September 28, 2023 • 7:52 am
Starmer denies ‘attack’ on private schools
Sir Keir Starmer has insisted he is not launching an “attack” on private schools with his plans to impose VAT on fees if Labor wins the next general election.
“We have to do something about the terrible state of our schools,” he told the BBC’s Political Thinking with Nick Robinson podcast.
“It is not an attack on private schools. It just means that an exemption you had is going away.”
Sir Keir also told private schools that they do not have to pass on additional costs to parents in the form of fee increases.
He said: “The school does not have to pass this on to parents in fees. And each of the schools will have to ask themselves if that is what they want to do.”
Minister: Labour’s private school policy ‘just doesn’t work’
The Conservatives claimed Labour’s private school policy “simply doesn’t work” and accused Sir Keir Starmer of being “forced into a 180 degree turn”.
The Labor Party has backtracked on its plans to end the charitable status of private schools in England, but still intends to press ahead with its policy of imposing VAT on private school fees despite the backlash. (you can read the original story here).
John Glen, chief secretary to the Treasury, claimed Labor was “just making things up as they go” and described the “change of opinion” as “inevitable”.
The senior Conservative MP said: “Labour has been forced to do a U-turn on one of its key policies, this time admitting that raising school taxes simply doesn’t work. They’re just making it up as they go along.
“Keir Starmer is clearly only interested in short-term policies designed to grab the headlines, with no regard for the consequences, and has inevitably changed his mind.
“On the contrary, the Conservatives are taking immediate steps to provide help and make long-term decisions for a better future for our children.”