“Whilst keen to announce giveaways for those at the top, the Chancellor was less enthusiastic about committing to supporting key infrastructure projects across Wales.
“As predicted, this is another disappointing budget for Wales. The additional revenue funding, in the shape of a measly 0.33% increase, will mean nothing against the continued commitment by the UK Government to press ahead with £3.5bn cuts to public services, which may mean Welsh Government’s budget being reduced by £175m. It was a missed opportunity to abandon the failed policy of austerity and support working people in Wales and the UK. The Government’s changes to National Insurance Contributions are not fair and Labour will oppose them. They are set to raise £2bn from self-employed low and middle earners, but with nothing to improve their conditions even as the Chancellor was boasting about cutting tax for big corporations. Perhaps most disappointing of all was the Government’s failure to make a formal commitment to Swansea Bay City Deal, North Wales Growth Deal or Tidal Power – vital projects to boost regional economies. Just last week, Welsh Government’s Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates, announced his vision for North Wales. We are yet to see anything from this Tory Government.
“7 years of austerity has achieved nothing for communities across Wales and the UK, apart from damaging the lives of working people and families. The country needs a pay rise, and this will only be achieved through investment in vital public services and the wider economy, instead of pressing ahead with further cuts.
“Real pay is still lower than before the crash and too many jobs are now insecure with the National Living Wage being revised down yet again, in 2020. It is forecast not to hit the £9 promised by the Tories, let alone match Labour’s plan for a £10 an hour Real Living Wage. Six million people earn less than the living wage, and four million children are in poverty – two thirds of them in households in which at least one parent works uncertain hours.”
“86% of benefit cuts and tax changes since 2010 have come at the expense of women, yet still no action. Tax giveaways for the super-rich and corporations, yet National Insurance contributions will rise for the self-employed.
“This Budget confirmed that this Tory Government does not care about Wales, women, or working people.”