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“DISASTROUS EFFECTS”: Tory candidate for Berkhamsted says Labour’s VAT plans could hurt town’s economy

 Published on: 25th May 2024   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

The Conservative candidate for Berkhamsted has hit out at the Labour Party’s plans to introduce VAT on private school fees.

Last year, Labour announced that one of their first actions if they win the general election will be to add a 20 per cent VAT charge to private school fees.

Nigel Gardner, who is running to be the MP for the Harpenden and Berkhamsted constituency, told BERKHAMSTEDnews that leaders at local schools believe up to a quarter of parents could withdraw their children from private schools if the measure is introduced.

He adds that this mass exodus could put major pressure on local state schools.

Mr Gardner said: “Labour’s VAT hike on school fees is an ideologically driven policy. It will not only punish local parents who sacrifice so much to pay for their children’s education, but also increase pressure on our oversubscribed top local state schools.

“With over 600 people employed in Berkhamsted in independent education, the knock-on economic effects on our town could be disastrous.

“This Labour tax raid will hit swathes of local families – whether their children are at state or private schools – and damage our local economy.”

Symon Vegro, chair of the Harpenden and Berkhamsted Constituency Labour Party, says that Leader of the Labour Party Sir Keir Starmer’s position is that: “The school doesn’t have to pass this on to the parents in fees. And each of the schools is going to have to ask themselves whether that’s what they want to do.”

Mr Vegro added: “Labour will end tax breaks for private schools to invest in a brilliant state education for every child through our fully funded, fully costed plan to drive high and rising standards in our schools.

“We will invest in thousands more expert teachers, access to mental health counselling in every school, and early speech and language interventions, paid for by ending tax breaks for private schools.”

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