The Labour Party has ruled out major tax changes were it to win the next general election.

The news will be well-received by those looking to preserve their wealth over the long term, but doesn’t necessarily rule out other methods of making money for the Treasury.

Labour Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves has ruled out any new wealth taxes were the party to win power in 2024, when the next general election is due.

Party leader Keir Starmer has also ruled out hikes to income tax if he should be the next Prime Minister.

However, government budgets are extremely tight. With little room for borrowing – as Liz Truss’s controversial mini-Budget in 2022 demonstrated – raising taxes or cutting spending are the only realistic alternatives.

Taxation still looks like the most probable route for any government trying to balance the books. Short of creating miraculous economic growth, this would seem to be the only way forward.

What tax changes could we be in for?

The current government has already done a lot of tax tweaking to bring more cash in, without hiking headline rates.

Chief among these is pinning tax bands and allowances. The effect of this is with inflation and wage rises, more people are tipped into higher income tax bands.

For inheritance tax (IHT), it means every year more estates become liable to pay death duties.

Other areas where rates have been tweaked are changes to dividend taxes and capital gains tax.

Since the government has already fiddled with these, they might not be attractive options. Nonetheless, there are other potential sources.

Changing the rules around pensions tax relief is a long-mooted idea – either by equalising the relief to one rate, likely 30%, or doing away with the higher rate relief altogether.

Another, more unusual idea, floated in the Financial Times by Sushil Wadwhani – a former Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member – was taxing inflation by imposing a 100% tax on pay rises above 3%.

While this idea is somewhat fantastical, it illustrates that there are plenty of “innovative” ideas out there to find new ways of taxing wealth.

What can you do?

The Labour Party has been praised for ruling out new wealth taxes in a sign that it is willing to accept that some people have been able to accrue significant portfolios through hard work and over a long period of time.

The constant chopping and changing of tax rules and structures is also destabilising and creates ever more issues for families who are just trying to do the right thing.

It should also be caveated that these comments are by no means a guarantee, particularly as political and economic imperatives change frequently. The Labour Party is set to publish its manifesto ahead of the next general election, which must take place by December 2024. It is likely that we will find out more about potential plans then.

The best way to ensure that tax liabilities are managed carefully and effectively is to work with an adviser to ensure wealth growth is given the best opportunity to succeed and structured appropriately for your circumstances at all times, whatever the climate.