Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, has voted against Conservative moves to raise National Insurance by 1.25% for working families and 1.25% for businesses this week, slamming the government for “putting enormous pressure on already stretched family finances”.
The National Insurance tax rise is the biggest rise in taxes on families for over 50 years, and comes right when thousands of families in Swansea East are also due to have their annual yearly income cut by over £1000 due to cuts to Universal Cut.
Harris has spent the summer running lunch clubs to help feed children in Swansea East throughout the school holidays. With families set to lose income through cuts to Universal Credit and tax rises, there will be an increased reliance on food banks and schemes such as Harris’ lunch club.
In Wales, the Welsh Labour Government has consistently invested in the social care sector, introducing a cap on weekly contribution rates for non-residential social care to ensure people can keep more of their own hard-earned savings before paying for their own care. The Welsh Government has ambitious plans for social care in this term, including paying social care staff a real living wage.
Welsh Labour remains concerned that, whilst additional funding for social care in Wales would be welcome, doing so by increasing National Insurance contributions will place new financial burdens on the lowest paid workers and places a significant burden on employers at a time when the economy is trying to recover from the pandemic.
Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, said:
“Increasing taxes at the same time as cutting Universal Credit will have devastating consequences for working families, and is not the way to fix the social care crisis. It’s a tax rise that means a poorly paid care worker in Swansea East will pay more tax for the care they are providing without a penny more in their pay packet.
“The last 18 months have been so challenging for families in Swansea East. Whilst running my lunch clubs during the school holidays, I’ve seen how much pressure the pandemic is having on family finances. This tax increase is going to make it even more difficult for families to keep their kids fed.
“Under a Labour government, those with higher incomes would be asked to contribute more, any changes would be fair across generations, and all forms of income would be considered.”
Notes to editors:
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