All smoke and mirrors

(Letter to the South Wales Evening Post)

You would expect Peter Black AM (‘AM claims 140,000 will get income tax cuts’, page 2, 7 December) to try to put a gloss on the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.  The Lib Dems have, after all, pinned their political future on the fact that they are having a positive impact on the coalition government.

But no amount of spin can obscure the full impact of the further and deeper cuts that we now face.

What the Chancellor gave with one hand, he took away in greater measure with the other.

The 1% cap on increases to “working age benefits”, Child Benefit and Local Housing Allowance is a savage cut in real terms, not least given the prospect of ever rising fuel prices and the impact this will have on inflation.

Early indications are that the full impact of the Autumn Statement will see around 60% of working households loosing over £250 per year in benefits and tax credits, while those on the highest income will gain far more from the scrapping of the 50% tax rate.

Perhaps Peter Black can now outline how these aspects of the Autumn Statement will impact the “ordinary workers in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot”, many of whom rely on “working age benefits” to feed their families.



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