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Kwarteng gambles on rush for growth

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CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng unveiled his and Liz Truss’s economic vision for the UK on Friday morning.

The headlines are straightforward.

There will be £45bn in tax cuts by 2027; however, the largest cuts – national insurance cuts, the abolition of the cap on bonuses and the highest income tax rate- benefit only high earners.

MAIN POLICIES

Cut in the basic rate of income tax to 19% from April 2023;

National Insurance will not rise as scheduled, and the Government will reverse the current year rise as of November 6;

New Health and Social Care Levy to pay for the NHS will not be introduced;

The top rate of income tax was cut from 45% to 40%;

Cancel the rise in corporation tax which was due to increase from 19% to 25% in April 2023;

Rules around universal credit tightened by reducing benefits if people don’t fulfil job search commitments;

VAT-free shopping for overseas visitors;

End of the cap on bankers’ bonuses;

Planned increases in the duties on beer, cider, wine, and spirits cancelled;

Government to discuss setting up investment zones with 38 local areas in England.

Alongside the above, the Chancellor announced plans to remove environmental safeguards for building developments and reduce the regulatory burden on financial institutions.

KWARTENG LEAVES LABOUR AN OPEN GOAL

In an interview with Rishi Sunak during the Conservative leadership contest, Nick Robinson observed that it would be a nasty surprise for the former Chancellor when he found out who’d been in power for the last twelve years.

Kwasi Kwarteng followed Liz Truss’s preferred method of operation: he pretended they hadn’t happened.

The Chancellor comprehensively dumped on the policies pursued over the last dozen years by successive Conservative governments, for a decade of which Liz Truss has been a member.

His statement was, as one ministerial colleague said, “a game changer”, although perhaps not in the way he envisaged.

So complete was the change of economic policy that it leaves an open question about how Mr Kwarteng and his Cabinet colleagues ended up in the same political party as most of their backbench colleagues and served under the last three Conservative leaders.

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves did not miss the open goal. Even as Mr Kwarteng and Ms Truss shook their heads on the government benches, she hammered home that the Chancellor’s statement was an admission the record of Conservative governments since 2010 was one of a failure to deliver growth or a viable economic plan.

THE SUPPLY SIDE FIX

The Chancellor and Prime Minister’s rationale is that cutting taxes for the already well-off will benefit all citizens as they are incentivised to invest and act in entrepreneurial ways. In addition, reducing regulation for businesses will encourage increased commercial enterprise.

They believe the growth stimulated will make up for any loss in tax revenues as increased economic activity, encouraged by lower taxes, leads to increased government revenues.

That approach is called supply-side economics, which focuses on increasing the supply of goods and services through growth.

In every developed nation where the Government’s brand of economics has been tried, two things have happened: a cataclysmic bust has followed a short-term burst of economic activity.

In addition, wealth inequalities – and the UK is already grossly unequal – are embedded and made worse.

Low taxes on the wealthiest do not distinguish between those who generate wealth through their industry or create economic activity through business investment and those who inherit wealth or sit on capital without producing anything.

“THE RICH WILL REJOICE”

Wales’s Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans MS, responded: “Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said: “Instead of delivering meaningful, targeted support to those who need help the most, the Chancellor prioritises funding for tax cuts for the rich, unlimited bonuses for bankers, and protecting the profits of big energy companies.

“Instead of increasing funding for public services in line with inflation, we get a Chancellor blithely ignoring stretched budgets as public services find their money is not going as far as it did before.”

Plaid Regional MS Cefin Campbell said: “This Budget will see the rich rejoice as their bonuses rocket and their tax bill sliced, once again it will be the poorest and most vulnerable bearing the brunt of the disastrous cost of living crisis.”

 Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson, Ben Lake MP, added: “Tax cuts for the super-rich will do absolutely nothing to drive growth in the Welsh economy.

“I urge the UK Government to recognise that our Government in Wales must be given the fiscal tools to unlock our economic potential ourselves. That is the only way to improve the lives of people across Wales.”

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance, Peter Fox MS, said: “Today shows that the UK Conservative Government has a comprehensive plan to provide a sharp boost to the economy by putting cash back into people’s pockets. Labour in Wales has the power to cut taxes in Wales but chooses not to.

“Mark Drakeford needs to take a leaf out of Liz Truss’ book and take immediate action to support hard-working people and struggling businesses, stimulating the Welsh economy rather than stifling it.”

Scott Corfe, Research Director at Social Market Foundation, said: “The Chancellor is taking a very high-risk gamble with the economy.

“If his package of enormous tax cuts and ‘supply side reforms’ fails to translate into significantly higher economic growth, we risk further falls in the pound and surging gilt yields as investors lose confidence in our ability to pay our way in the world.

“That, in turn, means higher inflation, an unsustainable trajectory for the public finances and steeper interest rate rises – potentially deepening rather than alleviating the cost of living crisis.”

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Count down is on for the opening of new venue HANGAR in Milford Haven

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MILFORD HAVEN’S entertainment scene has been taken to new heights with the highly anticipated opening of HANGAR! This extraordinary venue promises an unparalleled experience for all attendees, setting a new standard for event spaces in the area.

Located at Thornton Industrial Estate, HANGAR boasts an impressive 5000 square feet of space. Inside, visitors will find a fully stocked bar, catering to their beverage needs, and a remarkable 6-meter by 3-meter LED screen that is guaranteed to leave them mesmerised. The sheer scale and technology of this LED screen make it a one-of-a-kind attraction in Pembrokeshire, setting HANGAR apart from any other venue, but the little things haven’t been forgotten with plenty of heating and seating across the venue.

“Milford Haven is undoubtedly experiencing an upward trajectory, and HANGAR is far more than just an ordinary event space,” said Steve Bartram, Project Co-ordinator and popular local musician. 

“We have really kept the local community in mind, the venue’s location has been meticulously selected to guarantee minimal disruption for residents of the town while ensuring easy accessibility for all visitors to HANGAR from Milford, Neyland, Pembroke and beyond” said Steve

Organisers have expressed to not wait too long to experience this limited-time gem! HANGAR will only host a handful of exclusive events this year, making securing tickets a priority before they disappear!

GRAND OPENING: The Big All-Day FanZone Area + Oktoberfest Extravaganza – Saturday, 7th October

As the Rugby World Cup action continues to heat up, the party at HANGAR keeps going strong! The Fan Zone area will be alive with the vibrant sounds of 

Throughout the day, visitors can catch THREE thrilling home nations rugby games on HANGAR’s spectacular 6 by 3-meter LED video wall, complete with comfortable seating for the ultimate viewing pleasure. Live music performances during half-time breaks will keep the spirit alive and kicking.

Hungry attendees can indulge in authentic German street food served by specialised traders, perfectly complemented by a selection of traditional German beers to enhance the atmosphere.

But the excitement doesn’t stop there! After the rugby matches, Oompah Cymru, Wales’ finest Oompah band will take to the stage promising an unforgettable Oktoberfest experience for all attendees leading lively dancing and crowd participation, creating an atmosphere that Milford Haven won’t forget.

🎟️ Don’t miss out on this event! Secure your tickets now at: https://tinyurl.com/mu348sys or you can pay on the door.

UP & COMING SHOWS:

QUEEN TRIBUTE NIGHT – 2nd December

FLAMINGO BINGO – 16th December

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HANGAR FACEBOOK: https://tinyurl.com/ud4z2sjb

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Health

Baby loss remembrance service resumes at Withybush Hospital

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THE ANNUAL baby loss remembrance service will return on Thursday 12 October 2023 at St Luke’s Chapel in Withybush hospital in Haverfordwest at 7pm.

The ‘Forget Me Not’ service coincides with Baby Loss Awareness week (9-15 October) and is arranged by Midwifery and Bereavement teams and led by the Spiritual Care Department (Chaplaincy).

The service has long been a source of comfort for parents and families and provides an opportunity for people to reflect and to come together to pay respects and write a message in a safe space.

Euryl Howells, Senior Chaplain at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “This service of remembrance is an important moment for parents and families who have been affected by the very sad experience of babies who have passed away.

“Infant and pregnancy loss is a very lonely grief. This space is a time to gather and remember precious little ones whether the loss was recent or in the more distant past.”

In recognition of Baby Loss Awareness week, Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen and Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth will have pink and blue lights in the Chapel/Quiet Room. The week culminates in a ‘Wave of Light’ on 15 October, which is recognised across the world.

A candle (battery operated) will be lit at 7pm by the Senior Chaplain in memory of all the babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.

If you are unable to attend the service and wish to commemorate your loved one, please send a message to [email protected] by Tuesday 10 October 2023

Should you require further information please contact Euryl Howells by telephone or email 01267 227563 or [email protected]

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News

Councillors elected to Haverfordwest Town Council

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The declaration of results for by-elections to two Haverfordwest Town Council Wards
are available on the Pembrokeshire County Council website.

The elections to the Priory and Portfield Wards took place on September 19 th , 2023.

Cllr Peter Lewis and Cllr Tasha Jones were elected to the Priory Ward and Cllr Roy
Thomas to the Portfield Ward.

Returning Officer Will Bramble made the declaration of results at the Picton Centre,
Haverfordwest, following the closure of polls and counting.

The full declarations are available on the election results page of the Council’s
website.

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