Ben Lake MP's response to the Chancellor's Spring Statement

Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson, Ben Lake MP, has today (Wednesday 23 March) criticised the Chancellor for “tinkering around the edges of a broken strategy” in response to his Spring Statement.

While Mr Lake welcomed the 5p cut to fuel duty, he said a more targeted approach would have been “fairer for both the public and the planet”, as the measures announced today will leave people living in rural areas “struggling to shoulder the cost of essential journeys” while subsidising “Chelsea tractors” in inner cities.

The Ceredigion MP described the Chancellor’s decision to persevere with his National Insurance hike as a “monumental error”, and described the failure to uprate benefits in line with inflation as “inexcusable”.

Ben Lake MP said:

“Today‘s statement finally acknowledges that families are facing a cost of living crisis, but it is disappointing the Chancellor failed to bring forward measures to actually address the scale of the problem. The seriousness of the crisis called for a fundamental change of approach, not further tinkering around the edges a broken strategy.

“Plaid Cymru have long called for targeted support for people and businesses who are struggling with fuel costs. A 5p cut to fuel duty, while welcome, will still leave people in rural areas struggling to shoulder the cost of essential journeys, whilst giving a subsidy to the Chelsea tractors that pollute the cities. A targeted approach would have been fairer for both the public and the planet.

“We welcome the cut to VAT on energy efficiency measures. The UK Government now needs to outline how it will work with the devolved governments and local authorities to deliver the widescale energy efficiency investment we need to have a real impact on people’s bills. Wales has the leakiest, least energy efficient housing stock of any UK nation. A coordinated programme must be delivered according to need.

“The Chancellor wants us to welcome his measures on National Insurance today. But the fundamental facts remain – the Conservative Government is increasing National Insurance in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, which is a monumental error on Rishi Sunak’s part.

“Finally, it is regrettable that the Chancellor failed to announce an increase to benefits in line with inflation today. It will mean that 9 million low-income households will experience a real-terms cut of £500 a year, just months after the Chancellor scrapped the £20 uplift to Universal Credit. It is inexcusable that he is inflicting additional hardship on people who are already suffering.”


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  • Carys Lloyd
    published this page in News 2022-03-24 09:26:21 +0000

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