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Cairns: Lower taxes in Wales

Speech to the Welsh Conservative Party conference

"Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Alun Cairns and I am the parliamentary candidate in the Vale of Glamorgan.

This session of the conference is about the Economy, Red tape and the Conservative pledge to Lower Taxes.

Andrew Davies, the next Member of Parliament for Brecon and Radnorshire will speak after me, who will then to be followed by the man who is going to teach Peter Hain a good lesson in Neath, Harri Lloyd Davies.

The Vale of Glamorgan, like many parts of Wales and the rest of the Country has some areas that are relatively prosperous and a number of areas of deprivation.

No matter which community you may come from, the vast majority of people from each of those communities work hard, save hard, pay taxes and depend on public services.

A low tax economy is not only essential to encourage those people to continue to work hard and save hard and to provide for their families but it is also important to stimulate innovation, enterprise and a dynamism in the economy in order to pay for those public services we all cherish.

This is why lower taxes are at the centre of the Conservative Party polices and principles. Lower taxes are not bribes to the electorate. Low Taxes are essential in rewarding effort, where people see genuine reward for their hard work and are the key method of allowing individuals to gain value for money, rather than the inefficient spending of the state.

People are always at their most cautious when spending their own money - because they know the effort that has gone into earning it.

We are the only party committed to a low tax environment.

It is often said that elections are won and lost on the economy. On that basis, we have nothing to fear and everything to look forward to come the election campaign.

Labour feel it is their trump card but glancing beneath the surface shows their running of the economy is more akin to the Joker.

Tax rises and more regulations have reduced us from being one of the most competitive economies in the Western World, to one that is way down the competitiveness league table.

These policies have led directly to Record budget deficits, falls in Productivity and the export of high value manufacturing jobs.

But how many times have we heard their claims that unemployment is low.

Well the answer's simple. More and more people are registered as Economically inactive and more and more people are working in the public sector.

Since the Assembly came into being, there are more Civil Servants, more bureaucrats and more regulators than ever before. In total, there are almost 70,000 more people employed in the public sector in Wales now than when the Assembly was formed in 1999. The proportion of public servants has increased by almost 20%.

In contrast, the numbers of people working in manufacturing have fallen by a similar number and the few extra jobs in the economy are relatively low skilled and low paid - possibly in flash coffee shops that have sprung up across the country.

Hardly a ringing endorsement of the cutting edge, added value jobs that the Gordon Brown or Andrew Davies claim.

There is little wonder that in spite of record resources, growing public spending, Objective 1 European money, the wealth gap between Wales and the rest of the UK has never been wider. We're officially the poorest part of the United Kingdom after 6 years of Labour administration in Cardiff and 8 years of Labour administration in Westminster.

The government are obviously worried about election turn out because they know that people don't feel better off in a growing economy

And in resorting to desperate measures, they are pinning much of their hopes on rises in the minimum Wage.

But because of stealth tax rises and the convoluted structure of taxation that Gordon Brown has presided over, anyone earning the minimum wage who works longer than 19 hours per week, will lose 21% or their increase in Income Tax and National Insurance. If they work longer than 26 hours per week, they will pay 33% of the increase in Tax and loose many of their means tested allowances.

Does that sound like a fair deal for to those people in the Vale of Glamorgan that I mentioned earlier? The ones who work hard and save hard to provide for their families.

Labour have always been big on gimmicks and publicity announcements - but low on delivery. Some of the hardest working people who earn the minimum wage have a right to feel let down and betrayed.

It's wrong that people earning the minimum wage pay income tax and National Insurance

It's wrong that the over 60's have lost 30% of their pension increases in higher Council Taxes

It's wrong that the family home must be sold to pay Inheritance Tax duties

It's wrong that pensioners are subject to complicated means tested benefits

It's wrong that first time buyers pay thousands of pounds in Stamp duty charges

It's wrong that the motorist is used as the Government's cash cow

It's wrong that Students will pay up front top and tuition fees

It's wrong that Pension Funds are facing shortfalls because of the pension Tax

And it's wrong that teachers, nurses and policemen and many others on moderate salaries pay higher rate income tax

All these people, live in Barry, Llantwit Major, Cowbridge, across the Vale of Glamorgan and in everyone else's constituency.

These are the people who work hard, save hard and pay taxes. The kind of people that deserve to be rewarded for their hard work.

They are angry at the government's 66 tax rises and are waiting for a Conservative Government to lower taxes for the sake of the economy."

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