Today’s non-event from Phillip Hammond means business as usual for low growth, low productivity and high inequality, say Plaid Cymru.
Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson Jonathan Edwards MP has responded to today’s Spring Statement, calling it “business as usual for low growth, low productivity and high inequality.”
The party had previously called for Downing Street to use today’s fiscal event to announce a Rebalancing Green New Deal to boost productivity. Under Plaid Cymru plans, the British Government would commit to ringfencing an additional 1% of annual GDP (£20bn) for infrastructure, R&D and skills investment in UK nations and regions currently in deficit.
Of the 12 NUTS1 nations and regions of the UK, only 3 (London, south east England and east England) are not in deficit.
If implemented, these proposals would see Wales receive a share of Rebalancing Green New Deal investment worth £1.5bn per year on a population basis.
Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesperson Jonathan Edwards MP said:
“Today’s OBR figures reaffirm that the UK economy is stalling. With 2019 growth forecasts revised from 1.6 per cent down to 1.2 per cent, it’s clear that the Chancellor means business as usual for low growth, low productivity and high inequality.
“Even these lacklustre GDP estimates assume a smooth, orderly Brexit. The Chancellor is Emperor Nero - fiddling while Rome burns.
“With spending growth outstripping income growth in real terms, the British Government’s failed fiscal experiments are driving working people to rely more and more on unsecured personal lending. You cannot build a sustainable economy off the back of credit card debt.
“The major problem with the British State’s broken economic model is chronic low productivity. This is especially acute in parts of the British State which are underperforming. The easiest and most effective way to boost the economic performance of the British State is to tackle latent productivity in these nations and regions, as opposed to throwing all investment at high performing areas. People in Wales want more than the mere redistribution of cash, we want a real redistribution of power.
“We want high-paying, high-skilled jobs in our communities. We want our young people to take up apprenticeship and university opportunities in Wales, without having to then move two hundred miles from home to find work. Our Rebalancing Green New Deal proposal would see £1.5bn annually invested in Wales to build railway lines, clean energy plants and the rest of the real infrastructure needed to meaningfully rebalance the economy away from London.”