‘Autumn Statement confirms we are in deep recession,’ says finance minister
Welsh Government Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said today’s Autumn Statement shows we are in deep recession and people will pay more for less.
The Chancellor’s statement confirmed tax rises for people across the United Kingdom along with deep spending cuts in future spending review periods.
Forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility have indicated the biggest fall in disposable income since records began, with household incomes not expected to get back to pre-pandemic levels until 2028.
Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said: “We should be under no illusions; this statement confirms we are in a deep recession. Real incomes are set to fall by 7% over the next two years, while inflation is at its highest rate in 41 years.
“Today’s Autumn Statement is an invoice for the UK Government’s failure to manage the economy over the last 12 years.
“It provides pain today and pain tomorrow, with higher taxes and energy costs now and spending cuts to come. Ultimately, it leaves people paying more for less.
“Throughout this process I have made clear to the Chancellor that Wales cannot afford deep and damaging austerity. I am relieved that the Chancellor has at least partially responded to my calls for more funding for public services in the here and now.
“However, let me be clear that today’s statement doesn’t even come close to providing the funding needed to protect public service budgets against the immense challenges caused by record inflation.
“We will be carefully analysing the detail of today’s announcements ahead of our December budget.”
Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts has described the Chancellor’s claims to support the most vulnerable in the Autumn Statement as “insulting empty words”.
She added: “A decade of cuts has shredded the safety net for the most vulnerable people.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS has said: “Every single tax rise and spending cut in this budget has come about because of the incompetence of the Conservative party.”
Meanwhile, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance, Peter Fox MS praised the “compassionate UK Conservative Government,” when reacting to the Autumn Statement.
“I am proud of the support that this compassionate UK Conservative Government is guaranteeing support to the most vulnerable in society across Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom – ensuring that benefits and pensions rise in line with inflation as called for by the Welsh Conservatives.”
Charity Age Cymru reacted to the statement: “We are relieved that the UK Government has listened to older people and decided to re-instate the triple lock on State Pensions.
“This will provide a degree of assurance to thousands of pensioners in Wales who have been fraught with worry about they about how they would pay their food and energy bills.
“There will also be some relief amongst the thousands of older people in Wales who rely on benefit payments to meet their daily living costs, following the government’s announcement to increase the level of support.”
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