CHANCELLOR Kwasi Kwarteng’s budgetary statement this morning ‘will see the rich rejoice as their bonuses rocket and their tax bill sliced’, according to MS Cefin Campbell MS, Plaid Cymru Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales.
“As winter approaches, and the cost-of-living crisis intensifies in Pembrokeshire, and in communities across Mid & West Wales, many households are facing the unenviable choice between heating and eating,” said Mr Campbell.
“In Pembrokeshire, over 40 per cent of properties are off the mains gas grid and vulnerable to fluctuating fuel prices.”
Mr Campbell was giving his response after the Chancellor outlined a series of tax cuts and economic measures in a massive shake-up of the UK's finances
The basic rate of income tax has been slashed to 19p in April 2023 and the 45 per cent top rate of tax for higher earners abolished
The threshold before stamp duty is paid has been raised to £250,000 - for first-time buyers it is raised to £425,000.
“The paltry, tokenistic offer of £100 by the Tories for rural households to help cover oil costs is nothing short of insulting as we simultaneously see them abolish the top rate of income tax and scrap the limit on banker's bonuses,” said Mr Campbell.
“Whilst this budget will see the rich rejoice as their bonuses rocket and their tax bill sliced, once again it will be the poorest and most vulnerable bearing the brunt of the disastrous cost of living crisis.”
His views were echoed by Ceredigion MP Ben Lake, Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson.
“Households and businesses across Wales are facing a grim winter of unaffordable bills and soaring inflation, and the Government’s response is to engage in fantasy, trickle-down economics to please the super-rich,” he said.
“That is not just morally questionable, it is economically irresponsible.
“The cap on bankers’ bonuses was introduced across the EU in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
“Scrapping the cap on bonuses risks a return to the excessive risk-taking that led to the 2008 financial crisis in first place, and a repeat of policies that led to misery for millions of people.
“Tax cuts for the super-rich will do absolutely nothing to drive growth in the Welsh economy.
“Given their refusal to invest in our infrastructure – I urge the UK Government to recognise that our government in Wales must be given the fiscal tools to unlock our economic potential ourselves.
“That is the only way to improve the lives of people across Wales.”