Voting Labour in local elections will lead to congestion charges in Wales say Conservatives
The Welsh Conservatives have said that voting for Labour in the local elections next month will lead to the introduction of congestion charges for drivers in Wales.
A Welsh Conservative motion recently put before Cardiff Council saw Labour refuse to vote against introducing a congestion charge in the capital city.
The Tories said that a charge of £2 or £3 a day levied on anyone driving into Cardiff, excluding residents would rightly be considered to be a tax on those from neighbouring Valley regions who commute to Cardiff for work or for access to public and commercial services.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Transport Minister Natasha Asghar MS said: “People should be aware the Labour that trigger-happy when it comes to deploying taxes without any idea or concern about how it will affect areas that implement them.
“In the Labour Government – alongside their chums in Plaid Cymru – we see people who want an economically illiterate tourism tax that punishes hard-working rural communities, and now we see Labour councils determined to hike the bills of commuters.
“I welcome schemes that improve public transport conditions and provisions, but I do not understand Labour’s compulsion to demonise drivers when it remains the best choice for them.”
A congestion charge would require the go-head of the Welsh Government to implement.
Vaughan Gething, Economy Minister confirmed in a letter to Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies that before a local charging scheme can proceed, it would be necessary for detailed regulations to be made by the Welsh Ministers under the Transport Act.
“This would include an assessment of impacts and unintended consequences, including impact on businesses. In addition, Cardiff Council would need to undertake consultation, including with businesses, on the introduction of any Road User Charging scheme,” he said.
The Welsh Conservatives warned that Labour’s “implicit threat” to impose a levy in Cardiff could mean the scheme happening elsewhere Labour are victorious, adding that the “dreaded tourism tax” was another sign that Labour were happy to raise taxes.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies – Member of the Senedd for South Wales Central – said: “A congestion charge in Cardiff would harm those who have to commute into the city. It would also drive away those who visit the city and who put money into the local economy.
“People across Wales and the world are feeling the global cost of living pressures. Welsh Conservative councils will allow people to keep more money in their pockets by keeping council tax low and by ruling out ever introducing congestion charges.”
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