The Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price MS, has today called for a “solidarity tax” on higher earners to help protect public services in Wales.
Speaking in Questions to the First Minister today in the Senedd, Mr Price said that it’s right that those with the “broadest shoulders should be asked to carry the highest burden”.
Referring to comments made by the Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, where she confirmed Labour would not raise any taxes in the short term, Mr Price questioned where a Labour UK Government would get the resources necessary “to defend the public services, to do something about the crisis in the NHS here in Wales through the Barnett formula consequential, and pay public sector workers a decent wage.”
Mr Price asked Mark Drakeford whether he would consider using income tax levers to raise a ‘solidarity tax’ in Wales to help protect ordinary working people against a new round of austerity measures from the Tory Westminster government.
Spain recently announced that it would introduce a solidarity tax, while Germany already has a solidarity surcharge in place.
Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price MS said,
“A solidarity tax is often introduced by countries facing crisis. Now, in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis made far worse by a Tory Westminster government hell bent on punishing the poorest, Welsh Government must act to protect our most vulnerable, using all the powers in its possession.
“That’s why we’re calling for a solidarity tax which works on the socialist principle that the broadest shoulders should be asked to carry the highest burden. Spain is introducing a solidarity tax. Germany already has one. In these difficult times it is something that we must now consider in Wales.
“In the face of a new round of Tory austerity measures, it’s right that the people of Wales should be able to look to their government for protection. Welsh Government has the power to act to protect our most vulnerable from the worst effects of the cost-of-living crisis – they should use that power, without further delay.”
At the Plenary (Oct 18). The First Minister said: “The next Labour Government will inherit the difficulties that have been created in the last three weeks. The last three weeks have changed the context in which decisions have to be made. I heard the shadow Chancellor explain that very cogently on the radio this morning. Something that was right three weeks ago can no longer be sustained, given the turmoil and the billions and billions of pounds that have been spent that are no longer available to an incoming Government. I also heard the shadow Chancellor explain how a Labour Government will raise money through a windfall tax on the excessive profits of energy companies, rather than doing as the current Government is doing, with its now truncated offer of help to people with energy bills—they will take money from everybody else and pass it to energy companies to sustain those extraordinary profits—and that she will act to deal with non-domiciliary taxpayers as well, to make sure that they too pay their fair share to the Exchequer, so that public services can be invested in in a way that only a Labour Government will ever promise and deliver in doing so.”