The influence of Liberal Democrats in Government is clear following today’s UK Government Budget, with numerous measures to help people in Wales get on in life.
The flagship Lib Dem policy of raising the Income Tax threshold has been extended again this year, meaning 1.22 million low and middle income earners in Wales will have received a £900 tax cut compared to 2010, and 167,000 Welsh workers will no longer pay any Income Tax at all.
Also announced includes:
- Cutting tolls on the Severn Bridge for cars, vans and small buses to £5.40 when the bridges return to public ownership
- A new Help to Buy ISA, which gives individuals saving to buy a home a 25% bonus up to £3,000, which could help over 45,000 people in Wales buy their first home over the next 5 years
- The next step in the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon scheme, which could bring thousands of green jobs to south Wales
- Plans for a City Deal for the Cardiff City Region, following pressure from the Welsh Liberal Democrats
- Help for farmers by allowing them to average their volatile profits over a longer period of time
Jenny Willott, the Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, said:
“This Budget shows just what Lib Dems in Government have been able to achieve for the people of Wales: creating opportunity for everyone by building a stronger economy and a fairer society.
“Yet again, we’re delivering further on our flagship Income Tax cut – straight from the front page of our manifesto into the pockets of millions of low and middle income workers. Lib Dem action in Government to help with the cost of living will see 1.22 million Welsh workers getting a £900 tax cut.
“Lib Dems in Government are helping savers, particularly those looking to buy a new house. Combined with the stamp duty reforms we announced last Autumn, the new Help to Buy ISA will help many families onto the property ladder with their first home.
“City Deals are a Liberal Democrat policy that give city regions the powers and investment they need to kick start their economies. The potential for such a deal for Cardiff is immense and I am delighted we are making progress on it.”
Reacting to the Severn Bridge Tolls announcement, Jenny Willott MP added:
“This is the first time the UK Government has recognised the detrimental impact these tolls have on jobs and businesses across south Wales, and I very much welcome that. Liberal Democrat ministers have been pushing hard for this important first step, and it would not be happening without Lib Dems in Government. This will, in particular, help small businesses, which are the lifeblood of the Welsh economy.
“But Liberal Democrats would go much further, and if in Government after the election we would scrap the tolls completely once the bridges return to public ownership in 2018. Removing this foot on the windpipe of the Welsh economy would save commuters over £1000 and inject millions into our economy.”