Labour Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves tells workers to get back to the office

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves Credit: PA

Labour’s shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, says she wants to see “more people in the office, more of the time”.

It comes as trade union members at the Office for National Statistics voted to go on strike over plans to get them to return to the office for at least 40% of the working week.

Civil service guidance says most civil servants should spend at least 60% of their time in the office.

“I think the individual managers need to have those conversations with their staff,” Reeves told ITV News.

“I personally think it is good for people to get back into the office, I think it's good for productivity and good for morale.“

Several companies in the UK, including Nationwide, Boots and HSBC, have this year told workers they must return to the office for at least some of the week.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves tells ITV News that she 'would like to see more people in the office more of the time, I think that it is good for workplace productivity'

“It’s gonna be different in different workplaces, and different workplaces have different needs and different levels of teamwork,” the shadow chancellor said.

“So I think that's a decision in the end for individual managers, and their members of staff, but I know where I would rather be when I'm in work. I like to be in the office with my colleagues, that makes me more productive.”

Reeves was speaking at a hospital in Manchester as she announced plans to raise at least £2 billion to fund policies for more hospital and dentist appointments.

Labour says it will raise the money by clamping down on tax dodgers and closing "loopholes" in the government's plans to abolish non-dom exemptions.

She plans to use an ‘expert panel’ to advise on ways to modernise the HMRC and improve tax compliance.

When questioned by ITV News' Harry Horton on whether Labour will put up taxes or cut public spending to plug an OBR forecasted £20 billion funding blackhole, Rachel Reeves says she would 'inherit the economy since the Second World War' and that means 'tough choices'

Treasury minister Bim Afolami said Labour “don’t have a plan” to pay for the proposals.

"Only Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives have a plan which is working," he said.

"Cutting the taxes of hardworking families, supporting businesses with the biggest ever tax cut for small business and halving inflation.

"We should stick to that plan and not go back to square one with Labour.”

Reeves also defended Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, amid questions on whether she avoided paying capital gains tax on the sale of her former council house.

“This goes back to 2015 when she was married to her ex-husband in a house that she doesn't own any more before she was a member of parliament,” said Reeves about her shadow cabinet colleague.

“But she's also taken advice to make sure that she did pay the right amount of tax, she's confident about that. I have confidence in Angela Rayner that she has paid the right amount of tax.”

Sir Keir Starmer has attempted to discredit questions over whether Angela Rayner paid enough tax on the sale of her house nine years ago. Credit: PA

Rayner has refused to publish the advice she insists shows she paid the correct amount of tax.

Along with the Labour leader Keir Starmer, Reeves said she hasn’t seen the advice and insisted there was no need to.

“I have trust in my colleagues and in my friends, and Angela is both a good friend and a good colleague,” she said.

“We don't have a system in the UK where politicians apart from the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, publish their tax affairs.

"I don't see why it should be one rule for Angela Rayner and another for everybody else.”

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