News | Published January 17 2020

Plaid Cymru leader suggests tax policy changes

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has said that the party would consider abolishing council tax and business rates should it form the next government in Wales.

Price says that replacing the taxes with a new property levy could allow for a 3p income tax cut and £300 million more a year to invest in education, an area in which Price believes Wales falls short.

The Plaid leader believes that paying for education with higher income taxes could deter graduates from returning to Wales to work after completing their university courses.

Since devolution came to Wales in 1999, its government has been led by Labour, but has been in coalition with Plaid Cymru before between 2007 and 2011, and also with the Liberal Democrats even earlier for three years.

Speaking at the Workers Educational Association in Llanelli, Price said: "£300m would represent around a ten per cent increase in education budget, which would be significant and a 1p rise in income tax would deliver that.

"But then why work or set up business in Cardiff, when you can do the same in Bristol at a lower rate of tax for yourself and your employees.

"So, we need to get a little creative. We could, for example, scrap business rates and council tax, both badly designed and unfair taxes in their own ways, and replace them with a new single property tax.

"We could aim for this tax to raise the same amount as the taxes it was replacing and say the equivalent of 4p in income tax allowing us to cut the rate of income tax by that amount if we wished, but cut it instead by 3p.”

Under Welsh income tax laws implemented in 2019, the Welsh government is able to adjust income tax by 10p in every £1 for each bracket if it wishes.

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Authored by

Scott Challinor
Business Editor
January 17 2020

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