Budget 2021: Tightening Westminster’s grip over economy will worsen inequality
Plaid Cymru call on UK Government to build trust by empowering communities
Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson, Ben Lake MP, has said that “Westminster’s grip over our economy has created the worst regional inequalities in the western world” and urged the Chancellor to use his Budget to empower communities instead.
Speaking ahead of the Chancellor’s Budget announcement today (Wednesday 3 March), Mr Lake said that the budget is the Chancellor’s chance to “build trust in our economic recovery”.
Urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to support the most disadvantaged, Mr Lake said that “fundamental flaws” in the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme must be fixed, as well as “making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent”.
The Ceredigion MP says that the Chancellor knows that “Westminster’s grip has created the worst regional inequalities in the western world”, but is set to repeat the same errors by centralising decision making for the Shared Prosperity and Levelling Up funds in London.
Mr Lake urged the Chancellor to reverse this “disastrous decision”, and to “show that he trusts our communities” by granting Wales the borrowing powers needed to “invest in our future”.
Ben Lake MP said:
“Today is the Chancellor’s opportunity to build trust in our economic recovery. That means fixing the fundamental flaws in the self-employed scheme. It means making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent. And crucially, it means empowering our communities, not further licensing Whitehall to take decisions on our behalf.
“Westminster’s grip over our economy has created the worst regional inequalities in the western world – concentrating wealth in the South East of England while Wales is impoverished. The Chancellor knows this. He knows too that it is for these precise reasons that Wales has an explicit responsibility for economic development in the first place.
“He has a chance today to put ideology aside and show that he trusts our communities to recover from this crisis. I urge him to reverse the disastrous decision to centralise the Shared Prosperity and Levelling Up funds in Westminster and grant Wales the borrowing powers we need to invest in our future.”