LONDON – Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Tuesday he would like to see a maximum limit imposed on how much people can earn in Britain.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Corbyn said that he supports a “maximum earnings limit” as it would be a fair way of tackling gross economic inequality. He also vowed to raise corporation tax if he is elected as prime minister.
Corbyn, who is making a number of media appearances this morning before delivering a keynote speech in Cambridgeshire this afternoon, added that the money raised from these policies would be put towards the NHS and local councils – but didn’t detail what the cap would be.
Asked how he would tackle the economic inequality in Britain, the Labour leader said: “This government has systematically reduced corporate levels of taxation and it intends to continue doing that.
“Corporate taxation comes into it – and the earnings level and the tax level on it is another factor. I would like there to be some kind of high earnings cap, quite honestly. I can’t put a figure on it and I don’t want to at the minute.”
He added: “The point I’m trying to make… is that we have the worst levels of income disparity in most of the OECD countries in this country. It’s getting worse, and corporate taxation is part of it. If we want to live in a more egalitarian society and fund our public services, we cannot go on creating worse levels of inequality.”
Asked to expand on his support for a legal cap on income, the Labour leader said: “Let’s look at it. I’ve got a view on it but I’m not wedded to a figure on it.
“I would like to see a maximum earnings limit quite honestly, because I think that would be a fairer thing to do.
“Because we cannot set ourselves up as being a grossly unequal, bargain basement economy on the shores of Europe. We have to be something that is more egalitarian, gives more opportunities to everyone and properly funds our public services.
“Look at the crisis in the NHS as an example. And look at every local authority around the country that’s going through the miserable experience of deciding not what they will do next year, but what they won’t do next year because they won’t have the money to do it.”
Corbyn’s interview with BBC Radio was one of many that he did this morning.
Shortly after, the Islington North MP appeared on Sky News, where he appeared to suggest that his income camp policy would extend to high-earning footballers.
The life-long Arsenal fan described the wages of footballers and high-earning executives as “simply ridiculous” and claimed that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would support the policy as he is an “account at heart.”
Arsenal FC did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
Earlier in the day, Corbyn told ITV that a Labour government would tackle the exploitation of migrant workers by British employers. He said:”Migrant workers come to this country, work incredibly hard, pay taxes, receive actually less in benefits than the rest of the community – without them we wouldn’t have much of a health service or social care system. So let’s be realistic about it.
“We’ve got an ageing population, those workers are necessary in this country. My point is that employers, particularly the construction industry and others as well, recruit overseas in order to bring in the whole group of workers to destroy existing wages and working conditions, so Mike Ashley can bring in workers in Sports Direct to pay grotesquely low wages and appalling work conditions.”
There is still some confusion regarding his stance on the free movement of people in Europe, though. In his speech this afternoon, the Labour leader is set to say that the party is not “wedded” to the principle and supports a “reasonably-managed” immigration system. However, he is yet to explicitly confirm whether this means retaining or scrapping Britain’s commitment to the free movement of EU citizens.
In his speech this afternoon, Corbyn is set to say that the party is not “wedded” to the principle and supports a “reasonably-managed” immigration system, language that implies an end to the free movement of EU citizens to and from the UK. However, he is yet to explicitly confirm this, despite being pressed in numerous interviews.
Corbyn is due to deliver a wide-ranging speech on subjects like Brexit, the national economy, and corporate responsibility in Peterborough, Cambridge on Tuesday afternoon. Business Insider will be in attendance.
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