the higher levels’, but that with mass testing it should be possible for these areas to move into lower tiers.
The government is also working with the devolved administrations of the UK to come up with a plan for Christmas, according to the Prime Minister, although he added: “I can’t say that Christmas will be normal this year”.
The government is also planning to ‘end automatic isolation’ for anyone who has come into contact with someone who has coronavirus, with a testing scheme replacing it, which will be piloted in Liverpool.
In the pilot, people who have come into contact with anyone who’s tested positive will be tested every day for a week – they’ll only need to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus.
It’s expected the details of what tier the different regions and areas of England will be placed in will be announced on Thursday.
Morrisons gives 10% Christmas discount to frontline workers in 16 jobs
As a ‘thank you’ to thousands of frontline workers, Morrisons will be providing a 10% discount to people from now until Christmas.
Those employed in the emergency services, care workers and Armed Forces personnel who hold a Blue Light Card will qualify for the benefit at Morrisons stores.
Cardholders will be able to claim the 10% discount on their groceries by presenting their Blue Light ID Card at tills at any of Morrisons 498 stores.
Morrisons have launched the discount to show appreciation to the key workers who have gone above and beyond their usual roles throughout the pandemic this year.
People in these roles qualify:
- Ambulance Service
- Border Force
- British Army
- Fire Service
- HM Coastguard
- Prison Service
- Red Cross
- Reserve Armed Force
- Royal Air Force
- Royal Marines
- Royal Navy
- Social care workers
- HM Armed Forces Veterans
- Community First Responders
- Second Line Responders
David Potts, Morrisons’ chief executive said: “Our emergency services, social care sector and armed forces have worked tirelessly this year to provide support to the many people who need it across the UK, often in exceptionally difficult circumstances.