Robin Millar, Member of Parliament for Aberconwy, has voted in Parliament in support of the Government’s 1.25% increase in National Insurance contributions to help the NHS to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and to improve social care.
Speaking about the increase Robin said:
“This increase was not in our manifesto – but nor was the pandemic.”
“I know this Government was elected on a pledge not to increase taxes and I was proud to commit to that pledge. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted the greatest contraction of UK economic output in 300 years and revenues from taxes have fallen catastrophically.
“At the same time, the Government has protected jobs and businesses throughout the United Kingdom with packages of unprecedented financial support, including through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. The Government has also implemented an emergency £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit to help to protect some of the most vulnerable people and families at the height of the pandemic.
“That support has helped protect jobs and livelihoods in Aberconwy and saved lives by enabling people to remain at home and to reduce the spread of the virus.
“All of this costs money and we have to pay for it somehow. The alternative of borrowing more would simply shift the debt to our children and grandchildren and I do not find that acceptable.”
Speaking about today’s vote in Parliament, Robin went on to say:
“It would be wrong of the Government to stick rigidly to financial commitments in the light of the unprecedented circumstances we face today.
“The question of real reform still lies ahead and is growing more pressing. I hope this will buy some time to tackle this in the near future.”
Speaking about the opportunities for Wales, Robin finished by saying:
“The Government has also allocated unprecedented extra funding to the devolved administrations to help in their responses to the pandemic, including £8.6 billion to the Welsh Government.
“Social care in north Wales is the responsibility of the Welsh government and is in crisis. This increase means that, by 2024, the Welsh Government will receive an additional £700 million over what these changes to National Insurance will raise in Wales.
“This ‘Union Dividend’ should be ringfenced for improving social care.
“I join my colleagues in the Senedd in calling on the Welsh Government to outline how it will use the vast powers at its disposal, along with this dividend to address the crisis in social care that we have here in north Wales.”