Plaid Cymru’s Simon Thomas AM has today urged the Chancellor to use tomorrow’s Autumn Statement to abandon austerity, claiming that the UK Government’s “long-term economic plan” has been an abject failure.
Mr Thomas said that the UK’s public finances already faced a black hole of £100 billion and that there was a real risk of this growing due to the economic uncertainty thrown up by the vote to leave the EU.
He added that Westminster’s “chronic obsession” with overheating the economy of London and the South East meant that the UK is now the most unequal state in the European Union, and made the case for an Economic Fairness Bill to rebalance the UK economy.
Plaid Cymru’s Simon Thomas AM said:
“It’s clear that the UK Government’s much-lauded economic plan has turned into a short-term economic scramble.
“We now have a £100 billion black hole in our public finances – an eyewatering sum which shows that austerity is a completely self-defeating economic strategy.
“With inflation set to rise we can expect to see a spike in household necessities such as food while wages continue to stagnate.
“Yet again, it will be working families paying the price for the incompetence of the Westminster elite.
“The UK Government’s chronic obsession with overheating the economy of London and the South East means that the UK is now the most unequal state in the European Union. The Chancellor has already announced that he will share £250m of infrastructure investment between the devolved nations – a paltry sum which amounts to just 0.3% of the estimated cost of the England-only HS2 rail project.
“That is why Plaid Cymru is arguing for an Economic Fairness Bill to ensure that investment is spread more equally throughout the UK and address this gross imbalance.
“With Brexit throwing so many factors into flux, the UK Government must put stability at the heart of its economic strategy.
“This will mean abandoning austerity to end the damaging ‘boom and bust’ cycle which has caused crippling uncertainty for thousands of families and households in recent years.”