Analysis Exclusive

Exclusive: as Starmer sides with Tory right to BLOCK tax rises on wealthy, Labour threatens councillors who rebel against Tory budget caps with severe disciplinary action

Starmer is now to the right of Sunak and Johnson on tax – and is acting as their enforcer on local government cuts and caps

Torybot

Keir Starmer and his front bench have horrified Labour members this week on the issue of higher corporation tax.

After months of habitual abstentionism, Starmer finally decided to do some opposition – by rallying against Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak’s proposal to increase tax on companies making huge profits and higher taxes for the wealthy. In doing so, he has sided with the hard right of the Tory party.

The move prompted outrage on the left – if companies and the wealthy are not taxed more, the burden will inevitably be placed even more on the shoulders of those least able to bear it – and a large measure of exasperated derision:

But apparently unsatisfied by siding with the Tory hard right on tax, Starmer has also taken on the mantle of the Tories’ robocop on local government spending. Councillors in London and elsewhere are being warned by their regional offices on behalf of CCHQ2 that any councillors who dare to vote against budgets set in line with the Tory cuts that have blighted the lives of the poor and vulnerable for more than a decade will face ‘very significant’ disciplinary sanctions and likely deselection.

Keir Starmer: soft on Tories (except when he wants to outdo them on Tory manoeuvres), tough on socialism and standing up for the vulnerable.

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82 comments

  1. You have to wonder what’s next from Starmer, he has rode roughshod over everything the Labour Party should stand for

  2. Starmeroid and co are not tory lite, they are actually worse than the tories. Their latest ruse of not only whipping mps to vote with the tories, but even worse, bullying councillors by threatening them with sanctions should they not toe the line just shows total disrespect and ignorance about democratic processes.
    it is people who vote councillors in not the PLP or starmeroid.

  3. There is a large body of economic opinion that supports Starmer’s stance that now is not the time to take money out of the economy by increasing taxation. I think that Labour has made it very clear that they will support increases in taxation when the time is right.
    The insistence that councils set legal budgets is a separate issue entirely and one wonders what those advocating that councils set illegal budgets hope to achieve. I doubt the electorate will thank them for the inevitable chaos that would follow.

    1. Labour councils can only BE Labour councils if they oppose cuts. What difference can there be between a Labour council that obeys a Tory government on this issue- and this offers no Labour policies- and a Tory council?

      The laws on rates were passed by the Thatcher government, and there is no decent reason for any Labour authority anywhere to obey any laws she passed.

      People who don’t think unjust laws should be disobeyed don’t have any Labour or progressive or even humane values, and would never vote for Labour under any leader or on any manifesto.

      1. kenburch – Oh for goodness sake don’t be a such a numpty. Think things through.
        If a council refused to set a legal budget then the Tory government would simply take over the finances of the council and appoint their own money men in to manage how it is spent.
        It is hard to envisage how this would lead to a positive outcome for either the council’s residents or for the credibility of the Labour party in their eyes.

      2. A Labour councillor has the legal rights to vote against the party line and is on a moral issue to vote against the Labour party.I voted against the Labour party under Blair on the great giveaway on council housing.I also voted against the party on the gambling laws,supposed to make betting shops more family friendly and liberlise the law to exploit the working-class people under our gorden Brown.the Chancellor.Whilst I admit that voting against the party is a dangerous game and was of course subject to the straw man punishment….removal from chairing committee and eventually all committees.Nobody attempted to hang drawn and quarter me and somtimes a councillor might just show a sense of morality and do the decent thing and not abstain and vote against.Twice in five years I voted against and I have no regrets and still laugh at the sheep that did the leaders bidding which was heavily supported in his shambling lib \lab pact

      3. Joseph – Thanks for your anecdotes I don’t think anyone is disputing that councillors can vote with their conscience as amply illustrated by the fact that you voted against the whip on 2 occasions in 5 years. (Ooo what a rebel you were). Unfortunately councils have an obligation in law to set a legal budget. Here’s what Jeremy Corbyn said to Labour local authorities when he was LOTO.

        Jeremy Corbyn has told Labour councils that there is no point setting an illegal budget in response to local government cuts, spurning calls to emulate the party’s resistance to Whitehall-imposed budget cuts in the 1980s. Labour faces a difficult round of English council elections in May, defending more than 1,000 council seats won at a high-water mark for Labour in 2012. Councils will be responding to the local government settlement announced this week by setting their budgets in the new year.
        Some council leaders in the 1980s, including some close to the current Labour leadership, deliberately set council budgets in excess of the limits set by central government; and there have now been calls in some circles, including by the Socialist party, for councils to draw up budgets based on people’s needs, as opposed to council finances. But Corbyn has decided not to ask the Labour party to follow the same route in the runup to next May’s council elections.
        In a letter sent jointly with John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, and Jon Trickett, the shadow communities secretary, Corbyn points out that councils must set a balanced budget under the 1992 Local Government Act. The letter says: “If this does not happen, ie if a council fails to set a legal budget, then the council’s section 151 officer is required to issue the council with a notice under section 114 of the Local Government Act 1998. Councillors are then required to take all actions necessary to bring the budget back into balance.”
        Failure to set a balanced budget can lead to action against councillors under the code of conduct, a judicial review and, more significantly, intervention by the secretary of state, the joint letter states. It continues: “It would mean either council officers or, worse still, Tory ministers deciding council spending priorities. Their priorities would certainly not meet the needs of the communities which elected us.”

      4. Its very east SteveH. I’ll Janet and John it for you (seeing as I like you today).

        At present Labour Councillors and Councils are getting the blame from the local communities they are elected to represent and protect for Tory Government budget cuts because they are acting as human shields for those cuts on behalf of the Tory Government and the damage they do to the most vulnerable in society.

        Protecting the most vulnerable is the raison detre of the Labour Party.

        As matters stand this represents the only difference between a local Labour Administration and a Tory one.

        Which means, in both logic and reality, that if Labour Councillors refuse to act as human shields for the Tory Government – in defence of Rule 2.1.8 by NOT bringing the Labour Party into disrepute in this way – the only thing which will change in the scenario you hang your hat on will be that instead of the Labour Party getting the blame from local communities those communities will be faced with the reality of where that responsibility rests and why.

        This will result in in concentrating minds to why it is vast sums of money are being wasted, a lot of it in ways which the vast majority of people recognise as criminal (not only in recent highlighted cases such as procurement but also tax havens and subsidies for the already over wealthy), whilst communities and services go to the wall.

        Resulting in the inevitable growth in the desire for an alternative to this voodoo neo liberal economic illiteracy which you are clearly prepared to die in a ditch for to support.

        PS. I can see why so many posters on this site reach the rational conclusion that the approach you take has more in common with Tory traditional approaches than with Labour ones.

      5. Dave – Well thanks for your entertaining attempt at condescension.
        So are we to take it that you profoundly disagree with Jeremy when he told Labour councils that there is no point setting an illegal budget in response to local government cuts.

      6. The important issue is our council’s right to rename roads. Yeah that’s the local left.

    2. And one wonders how you davidh have the brass neck to come on here and prostitute your corrupt knights ideology of the conservative and unionist party extreme right faction.You are a disgrace to humanity with your cowardly homicidal support of the Trilaterals.And just to clarify when I say Homicidal I mean just plain murder of the most vulnerable in society….now begone evil no other word for the plans of your lot..!

    3. Increase taxes when the time is right?

      ‘When the time is right says the gobshite who now proves ground all reasonable doubt he’s landed on earth during the last rain shower…Otherwise he’d realise the rich and the corporates and the toerags have seen to it that the plebs have been bled so fucking white over the last 11 years or so that they’re nigh-on transparent.

      ‘when the time’s right’ for utter fucks sake.

      What an ignorant Tory prick. Straight out of the rees-smog school of aloofness

      Skwawky, this is deliberate antagonisation.. the knobhead going beyond piss-taking now. Ban the bellend and prevent me bursting many blood vessels ffs.

      1. Skwawky the toerag maggot’s previously admitted he goes out if his way to get a rise outta people; that was it’s waiver to any defence of freedom of speech.

        Ban the prick.

      2. IIRC the exact word the maggot used was ‘exhilarating’ when asked how he feels when he gets the rise he’s deliberately set out to get off people.

        #bantheprick

      3. I suppose Toffee that squawkbox considers that a paid commentator like Steve H is okay and flattering that Squawkbox are on the list for a second rate tory boy to feed right wing propaganda and lies to fellow commentators in a smug 😏 unapologetic manner.Distraction politics and regular use of aliases seems to be popular method to feed the right wing poison.to us,but it plainly isn’t working and the Labour right are now in severe financial difficulties,so the leaking staff have confirmed.Steve H,davidh SH and various other aliases seems to be the method of delivering propaganda to the comments section and hes earned plenty of overtime in the virus lockdown.Stevie feeds on the misery of others and works against the Labour party and socialism.Anyways he will soon be off and away from the Labour party and the knights ascendancy.,and hopfuly has a unpleasant end the same as he espouses for the working-class people of Britain.Hes a bitter and twisted little man and his time is short..Let him spout the knights politics,he does nothing but further the end of the establishment Labour party.and his knights misfits.

    4. SteveH, only that money wouldn’t be taken out of the economy if the money is invested in infrastructure projects. On the contrary they would provide much needed high value employment and an opportunity to build back better by concentrating in creating greener jobs.
      People in employment pay taxes and are able to spend on consumer goods. Plus someone, somewhere would have to foot the bill. Corporations have the broader economic shoulders and since the 2008 economic crisis Corporations are the ones that have increased their wealth exponentially. Hence, it is only fair that they foot the bill for the economic recovery that we need.
      Should Starmer keeps this up and allow Sunak to set Tory’s economic policy to the left of official Labour’s Policy, I could be persuaded to leave the Labour Party and join the Tories in an effort to support the progressive Tories that are moving in the right direction.
      Imagine if the over 100K mainly Cobynistas that have left or in arrears where to leave the LP and join the Conservative Party? If another 100K still in the Labour Party were to join them? We could turn things on its head.
      I don’t believe this is going to happen, as most of us have not appetite for joining the Conservative Party, but Starmer needs to be challenged for the leadership as if he is left unchallenged for much longer, he would destroy any electoral chances for Labour.

      1. Maria – You appear to have fallen under Johnson & Sunak’s spell. Don’t be fooled, this money is destined to be taken out of circulation to pay down the ‘deficit’.
        Or in other words you are effectively sanctioning another round of Austerity.

    5. Corporation tax is a tax on profit. Businesses feeling the squeeze, literally or metaphorically, wouldn’t pay any or very little. Corporation tax is applied across the world to get a very small recompense from globals with huge profits, good accountants and headquarters in British tax havens. Some businesses made a killing during the pandemic, especially those who happened to be mates with Tory ministers but also many others.
      You in particular on this blog don’t like MMT so please explain how we are going to pay this unprecedented ‘debt’? How do we get the eye watering amount of created money back to zero if we’re not going to tax it back? Austerity again, even the Tories have counted that out?
      I am so sick of your pig ignorant repetition of Daily Mail tropes SteveH. You add nothing to debate.

      1. lundiel – You in particular on this blog don’t like MMT
        Whatever gave you that idea?

      2. Because, as a Euro fanatic your political dogma had you believing in the balanced budget. Or were you just pretending? You can’t have it both ways and you never criticised European economics on this blog.

      3. lundiel – You have been a busy little bee, what political dogma would that be.

      4. I’ve got a good memory and you are only here to oppose anything anyone says on this blog. You were never, ever critical of EU economic policy here. You are a neoliberal and espousing Murphy when you supported EU neoliberalism is gross hippocracy.
        I think Toffee is spot on. You don’t have any opinions except to humour yourself by opposing anything we say. You’re a sad little man with too much time on your hands.

      5. lundiel – Don’t be ridiculous, when did Richard Murphy start supporting Brexit. You are spouting confused nonsense.

      6. No, it’s you who are confused. I said “You are a neoliberal and espousing Murphy when you supported EU neoliberalism is gross hippocracy.”
        If you don’t understand that you are a retard.

      7. lundiel – and your evidence for claiming that I support neoliberal policies is what exactly?
        Please feel free to quote me.

      8. As per usual I answer your asinine questions, slapping you down as you deserve and you come back with a different equally stupid question.
        Goodbye troll.

      9. Lord Ashcroft former chairman of the conservative party and his companys Blue Arrow,medacs and Corperate services have all been involved in controversy over many years and the tax exile chairman.They are making a fool of the taxpayer and punishing the working-class who are also funding the profits of the sweatshop above company’s.Nothing new about that though,but it’s certainly new for the Labour party to abandon all pretence of supporting the working-class.

    6. Reflecting on the past x years, I have come to the conclusion, Steve, that the time has never and will never be ‘right’. The reason : it woukd mean that the profiteers and rich – the 1 % – woukd have to contribute for the benefit of the 99%. And the 1% will never give up taking voluntarily.

      1. What makes you think that any taxes they pay will benefit the 99%. That’s the problem with not being in power we don’t get to decide how the money is spent.

    7. SteveH
      Reduce CT it brings in more money
      Trickle down economics, how that going
      Sorry if I forgot Monetarism and Austerity all perfectly sound dont you think old chap

      1. Doug – I presume that you are mistakenly trying to attribute the above little gems that you’ve plucked out of thin air to me. I am quite confident that you have no evidence to support your accusations.
        If you still think you are right then you are more than welcome to try and prove it.

    8. Steve H, those who shamelessly profited from the pandemic are not reinvesting nor paying taxes on their gains. We hazard a guess that those profits are in Hedefunds and tax havens. They need to pay up and contribute. Seems like the 99% are again expected to pay up and carry the 1% who exploit us anyeay they can. That to me is simply not acceptable as is a leader who has no principles, values, and is brown-nosing the tories.

  4. “now is not the time to take money out of the economy by increasing taxation”
    Taxation doesn’t leave the economy, it just gets spent on things other than superyachts.
    “they will support increases in taxation when the time is right”
    Except the time is NEVER right – IS IT, toryboy?

    1. Here are Prof Richard Murphy’s thoughts on the ill informed musings of Burgon and Lavery.
      There are none so good as Labour MPs when it comes to making their chance of forming a government nigh on impossible
      Posted on February 25 2021
      I noted that the Guardian has quoted Richard Burgon MP, the former shadow justice secretary, who is now secretary of the Socialist Campaign Group of MPs, as saying:
      “The question facing all politicians now is: who is going to pay for this crisis? And if we don’t have an answer for that, then we are in a position where Labour doesn’t have an answer to one of the biggest questions facing us.
      No, Richard: it is not the biggest problem facing us. The biggest problem facing us is your incomprehension of the fact that this bill has been paid, in full, already. You are the constraint on Labour winning, in other words.
      I have already tackled this once today in this video, and I will be doing so again tomorrow morning when I release the text of what I will be saying to Keele World Affairs tonight:
      https://youtu.be/d3GEno9qFtA

      1. SteveH – no, I’m not.
        And to Richard Murphy – the “biggest problem facing us” is vastly bigger than Richard Burgon’s incomprehension – it’s the establishment’s refusal to acknowledge any need to change the current economic, political, legal, business, education and media models.

    2. David – I see you are still falling for the propaganda that the economy is like an household budget. I suggest you do some reading.

      1. You fucking weasel. You accused Murphy of Only being a tax accountant on this blog when I first posted here and now you’ve got the bare faced cheek to link to his videos when you are the Daily Mail’s biggest fan.
        We are facing unprecedented unemployment and the benefits bill that will follow. Also, without taxation to remove money from circulation we face inflation.
        Stop talking about things you patently don’t understand and stick to repeating Daily Mail headlines.

      2. lundiel – “You accused Murphy of Only being a tax accountant

        No, I did not, you are welcome to try and prove otherwise.

      3. PS. I bet you a million pounds Starmer will never say “there is no debt, we’ve already paid it”.

      4. lundiel – ps I’ve never claimed he would, are you confusing me with someone else.

      5. You certainly never praised him before when I used to try and explain how European economics was destroying poorer economies and making countries the recipients of Germany’s unemployment.
        Far too much double speak from you SteveH.

      6. lundiel – Over the years that I have been posting on here I have linked to quite a few of Richard Murphy’s articles. You may have done the same but I have no recollection of you trying to explain MMT or anything similar. Perhaps it was forgettable because you didn’t make a very good job of it

  5. Taxation to pay for other important policies is not taking money out of the economy, millionaires offshoring their millions is

    1. tcliverpool – but as we are not in power this isn’t a Labour purposed tax it’s a Tory tax to pay down the ‘debt’

      1. So once again, Steve H, your implication is clear: we have no right to expect Starmer to offer anything other than “it’s enough to get something that calls itself “a Labour government”.

        And the polls now prove that this approach won’t even achieve a Labour-victory-in-name.

      2. kenburch – It doesn’t say much for the veracity of argument or even your own confidence in it when you have to make stuff up.

  6. Steve if they need to pay down the debt surely it is better to tax the rich who can afford it rather than the overburdened poor who can’t.

    1. And probably why labour is seen by many to be much to the right of the Tories

      1. Surely there can’t be that many people that are that badly informed

    2. tcliverpool – There is actually a very big question whether there is actually a debt that in any real sense needs paying down.

      All Lavery’s nonsense approach achieves is to justify austerity.

      1. Right, so Starmer will say, in his next, and last interview with the Daily Mail, “it’s ok, we don’t owe anything”.

      2. And as this blog’s self appointed recent convert to MMT, how do we remove all the excess billions from circulation if not through taxation? Particularly when we are facing a huge increase in the benefits bill? Oh I know, we’ll ask Joe and Josephine Soap to buy savings bonds, that’ll do it and our good corporate friends can offshore all the loot.

      3. lundiel – I suggest you read Richard’s blog, he explains it far better than I ever could.

      4. You cheeky git. I’ve been explaining Keynes and MMT to you on this blog for years when you stubbornly refused to be critical of Germany and France’s economic policy towards the Southern and Eastern European countries but you wouldn’t have it. Now you’ve discovered a couple of mildly left wing MP’s have raised queries about the ‘debt’, you’ve gone all MMT. You are a fake.

      5. lundiel – Who are you trying to impress, yourself?
        Could you quote some examples of your tutorials

      6. lundiel – Again lots of big assertions from you but bugger all proof, lets see some examples that support your nonsense.
        I don’t know whether you are confused, mistaken or a malicious liar but I do know that you are wrong. Again you are welcome to try and prove me wrong.

    3. tcliverpool – The argument on tax is about timing and all Labour is saying is that now isn’t the right time,

      1. Money velocity blows MMT out of the water
        It’s a pointless exercise if the money is in the wrong hands

      2. Then there is the amount of debt in the system, who will Temporary Embarrassment bail out this time
        Twas Brown and Obama wot saved the world
        A first case in economic history of the creditors being bailed out
        Hows that going

  7. And now I know why some people vote Tory.The knights finely classified why some people think “theyre all the same” .Now I personally could never vote for the conservative party or any other party thats not rooted in socialism,or the working-class movement for the people.But it now looks like anyone who is vunerable and that includes most of the people are better to avoid the Labour party like the plague.The Labour party looks like they want to take us back to before the idea of working together for the people.and maybe more than a century in living standards and probably worse.

  8. All you howling remain beljends who wouldn’t have a word said against stammer…

    …I’ll ask you the same question now as I asked back then .. EU, or end austerity?

  9. You quote “Councillors in London and elsewhere are being warned by their regional offices on behalf of CCHQ2 that any councillors who dare to vote against budgets set in line with the Tory cuts that have blighted the lives of the poor and vulnerable for more than a decade will face ‘very significant’ disciplinary sanctions ” Deconstrcted, I guess this i the standard advice that Labour Councillors do not vote for budgets which would leave officers unable to operate without a section 151 warning and (Tory) Government intervention. I first recall this circular coming our way when Jeremy was the Leader.

  10. Keir is attacking the Tories from the right. To quote the Who ‘ the party on the left is now the party on the right”

    1. But there is already a party on the right and it’s called Conservative Party. Why would people happy with the current gang of charlatans and robbers vote for another bunch of charlatans and robbers?

  11. The late David Graeber described New Labour under Blair as the party of middle managers. Looks like Starmer is taking this at a new level. His party is not acting as a government in waiting, but like a bunch of middle managers enforcing their Tory bosses decision and keeping the shop floor quiet.

    The question that remains is: are they just stupid or they are wilfully crashing the party?

    1. Ben I have thought for a long time that the knight has a agenda to destroy the Labour party,not just socialism for his paymasters.and I have said it here for many months before and after his election victory.Sir keir starmer is a paid “plant” whos nearing mission completed.Pity the members who voted for him.

      1. Thanks for giving us the heads up on how much credence we should give your contributions.

      2. I also see it as a possibility.

        An old adage used to say: “do not see malice when it can more simply be explained by stupidity..

        But my own is: “it’s better politically to look stupid than malicious”.

        Acting like that so much against public opinion, both left and right, flies in the face of logic. Can someone be really that stupid?

        Hard to believe, but then US had Donald Trump…

  12. Jon Trickett MP

    @jon_trickett

    Tory Budget contains a plan to lay a Tax Trap for Labour. Labour ought to avoid it

    If we seek to prevent a rise in Corporation Tax – for the largest Companies – we forfeit credibility on tackling gross inequality & the refinancing of public services such as health & education

    9:48 AM · Feb 26, 2021·Twitter for iPhone 214

  13. Just like the Tory scum, these idiots in charge of this cult of new Labour 2.0 don’t want their rich donors to pay any more tax that’s for the plebs to pay they believe.

    Any pretence of LAbour not being Tory-lite has disappeared and now there desperately trying to false there right-wing views on even socialist counsellors and of course with threats because like all bullies they always have to threaten.

    I am glad my parents never got to see this BS happen to Labour they must be turning in there graves at this abuse of their core beliefs of true Labour socialism…

    1. So do you disagree with what Jeremy Corbyn said when he was LOTO?

      Jeremy Corbyn has told Labour councils that there is no point setting an illegal budget in response to local government cuts, spurning calls to emulate the party’s resistance to Whitehall-imposed budget cuts in the 1980s. .
      In a letter sent jointly with John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, and Jon Trickett, the shadow communities secretary, Corbyn points out that councils must set a balanced budget under the 1992 Local Government Act. The letter says: “If this does not happen, ie if a council fails to set a legal budget, then the council’s section 151 officer is required to issue the council with a notice under section 114 of the Local Government Act 1998. Councillors are then required to take all actions necessary to bring the budget back into balance.”
      Failure to set a balanced budget can lead to action against councillors under the code of conduct, a judicial review and, more significantly, intervention by the secretary of state, the joint letter states. It continues: “It would mean either council officers or, worse still, Tory ministers deciding council spending priorities. Their priorities would certainly not meet the needs of the communities which elected us.”

  14. Any of the poorer regions which used to receive EU support (eg, Cornwall) must demand that the gov’t pay them the same sum that they have lost.

    That money might well then fund some or all of the services that local councils cannot, as a result of Tory cuts over the last ten years.

  15. Councillors can be held personally financially liable for failing to set a balanced budget, even if it’s impossible to do so and maintain essential services.

    BloJob, on the other hand, pisses away tens of millions on ridiculous fantasy vanity projects as London Mayor – and as PM – and avoids any official censure whatever.
    Tories award billions to their friends and donors in contracts that remain unfulfilled and our pathetic excuse for a legal system simply ignores such blatant corruption.

    The Batista regime was less corrupt than the Tories.
    The Myanmar military has killed far fewer people in a century than the Tories killed with austerity in a decade.

    1. You would be hard pushed to find any councillors being made to be personally liable.ITs often used as a stick by cheif officers to keep any loose cannons in line..I can only think back to the good old days to when militant tendency gave the Torys and the stuffed shirt labour party a scare.My memory today is failing me,but thirty eight and high humidty in the sun is no longer safe for me especially has the concrete roof is being poured today.You David would be amazed at the shuttering and support method.IN its own way its brilliant,but I can’t say for sure till we test it,but our bedrooms will be below it?Dont want to do a Maggie Thatcher and get out of bed in a hurrey do we …!?

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