Rachael Maskell MP says wealth tax could tackle inequality


Rachael Maskell highlighted the levels of poverty in York, and suggested a string of priorities to tackle rising inequality.

Ms Maskell called for measures to help those claiming social security and the low paid, as well as a change in the funding formula for schools, fair funding for local authorities, and support for small businesses.

Figures produced by Ms Maskell’s office showed that according to the University of Greenwich, by targeting wealth above £3.4 million, a wealth tax could generate £70 billion for public services.

Ms Maskell said:  “At this Autumn Statement, the Chancellor, will have the opportunity to set out his priorities for the country leading into the General Election.

“With the burden of tax falling on working people, the ability to raise tax must be challenged and changed, including the introduction of a wealth tax and the scrapping of the ‘Non-Dom’ tax loophole for the super-rich.

“Families in York know that housing costs are going through the roof, and Government support is falling badly behind.

“I have called on the Government to address this iniquity in the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) through a reformed Broad Rental Market Area for York, while I will resist any measure to cut welfare, not least on prescription charges.”

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Ms Maskell said she anticipated the Chancellor will introduce harsher measures for those who cannot work and said that social security payments, including the LHA, must address need.

Figures produced by the MP’s office showed that the LHA – rates used to calculate Housing Benefit for tenants renting from private landlords – for York is the fourth lowest compared to housing costs after London, Brighton and Oxford.

The MP’s spokesperson said that the Broad Rental Market Area – a geographic area from which the LHA is calculated – covers York and some of North Yorkshire, where the value of property is known to be less, meaning the LHA is lower than private rental costs in York.

Ms Maskell has called on the Government to confine the area to York only.

The MP’s second measure is to call on the fairer funding formula to be brought forward for schools in the city.

The MP’s spokesperson said: “York schools are the 17th lowest funded in the country, and with rising costs, this is putting increased pressure on school communities, cutting wages of support staff and reducing the number of teachers.

“Due to the dedication of students, teachers and support staff, and parents, York schools are achieving very good outcomes, but the unfair funding model means more is needed to properly support our children, not least to support children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).”

The spokesperson added detail around the third measure, saying: “During the Levelling Up Minister’s Urgent Statement yesterday (November 20), we learnt the projected deficits of local authorities is expected to be £3.5bn in this financial year. 

“Since 2010 the Government has cut £15bn from local authority budgets leaving local services slashed to the bone.

“This situation is unsustainable and is damaging our communities, it must be addressed with the long promised ‘Fair Funding Formula’.”


Ms Maskell said: “I further have called on the Chancellor to address the funding shortfalls in our public services, including education and local government.

“Fourteen-and-a-half million people live in poverty today, including over four million children.

“One million children are believed to be living in destitution.

“After 13 years of a Tory Government, it is children that are paying a serious price for economic and social policy failure.

“Labour will be laser focused on rebuilding our economy so that it works for everyone.”

The MP for York Central’s fourth focus is in supporting the calls from local businesses in York who are seeking support with rising costs, including energy, with business rate relief extended and VAT reductions to help boost sales.

Ms Maskell’s spokesperson said following promise after promise to end late payment of bills to small businesses, the MP is challenging the Government to bring forward concrete proposals.

Ms Maskell said: “Due to the increased business costs faced by local business, I believe that there needs to be a fairer tax system, which supports businesses to survive and grow, rather than placing them under extreme pressure and having to leave the high street or fold.

“This is a crucial time for people right across our city.”


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