Lib Dem reaction to the Spring Statement

In his budget today, Rishi Sunak cut fuel duty by 5p a litre, raised the threshold at which workers start paying national insurance by £3,000 a year and announced a future 1% reduction in income tax.

But the OBR said almost 3 million more people will be brought into paying income because the income tax threshold has been frozen. Ed Davey said:

This tax bombshell will send a shiver down the spine of families who are drowning in spiralling bills.

Rishi Sunak is trying to swindle the British public by burying the true cost of his disgraceful tax hikes. He has insulted millions of squeezed families across the country by thinking he can hide this in the small print. Rishi Sunak is following Boris Johnson’s lead by not being up front and honest with the country.

Tim Farron was scathing about the fuel duty cut:

Jardine: Chancellor adding to pain of families

Responding to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine MP said:

Families were looking to the Chancellor to offer them hope, instead he is adding to their pain by refusing to scrap his unfair tax rises.

People seeing the biggest plunge in living standards in fifty years will see through the Chancellor’s spin.

Rishi Sunak has failed to introduce a windfall tax on the super profits of oil and gas producers, which could have raised billions to help people with their energy bills. And he has refused to bring in an emergency cut to VAT, as Liberal Democrats have called for, which would put £600 back into the pockets of the average family.

Dodds: Rural Regions Disregarded Again in Chancellors Spring Statement

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have accused Welsh Conservative MPs and MSs of utterly failing to make their voices heard after the Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his spring statement today.

According to the Welsh Liberal Democrats, the announcement contained nothing of significance to help people in rural areas deal with the cost of living crisis, particularly the extortionate costs of heating faced by those living in rural Wales. Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

Today the Chancellor has given rural regions nothing to help them cope with the crisis my residents are facing in being able to heat their homes. Welsh Conservative MPs are clearly failing to influence the Chancellor despite almost exclusively representing rural parts of Wales.

The cut to fuel duty is welcome, but only will take between £2-£3 off filling your car. It alone does not rise to the occasion. What we would have liked to have seen was the rural fuel duty relief scheme expanded to parts of Wales like Ceredigion, Powys and Gwynedd. We have been calling for this since 2015 but have been blocked by the Conservatives at every point.

More importantly, the Chancellor has refused to introduce a windfall tax on oil and gas companies that we would want to use to double and expand the warm homes discount. Oil and gas companies are making record-breaking profits while the rest of us are suffering.

This is especially true in Mid & West Wales where in some counties up to 23% of households live in fuel poverty.

Finally, the Chancellor made no announcement to protect those reliant on heating oil and LPG. With large numbers of households across rural Wales off the national gas grid, the bare minimum the Government could have announced was a plan to include oil and LPG into the energy price cap or to implement an automatic fuel duty rebate if the price of heating oil reaches over certain levels.

This spring statement has made it abundantly clear that Welsh Conservative MPs are failing to make their rural constituents’ voices heard in an increasingly London and southeast centric Government.

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10 Comments

  • Brad Barrows 23rd Mar '22 - 5:47pm

    Surprise, surprise – whatever the level of budget deficit in 2 years time, income tax will be cut just before the next election.

  • What planet does he live on? Petrol prices have risen by 40p a litre in the last couple of months. This is already having a huge impact, even for people who can’t afford to drive, because of the knock-on effect on the prices of everything that has to be moved around the country, including the most basic foodstuff. 5p reduction is nothing.

  • George Thomas 23rd Mar '22 - 7:00pm

    Ed Conway of Sky tweets following:

    “Single biggest line item in this Spring Statement is something that wasn’t even announced today: the change in student loans treatment.
    In essence, students are paying a LOT more into the Exchequer.
    This helps subsidise some of today’s giveaways.”

    Landlords and energy companies were protected while those needing public transport were damned, those wanting to go to Uni in order to be the nurses/GP’s we’re desperately short of were damned, those on the lowest incomes were damned.

    Sunak wants to be the next prime-minister and knows who he needs to protect to get there. It’s not voters in rural Wales or the young.

  • I don’t know why I was surprised by this Government, but part of me actually did think this time around due to the exceptional circumstances that we are in, the Government would have gone further to support those at the lower end of the income scale and the most vulnerable sections of society.
    This budget did nothing for those.

    The very least the Chancellor should have done was to immediately increase April’s welfare increase in line with today’s inflation rate of 5.5% rather than the 3.1% that is coming in. I really do not know how vulnerable families and pensioners are going to cope with these crazy price rises across the board.
    No doubt we are going to see a massive increase in reliance on food banks, but if middle classes are also squeezed by these increases in energy prices and cost of living, the worry is that many of these families will not be in a position to give as much as they did previously at a time when we really need them to be giving more.

    We saw nothing for those 2 million households that are not connected to Gas and are reliant on heating oil. Last month I paid 50.4 a litre now it is over £1.06 a litre which is a crazy increase by any standard and I fail to see how it can be justified.

    The axing of VAT on solar power and Air source heat pumps is fine for those that can afford to have them installed and again does nothing for the least well off.

  • Barry Lofty 23rd Mar '22 - 7:58pm

    Well it should not have been a surprise given the record of this government but have to admit I expected much more help for the less well off, perhaps we shall witness all the measures needed right now being dangled in front of the electorate prior to the next election?

  • Steve Trevethan 24th Mar '22 - 8:31am

    Might it help the generality of the citizenry if the various causes of inflation were differentiated?
    Excessive money in the system?
    Lack of « stuff »?
    Profiteering?
    Might we pursue « Efficient Taxation » rather than « Minimum Taxation?
    Are some necessities being taxed while some luxuries are not?
    How can the poor cause inflation when they do not have enough money to feed their children properly?
    Why do we have starving children while the rich avoid paying their proper share of tax by means of « Tax Havens »?
    Why do we tolerate/connive at some 30% of children being chronically hungry even now?

  • We have a government that likes to do little things to deceive people into thinking they care but does not even believe in the concept of redistribution of wealth; only the latter can tell people we must all face tough times so that more of the burden is taken by those most able to carry it. Indeed this must be made permanent in order to stop the continuing inequality.

  • Helen Dudden 24th Mar '22 - 9:25pm

    Does it matter if Sunaks wife deals with.Russia?

  • Barry Lofty 26th Mar '22 - 9:46am

    [email protected] Re Guardian report, I would not be at all surprised if that report were true but hope and pray it is wrong. Long experience tells me the capacity of the Conservative party to get away with it yet again! although I just long for the electorate to give them the biggest wake up call ever, a wake up call they more than deserve, results from Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire give me hope at least!

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