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Those with 'broadest shoulders' should bear brunt if taxes rise following coronavirus crisis, says Anneliese Dodds

Anneliese Dodds (Credit: PA)

2 min read

High earners should bear the brunt of any potential tax rises imposed to help the economy recover from the coronavirus crisis, the shadow chancellor has said.

Labour's Anneliese Dodds said those with the "broadest shoulders" should absorb most of the impact should the Government impose tax rises in the coming months.

"My view is if we do need to see an increased tax take, we shouldn't see it coming from those low and middle income people, instead we should have a focus on the very best-off people," she told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

"We have seen a rise in income and wealth inequality in recent years and I think that those with the broadest shoulders should be bearing more of a contribution if that contribution is needed.

"But we've got to be clear, that would only be needed if we are not growing our way out of this crisis."

The frontbencher said she believed "the best way to deal with cost of this crisis is to ensure the economy grows".

"If we do that, that will erode value of the debt for as long as interest rates stay low," she added.

Labour has called for the Government's job retention scheme to be extended, allowing those whose sectors cannot yet reopen to continue to furlough staff.

Ms Dodds said the scheme should be "tied to the lifting of lockdown measures" to prevent a wave of job losses.

In her first major speech on Friday, she called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to “recognise the scale of the challenge we face” and hold a “Back to Work Budget” focused on jobs.

The Treasury has previously confirmed that its Job Retention Scheme (JRS) will keep paying 80% of people’s wages — up to £2,500 per month — as they stay at home during the pandemic until the end of July.

From August, firms will be asked to pay national insurance and pensions contributions, before being asked to foot 10% of a furloughed employees’ pay from September and then 20% in October before the scheme closes at the end of the month.

Boris Johnson has argued that keeping the programme running - at a multi-billion pound cost - would leave people in “suspended animation”.

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