22 November 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Cameron HMRC scrutiny: Zahawi scandal mark two
  • Autumn Statement a deception after years of Conservative tax hikes
  • Ed Davey slams “Hunt hoax” over £200bn stealth tax grab
  • Welsh Lib Dems urge Welsh Gov to make sure that building remediation costs aren’t being forced on residents
  • Conservative giveaway to big banks set to cost taxpayers £22 billion

Cameron HMRC scrutiny: Zahawi scandal mark two

The Liberal Democrats are calling for an ethics advisor probe after reports that David Cameron is being looked into by HMRC.

The party said it is important to know whether this reported scrutiny was disclosed when Rishi Sunak appointed him to the Lords and throughout the vetting process.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip, Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

This looks like the Zahawi scandal mark two. Yet again, it appears Sunak has appointed a cabinet minister being looked into by HMRC.

The Prime Minister must ask the ethics advisor to investigate these reports as a matter of urgency. Serious questions need answering over whether this reported HMRC scrutiny was disclosed as part of the appointment and vetting process for Cameron’s seat in the Lords, and whether Sunak was aware when he appointed him.

Far from looking to kick sleaze out of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister seems to have sought to bring even more in from the outside.

Autumn Statement a deception after years of Conservative tax hikes

Responding to the Autumn Statement, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Sarah Olney MP said:

This is a deception from Jeremy Hunt after years of cruel tax hikes on hard-working families from this government.

Conservative chaos has sent mortgages and tax bills soaring, today’s announcements won’t even touch the sides.

Worse still was the deafening silence on health. These dismal forecasts show the economy is on life support and reducing NHS waiting lists is the shot in the arm needed.

It is a no-brainer that we need people off waiting lists and back to work, yet this Conservative government simply doesn’t care.

Today has been more stale nonsense from a Conservative government out of touch and out of ideas.

Ed Davey slams “Hunt hoax” over £200bn stealth tax grab

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has slammed the Chancellor’s “Hunt hoax,” after figures revealed a £200bn stealth tax grab over the next six years.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts show the freezing of income tax and National Insurance thresholds is due to raise £201bn between now and 2028-29.

The figures also show 7.4 million people are set to be dragged into a higher rate of tax over the next six years. 4 million people are set to be brought into paying income tax for the first time by 2028-29, while 3 million will be dragged into paying the higher 40p rate.

It comes despite a Conservative Party promise not to raise the income tax rate in their 2019 manifesto.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP said:

This Autumn Statement was a Hunt hoax. Buried in the small print is a massive stealth tax raid that will drag millions into paying a higher rate in the coming years.

The British people will rightly be furious at this deception, as they are forced to pay the price for Conservative chaos through years of unfair tax hikes.

It is high time that this Conservative government came clean about just how much money they are taking out of hard-working families’ pockets.

Welsh Lib Dems urge Welsh Gov to make sure that building remediation costs aren’t being forced on residents

This week in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have pressured the Welsh Government to ensure that residents are not being left out of pocket when it comes to essential safety works on their buildings.

The Minister for Climate Change has previously stated that these costs should be paid by developers and companies responsible for the defects, however this is often not the case.

Commenting, Jane Dodds MS said:

I would like to seek reassurance on behalf of residents living in properties undergoing mandatory safety works that they will not be footing the bill.

One of these residents, a pensioner, came to me after being told that they will need to find £916 to cover the installation of sounders, on top of already seeing their annual housing costs double to £4,124.28.

Residents should not be expected to pay out of pocket for repairs that are beyond their responsibility at any time, least of all during a cost-of-living crisis.

We must strive to ensure that developers and companies responsible for these defects are covering the costs of repairs, not residents.

Conservative giveaway to big banks set to cost taxpayers £22 billion

Conservative cuts to Bank Surcharge and Bank Levy to total £22bn over next 6 years, Liberal Democrat analysis of the OBR’s Autumn Statement data has shown

The Lib Dems are calling on the Chancellor to reverse Conservative tax cuts to the banks, as the party’s analysis of new OBR figures shows that the cuts will total £22 billion over the next six years.

Jeremy Hunt cut the Bank Surcharge from 8% to 3% in April this year, even as he increased taxes on millions of struggling families by extending the freeze in the Income Tax personal allowance and higher-rate threshold.

It follows Conservative cuts to the Bank Levy every year from 2016 to 2021, and means that the two bank taxes are forecast to raise a combined £2.4 billion next year, down from £4.7 billion in 2016-17 – a 60% real-terms cut.

Analysis by the Liberal Democrats shows that banks will pay £22 billion less over the next five years than if revenues from the Surcharge and Levy had been maintained at 2016-17 levels in real-terms.

Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson, said:

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement has utterly unravelled. Working families are going to have their pockets raided by Jeremy Hunt’s stealth taxes whilst the big banks are let off the hook and given a £22 billion tax cut.

Jeremy Hunt could at least be honest with people and say that he is prioritising bank profits over making working families better off.

As the NHS prepares for a winter crisis, sewage is pumped endlessly into our rivers and households have to choose between heating and eating, this Conservative government has chosen banks over people. It is a pathetic and frankly insulting offer to the country.

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One Comment

  • Peter Martin 23rd Nov '23 - 12:22pm

    Neither Labour nor LibDem opposition spokespeople are daring to address the root cause of the problem which is monetarist economics.

    All the parties have signed up to the concept of having to abide by “fiscal rules”. There aren’t any with the possible exception of just one. This is that if the economy is running too hot and inflation is the main problem then fiscal policy should be tightened. If it is running too cold and high levels of unemployment is the main issue then it should be relaxed.

    The idea that the economy can be regulated mainly by adjusting interest rates led to a financial meltdown in 2008. We are pushing our luck if we think we can always avoid the same thing happening again.

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