Dr James Davies MP has welcomed news that people in the Vale of Clwyd, and throughout the rest of North Wales, will benefit from the long-term decisions taken by the Government at the Autumn Statement for Growth 2023.
Presented by the Chancellor earlier today, the Autumn Statement delivered good news for the people of North Wales, with cuts to people’s National Insurance contributions, a pension rise, and a welfare reform which will get more people into work.
Commenting, James said:
“What has been announced today by the Chancellor is very good news for my constituents, and indeed people throughout North Wales.
“The 2% cut to Employee National Insurance from 12% to 10% will come into effect from January 2024 and benefit thousands in the Vale of Clwyd.
“Taxes for the self-employed in Wales will also be cut and reformed. From April 2024, Class 4 National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed will be reduced from 9% to 8% and no self-employed person will have to pay Class 2 NICs.
“SMEs (Small, Medium Enterprises) will be supported with tougher regulation on late payers to improve prompt payments.”
“Pensioners and those on benefits will also see additional support. The triple lock is being maintained for pensioners with the state pension to increase by 8.5% in April.
“Working age benefits are to increase by 6.7%, and we are also helping the most vulnerable by increasing the Local Housing Allowance.”
The Chancellor announced he would be freezing business rates for small businesses and extending the 75% Retail, Leisure and Hospitality rate relief discount. James is calling for this to be matched in Wales.
“The Chancellor also announced £160m for an Investment Zone for North East Wales for 10 years, and an extension of Anglesey Freeport to 10 years. Alongside this, business investment in IT equipment, plant and machinery will be incentivised as the Super Deduction is made permanent.
“There was further good news for North Wales with £800,000 announced for the Space Technology Test Centre in North Wales, which will provide a flight test range for rocket-powered test vehicles, near-space scientific flights, microgravity research and trials of re-entry vehicles and payload recovery systems.”
This investment follows the announcement earlier this week of £20m of Levelling Up Funding for the Vale of Clwyd (https://www.jamesdavies.org.uk/news/vale-clwyd-receive-ps20m-uk-governm…), and the promise by the Prime Minister last month that the UK Government will deliver a £1bn electrification of the North Wales Mainline.
Other measures announced in today’s Autumn Statement include an increase to the National Living Wage by 9.8% to £11.44, which will benefit 140,000 Welsh workers, alongside a Back to Work Plan, and the freezing of alcohol duty, helping the local pub.
James is also pleased that further Cost of Living Payments will be made across the UK this winter, helping more than eight million UK households on eligible means-tested-benefits and eight million pensioner households.
Measures today take the government’s total support for the cost-of-living between 2022-25 beyond the £100 billion mark, to an average of £3,700 per household.
James pointed out that there will also be an additional £305 million in Barnett Consequentials for the Welsh Government, on top of an existing real terms high in the block grant, to spend on devolved responsibilities like health, education and local government.
“Public finances are in a better position than in March thanks to government action, with borrowing and debt as a share of the economy forecast to be down on average across the next five years.
“With inflation falling, and global economic conditions stabilising, the Conservative Government is now able to take the long-term decisions required to strengthen the economy and build a brighter future for people across the UK.
“It would not be possible under Labour; they will always opt for the easy way out, with a reckless, permanent increase in borrowing that would see inflation and mortgage rates spiral.”