Tory vs Labour: Chancellor Philip Hammond and shadow chancellor John McDonnell make a final appeal for your vote

The British Prime Minister Triggers Article 50
Will Hammond or McDonnell's party get your vote? (Source: Getty)

Writing exclusively in City A.M., the chancellor and shadow chancellor go head-to-head to make a final appeal for your vote in today's General Election.

Chancellor Philip Hammond: Vote for a secure and prosperous nation

Across London millions of people are today deciding who should lead our country through crucial Brexit negotiations and beyond to a better future: Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn.

Negotiations with the 27 other European Union states will start in just 11 days, so Britain needs a Prime Minister who is ready to begin working immediately to get the best possible deal from Brexit.

Theresa May has a clear plan for Brexit and the upcoming negotiations with Brussels.

Jeremy Corbyn has no plan and he has made clear he would accept literally any deal offered to the UK by Brussels – no matter how bad it is.

Read more: Final pre-election polls: Tories forecast to win with a bigger majority

And there is a very real risk that he would be propped up in a coalition of chaos by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, two parties that both want to frustrate Brexit rather than make it a success.

Getting the right Brexit deal is vital for the City of London and for businesses across the capital. We will forge a new deep and special partnership with the EU, allowing the freest possible trade in goods and services between the UK and EU member states.

This is profoundly in our national interest and will be to the benefit of the European Union and the United Kingdom too.

Only Theresa May and her Conservative team have a plan to back the City and London businesses.

Prime Minister Theresa May Appoints Her Cabinet
Chancellor Philip Hammond (Source: Getty)

In contrast, Corbyn and John McDonnell have set out plans for damaging tax hikes which would crash the economy. Their financial transactions tax is a £26bn raid on the City that risks economic growth and jobs.

Read more: Labour Party under fire over "Robin Hood tax" plans for City

And Labour’s pledge to raise corporation tax to 26 per cent means that London firms will be hit with a £3.5bn tax bombshell. For more than 200,000 small businesses in the capital, that would mean a tax increase of up to £12,000 a year.

It is not only taxes for businesses that would soar under Labour. Corbyn’s plan to increase income tax on people earning more than £80,000 will hit around 316,000 Londoners with tax rises of at least £1,200 a year.

His commitment to reverse Conservative inheritance tax cuts will mean around 1m London homes are liable for £80,000 more in death duty bills.

Mortgage payments will also soar as Corbyn’s plans for a £500bn borrowing spree force up interest rates. And Corbyn’s garden tax plans to replace council tax with a levy on land value will see average rates bills for band D homes in London rise from £1,350 to £10,012 a year – a massive 641 per cent increase of £8,662 a year.

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell will tax you while you work, they’ll tax your garden, and they’ll tax your home when you pass it on to your loved ones.

Read more: City analysts predict what election will mean for sterling, FTSE and Brexit

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has made a damning assessment of Labour’s tax and spending plans, warning they simply do not add up. The result would be further taxes from a chancellor who uses the little red book as his inspiration.

The £58bn black hole at the heart of Corbyn’s manifesto, and the measures they would take to plug it, would be bad for London and bad for everyone who lives and works in this great city. Backing Theresa May and the Conservatives today is a vote to get the best deal for Britain in Europe and a vote for a more secure and prosperous nation.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell: Transform Britain for the many not the few

Less than a year ago Theresa May stood outside her new residence in Downing Street and said: “If you’re just managing, I want to address you directly… When it comes to taxes, we’ll prioritise not the wealthy, but you.”

Millions will be disappointed to see how quickly the Conservative party has abandoned them. They refuse to tell us what they are planning for basic and higher rate income taxpayers, while reassuring the wealthiest they have nothing to fear.

At the weekend Michael Fallon seemed to promise higher earners that they could vote Tory without seeing their tax bills go up.

Read more: Labour government would lump £3.5bn tax hike on London firms, Tories warn

But when pressed on the question, Theresa May has refused to give the same assurances for the rest of the population.

The Tories’ reticence contrasts with Labour. We made a cast-iron guarantee in our manifesto of no rise in income tax for those earning below £80,000 a year, and no increase in personal National Insurance contributions or the rate of VAT.

After billions in tax giveaways for the rich over the past seven years maybe we should not be surprised that the Tories are going ahead with yet more cuts to corporation tax, while refusing to guarantee protection for the 95 per cent. Our honest approach to tax, asking the top five per cent to contribute a bit more for our public services, is at the heart of our manifesto.

The only numbers in the Tory manifesto were the page numbers

In a matter of weeks Labour has transformed the national debate by concentrating on the things that matter most to people: the cost of living, our underfunded public services, stagnant wages under the Tories, the shameful inequality that blights Britain after seven years of Tory failure.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell Delivers His Keynote Speech To Labour Party Conference
Chancellor John McDonnell (Source: Getty)

And we have done so with a fully-costed manifesto that accounts for every pound of spending we have committed to, laying out – as the Institute for Fiscal Studies have said – how we will close the deficit on current spending in five years. In contrast the only numbers in the Tory manifesto were the page numbers.

Read more: Labour offers first-time buyers 100,000 discount homes

Theresa May called this election on the pretext of wanting a mandate for Brexit, but it has already backfired massively. Her divisive approach to negotiations risks jeopardising Britain’s relationship with the rest of the world, including our closest trading allies.

Labour on the other hand will reject the meaningless threat of “no deal”, fighting for a jobs-first Brexit. We will negotiate strong transitional arrangements which must include a recognition of the important role financial services play for the UK and the EU economy.

Labour will fight for a deal that preserves the equivalence of our regulations with those of the EU after Brexit, ensuring we defend our clearing activity in euro-denominated transactions. Crucially, we will fight to keep tariff-free access to the European Single Market and customs union, both essential for jobs and livelihoods here.

Read more: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hints at writing off £30bn student debt

We will guarantee, on day one, the legal rights of all existing EU citizens in the UK, and seek reciprocal rights for UK citizens

living in the EU. And we are committed to a meaningful parliamentary vote on the proposed final deal. Only Labour under Jeremy Corbyn have costed, credible, inspiring policies to transform Britain for the many not the few.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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