Budget 2020: Not the great levelling up, more like a great let down for Wales

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price AM laments woeful Welsh infrastructure investment figures.

Adam Price AM has said that “although packaged as the great levelling up, this Budget is a great let down for Wales”.

Mr Price said the Tories had presided over a “lost decade”, pointing out that the budget for the Welsh Government will still be lower in real terms than it was a 10 years ago.

The Chancellor claimed there will be a £170bn capital investment programme. The Welsh Government’s capital budget, however, will only increase by £100million next year compared to over a billion in Scotland. This is only a tenth of what Wales should expect based on a simple population share. In capital terms this means Wales would only get £1 for every £10 pounds received by Scotland or for every £10 spent per head across the whole of the UK.

The Conservatives have “presided over a lost decade of stuttering growth, woeful wages and costly cuts”, Mr Price said, arguing that they spending pledges shows that they accept their austerity economics has failed.

On Coronavirus, the Chancellor “failed to take the opportunity to protect people who need it the most” according to Mr Price. Mr Sunak only confirmed that self-employed people would be able to access universal credit, not sick pay, which was also kept to £94.25 per week, significantly lower than our European neighbours.

Following the Budget, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM Adam Price said:

“The Conservatives have presided over a lost decade of stuttering growth, woeful wages and costly cuts.

“But the slash and cut Tories still can’t bring themselves to do the right thing – funding for our devolved government is still going to be lower than it was ten years ago.

“With the Coronavirus crisis, coupled with the ongoing uncertainty of EU-UK trade negotiations and the fallout of the devastating floods, the economy and our public services have been stripped of its resilience to cope with such issues.

“They have now been forced to put a sticking plaster over an ailing economy, that has been on life-support for years.

“Although packaged as the great levelling up, this Budget is a great let down for Wales. Baking in the unfairness, in capital terms, Wales is set to only get £1 for every £10 pounds received by Scotland or for every £10 spent per head across the whole of the UK next year.

“This Budget is an explicit acceptance of the damage done by a decade of Tory economic ideology, but It doesn’t look like they plan on fixing it anytime soon for our nation.”


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