The head of the UK Chamber of Shipping has warned the UK Exchequer would be left with a £1bn dent in its revenues and around 80,000 jobs would be lost if the Labour Party were to scrap the UK tonnage tax regime.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said he would scrap favourable tax regimes for industry if the Labour party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, were elected to government.
“Under Mr Corbyn’s current plans there would be a £1.2bn black hole in the Exchequer’s tax revenues and up to 80,000 workers left unemployed and reliant on state support,” said Guy Platten, chief executive of the UK Chamber of Shipping, according to City AM.
“Labour’s Tonnage Tax regime revived the industry and helped maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in maritime services. This could now be at risk.”
The UK’s tonnage tax regime was instated in 2000 by John Prescott, the then Labour government’s secretary of state for transport.
“The shipping industry is a good corporate citizen, employing hundreds of thousands of people, paying its way, growing the economy and being ambitious to do more,” Platten continued.
“But we are a global industry, and companies can relocate to other maritime economies at a moment’s notice. If the Tonnage Tax was lost that’s exactly what would happen.
“I know Mr Corbyn and the shadow chancellor, and their supporters, have strong views on the private sector. But I urge him to meet as many businesses large and small as possible – including in the shipping industry.”