Chancellor’s Budget must deliver on devolution promises

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The Chancellor is under pressure to deliver on promises to transfer a package of responsibilities from Westminster to the National Assembly for Wales in his Budget Statement later this month.

Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, has called on the British Chancellor to outline in his Budget Statement what new responsibilities Wales will gain post-Brexit.

The British Government has previously said that the National Assembly will see a “significant increase" in its decision-making power as a result of Brexit but they have refused to outline what the new powers will be.

Mr Edwards has called for a package of powers to be transferred to ensure Wales has the money, the tools and the responsibilities necessary to succeed.

Plaid Cymru is calling for:

  • A package of financial powers to be transferred to Wales to allow Wales to stimulate economic activity and to retain some of the tax revenue raised in Wales;
  • Responsibilities over international trade to ensure any new trade deal post-Brexit will work for Wales as well as England; and
  • A guarantee that current levels of EU financial support is maintained beyond 2022, as was promised in the Brexit referendum campaign.

Commenting, Plaid Cymru’s treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, said:

“The British Government has made a series of promises to the people of Wales in an attempt to win our support for their disastrous Brexit mirage. Those promises must now be realised.

“Every single penny that Wales receives thanks to the EU’s redistributive wealth policies must be guaranteed beyond the end of this parliament so that we can continue to support our crucial agriculture sector and so that our own Government in Cardiff can counter the chronic underinvestment in our economic infrastructure from Westminster.

“Taking back control mustn’t mean the people of Wales being forced to cede control to Westminster only for Westminster to sign away Welsh interests in trade deals that crowd out Welsh goods. Wales is a member of the United Kingdom just as England is and we should have equal say on future trade deals, to make sure they expand our economic opportunities, not contract them.

“Most importantly, the British Government must let Wales take control over its own economy. Leaving our future in another country’s hands has utterly failed the people of Wales who are currently being paid 35% less than those in London, travelling on appalling transport infrastructure and being denied access to vital public services that are available elsewhere.

“This isn’t a case of getting Westminster to take notice of Wales – that ship has long sailed. This is a case of getting Westminster to let us do it ourselves. If they are so reluctant to invest in our country, then we must be allowed to do it ourselves.

“We must be allowed to retain some of the tax revenue raised in Wales so that we can spend it on our own infrastructure, instead of sending it to Westminster for them to spend on London.

“Is it any wonder that Wales’ railways are in the state they’re in when they are being run from another country? Welsh taxpayers’ money is being used to fund HS2 and Crossrail 2, but we are not allowed to invest in our own railways.

“It’s time the people of Wales took control of our own future. Being dependent on Westminster will never lead to success and prosperity.”

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