Wandsworth to be hit by £126,813,761 National Insurance bombshell as cost of living crisis bites
- Typical family in Wandsworth set to pay an extra £356.50 in national insurance contributions (NICs) this year as cost of living crunch hits.
- Local businesses are also set to feel the squeeze with a £76,088,257 tax hit.
- Lib Dems demand emergency VAT tax cut to put money back in the pockets of struggling families.
Families and businesses in Wandsworth are facing a £126,813,761 tax bombshell this year due to the Conservative hike to national insurance, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
National Insurance payments went up this week (April 6) from 12% to 13.25%, after Boris Johnson’s decision to break a Conservative manifesto promise and hike the tax.
The latest figures from the Office for Budget Responsibility predict that the country is facing a £10.9 billion tax hit this year from the move, with around 40% of this being paid by workers and the rest by businesses.
It means that families in the Wandsworth area are set to pay out an estimated £50,725,505 more in National Insurance contributions, or an average of £356.5 each, at a time when families are already facing soaring heating bills.
Tax raid on local businesses
Mark Gitsham and Sue Wixley, the Nine Elms Liberal Democrat candidates for the Wandsworth Council Election in May, will be out and about in Nine Elms on Saturday 29 January, listening to residents and gathering their feedback.
(14 January 2022) The local Liberal Democrat team have called on Wandsworth Council to get serious about tackling the dangerously high levels of air pollution within the borough, which include some of London’s most polluted ‘hotspots’.
The team has responded to the Council’s consultation on its Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP 2021-2025) which closed on 4 January 2022. The Lib Dems are demanding that Wandsworth City Hall:
- Strengthens action on dirty air hotspots, including Putney High Street and Nine Elms;
- Step up its plans for more walking and cycling;
- Sets ambitious targets for school streets, enrolment in the TfL STARS scheme and more play streets;
Makes sure that developers follow rules on dust and emissions on construction sites and meet the highest insulation standards in all new developments;
- Lobbies TfL for cleaner, more accessible public transport, including making East Putney Station step-free;
- Involves residents in shaping plans through a Citizens’ Assembly for Clean Air.
Fix our unhealthy streets
Wandsworth received a woefully low rating of 5.4 out of 10 in the 2021 Healthy Streets Scorecard and has a long way to go to meet the Government’s target of 50% of journeys by bicycle or foot by 2030.
“Air pollution and the climate emergency affect us all, so it’s vital that the Council ramp up its own activities on both issues and harnesses the energy of the Wandsworth community to make the changes needed. A community which is cleaner and greener is also healthier and a more enjoyable place to live,” said Sue Wixley, a local spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats.
During the Covid-19 pandemic many of our members have expressed their concerns about the plight of our schools and the experience of children growing up in our current education system. This has been further highlighted by the debate about vulnerable children still needing free school meals and the additional pressure on our valued teaching staff. One of our members has summarised her thoughts in the following letter:
The residents of Eland Road in SW11 have witnessed road rage and cars blocking each other on their street in Battersea. A WhatsApp Group has been exchanging photos and messages about the use of Eland Road as a rat run since Spring/Summer 2020.
The lack of quarantining travellers arriving in the UK was a disgrace and one that has caused the virus that initially arrived into the UK to continue to increase the rising figures for covid infections – why has the UK government only just enforced travellers to quarantine and to have negative tests before they board a plane ?
LAVENDER HILL SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS
Battersea Lib Dems welcome the proposed changes in the layout of Lavender Hill’s junction with Elspeth Road, being led by Transport for London. Local residents and businesses have been alerted to details of how this busy junction will be reconfigured, involving safer routings for cyclists and pedestrians, and clearer lane markings for drivers. The number of conflicting movements will be reduced by banning the turn for drivers between the eastern arm of Lavender Hill and Elspeth Road – but decent alternative routes are available further east.
Today the Liberal Democrats will be voting against the EU (Future Relationship) Bill because it is a bad deal and will make people’s lives poorer. The Liberal Democrats have also tabled a number of amendments that demand the Government protect British businesses, the rights of UK nationals and ensure Parliament has proper scrutiny over the future relationship agreement.
An affront to our democracy
Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Putney, Southfields and Roehampton, Sue Wixley, said:
"It is right that the Liberal Democrats will be voting against a deal which will be bad for people, jobs, security and our environment. For the Government to limit debate and scrutiny on the deal to just a few hours is an insult to our democracy. Given the risk to business and rights of UK nationals, Parliament must be in the driving seat.
I welcome the fact that Fleur Anderson MP has sought the views of local people and I hope that she listens to their concerns about Boris Johnson's threadbare EU deal. Like me, many of my neighbours across the constituency, urge Ms Anderson to stand by her election promises. Ms Anderson was elected on an anti-Brexit platform just a year ago. So I can’t see how she can, in good faith, vote for a Brexit deal that will make all of our lives poorer and harm local businesses and institutions.
After this terrible year, I want to see our country come together again to repair our economy, restore our communities and finally bring certainty to businesses. But the deal makes this more difficult. That is why our Member of Parliament should act in the interests of the nation and her constituents and vote against the deal."
Adjustment period for businesses
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a grace period of three months to ease the pain for businesses and enable the UK to repair its relationship with its most important international partner.
Living close to the Lower Richmond Road in Thamesfield Ward and its approach to Putney Bridge, it has become increasingly evident that since Hammersmith Bridge was closed, to both vehicles and more recently pedestrians and bicycles, that there has been a substantial increase in the volume of traffic.