Party in disarray over VAT
The Party of Wales AM Simon Thomas has called on the Welsh Government to come clean on its commitment to reverse the rise in VAT to boost the economy.
The Welsh Government’s Five Point Plan for Jobs and Growth commits to temporarily reverse the UK Government’s VAT rise.
However, the party leader and the UK Shadow Energy Secretary have denied that this is Labour’s policy. The Party leader insisted in a Radio 4 interview that “There isn't going to be a cut in VAT, that's not what we are proposing at the moment.”
In the past, senior Labour sources in Wales have been hugely critical of the UK Government’s policy to increase VAT. Commenting on the rise, the Vale of Clwyd AM Anne Jones said: “This is exactly why people in the Vale of Clwyd came out to vote Labour”.
She also said that “[The Conservatives] tell us this is tough – don’t let them. It isn’t tough to slash the incomes of families in the places that need help most – it’s wicked.”
The Party of Wales AM Simon Thomas said:
“The Labour Programme for Government states clearly that Labour will reduce the rate of VAT, but this has been denied by the party masters on numerous occasions in recent weeks. This is a key policy commitment for the Labour party and if it has been scrapped then it should come out and tell the people of Wales.
“It seems like the party in London has taken the rug out from under this key government committment.
“The Welsh Government has told us to hold it to account on its Programme for Government, and that’s what I intend to it.
“It needs to tell the people of Wales whether or not they can believe its commitment to reduce VAT for the people of Wales.
"Labour is still advertising this policy on its Welsh website as one of its five points to growth. If they don't take it down they could be reported under Trade Descriptions."
“Plaid Cymru always opposed the increase in VAT, because we know that it impacts upon many small businesses in our town-centres, and hits people in their pockets. That’s why we’ve advocated reversing the rise, and introducing targeted cuts for certain industries, such as reducing it to 15% for the construction sector.”