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by David Nicholson
TORY election plans for Wales were condemned by Welsh Labour today as a manifesto to cut services — and for showing no understanding of the country’s tax laws.
The Conservatives have pledged to cut income tax if they deliver 65,000 new jobs.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Welsh Tories income tax policy is a complete mess and a threat to our NHS.
“Maybe Welsh Tories do not understand how Welsh taxes work. Even if they hit their promised jobs target — which is not backed by any detail — it does not mean there is an extra £220 million to fund this tax cut. They have linked more jobs with a tax cut without doing any homework.”
The spokesperson added that the Tories would face a clear choice between breaking their promise or cutting £220m from the NHS and other public services.
Wales TUC general secretary Shavanah Taj said: “There is little evidence in this manifesto that the Welsh Conservatives have learnt the central lesson of the past decade.
“You can’t build a fair and prosperous economy on the back of poor-quality, insecure jobs.
“There’s little point in calling for a ‘retrain, gain’ programme to support workers while also threatening to defund the Wales Union Learning Fund that is already successfully supporting thousands of workers across Wales.”
The Tory manifesto contains a promise to freeze council-tax rates for two years. Welsh Labour has calculated that this would cost £100m in 2021-22 and £200m in 2023-24. It would continue to cost about £200m a year in future years unless there were catch-up increases to council-tax rates.
“They clearly understand devolution about as much as they support it. Their plans are a shambles and level a direct threat to our NHS,” a Labour spokesperson said.
Bakers’ union regional secretary John James said: “You just need to scratch below the surface to see the Tory manifesto is anything but a manifesto for Wales.
“It masks the true intent of a Tory Party hell-bent on making the lives of Welsh citizens poorer, more uncertain, and making pledges at odds with their masters in Westminster.”
Unite Wales regional secretary Peter Hughes said; “The Welsh Tories can make all the promises they want, but you can’t trust anything they say because the UK Tory government has spent years saying ‘No’ to Wales.
"No to Wyfla Newydd in North Wales, no to the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, no to the electrification of the rail line from London all the way to Swansea. The people of Wales deserve better than their empty promises."
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