Journal Column – 14th September

Last weekend saw hundreds of Plaid Cymru members flock to Llandudno for our annual party conference. Policy debates included the devolution of broadcasting, the ‘great rent robbery’ that is the Housing Revenue Account Scheme and the growth of economic development in Wales, to name but a few. It is bitter-sweet, however, to return home from a successful conference to news that the Institute for Fiscal Studies –the leading independent experts on public finances – has concluded a report stating the UK Government’s financial strategy will result in rising child poverty and greater inequality within society. This conclusion is what my party has alluded to since the Conservatives and Lib Dems took office at Westminster; the swinging cuts by the UK Government will see a drop in living standards – the effects of which will be felt for the next ten years.

The IFS findings do not bode well for families throughout the UK. They are also particularly concerning for the communities of Carmarthenshire as we rely greatly on public expenditure. So, whilst the terrible consequences of Tory ideology is the responsibility of the government in Westminster, the Welsh Government must follow my party’s lead in seeking the devolution of meaningful economic levers which will actually make a difference to the Welsh economy.

Wales desperately needs a Government with job-creating ideas. A Welsh Government with the innovation to generate funding for economic growth. As it stands, however, we are currently left at the mercy of unionist parties more concerned with the centralisation of power within the financial square mile of London than granting control to an institution overwhelmingly endorsed by the people of Wales. Plaid Cymru can continue to be relied upon to be an effective opposition and be the true voice of Wales in the face of unambitious, unionist parties.

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