Today in the Spring Statement, Rishi Sunak had a chance to cancel his tax rise and cut energy bills with a windfall tax on the huge profits of gas and oil companies, saving households up to £600.
The cost of living crisis is beginning to bite in Cardiff North and beyond, which will only get worse with bills soaring and inflation expected to rise to 7.4%. Constituents tell me they’re being forced to choose between heating and eating or that they cannot afford to retire under this Conservative Government.
It really shouldn’t be this way.
Yet despite the Chancellor effectively admitting his decision to hike National Insurance was wrong, he’s still ploughing ahead – the only Chancellor in the G7 to raise taxes during this difficult time.
And its working families who’ll pay the price.
While wealthy landlords don’t pay a penny more, it’s their tenants who’re on modest incomes that’ll be paying more out of their pocket. And in my constituent’s case – being priced out of her home entirely.
It’s struggling families who need support now, not distant promises in years to come. Promises to cut Income Tax in 2024 doesn’t put food on the table now. It doesn’t put clothes on children’s backs or new school shoes on their feet now. 5p off your petrol doesn’t cover the rise, nor does it support those who can’t afford to own a car.
A £200 loan for energy bills means nothing if you ultimately can’t afford to pay it back, nor does it cover the expected £1,300 increase by October. 0% VAT on solar panels and heat pumps means nothing if you can’t even afford to heat your home, let alone pay for solar panel installations. And raising the income tax threshold does nothing for the 42% of UK adults who don’t earn enough to meet the threshold to begin with.
The Chancellor has made the wrong choice. And it’s the 10 million people predicted to be pushed into poverty by the Tories’ incompetence who’ll bear the brunt.
It’s that same incompetence that has seen £7m of taxpayers’ money wasted on insufficient PPE, or £11.8bn lost to fraud and criminality. Money that could be better spent on properly shielding families from the cost of living crisis. Instead, the Chancellor is asking taxpayers to pay more to fill his black hole.
Labour would introduce a windfall tax and cut VAT, keeping bills low and saving households money. Labour would get the economy firing on all cylinders and has a proper plan to help businesses and jobs.
People can no longer afford the Conservatives. Labour is on the side of working families and it’s time to reverse 12 years of Tory incompetence.