Starmer confirms Labour could keep basic rate income tax cut to 19%, but reinstate 45% top rate

Starmer more comfortable than last year but still faces Labour tensions

Laura Kuenssberg

Presenter, Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg

Sir Keir Starmer arrived in Liverpool a much more confident leader than this time last year when he was still trying to face down threats inside the party from the left.

There are still uncomfortable tensions over picket lines and striking workers, and he won’t do what some others want which is to reverse all of the Conservatives tax cuts.

He also admitted that under his big new green plan some oil and gas might still be needed by 2030.

But this morning it felt like we saw two men on very different missions – and a clear shape of the arguments that are likely to run at speed until the next election.

Q: In government would you reinstate the 45% rate of tax?

Yes, says Labour leader Keith Starmer. He says he would reverse the decision the government took on Friday. He is “absolutely clear” on that.

Q: And would you reverse the basic rate tax cut to 19%?

Starmer says he would not reverse that. He goes on:

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.

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