Labor Mayor Andy Burnham has said he thinks the 1p income tax cut should not go ahead, directly contradicting the stance of leader Sir Keir Starmer.
He also proposed diverting money earmarked for tax cuts into a nurses’ pay contract, branding the chancellor’s mini-budget a “blatant act of vandalism.”
Sir Keir said on Sunday he backed Kwasi Kwarteng’s pledge to cut the basic income tax from 20p to 19p from April.
I don’t think it was time for tax cuts. I think this is a time to support people through a crisis
But the Mayor of Greater Manchester said he opposed the move as he didn’t think it was “the most targeted way to deploy the resources we have at the moment”.
He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “That’s my position, I don’t think it was time for tax cuts. I think this is a time to support people through a crisis.”
Speaking to GB News, he warned of a “mental health crisis” over the winter and said it was his “priority” to use funds earmarked for tax cuts to ease the burden.
“I think we are also heading towards a mental health crisis this winter and I would use the money to put it into mental health to ensure nurses are paid fairly to support the NHS. That would be my priority,” he said.
He described Friday’s so-called “fiscal event” as “the most blatant act of vandalism of our country’s social cohesion,” adding that the government had “essentially … drawn battle lines with ordinary workers.”
He also told GB News that the next Labor leader would be a woman “in an ideal world”.
But he said whoever takes the job has to be the “right person” and not the product of “checking a box”.
Meanwhile, Lucy Powell, Labour’s shadow secretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, told Times Radio it was “sad” that social media and the reaction to “women in public life” made her unlikely to run for leadership would.
On his own leadership aspirations, Mr Burnham told Ridge: “I wouldn’t rule out going back one day like I said, I’ll just be honest and I’m probably a better politician.”
He also told GB News it was important for Labor to present the work of its mayors at their annual conference.
“I don’t make the decisions and obviously there’s pressure on the conference timetable but I think where you have Labor mayors making really positive changes like a cap on bus tickets, which is what we’ve done now and the People benefit, let’s show that,” he said.
Mr Burnham said he supported a rendition of God Save The King to kick off the conference – a move branded as “very odd” by former leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The best videos every day
View the stories that matter, right from your inbox
https://www.newschainonline.com/news/labour-mayor-andy-burnham-at-odds-with-starmer-over-tory-tax-cut-294503 Labor Mayor Andy Burnham clashes with Starmer over Tory tax cut