South Wales West AM Peter Black claims 140,000 will get income tax cut
MORE than 140,000 ordinary workers in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot will see an income tax cut in April, an AM has claimed.
Peter Black, the Lib Dem member for South Wales West, said it was a piece of good news following the Chancellor's Autumn Statement this week.
George Osborne announced he was raising the personal allowance by £235 more than previously announced next year, to £9,440.
Mr Black said: "This announcement means that by April, 140,400 ordinary working people in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot will get a further Income Tax cut, bringing the total tax cut to £600 a year since Liberal Democrats joined the Coalition Government.
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"This news is particularly welcome because it also means that the Liberal Democrats have lifted 12,510 low-earners out of paying Income tax altogether since the Coalition Government came to power in these two council areas."
Meanwhile the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, welcomed the UK Government's capital boost for Wales.
However, he added that challenging times were still ahead.
"It is good to see the UK Government have listened to our call for extra infrastructure investment — we have been pressing the case for some time and are pleased that they have responded.
"Despite this extra money, it must be remembered that our capital budget in 2014-15 will still be 39 per cent lower in real terms than it was in 2009-10.
"The fact is we will still be experiencing deep cuts that will only hinder us in our attempts to boost economic growth.
"The additional capital allocations are smaller in comparison to the additional £500 million capital investment we announced yesterday for the A465 and the 21st Century Schools Programme.
"The Chancellor has also announced a 3 per cent cut in real terms to our revenue budgets meaning we will have to make some very difficult funding choices.
"The reality of this Autumn Statement is Wales is still facing a very tough public spending environment for years to come."
Other highlights from the Chancellor's statement on Wednesday include the basic state pension to rise by £2.70 a week from April 2013 which is expected to help 640,000 pensioners in Wales.
Welsh businesses will also benefit from a further one per cent reduction in the main rate of corporation tax from April 2014 to 21 per cent.