Welsh Government “not powerless” to protect public services says Plaid Cymru ahead of draft budget
Devastating impact on public services proof Westminster will never work for Wales – Plaid finance spokesperson Llyr Gruffydd MS
The Welsh Government should explore using the powers at its disposal to protect public services from Westminster’s cost of living crisis, Plaid Cymru has said.
Plaid Cymru’s Finance Spokesperson Llyr Gruffydd MS said while Wales’ fiscal powers was limited, it was “not powerless”.
The Welsh Government will publish its draft Budget for 2023-24 later today.
Mr Gruffydd said that the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on household finances and public services was further “proof” that Westminster would never work for Wales.
Calling austerity a “political choice that must be rejected”, Plaid Cymru’s finance spokesperson in the Senedd called on the Welsh Government to explore the progressive use of tax varying powers to protect public services and improve public sector pay.
He added that the Government should “leave no stone unturned to protect people from some of the worst effects of this Tory- orchestrated economic crisis” and reiterated that Plaid Cymru would continue to “stand in solidarity with those on strike for better pay and work conditions” and ensure support for the most vulnerable needing help this winter.
Speaking ahead of the draft Welsh Government budget for 2023-24, Plaid Cymru’s Finance Spokesperson Llyr Gruffydd MS said,
“Thousands of families are no longer able to afford to heat their homes or feed their children. Our NHS is at a crisis point with patients waiting days at A&E and nurses forced to use foodbanks. Public services are on their knees.
“This is the devastating impact of Westminster’s economic crisis on our communities and yet more proof – if we needed it – that Westminster will never work for Wales.
“The Tories will try to claim that cuts are inevitable – but they are a political choice and must be rejected. And, after over a decade of austerity, underinvestment, and plummeting living standards there’s nothing left to cut but basic services.
“The Welsh Government’s draft budget will no doubt be driven by the need to deal with Westminster’s trashing of our economy.
“The fiscal powers we have to respond to this crisis may be limited – but that doesn’t mean we are powerless. That’s why the Welsh Government should explore how progressive use of tax varying powers could be used to protect public services, improve the pay offer for hardworking public sector workers, and help people suffering the most during this crisis.
“The Government must leave no stone unturned to protect people from some of the worst effects of this Tory- orchestrated economic crisis.
“Plaid Cymru will continue to support the most vulnerable in our society, stand in solidarity with those on strike for better pay and work conditions; and continue to fight for a better future for our communities.