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John McDonnell says Labour will end freeze on welfare benefits

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said Labour will lift the freeze on the welfare state, despite not pledging the policy in their manifesto.

Speaking on ITV 's Peston, Mr McDonnell said: “We will lift the freeze and we will make sure that from there on people get a proper cost of living benefit on the freeze themselves.

"When we get into the next election we’ll set out our manifesto and we’ll set out a costed programme like I did last year as well."

Mr McDonnell said the money would be raised from taxing the top 5% of earners who "should pay more" as he dismissed arguments Labour were supporting tax cuts for the richest in the recent Budget.

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"The top 5% are the people who will pay, we'll reverse on the corporation tax, we'll introduce a final transaction tax and we'll look at a whole range of other issues that we raised in that election," he told Robert Peston.

His comments come as Labour are expected to put down amendments to the Budget resolutions on Thursday demanding a hike in income tax to 45% on earnings above £80,000, and 50% for those above £125,000.

The Labour leadership has said the party will not attempt to force a vote on the personal allowance changes – effectively abstaining.

Under chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget plans the personal allowance, which is the maximum amount someone can earn before paying tax, will rise to £12,500 from £11,850.

The higher rate threshold, the income at which someone becomes liable to pay the 40% tax rate, will rise to £50,000 from £46,350 at the same time.

A number of prominent Labour MPs have called on the party to oppose the changes as they say they disproportionately benefit the better off.

Sajid Javid defended Tory police spending despite a huge rise in crime. Credit: ITV/Peston

Philip Hammond promised an extra £160m for counterterrorism in his Budget on Monday, but offered no increase for other areas of policing despite a huge rise in crime.

Home secretary Sajid Javid defended the government's police spending despite a lack of resources being blamed for the soaring crime rates.

"On day-to-day policing we do need to do more, and the chancellor's recognised that," he told Peston.

"We need to work with the police and what their needs are and that's exactly what we're doing."

He said the factors driving violent crime were more complex than resources and were linked to changes in, among other factors, the drug markets.

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The home secretary said every government department had a role to play in fighting crime.

"For example, through the education department in terms of excluded children. What can we do through health and better mental health provision."

Mr Javid also defended his Tweet on grooming gangs after Baroness Warsi criticised his comments.

He told Peston: “She’s entitled to her views and I don’t have to agree with them on this occasion, but what I’d say is this I mean you know first of all those who take advantage of our young children, whatever race or background they are, of course it’s completely wrong no matter who you are what your background is, but what I’m stating there is a statement of the obvious and if you look, all the recent.

"Because it’s statement of the obvious that if you look at the recent high profile convictions of group based child sexual exploitation the overwhelming majority have been of people of Pakistani heritage.”