20-22 January 2023 – the weekend’s press releases (part 1)

  • Sunak fine: From partygate to seatbelt gate, Conservative politicians are taking British people for fools
  • Research reveals squeezed middle facing biggest income tax hit in a decade
  • Alarm as Number of Homeless Children in Wales Rises by 59%

Sunak fine: From partygate to seatbelt gate, Conservative politicians are taking British people for fools

Responding to the news that Rishi Sunak has been given a Fixed Penalty Notice for not wearing his seatbelt during a Lancashire visit, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper MP said:

Rishi Sunak has shown the same disregard for the rules as Boris Johnson, and now becomes the second ever Prime Minister to be fined by the police.

From partygate to seatbelt gate, these Conservative politicians are just taking the British people for fools.

Whilst they continue to behave as though it’s one rule for them and another for everyone else, this fine is a reminder that the Conservatives eventually get their comeuppance.

Research reveals squeezed middle facing biggest income tax hit in a decade

Families in the ‘squeezed middle’ are set to pay the highest level of income tax in over a decade due to Jeremy Hunt’s stealth taxes, new research has revealed.

The Commons Library analysis, commissioned by the Liberal Democrats, shows that an average full-time earner currently on a salary of £39,300 will pay a whopping £6,095 a year in income tax by 2028, an increase of £750.

This is the highest level of income tax for middle income earners since 2012, when a full time median earner would have paid £6,320 in income tax in today’s prices.

The figures show that by 2027/28, the personal allowance will reach a 15-year low of just £11,730 in real terms. This means the amount of money people can earn before they start paying income tax will be at its lowest level since 2012.

The Liberal Democrats in government succeeded in significantly raising the personal allowance, giving millions of people a tax cut and taking the lowest earners out of paying income tax altogether. However, this progress is now set to be undone by years of stealth taxes under Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt, who are freezing the personal allowance until 2027/28.

Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt are hammering families with years of stealth taxes, just as the cost of living bites.

It just shows this Conservative government has completely lost its way. Those in the hard working middle should not be asked to pick up the tab for endless Conservative chaos and incompetence.

The Liberal Democrats are proud that we raised the personal allowance, giving millions of families a tax cut and taking the lowest earners out of paying income tax altogether. Now this legacy has been trashed by a Conservative chancellor who is hiking people’s taxes to their highest level in over 15 years.

Alarm as Number of Homeless Children in Wales Rises by 59%

There has been an alarming rise in the number of children placed in temporary accommodation in Wales over the last two years according to the latest statistics.

Figures released by the Welsh Government this week show that during October 2022, 475 dependent children aged under 16 were presented as homeless and placed into temporary accommodation, an increase of 59% (or 299) since October 2020.

Overall, including adults, 1,567 people across Wales presented as homeless and were placed into temporary accommodation, 591 more since August 2020.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds has expressed her concern over the figures, stating that the rising cost of living may be forcing more people into homelessness and such a dramatic rise in children experiencing homelessness is particularly concerning.

Previous data by the Welsh Government has shown that the number of households threatened with homelessness (Section 66) in the year 2021- 22 stood at 9,228, representing a shocking increase of 27% compared to the previous year.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for the Welsh Labour Government to take action to prevent children and adults from falling into homelessness including delivering higher numbers of social housing stock at a faster rate.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

The rise in these figures is deeply concerning, but it is the steep rise in children presenting as homeless that I find particularly alarming.

The pressure of high bills and spiralling inflation and low incomes in Wales alongside inaction by the Conservative Party has brought people and families to the edge.

We now need to see urgent action from the Welsh Labour Government to make more social housing available, policies like clamping down on second homes has got us so far, but it doesn’t change the fact there is a chronic shortage of housing, both social and regular in Wales.

We also need to see the Conservative UK Government to raise housing benefits.

No child deserves to be homeless and everyone has a right to a stable space to live and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign to have that right enshrined in legislation in Wales.

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One Comment

  • Mel Borthwaite 23rd Jan '23 - 3:11pm

    It would be interesting to know to what extent the rise in the numbers of adults and children presenting as homeless has been driven by migrants arriving in the UK without anywhere to live. If the latter, then the fact that accommodation has been secured for them, even if only temporarily, is surely a positive.

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