Wilson – “missed opportunity to reward working families”

DUP Treasury spokesman Sammy Wilson MP said the Spring Budget was a missed opportunity to reward working families.

By Sammy Wilson MP

East Antrim

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Mr Wilson said,

“Working people are the backbone of Northern Ireland and the whole United Kingdom yet this is another missed opportunity by the Chancellor to show that working people will be rewarded.

There is no game-changer in this Budget to show that work pays. Families once again will be seeing more of their income taxed than previous generations yet very little action to tackle the global tax avoiding online corporates. There are online giants creaming in millions every week from families in the UK, yet shops on our High Streets pay more in rates than those online retailers pay in corporate taxes. This needs reformed.

Cutting National Insurance is positive and the direction of travel to scrap the current Child Benefit threshold which was inherently unfair is good news. My colleague Jim Shannon has long campaigned on this unfairness where a family with one salary of £60k was not eligible for child benefit yet another household with two salaries of £40k each would be eligible. But we need more detail about the household income levels. The Chancellor says the lower threshold will initially be increased by 20% to £60k but if it had kept in step with inflation from day one, the lower threshold should have been £62,644 in 2023/24.

The DUP has long argued that the Government should increase the Tax-Free Childcare Allowance beyond the current 20%. This would reward working parents and registered childcare providers. Our campaign for Treasury to do more to help working parents with childcare costs will go on. It is simply not sustainable to expect workers to pay a multiple of their mortgage on childcare, be taxed to the gills and be left with practically nothing at the end of each month. Work must pay.

We have long campaigned against the Air Passenger Duty tax on people flying from one part of the UK to another. Whilst the Chancellor previously announced a 50% cut from April 2023, he should have abolished it completely now. It is driving up costs for those who need to travel and destroying local airports especially in Northern Ireland where we are competing with Dublin.”

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