Mixed-bag budget for Carmarthenshire

‘Postcode Recovery in the UK’ – Jonathan Edwards MP

Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget Carmarthenshire Member of Parliament and Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesman, Jonathan Edwards said:

“This was a mixed-bag Budget, largely overshadowed by the fact that the Chancellor has failed to deliver on his pledge to rebalance the UK economy.

“Many Carmarthenshire residents will certainly benefit from the raising of the income tax allowance threshold as well as the freeze in fuel duty on which I and my party have campaigned for so long.  We would, however, prefer to see a genuine fuel duty stabiliser rather than this short-term fix.

“What we are experiencing in the UK is a postcode recovery where the gap between rich and poor is widening, and where wealth per head in parts of West London is twelve times that in parts of Wales.

“A Welsh economic recovery remains my party’s priority and it is therefore disappointing not to see progress on establishing a Bank of Wales to lend to small businesses, an Economic Fairness Bill to see wealth distributed across the UK, or greater efforts to introduce a living wage for low-income workers.

“The Conservative and Lib Dem government is balancing the country’s economic books on the backs of the poor.  Unfortunately this budget will do little for most Carmarthenshire residents.”

 

Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas added:

 

“As thing stand we’re seeing a recovery based on the wrong type of economic growth – we’re back to the Labour days of huge personal debt and soaring house prices.  The budget was therefore a missed opportunity in terms of the right type of economic growth – that is ambitious infrastructure investment projects to get our economy moving.

“It seems the ‘big society’ which David Cameron has trumpeted since the 2010 general election has been largely abandoned in this budget.  As more and more charities and third sector organisations in Carmarthenshire and Wales pick up the pieces after the axe has fallen on public services, there was little in this budget to support this ever-growing sector.

“Plaid Cymru would have liked to hear the Chancellor announce plans to scrap Trident saving a staggering £100bn that could be better spent on public services, a Financial Transaction (Robin Hood) Tax that would raise £20bn a year, and more robust efforts to tackle tax evasion and avoidance.

ENDS

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