Sarah Murphy MS rejects calls for Wales to "introduce additional 1p income tax", saying it will hit poorest households

Speaking on the Christmas Special of Walescast, Sarah Murphy MS rejected calls from Conservative and Plaid MS’ for Welsh Government to introduce a 1p Income Tax in Wales.  

Sarah Murphy, MS for Bridgend and Porthcawl, defended the decision by Welsh Government to reject proposals from Conservative Sam Rowlands MS, who has called for the use of additional tax raising powers in Wales.  Ms. Murphy explained this would be unfair to the lowest earners in Wales.  

During the Walescast episode, Ms. Murphy stated: 

“[An income tax] would mean charging more to people who are on £12,000 a year –  they would be paying higher tax. At the moment we already have the UK Government taxing people in this country at the highest rate in 70 years.”  

Sarah Murphy MS went on to confront claims by Plaid Cymru about how they would use tax raising powers to fund an increase public sector pay, cut transport costs as well as introducing free school meals across all secondary schools, saying the figures did not add up:

“The tax would raise £230 million… free school meals for all secondary students would cost £260 million. It doesn’t add up. I would love to be able to do all of those things as well [but] it doesn’t add up”. 

Speaking after the interview, Ms. Murphy said that she believed the UK cost-of-living crisis was creating a wealth transfer from the poorest in our society to the richest, and that the poorest families in Wales should not be made to pick up the bill whilst profits are still being made by the wealthiest.  

Statistics show that UK energy producers are set to make excess profits of £170bn over the next two years, meanwhile The Office for Budget Responsibility has said 2023 will see the biggest fall in living standards in the UK since records began, with Trussell Trust figures showing that one in five referrals to its foodbank centres are from working households – and 1.9 million households across the UK have already missed a mortgage, rent, bill, loan or credit card payment in the last month according to Which? 

Other contentious issues were raised on the festive special, such as the nursing strike and calls from the nurses’ union Royal College of Nursing for a 17% pay rise.  

Since recording, the deal set out by the Scottish Government that retained Scottish nurses from striking has now been rejected by Royal College of Nurses Scotland.

Sarah Murphy MS argued that an uplift across the entire UK by the UK Government was needed to secure all nurses with a fair deal on pay.