Budget – clever, sly but grim for many ?>

Budget – clever, sly but grim for many

“This is a budget full of spin, and the reality is that it will mean a cut in take-home pay for thousands of households in Wales.

The rise in the National Minimum Wage to what the Chancellor is calling a Living Wage of  £7.20 an hour from next year is long overdue, but I am very concerned indeed that many, many families here in west Wales on low or modest incomes will find that they will lose more in tax credits than they will gain. For example a couple with two children where both work full time at the current National Minimum Wage will gain £1,560 from the change to the Chancellor’s so-called ‘Living Wage’, but they will lose over £2,200 from changes to tax credits, so that’s a substantial net loss of income. Also by calling it a ‘Living Wage’, we discover that the Tories’ promise of a “tax free minimum wage” apparently does not apply to it! Yet more Tory double-speak, like the free TV licence for over-75s which has now been dumped on the BBC.

Cutting tax credits whilst letting those at the top off very lightly and even proposing legislation to prevent any income tax increase for millionaires is a real kick in the teeth for working people. Over half of all families with children in Wales rely on child tax credits to help them make ends meet. Cuts in their income will also have a detrimental knock-on effect on businesses as people have less money to spend in the local economy.

The Chancellor boasts about action on tax avoidance but the reality is that his Government has ignored calls to close down loopholes, and the amount of uncollected tax increased to £34 billion in the latest tax year. That’s where the Chancellor should be concentrating his efforts, rather than trying to balance the books on the backs of those least well able to contribute.”

Nia discussing the budget on the Welsh-medium current affairs programme Y Sgwrs http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p02td43z/y-sgwrs-wed-08-jul-2015

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