McDonnell: Labour will support increasing 'tax giveaway'

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said that Labour would "halt tax cuts" to the rich if they got into power but added that they plan to support increasing the threshold for the 40p income tax rate.

Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to raise the income tax threshold to £50,000 for the 40p higher rate in his Autumn Statement on Wednesday.

Speaking on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show, he said that the government needs to have a fairer taxation system and tackle tax avoidance and evasion.

But he said that Labour will support an increase of a "tax giveaway" for higher earners because the "mismanagement of the economy by the Conservatives is hitting them hard".

Earlier, McDonnell said if his party was in power, it would halt tax cuts to the rich.

He said: "We would halt the tax cuts to the rich and to the corporations and we would reverse some of them. We would tackle seriously tax evasion and tax avoidance. In that way we would have the resources to invest in our public services."

"If you had a fair taxation system, you weren't giving tax giveaways to corporate operations and to the rich, if you seriously tackle tax evasion and avoidance, if you grew the economy, we'd be able to afford our public services," he added.

The shadow chancellor said he supports the £369m maintenance plan for Buckingham Palace. Credit: Reuters

The shadow chancellor also said he supports the £369m restoration of Buckingham Palace that will be paid for by the taxpayer as it is a "public building".

"We have to invest in it to preserve it," he said. "If the Queen and the royal family want to consider a contribution, I certainly wouldn't send the cheque back."

He added: "It does show though that when we need the money for buildings and maintenance, we can afford it so we should be building homes, we should be tackling the maintenance problems that ordinary people have as well."