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Majority of Welsh workers want economic powers devolved, according to new poll

04 May 2021 3 minute read
Picture by on the left by the Senedd (CC BY 2.0). Westminster by Stevebidmead.

A majority of Welsh workers want economic powers to be devolved to the Senedd, according to a new poll.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by TUC Cymru union, showed support for economic development, taxation, as well as welfare and social security being controlled from Cardiff rather than Westminster.

It also showed clear majorities in favour of Wales keeping control over health and education.

The Welsh Government should have control of economic development according to 53% those polled, while 30% think the UK Government should have control, and 17% don’t know.

Welfare and social security should be under the control of the Welsh Government according to 47% of respondents, while 37% think it should be under the control of the UK Government, and 15% don’t know.

Taxation should be under the control of the Welsh Government according to 43% of respondents, while 40% think it should be under the control of the UK Government, and 17% don’t know.

Support for the Welsh Government retaining control over education is at 60%, while support for handing control over it to the UK Government is on 27% and 14% don’t know.

Health should stay under the control according to 56% of those polled, while 29% believe control over it should be given back to the UK Government and 15% don’t know.

The polling, which was conducted between December 2020 and April 2021, was done in order to better understand how workers view their working lives, their experiences of the Covid crisis, and their priorities for the future of the country.

It is part of a report called published ahead of the Senedd election Securing a Fair Recovery.

‘Greater devolution’ 

According to the report, workers want greater devolution of powers to Wales.

It also says they want a stronger, better funded public sector and pay rises for public sector workers, fairness at work and a more of a voice for workers in the decisions that affect them, safer workplaces, and a fair and green recovery.

The TUC Cymru blog said: “When asked where key decisions should be made, workers support the Welsh Government controlling areas like education and health where powers are already devolved.

“They also support Cardiff rather than Westminster making policy on welfare and taxation issues.

“And, perhaps most notably given recent debates about the UK Government’s plans to control funds for its ‘levelling up’ programme, workers in Wales also strongly back Welsh Government control of economic development policy.

“Taken together, these findings show that workers are supportive of the Welsh Government taking a much more active and interventionist approach to the economy over the course of the next term.

“There will be strong public backing for a Government that is prepared to boost the public sector, invest in the green infrastructure we need, and fight for good quality jobs across the whole of the labour market.”

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