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David Miliband wants to remove independent schools' charitable status

David Miliband Labour leadership contender David Miliband doesn't strike me as the most likely class warrior, but he has stated today that it is "just wrong" for the Government to scrap the Child Trust Fund "while continuing to subsidise private schools to the tune of £100 million a year".

So he is calling for independent schools' charitable status to be removed.

Apart from the fact that most independent schools have very productive relationships with their local communities, often giving local residents access to sports facilities, for example, the idea that removing charitable status will net the taxpayer £100 million every year is simplistic and wrong.

Removing the charitable status would inevitably mean fees getting dearer, making them unaffordable for some parents, meaning that more children would be seeking to enter the state system.

What Mr Miliband would do well to remember is that parents who choose to pay for private education are doing the Treasury a favour by not calling upon the finite resources of the state education system while paying for it nonetheless through their taxes.

He wants to know what you think of his idea by commenting on his blog.

Jonathan Isaby