8 months, 2 weeks ago

Fewer than half of limited companies make less than £10,000 in profits

Following on from our earlier post about Nigel Farage's corporation tax numbers, we've heard back from the Brexit Party who've clarified that their policy is to waive corporation tax for the first £10,000 of pre-tax profits that companies earn.

Mr Farage is still wrong to claim that two-thirds of businesses make £10,000 or less in profits. In fact fewer than half of limited companies earn less than this.

We've looked at the details here.

8 months, 2 weeks ago

Manifest-Oh no she didn't!

We spotted a video shared by the Conservative press Twitter account yesterday that appeared to show Jess Phillips saying Labour would fail to deliver on its 2019 election manifesto promises.

The video was not from yesterday, but October, where Ms Phillips was talking about manifestos and political parties more generally. The Conservative press account incorrectly dated the video.

They deleted and fixed the date, but the new video and a similar video on the main Conservative party Twitter account still suggest Phillips is talking about the 2019 manifesto.

You can read more about this here.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

Nigel Farage gets tax numbers wrong

At the Brexit Party’s manifesto launch this morning, leader Nigel Farage pledged to remove corporation tax on business profits under £10,000. 

Corporation tax is a tax on limited businesses, and the main rate is set at 19% of profits.

Justifying the proposal, Mr Farage said in the Telegraph this morning that: “two-thirds of British businesses do not make a profit over £10,000 every year but are nonetheless subjected to corporation tax.” 

He made a similar claim in his speech this morning, that a million companies do not make a profit of over £10,000 a year. 

This is incorrect.

Mr Farage seems to have confused the number of limited businesses who have to pay up to £10,000 of corporation tax (one million in 2017/18) with the number of businesses which make profits of up to £10,000 (and therefore would only be liable to pay corporation tax up to £1,900, on the 19% rate). 

The Brexit Party correctly stated this statistic in their manifesto: “one million companies - some 66% of the total number - pay less than £10,000.”

It’s not clear that the party’s pledge is to stop all those companies paying corporation tax altogether, though. The party’s pledge seems to be that corporation tax would be waived for the first £10,000 of pre-tax profits, not the first £10,000 of tax owed.

We’ve asked the Brexit Party to clarify.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

Manifestos manifest

If you hadn’t noticed yet, it’s manifesto week.

Yesterday was the turn of Labour who pledged an additional £83 billion of public spending, while claiming that there would be no increase in VAT, income tax or national insurance for people earning less than £80,000. 

That’s technically correct, but that doesn’t mean people earning less than £80,000 would be completely unaffected by Labour’s tax plans. The scrapping of marriage allowance and increase in the sugar tax will have a disproportionate impact on lower earners, for example.

Lower earners could also be affected by the proposals to increase inheritance tax and corporation tax (not just paid by large multinationals, but 1.5 million businesses).

We’ve factchecked Labour’s manifesto and launch speech here.

Before Labour, on Wednesday it was the Liberal Democrats’ turn. As we have heard often through the campaign, the Lib Dems advocated for the financial benefits of remaining in the EU which it plans to spend on public services.

There’s always uncertainty with these sorts of predictions but we think their calculations are fair. You can read more from their manifesto here.

The Green Party also launched its manifesto this week, and we looked at some of the party’s claims about climate change.

As for the Conservatives, their manifesto launch is pencilled in for Sunday. We’ll be checking the launch speech live so check our twitter account (@fullfact) and the liveblog for the latest.

8 months, 3 weeks ago

The funding for the bus goes down and down?

Rounding off our check of claims from last night’s ITV election interviews, Green Party co-leader Siân Berry claimed that “our buses have been cut back by nearly half.”

This refers to a 2018 report which found that, since 2010/11, local authorities’ spending on buses had been reduced by 45% in cash terms (or 51% taking inflation into account).

But that is not looking at all public money that goes into supporting bus services, as a larger chunk of funding goes directly from central government towards supporting commercially-run services. 

More recent data shows that local authority spending on buses in England, excluding London, fell by 43% between 2009/10 and 2018/19, after adjusting for inflation. But between 2009/10 and 2017/18  across the same area, central government funding—which is the far bigger pot of money—fell by 19%.

You can read our full fact check here.