Sir Keir Starmer is facing a civil war within the Labour party, as division on key tax cuts has been exposed. The Labour leader this morning backed the Government’s one percent cut to the basic rate of income tax. Speaking to Laura Keunssberg on the BBC, Sir Keir said: “I’ve long made the argument that we should reduce the tax burden on working people.
“That’s why we opposed the national insurance increase earlier this year, which of course the Government is now reversing.”
But just an hour earlier, prominent Labour politician Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, signalled his opposition to the policy.
He told Sky News: “I don’t think it’s a time for tax cuts, it’s a time to support people through this crisis.”
This comes after Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng unveiled a raft of tax cuts in the mini-budget earlier this week.
Mr Burnham described the new policies as a “flagrant act of vandalism on the social cohesion of this country”.
The basic rate of income tax will be cut from 20 to 19 percent, while the 45 percent top rate of tax will be abolished.
The planned corporation tax increase, which was set to rise from 19 percent to 25 percent, will also be axed.
Meanwhile, stamp duty will be cut for homebuyers.
Both Sir Keir and Mr Burnham said they would reverse the abolition of the 45 percent top rate of tax, reintroducing the tax band for the highest earners.
READ MORE: Burnham launches attack on Starmer as he admits leadership hopes
However, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady accused Ms Truss of “holding down wages and lining the pockets of big corporations and City bankers.”
Earlier today, Deputy Labour Party Leader Angela Rayner took a swipe at the newly unveiled economic policies, referring to the Prime Minister as “Trickle Down Liz”.
She said that Britons “need a government on their side”, adding: “Instead, they get Liz Truss. Levelling down Liz. Trickle down Liz.”
Mr Burnham’s interview with Sky News also saw the prominent Labour politician say he would consider another attempt at becoming Labour leader and Prime Minister “one day” if it was “something people would support”.
Speaking about a return to the House of Commons, the Greater Manchester mayor added: “I wouldn’t rule out one day going back as I have said.
“I am just going to be honest about that, and I probably am a better politician, I think anyway, these days because I am not caveating everything, second-guessing everything. I am just calling things as I see them.”
Calling on the Government to “be bolder”, Mr Burnham said: “This is the time for Labour to move up and set out an alternative that people can support.
“I want to be clear, I am supporting Keir, I want to party to unite here in Liverpool, they’ve got us in a position where we have a clear and sustained poll lead which is no small achievement. It’s a big achievement.
“I think the Government have put out an opportunity now for Labour to put out a programme that connects with ordinary people.
“So yes, I would say, be bolder, be clear about what we will do.”