Powys residents are set to be hit by the perfect storm of rising costs according to the local Welsh Liberal Democrats. The party says that residents are facing one of the most difficult times since the 2008 economic crisis as rising fuel bills, national insurance increases, general inflation (including food and broadband costs), a cut in universal credit payments and a planned council tax hike take their toll on residents.
Altogether the following price rises are set to hit Powys residents:
- A planned 3.9% council tax rise.
- An estimated average increase of £753 on heating bills.
- A 1.25% increase in national insurance tax.
- Additional inflation rates of 5.4% on a range of goods ranging from food to clothes to broadband.
Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrat Group on Powys County Council Cllr James-Gibson Watt said:
“It is extraordinary that the Conservative-Independent Council is considering such a large tax rise at a time when families are already struggling so much. Over the course of this council term the administration has raised council tax a staggering 30 per cent. This was despite the fact that all Conservative councillors stood on a manifesto to not raise council tax at all.
“All this comes on the back of poorer services year-on-year and a deeply unpopular rural schools closure programme while Powys will receive its largest ever grant support payment from Welsh Government in 2022/23.”
Mid & West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds said:
“On a national level, the Conservatives are continuing to bury their heads in the sand. Both of Powys’ MPs failed to vote in favour of cutting VAT on energy bills, despite it being a key promise of the Brexit campaign. Meanwhile, Spain (still in the EU), cut VAT on energy bills last November.
“We are continuing to propose actionable measures that would help families struggle to meet ends meet cope with this growing crisis. On energy bills, we would cut £300 for around 7.5 million vulnerable and low-income households, by doubling the Warm Homes Discount and expanding it to all those on Universal Credit. This would be funded through a one-off Robin Hood tax on the record profits of oil and gas producers.
“We would also reverse planned tax rises. The proposed increase in National Insurance Tax is not only a tax on work and employment, but it should not be going ahead during times of such financial stress.”