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John McDonnell: Labour would make top earners publish tax records

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell insisted there would be "no place to hide" for tax dodgers under Labour as he set out plans for top earners to make their returns public.

Laws forcing taxpayers raking in more than £1 million to release their records would restore public trust in the system and curb avoidance, he claimed.

Mr McDonnell also called on the Government to hand over the extra money it is expected to collect from higher than predicted tax receipts to the NHS and social care.

In a speech in central London, he warned anything less would be an "inadequate" response to the crisis in the services.

" Published figures indicate that tax receipts are currently higher than anticipated," he said.

" Given that we're facing an immediate crisis in the NHS and social care, I'm calling on the Chancellor to use that money to address this NHS and social care emergency.

"Any measure less than this is likely to be inadequate."

Mr McDonnell said financing of the NHS has become so "excessively politicised" that supposedly official figures are subject to dispute.

He called for a politically neutral organisation to give independent assessments of need and provision in the straining health service.

" People need to know that the contribution they make will be spent properly," the shadow chancellor added.

" Hypothecation, allocating taxes raised to specific purposes, can make absolutely clear where tax money is being spent.

" It can help restore the trust and confidence in taxation and government spending that has otherwise started to break down.

" But hypothecation for the NHS has to be more than a commitment from a politician or a political party to spend a given amount, however firm that promise.

" It needs a clear commitment, over the long term, that specific taxes will be used for specific purposes, and that this spending will be properly monitored."

Labour has drawn on practices in Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden to devise its plans for tax return disclosures for Britain's wealthiest.

He said: " There'll be no place to hide for tax avoiders under Labour. O ur tax transparency and enforcement programme will clamp down on the worst avoiders.

"And building on the successful Nordic model, we'll introduce legislation to make public the tax returns of those earning over £1m.

" Transparency and fairness is at the heart of building a decent, open society. This will help restore public trust in the tax system - and help clamp down on any avoidance."

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