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Labour running scared of City fatcats with "temporary" top rate of tax pledge

Jonathan Edwards MP

Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, has criticised the lack of clarity in Labour's income tax policy as Shadow Chancellor Edward Balls announces his party's measures would only be "temporary."

Mr Edwards accused Mr Balls of running scared of the financial elite after Labour's pledge to reintroduce the 50p top rate of tax should they win the next election attracted criticism from big businesses.

He added that Mr Balls' latest comments that the 50p top rate would only be a "temporary" measure proves that Labour isn't serious about introducing a progressive taxation system and remains a party for the City of London.

Previously Labour have said they are relaxed about plans to inflate banking assets to x9 the size of the UK economy.

Mr Edwards said:

"Just one day after Labour's announcement that they would reintroduce a 50p top rate of tax should they win the next election, their Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is running scared of the financial elite and backtracking on the policy.

"Plaid Cymru has been consistent in our support for the 50p top rate of tax for those earning more than £3k a week. In contrast, Labour had 13 years in government where the higher rate was only 40p and introduced the 50p rate for just 36 days in power.

"It was Labour who deregulated the banking sector and allowed failure to be rewarded with huge bonuses. This talk of a "temporary" top rate is nothing more than a continuation of Labour's love affair with the City of London.

"In the same speech Edward Balls promised to match Tory fiscal policy for the duration of the next Parliament with swingeing cuts to public investment.

"Only today, substantial research by Centre for Cities noted that a recovery focused on London and the South East has led to a brain drain from the rest of the UK, with the City branded "the dark star" of the economy in a damning report last week.

"Whatever the colour of the next Westminster government, the City square mile will lie at the heart of their priorities. Only Plaid Cymru can offer the people of Wales policies designed to deliver a genuine Welsh economic recovery.

"At the next election Wales will face a choice between 'more of the same' policies by the London parties, or Plaid Cymru's radical proposals to increase the top rate of tax, curb bonuses, introduce a living wage, end mandatory zero-hours contract and rebalance the UK economy."

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