Budget 2014: Labour Slams 24 Tory Tax Rises Under UK Chancellor George Osborne
Budget 2014: Labour Slams 24 Tory Tax Rises Under UK Chancellor George OsborneReuters

Britain's opposition has slammed the Conservative party for 24 "tax rises" under chancellor George Osborne on the eve of his Budget 2014 announcement.

Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Chris Leslie, said voters and companies should not be hoodwinked over possible taxation changes when Osborne has pushed through a range of tax rises or income threshold amendments over the last four years.

"We need a Budget that tackles the cost-of-living crisis which has left working people £1,600 a year worse off under the Tories," said Leslie.

"Osborne wants to take credit for increasing the personal allowance, but hopes people forget his 24 Tory tax rises, including the VAT hike.

"While millionaires have been given a huge tax cut, the truth is millions of hard-working people have seen their taxes go up.

"It's the same old Tory con – giving with one hand while taking away much more with the other. The VAT rise alone has cost families with children an average of £1,350 over the last three years. And the 24 Tory tax rises don't include the cuts to tax credits which have hit millions of working families."

The 24 "Tory tax rises" include the rise in the standard rate of VAT, which was temporarily reduced to 15% on 1 December 2008. It returned to 17.5% on 1 January 2010 and a year later rose to 20%

Average earnings in real terms are £1,600 a year lower today than in May 2010, claimed Labour.

When all tax changes are taken into account, Treasury figures show that taxes have already increased by £24bn so far this parliament, with another £3bn of tax rises to come in 2014-15.

"A Labour Budget this week would cut taxes for 24 million people on middle and lower incomes by introducing a lower 10p starting rate of tax," said Leslie.

"We'd get young people off benefits and into work with a compulsory jobs guarantee, freeze energy bills, expand free childcare, get more homes built and cut business rates for small firms. We'd also reverse the £3bn tax cut for the top one per cent of earners to get the deficit down in a fairer way."

Labour's analysis of figures from the IFS show that families with children are on average £891 worse off this year due to the tax and benefit changes introduced since 2010.

The 24 Tory 'Tax Rises' Claims by Labour

1. VAT increased to 20% from 2011

2. Income Tax age-related allowances frozen and eligibility restricted ("Granny Tax") from 2013-14

3. Income Tax higher rate threshold cut to £42,475 in 2011-12

4. Higher Income Child Benefit Charge introduced 2013

5. National Insurance Contributions rates, limits and thresholds increased in line with CPI rather than RPI from 2012-13

6. Income Tax higher rate threshold frozen at £42,475 in 2012-13

7. Insurance premium tax increased – from 2011

8. Capital Gains Tax increased – to 28% for higher rate taxpayers from June 2010

9. New Beer Duty introduced on high-strength beers from 2011

10. Duty on hand-rolling tobacco increased by an additional 10% from 2011-12

11. ISA subscription limit uprated in line with CPI rather than RPI from 2012-13

12. National Insurance Contributions changes to contracting-out rebates from 2012-13

13. Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount frozen, 2012-13

14. Stamp Duty Land Tax increase to 7% on properties over £2m from 2012-13

15. VAT increases on a range of items, including caravans, sports drinks, and listed buildings from 2012

16. Duty on tobacco increased by RPI + 5% in 2012

17. Income Tax higher rate threshold cut to £41,450 in 2013-14

18. Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount increased in line with CPI rather than RPI from 2013-14

19. Income Tax cap on reliefs introduced from 2013-14

20. Pension tax relief restricted from 2014-15 21.

21. Income Tax higher rate threshold Increase capped at 1% in 2014-15 and 2015-16

22. Capital Gains Tax annual exempt amount increase capped at 1 per cent, 2014-15 and 2015-16

23. Inheritance Tax threshold frozen in 2015-16

24. National Insurance Contributions ending of contracting-out rebates from 2016-17