Bradford South MP Judith Cummins, during a recent debate in Parliament, called for the generous tax reliefs enjoyed by the private school sector to be axed.
A number of MPs spoke in the at times highly charged Parliamentary debate, during which the underperformance of working class boys and girls in nationwide exams was examined in detail. Figures revealed that year on year working class children consistently underperform in our country’s school system. MPs also heard that our school system is currently facing the first real terms cuts to its Government funding in over a generation. An independent think tank, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has undertaken analysis of future school budgets. The IFS concluded that funding will fall by 7% per pupil by 2020.
During the debate, Judith said “Under this Government, a choice was made. A choice to continue the charitable status of private schools. This tax break, at a time of the first real term cuts in school’s funding in over a generation, is plainly wrong, it favours the privileged few over the disadvantaged many, and prefers the entrenched elite over the undervalued majority.”
The tax relief enjoyed by the private school system reportedly costs Government’ coffers many hundreds of millions in lost revenue each and every year. As charitable bodies, private schools are not subject to the taxes applicable to other private businesses.
Judith concluded “These hundreds of millions in lost revenue could, if this unfair tax break were ended, be easily redirected to tackle the desperate underperformance of working class boys and girls in the city of Bradford and indeed right across the country. Working class boys and girls deserve just as good an education as those who are fortunate enough to attend private schools. This much needed extra funding would be a step in the right direction.”