‘Autumn Statement intended as a pre-election sweetener but will leave sour taste for many' – Rhun ap Iorwerth

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Leader of Plaid Cymru was in Westminster today responding to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, having been calling for the Chancellor to use his Statement as a chance to demand fairness and ambition for Wales.

Responding to the Autumn Statement, Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

"Today's Autumn Statement was intended as a good old-fashioned pre-election sweetener – but it will leave a sour taste for many. What we’ve had today is more short-termism with no real resolution to the economic challenges we face: low investment and low productivity.

"The Chancellor made a song and dance about cutting National Insurance. But the reality is that cutting National Insurance by 2p will put £10 billion back into the economy, but freezing of the thresholds is taking out £40 billion. Let’s remember that that tax increases under the Conservatives have already cost the average household more than £3,000.

"Plaid Cymru presented proposals aimed at addressing the inequality crisis: a social tariff for energy, a fairer funding formula for Wales, the transfer of owed billions in rail infrastructure funds, and ensuring the flow of money into Welsh coffers through the devolution of the Crown Estate. These are the crucial steps needed to build a fairer and more ambitious future for Wales."

Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson, Ben Lake MP added:

“This Autumn Statement needed to go further to help families struggling with rising living costs.

“Energy bills remain at historic highs levels. Ahead of this Autumn Statement, Plaid Cymru argued for targeted support to help families with energy costs this winter, and a Social Energy Tariff to help make the system fairer in the long term. Between October 2021 and October 2023, energy costs have risen by 49% while average earnings have risen by 14%. It’s disappointing that the Chancellor failed to take this opportunity to help households.

“The tax burden remains at its highest level for 70 years, yet public services are on their knees. Despite the upcoming cut to National Insurance, the Chancellor’s decision to keep income tax and National Insurance thresholds frozen yet again is a tax increase by stealth.”


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