free hit counter code Tories accuse of Labour backing ‘retirement tax’ as first TV debate set to take place next week – Freeht.buzz

Tories accuse of Labour backing ‘retirement tax’ as first TV debate set to take place next week

THE Tories accused Labour of backing a “retirement tax” after they refused to support Rishi Sunak’s tax break of £275 a year for pensioners.

But Labour branded the £2.5billion Conservative pledge to raise the tax-free pension allowance “a gimmick”.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves during a visit to Rolls-Royce in Derby, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Tuesday May 28, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS ElectionLabour. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
The Tories took a potshot at Labour over pensions – as Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves visited a Rolls-Royce aircraft engine factory in Derby
Stefan Rousseau / PA Wire

The parties took pension potshots at each other as a poll suggested a first narrowing in Labour’s lead due to an increasing number of older voters returning to the Tory fold.

The JL Partners survey put Labour on 40 points, a six-point slump since March but still 12 points ahead of the Tories on 28.

JL said: “The principal reason for this is a shift amongst over-65s.”

Yet Tory strategists will be hoping their Bank Holiday policy blitz — including the return of National Service and giveaways for older voters — is starting to pay off.

They also want as many debates between the PM and his rivals.

Mr Sunak wants at least six with Sir Keir Starmer, who today visited a Rolls-Royce aircraft engine factory in Derby with Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves.

The two leaders are set to come head to head for the first time next week in a showdown hosted by ITV.

And the PM is likely to heap fresh pressure on Sir Keir to back his tax break for the elderly.

Mr Sunak has vowed to deliver the “Triple Lock Plus” cash boost to millions of OAPs by raising their personal tax-free allowance.

The sweetener, which will raise the point at which pensioners begin to pay income tax, will kick in from next April.

Proposals to be included in the party’s manifesto will see both the state pension and allowance go up by the triple lock — whichever is highest out of the rate of inflation, earnings or 2.5 per cent.

The forecast rise in the state ­pension will be £1,677 a year by 2029, with the tax-free allowance worth £275 a year by then.

Next year alone the average pensioner will see their state pension increased by £428 and the income tax cut will be worth £95.

Labour have committed to the triple lock but have not backed any move to raise the threshold, meaning many OAPs would be dragged into paying tax on their pensions.

Treasury minister Laura Trott said: “Labour have decided not to match our commitment to ­increasing personal tax thresholds, dragging thousands of pensioners into a new retirement tax.”

The Prime Minister told The Sun: “Labour have said that they do not support our policy to raise the threshold and go back to what we used to have, which was an ­allowance for pensioners, which will deliver them a tax cut.

“Labour oppose that, so that means that under a future Labour government, pensioners on the state pension will start paying tax.”

Mr Sunak was on the campaign trail in Stoke-on-Trent today.

He also played bowls in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plays a game of bowls during a visit to Market Bosworth Bowling Club, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Tuesday May 28, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Rishi Sunak played bowls in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, while on the campaign trail
Aaron Chown / PA Wire

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