Labour calls for vote on private schools tax breaks

  • 11th January 2023

The Labour Party is reported to be trying to force a vote in the House of Commons vote today on its plans to eliminate tax breaks on private schools, The Mail Online has reported,

Labour will use an opposition day motion in the Commons today to attempt to force ministers into establishing a new committee to look at reforming tax benefits for private schools.

Labour is planning to charge independent schools VAT and scrap the 80% relief they receive on business rates, arguing that the revenue raised could be used to recruit 6,500 more teachers into the state sector.

However, opponents of the plan argue that this could lead to 15% of the UK’s private schools closing and the pricing out of many middle-class families.

Labour’s shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “Labour believes that excellence is for everyone; that is why we would end tax breaks for private schools and invest that money in 6,500 additional teachers, reducing workloads and driving up to standards in all our state schools through our National Excellence Programme.

“Labour recognises that after 13 years of Conservative economic mismanagement, which culminated in the Conservatives crashing the economy last year, tough choices must be made to protect public finances, but the choice facing MPs today is easy.

“Conservative MPs can either vote to deliver a brilliant state for education for every child or they vote against the interests of parents across this country who aspire for better for their children, especially those in the very regions their party pledged to ‘level up’.”

Julie Robinson, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council, commented: “We all want the best possible education for every child. But taxing parents and attempting to pit different parts of the education sector against each other is simply not the way to achieve that goal, especially amid a teacher recruitment crisis.

“Rather than continuing to pursue an ideological policy that would not raise the money they claim, Labour should look at fiscally sensible ways of working with independent schools to expand on the good partnership work already being done to enhance educational opportunity for all.”

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