Plaid Cymru calls for more tax powers

The Plaid Cymru party wants more financial powers to control taxation and funding for Wales, as under Scottish devolution

Taxation

In their 2019 manifesto, Plaid Cymru calls for the devolution of corporation tax to Wales, as is planned in Northern Ireland and control of Air Passenger Duty, as in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It would also like to see VAT revenues assigned to Wales as is the case in Scotland.

Plaid Cymru said: ‘Fundamentally, the reason why there is such a large gap between the taxes we raise in Wales, and the money we spend on benefits and public services, is the way our economy has been mismanaged by successive centralised London governments. We need independence precisely in order to change that.’

In their manifesto, Plaid Cymru argued for a restriction on Income tax relief on pension contributions to the standard rate of 20% from the current higher rate 40% tax break. They suggest this would raise revenue across the UK estimated by the Institute of Fiscal Studies at £11.5bn a year.

They would also increase the employee rate of national insurance contributions (NICs) for higher rate and additional rate taxpayers from 2% to 4% raising an estimated £2bn a year.

Taken together these three measures could raise an additional £20bn a year for funding public services, they claim. This money from taxation could be put towards increased current spending on services, while additional capital investment would be funded by borrowing.

Tourism

It also raised concerns about a lack of support for the Welsh tourism industry.

The manifesto said: The importance of the tourism industry across Wales as an employer and in attracting investment into the country. We want to promote Wales as a high quality, sustainable tourism destination with activities and experiences based on our natural resources, our produce, our unique coastline and landscape, and our language, culture and heritage.

We will increase funding for tourism promotion for Wales to take its place amongst the best destinations world-wide. Currently, the tourism industry is held back by unfair taxes and a Government that is failing to promote Wales as a global tourist destination. Plaid Cymru want to see tourism VAT on hospitality cut to 9% to put Wales ahead in the international tourism market.

Greener transport

Plaid Cymru would introduce a bicycle use reward scheme, to encourage people out of their cars and onto their bikes. This could lead to a significant reduction in road congestion and a boost for improved health and wellbeing.

They plan to develop a scheme where participants are paid for every mile they cycle to work, as is the case in the Netherlands.

This would go hand in hand with significant improvements to cycling infrastructure, making cycling safer and more enjoyable for children and casual bike users.

Electric cars

Plaid Cymru would invest in a national electric vehicle charging network across Wales, starting the transition towards a wholly electric fleet of public sector vehicles and increased use of private electric vehicles (EVs).

Reducing plastic waste

It also plans to tackle the issue of plastic waste by banning single-use plastics, developing sustainable alternatives and increasing recycling targets.

Plaid Cymru said it would: ‘place Wales at the forefront of the circular economy and ensure a zero waste Wales by 2030 through a combination of legislation and policy initiatives, such as Deposit Return Schemes, extended producer responsibility and use of planning laws, levies and tax-making powers’.

It also called for tighter governance of MPs.

Plaid Cymru said: ‘Currently, nearly one in five MPs has regular paid work outside parliament. We will lead efforts to strengthen the MPs’ code of conduct, to include an upper limit of extra earnings pegged at no more than half of their regular salary.’

Plaid Cymru currently have four seats in the House of Commons.

Devolved air passenger duty for Wales rejected

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