Philip Hammond 'forced to abandon' private school VAT plans

Posted On: 
20th October 2018

Opposition from Tory backbenchers has forced Chancellor Philip Hammond to scrap plans to charge VAT on private school fees, it has been reported.

Opposition from Tory backbenchers reportedly forced Chancellor Philip Hammond to back down.
PA Images

Conservative MPs are said to have reacted with "outrage" to the plans, which were due to be announced in the Autumn Budget on 29 October, according to reports in the Sun.

The plans, first proposed by Labour ahead of the 2017 general election, would have seen private schools lose the VAT exemption they have under charitable status. 

Private schools must boost care places to protect against Labour closures, Tory minister says

Row as Labour accuses Government of 'private schools tax break'

Labour pledges VAT on private school fees to fund free meals for all primary school children

Abolishing the tax break would raise an estimated £1.5 billion for the Treasury, a sum Labour had earmarked to pay for free school meals. 

The plans were reportedly ditched amid fears that the Budget may struggle to win the full support of the Prime Minister’s wafer-thin working majority. 

One Conservative MP told the Sun: “It was an idea but MPs were up in arms and this Budget needs to get through Parliament.”