Mon. Apr 15th, 2024
alert-–-keir-starmer’s-tax-on-private-schools-to-hit-the-poor:-four-out-of-ten-parents-who-pay-for-their-child’s-education-are-likely-to-withdraw-them-if-labour-imposes-vat-on-fees,-survey-suggestsAlert – Keir Starmer’s tax on private schools to hit the poor: Four out of ten parents who pay for their child’s education are likely to withdraw them if Labour imposes VAT on fees, survey suggests

Four out of ten parents who send their children to private schools are likely to withdraw them if Labour imposes VAT on fees, a survey suggests.

Some 18 per cent of parents said they would ‘definitely’ take their child out of independent education under Sir Keir Starmer’s proposals, while 21 per cent would ‘probably’ do so.

Some parents surveyed said they would be forced to take second jobs or even remortgage their homes to keep paying the fees.

The 39 per cent nationwide withdrawal figure rises to 46 per cent in the Midlands, where Labour struggled in 2019, and 43 per cent in the South East, where the party is hoping to make inroads.

Mark Ashbridge, managing director of Ashbridge Partners, which carried out the research of 1,000 parents with at least one child at private school, said the results suggested the policy could hit families in poorer areas the hardest.

Some 18 per cent of parents said they would 'definitely' take their child out of independent education under Sir Keir Starmer 's proposals

Some 18 per cent of parents said they would ‘definitely’ take their child out of independent education under Sir Keir Starmer ‘s proposals

Some parents surveyed said they would be forced to take second jobs or even remortgage their homes to keep paying the fees

Some parents surveyed said they would be forced to take second jobs or even remortgage their homes to keep paying the fees

He said: ‘Labour’s plans will certainly cause many parents to think twice about making that enormous financial commitment.

‘It may hit those less prosperous parts of the country hardest.’

READ MORE: Schools could ‘go to the wall’ and teachers lose their jobs under Labour’s tax plans for private schools, union chief says

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found Labour’s plan would generate up to £1.5billion in additional revenue. 

Labour says it would put the money into the state school system. Average annual fees for a private day school of £16,656 per year would rise to nearly £20,000 if VAT was added in full.

Last night independent school heads also warned of an increasing North-South divide in education if Labour presses ahead. 

In Yorkshire, where Labour is targeting Red Wall seats lost for the first time in 2019, 46 per cent of the respondents said they are considering remortgaging their home to cover the increase, compared with 30 per cent nationally.

Last night Conservative MPs said the survey results were a clear sign that Labour must U-turn on the policy. 

Robin Walker, chairman of the Education Select Committee, said: ‘This research confirms the huge potential cost of Labour’s ill thought-through tax grab, which will result in demand for precious places in our state-funded education system at a time when secondary schools are mostly full.’

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found Labour's plan would generate up to £1.5billion in additional revenue

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found Labour’s plan would generate up to £1.5billion in additional revenue

Tory MP Andrew Lewer (pictured), chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Independent Education and an Education Select Committee Member, said the policy will harm both the state and private sector

Tory MP Andrew Lewer (pictured), chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Independent Education and an Education Select Committee Member, said the policy will harm both the state and private sector

Patrick Roach (pictured), general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, warned that Labour's plans would cause some private schools to 'go to the wall'

Patrick Roach (pictured), general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, warned that Labour’s plans would cause some private schools to ‘go to the wall’

Tory MP Andrew Lewer, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Independent Education and an Education Select Committee Member, said: ‘The policy will harm both the state and private sector and will not generate the revenue that Labour says it will.’

Their comments came amid additional warnings from senior education leaders that the policy might further entrench the North-South divide in the UK.

Dr Simon Hinchliffe, headmaster of Bradford Grammar School, said Labour’s plans were ‘deeply concerning from a regional perspective’. 

Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, warned that Labour’s plans would cause some private schools to ‘go to the wall’, leading to more demand for places in state schools.

The Labour Party was contacted for comment.

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