Labour’s sham alternative budget exposed by recent voting records

Plaid Cymru’s economic spokesperson Jonathan Edwards MP has slammed the Labour party’s arguments for a cut in VAT and fuel duty as “game playing” as it was revealed that the track record of the majority of Labour MPs on both issues were completely unsupportive.

Mr Edwards comments came after Labour’s Ed Miliband and Ed Balls today called for a cut in VAT on petrol and a tax on bankers bonuses.

Mr Edwards pointed out that in key votes led by Plaid and the SNP over the last three years, Labour MPs have either voted against or not bothered voting at all, consistently let down their constituents. He added that such an overnight conversion “would not wash” and that Labour’s voting records proved otherwise.

Mr Edwards said:

“Today’s announcement really is the most incredulous and bare-faced cheek from Labour.

“It may be that Labour wants to forget its atrocious record in government – but in opposition they are no more principled either.

“Just four weeks ago, all bar six Labour MPs completely abstained from voting on a Plaid and SNP motion which would have forced the UK Government to put in place a fuel duty regulator to tackle rising fuel prices. In 2008 – they voted against it entirely.

“Last July, all bar five abstained from voting on a Plaid-SNP amendment to the Finance Bill to scrap the VAT rise to 20%. Voting against could have halted this unfair hike which Plaid has consistently campaigned against.

“Where were these principles then?

“When Labour temporarily cut VAT at the end of 2008, they increased fuel duty by 2p, but when VAT rose again, they didn’t take the fuel duty off – slapping down a double whammy on ordinary people.

“Listening to Labour and the Tories on fuel and VAT is history is repeating itself. Labour’s excuses in 2008 for not taking action are now Conservative excuses in 2011.

“When voting against could have made a real difference to people’s lives – Labour were nowhere to be found.

“Meanwhile, people are struggling to make ends meet because of the excessive price of fuel and VAT.

“This overnight conversion will not wash and Labour needs to remember that actions speak louder than words. Their voting records prove very much otherwise.”
ENDS / DIWEDD
Notes / Nodiadau:
7 Feb 2011 – opposition day debate
All bar 6 Labour MPs abstained
http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2011-02 07&number=191&display=allpossible

13 Jul 2010 – Keep VAT at 17.5%
All bar 5 Labour MPs abstained
http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2010-07-13&number=17

2 Jul 2008 – for a fair fuel duty regulator
Labour voted against
http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2008-07-02&number=247&display=allvotes

Plaid/SNP Fuel Duty Regulator Debate, 2 July 2008
Angela Eagle: “There may well not be a VAT windfall, because when people spend more money on one good or service, they tend to spend less on others.”
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmhansrd/cm080702/debtext/80702-0018.htm col.952

Observer, 13 Mar 2011
The transport secretary, Philip Hammond, last week dismissed the impact of the VAT rise on petrol prices as a “spurious argument”. “People often talk about the VAT on fuel and the increase in VAT; the fact is that if people find they are spending more on fuel they tend to be spending less on something else across the economy,” he said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/13/petrol-price-rise-george-osborne

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