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WELSH LABOUR U-TURN ON ‘NO TAX RISE’ MANIFESTO PLEDGE

The frontrunner to succeed Carwyn Jones as First Minister today indicated that Labour may break their 2016 manifesto pledge not to put up the rate of income tax before the 2021 Assembly election.

 Mark Drakeford told the Assembly’s Finance Committee that he would be prepared to ditch the manifesto pledge if he felt “compelled to do so.”  He added that manifestos have a "somewhat diminishing impact over a five-year term."

Welsh Conservatives responded to the remarks by calling on the Labour-led Welsh Government to stand by its pledge not to raise income tax.

Nick Ramsay AM, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance, said:

“It is really disappointing to hear the potential next First Minister talking about the possibility of raising income tax, having specifically promised not to.

“A pledge not to raise taxes before 2021 should mean just that and not diminish when Labour think voters may have forgotten what they promised before the last election.

“Given the pressures on household budgets for families across Wales, Labour leadership candidates should stand by their 2016 pledge and commit to not raising taxes for the lifetime of this Assembly term.”