Labour will delay VAT on school fees

  • 24th June 2024

Rachel Reeves

VAT will not be imposed on private school fees this year should Labour win the general election on 4 July.

The policy decision was announced during a summit organised by The Times at which shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves stated that it “wouldn’t be the right thing to do” to introduce the tax from the start of next term.

Reeves went on to explain that the measure would from part of Labour’s first budget in the autumn, which would mean the earliest the tax could be implemented would be at the start of the spring term. However, The Times stated that experts have confirmed that it is near certain that the tax will in fact take effect from September next year.

Reeves said: “We are not going to have a retrospective tax. I don’t think that would be the right thing to do. So these changes would be in our first budget, but they would come in after that, not retrospectively.”

Reeves added that she wants to give private schools time to make efficiencies so as not to have to pass on the full cost to parents, saying: “Over the last 14 years, state schools have had to make huge efficiencies because of the cuts to real-terms spending. I strongly believe that private schools, as well, have to be able to make efficiencies.”

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