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Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s economic plans to tackle the coronavirus pandemic have been lifted from Labour’s election manifesto, according to John McDonnell. The former Shadow Chancellor made the accusation while speaking at the Socialist Campaign Group’s virtual rally. The Labour Party is holding its annual conference, although proceedings are entirely online this year.
Mr McDonnell was introduced by fellow Labour MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy.
She told viewers: “I wonder how our next speaker is managing to keep his blood pressure down as he watches the coronavirus pandemic and all of the economic recovery packages that are being put forward.
“He must be looking at some of the things that the current Chancellor is announcing, thinking to himself ‘that’s what I said’ because that is what he said on many many occasion.
“He may no longer be the Shadow Chancellor, but he will always be the People’s Chancellor.”
Mr McDonnell said: “I keep getting told this thing about Rishi Sunak is implementing my policies.
“Well, that’s true. He’s stolen some of our ideas, but the thing about him is that he’s absolutely c**p at delivering them, isn’t he?
“When he takes our ideas, he’s half-hearted with them.
“I can have a rant but I’d better not. It’s not good for my heart really.”
Mr Sunak has faced similar accusations due to his hefty Summer Budget and possible plans for big tax increases on the wealthy and businesses.
The Chancellor was reported as considering raising corporation tax from 19 percent to 24 percent, as well as ordered a review into Capital Gains Tax.
At this news, Mr McDonnell had tweeted: “Couldn’t make it up. Raising capital gains & corporation taxes straight from Labour 2019 Manifesto.”
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Mr Sunak has also pledged to cut VAT from 20 to 5 percent, raise the threshold for stamp duty tax and allocate employers a £1,000 bonus for keeping people on jobs when the furlough scheme ends.
The Chancellor told MPs that the Department for Work and Pensions will be given an extra £1billion to support millions of people back into work.
Employment measures announced in the package include expansion of support to young jobseekers, with £895 million to enhance work-search support by doubling the number of work coaches in job centres before the end of the financial year across Britain.
The current Shadow Chancellor, Anneliese Dodds, was clear that she “welcomed” some of Mr Sunak’s plans, but also warned that it doesn’t go far enough in other places.
She told ITV: “I was really concerned that the Chancellor isn’t shifting away from his approach which is pretty much treating all sectors the same in terms of the job retention scheme.”
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