Budget: Focus on investment, not cuts for short-term political gain – Plaid Cymru

Westminster Budget discussion ‘divorced from reality’ – Ben Lake MP

Ahead of the Spring Budget (Wednesday 6 March), Plaid Cymru’s Treasury Spokesperson, Ben Lake MP, has warned that the Chancellor would be wrong to make “further cuts to public services” in order announce a “tax cut for short-term electoral gain”.

He said that the discussion in Westminster ahead of the Budget had been “divorced from reality”, citing an NHS that “teeters on the brink”,  councils “facing bankruptcy”, a public transport system that is “falling apart”, and “unaffordable” housing.

 Mr Lake said that, instead, the UK Government should be investing in our “social and economic infrastructure”.


Plaid Cymru is calling for:

  1. Funding to plug the black hole faced by councils
  2. Windfall taxes on high profit sectors
  3. End the rural premium with support for energy, fuel and digital connectivity
  4. Investment in the green economy
  5. A strong safety net for all


Speaking ahead of the Chancellor’s statement, Ben Lake MP said:

“It is important that the Chancellor confronts the serious financial difficulties facing our public services in the Spring Budget.

“The situation is grave: local government budgets have endured over a decade of pressure, and many have been forced to cut back to focus solely on the delivery of statutory services. Contrary to suggestions by the Chancellor, there is very little fat left to trim from local services. The NHS teeters on the brink, many councils are facing bankruptcy, our public transport system  is falling apart, and buying a home has become an unaffordable dream for too many.

“Much of the discussion in Westminster ahead of this Budget has been divorced from the reality facing so many people across Wales. The focus on potential tax cuts sadly suggests the Government is more concerned about its electoral fortunes as opposed to addressing the issues important to households.

“The Chancellor should not force even further cuts to public services that will inflict long-term pain on communities just so that he can announce a tax cut for short-term electoral gain. Instead, he should recognise the need for greater investment in our social and economic infrastructure and the opportunity of funding them through a more fundamental reform of the tax system.

“While it may not feel like it, the UK remains the sixth largest economy in the world, and there is no shortage of wealth in the economy: large corporations like British Gas announcing a 10-fold profit increase for 2023. What we need is a Government that recognises the importance of investment in public services to both support the well-being of citizens and economy alike, and a tax system that distributes the burden of funding this investment fairly.”

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  • Elain Roberts
    published this page in News 2024-03-08 10:10:14 +0000

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