Devolving welfare admin could benefit Wales by millions says Wales Governance Centre report
Experts have backed the Plaid Cymru call to devolve welfare administration to Wales.
The report published today by Wales Governance Centre ‘Devolving Welfare: How well would Wales fare?’ outlines how Wales could be financially better off if it followed the same model over welfare as Scotland.
The report says that if a fiscal framework agreement similar to the one negotiated by the Scottish Government had been agreed by the Welsh and UK government, and had powers over S-benefits been devolved to Wales in 2018-19, the Welsh Treasury “would have been cumulatively better off by £700 million by the end of 2023-24.”
Plaid Cymru has long advocated the devolution of welfare administration – which would include control over how and when payments are made, as a means of mitigating the impact of cruel Conservative welfare changes.
Responding to the report, Leanne Wood AM and shadow minister for social justice said,
“This report confirms that far from benefiting from having social security administered by a vindictive and cruel DWP under the control of the Tories, Wales is financially better off from having the same deal as Scotland over welfare.
“The Wales Governance Centre estimates we could be generating surpluses of over £200 million by the middle of the next decade if we had the same deal as Scotland, which would be more than enough for us to correct the injustices of unfair assessments that disabled people have been subjected to as well as leaving room for increasing support for carers. There would also be the indirect savings to the NHS and Housing Associations who have had to pick up the tab from Westminster’s costly running of a system that has imposed destitution on many.
“After this report I cannot see how the Welsh Government can continue to insist on Wales getting a second class deal from Westminster. It’s not only morally wrong to let Westminster hold control over these benefits but we know now that it’s financially wrong as well.”