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Cost of living crisis ‘too big to become party political debate’ says Welsh Secretary

11 May 2022 4 minutes Read
Simon Hart photo by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

The cost of living crisis is “too big to become a party political debate” the UK Government’s Welsh Secretary has said amid criticism that yesterday’s Queen Speech did not do enough to get to grips with the issue.

Simon Hart said the cost-of-living crisis was “now the most important challenge” in Britain which he and Cabinet colleagues would be discussing how to solve this week, and that voters would “probably” hear further announcements tomorrow.

Households are currently facing rising energy bills, inflation is forecast to hit 10% and benefits and wages failing to keep up with the increase in prices.

But there was criticism by Labour, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and the SNP that the measures announced in the Queen’s Speech did not go far enough.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called the response to cost of living demands “pathetic” and accused the Government of being “bereft of leadership”.

Boris Johnson, in his response to the Queen’s Speech, warned there were limits on how much public money he was prepared to commit to addressing a global economic crisis.

But he told MPs: “We will continue to use all our ingenuity and compassion for as long as it takes.

“The Chancellor and I will be saying more about this in the days to come.”

The suggestion of immediate assistance appeared to be quickly watered down, with a No 10 source telling the PA news agency not to expect anything in the “next few days”.

The Treasury, asked about the Prime Minister’s comments, pointed to the Chancellor saying on Monday there would be “better clarity on what energy prices will be in the autumn”, in an apparent suggestion that no extra support will be forthcoming for months.

But Simon Hart, pressed about what Mr Johnson had meant when speaking in the Commons, told TalkTV’s The News Desk programme: “You will hear more probably on Thursday after the Cabinet has met.

“This is now the most important challenge facing not only this nation, but many other nations as well.

“This is the thing which is going to be occupying every waking hour of every politician.

“And I hope also with the support of opposition politicians too, this is too big to become a party political debate.

“We’ve been talking about it at Cabinet, we’re going to be talking about it at Cabinet again.”

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‘Nightmare’

Commons Leader Mark Spencer told the BBC that ministers were taking a “two-pronged attack” to beating rising prices, vowing to invest in businesses and “give tax breaks which the Chancellor has set out”.

Having highlighted the £22 billion package of Government help with energy bills, tax cuts and other measures already announced, he added: “There are also, I acknowledge, people who are still under enormous challenge and that’s why we have arms of support to help people through this terrible challenge.”

The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Sweden and Finland on Wednesday to discuss the Ukraine crisis but will return to chair a Cabinet away day meeting on Thursday.

It comes as the Government’s legislation plan, laid out in the Queen’s Speech and read out by the Prince of Wales in the absence of the Queen, came under attack from Labour.

Keir Starmer told Mr Johnson: “This Government’s failure to grow the economy over a decade, combined with its inertia in the face of spiralling bills, means that we are staring down the barrel of something we haven’t seen in decades, a stagflation crisis.”

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation think tank, said ministers had not announced “anything that will make a material difference” to boosting economic growth.

The former Labour adviser tweeted: “Nothing material today on the short term nightmare of cost of living – Government has basically made up its mind to wait until September (when we find out how bad winter energy prices will be).

“The pattern here is help being too slow, too small and poorly targeted.”

MPs are due to debate the content of the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday, meaning there will be no Prime Minister’s Questions.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle confirmed the Commons will debate preventing crime and delivering justice on Wednesday.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 days ago

Nonsense !

Cynan
Cynan
6 days ago

The cost of living crisis is precisely a party political debate. It was caused by crises created by, or mismanaged by, the Tory party, implementing Tory party ideologies and passing vast sums of money to Tory Party “friends” and donors to poorly carry out tasks they were not qualified to do.
They are not oiling their way out of this one.
Would anyone else have done better? Can’t say for certain, but with Coronavirus for example, Y Senedd did far better than Westminster, so yeah. Quite possibly.

Last edited 6 days ago by Cynan
Glen Darslag
Glen Darslag
6 days ago
Reply to  Cynan

Death rates during pandemic (ONS) – per 100,,000 :

Wales – 320.1
England – 292 (59 million people living there roughly?)
Scotland – 264.4
Northern Ireland – 239.2

Cynan
Cynan
6 days ago
Reply to  Glen Darslag

False data. This is not a total. It is for a one month period. Perhaps you would like to post the REAL stats now liar?

Glen Darslag
Glen Darslag
5 days ago
Reply to  Cynan

320 people per 100,000 is 9,000 peoplel.

In whlich month did 9,000 Welsh people die from COVID?

They are full published ONS figures.

Mark Hoffer
Mark Hoffer
5 days ago
Reply to  Glen Darslag

covid. population to deaths ratio.
Wales 3.17m pop 7421 deaths 427:1
England 68,20m pop 154000 deaths 442:1

Glen Darslag
Glen Darslag
5 days ago
Reply to  Mark Hoffer

68 million is the population that UK.
England is 57 million = 3721.

Try again.

Richard
Richard
4 days ago
Reply to  Glen Darslag

It doesn’t matter what the population of a nation is mate – it’s the percentage of deaths

Richard
Richard
4 days ago
Reply to  Glen Darslag

Wow ! Bending the facts gone mad 🥹

Geraint
Geraint
6 days ago

He recognises we are economically in a mess. I just hope on Thursday he speaks against making it worse by opposing those in the cabinet who want to break the Northern Ireland protocol. A significant majority of NI voters voted for parties that support the protocol and breaking our word with our biggest trading partners at a time when we have an expansionist Russia and a cost of living crisis is utter madness. The few remaining adults in the Tory party need to put country before party and stand up up for ordinary people during these dangerous times.

hdavies15
hdavies15
6 days ago

Too big to become a party political issue ! Man is talking through his derriere. Tries to deflect but too late for that. His crew are sitting on the government benches so it’s all down to them. Some of the mess may be inherited but mostly from previous Tory governments, 2010-19, with a small residual dollop dating back to the Brown fiasco. These fools are so wedded to letting their chums milk as much as they can out of public funds and the economy in general that they still believe we swallow all the rubbish they trot out. Just move… Read more »

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
6 days ago

Coward is too cowardly to stand up to scrutiny

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 days ago

DWP plans to “migrate” three million claimants from legacy benefits onto Universal Credit. As part of this migration their own estimate is that 900,000 will lose all benefits.

That is state sponsored impoverishment and a party political issue of the Tories’ creation. Hart is revelling in evil.

Quornby
Quornby
6 days ago

the “not me gov” Welsh reichscommisioner.

Gareth
Gareth
6 days ago

Meanwhile, In the real world, economists are saying that Brexit is now fuelling current problems In the economy, something that was proposed and campaigned for by the Tory party. Now they want to stifle debate and deflect away from the mess they created. Charlatans. LSE are quoted in this report regarding Brexit.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://inews.co.uk/opinion/comment/brexit-fuelling-cost-living-crisis-rishi-sunak-worse-1595738&ved=2ahUKEwjIgou3ldf3AhVEilwKHf_1An0QFnoECAMQAQ&usg=AOvVaw37EZ4BPW-Fh77yiKOXvyfh

Dave
Dave
6 days ago

Not Party Political? the man is a joke, it’s Tory policies and poor governance that has exposed the economy to this crisis #IndyWales to free us from #Toryincompetance

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
6 days ago

What I cannot understand is that if the world price of gas and oil is going through the roof how are the energy companies making vastly inflated profits it doesn’t make sense to me just think about what I’m saying nobody seems to be asking this question???

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 days ago

Although Tory antagonist Simon Hart can cite the Covid pandemic or the war in Ukraine for any cost of living crisis cannot negate his Conservative Government’s responsibility for compounding it further with their misrule & wastage by firing a political salvo stating any criticism should not become party political as a means to deflect the part it played in the current crisis

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
6 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Whilst it can be fun to throw mud at Mr Hart, we should perhaps pause a moment and step back to understand what drives the Tory governments that we have suffered since Thatcher. She was introduced to the ideas of Ayn Rand [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand] and took them up as the underlying pholosophy of her view of Conservatism. He views could perhaps be summarised as being to re-focus economic policy around the support of the selfish (rich) individual. The work of Rand is still popular with those who did PPE degrees at Oxford. Also into the mix in the 1990s came the… Read more »

R W
R W
5 days ago

If the cost of living was happening under a Labour government in Westminster, I bet Simon Fart wouldn’t want to turn it into a party political issue under any circumstances!! 😂😂

Last edited 5 days ago by R W

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