Plaid calls for VAT rise to be scrapped

Plaid Cymru members in parliament, lead by its Treasury spokesperson and local MP, Jonathan Edwards used a parliamentary debate to call on Members of Parliament from all parties to support an amendment to scrap the VAT hike as promised in the UK Government’s Budget.

The Plaid Cymru/SNP amendment to the Finance Bill, would have stopped the increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20%, will be debated on the floor of the House of Commons today.

Unfortunately as a result of Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem MPs refusing to support the amendment, businesses and individuals will now have to face the impact of this VAT hike.

Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, said:

“VAT is a regressive tax which hurts the poorest in society most as it swallows up more of their income. The VAT hike will also impact upon many small businesses in our town-centres who will have to transfer these increases to their customers and make them less competitive compared to large out of town businesses who will either absorb the cost themselves or transfer it to their suppliers, cutting their suppliers’ profit margins.

I am extremely disappointed that we were not supported in this call. We have heard nothing but outrage from Labour members both in Parliament and on a local level about the impact of Tory tax increases. Yet when they were given the chance to vote against them they instead chose to abstain.

Effectively Labour MPs representing the county, including its MP in Llanelli, Nia Griffiths, actively chose to allow the Tories to inflict these tax increases on us.

I have little doubt that the blatant inaction of Labour members, as well as the heartless and reckless plans of the Conservative and Lib Dem MPs will have a seriously detrimental impact on the local economy here in Carmarthenshire.”

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