Plaid criticses Labour support for Trident renewal

Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards MP has criticised the Labour Party’s decision to join the Tories in backing a £25bn “like-for-like” replacement of the UK’s Trident fleet as one of their next general election pledges.

Mr Edwards deemed the pledge immoral and irresponsible at a time when vital public services are facing swingeing cuts and sectors such as health, education and transport infrastructure are crying out for investment.

He added that the timing of the announcement was particularly telling – on the eve of a Parliamentary debate led by Plaid Cymru, the SNP and the Greens on the controversial bedroom tax – showing that Labour are more interested in grandstanding on the international stage than protecting ordinary families from the Coalition’s toxic policies.

Mr Edwards said:

“It is a long-standing Plaid Cymru policy to oppose Trident renewal and put the £25bn sum towards better investments such as improvements to health, education and transport infrastructure. Indeed the total costs of a new Trident system over its lifetime will exceed £100bn.

“Yet again we see the Labour-Tory tag-team at work in Westminster. What’s the difference between the Blue and Red Tories?

“Just a few months ago we saw the First Minister in Cardiff touting for the location of these weapons to Welsh shores, despite no safety assessments about the dangers to the population of south west Wales. Now his colleagues in London are committing to spending vast amounts of money on Trident while criticising nearly every single cut announced by the Coalition.

“In the Emergency Budget that followed the last General Election, the Plaid/SNP/Green Group tabled an amendment calling for the scrapping of Trident renewal. The three unionist parties united to vote the amendment down. In our view scrapping pointless nuclear weapons was a far better way of consolidating the public finances rather than swingeing cuts to public services.

“The timing of Labour’s announcement is particularly telling given that Plaid Cymru will today hold a joint debate in Parliament calling on the Government to abolish the bedroom tax. Rather than being vocal in support of our calls, Labour choose the eve of this debate to expose their warped priorities and ignorance of what really matters to ordinary families.

“Public outrage at the bedroom tax clearly shows that most households have far greater concerns over financial hardship and unemployment than attacks from foreign shores.

“At the next General Election the people of Wales will have a choice between the Labour Tory tag team and their obsession with wasting billions of pounds on Cold War weapons, and Plaid Cymru who would use that money to protect public investment in services and jobs.”

ENDS

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