Mark Drakeford calls for ‘urgency’ from Liz Truss on cost of living crisis but Plaid say she has already ‘secured her fate’
The First Minister has congratulated Liz Truss on becoming the next Prime Minister but has called for “urgency” on the cost of living crisis.
Liz Truss won the Tory leadership contest and will become the country’s next prime minister.
She promised a “bold plan” to cut taxes and grow the economy and “deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills but also dealing with the long-term issues we have on energy supply”.
But Mark Drakeford said that there was “no more time to waste” and that “action is needed now” as inflation rises and many face crippling energy bills over winter.
“I’d like to congratulate Liz Truss,” he said. “We now need to work together, with urgency, to tackle the Cost of Living Crisis and save millions from hardship this winter. There is no more time to waste – action is needed now.”
In a joint statement, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price MS and the party’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts MP were less welcoming, saying that the new Prime Minister’s refusal to commit to concrete action on energy bills for weeks has already done “permanent damage to the UK government’s credibility”.
“Her cruel fantasy economics will secure her fate as the UK’s last Prime Minister,” they said.
“Let’s now skip the tedious pomp and ceremony – the first action of the new PM must be to slash energy bills by returning the energy price cap to pre-April levels and extend it to small businesses and charities. It is unacceptable that people are still in the dark about how they’ll pay their bills in a matter of weeks.
“While Westminster has been paralysed by a tedious Tory tit-for-tat, in Wales we’re doing things differently. While our new Prime Minister prepares to give handouts to the super-rich and rants against the redistribution of wealth, we in Plaid Cymru is getting on with delivering universal free school meals.
“From this week, the youngest children begin receiving free school meals, easing the cost-of-living crisis for families all over Wales.”
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS meanwhile said that under Liz Truss the UK would see “more of the chaos that we saw under Boris Johnson”.
“From failing to deal with the cost-of-living emergency, to letting small and medium businesses face the winter alone, to failing to deal with the climate crisis, the Conservatives have shown they don’t care, have no plan and have failed our country,” she said.
“The Conservatives may have changed leader, but after twelve years in power at Westminster the Conservatives have shown they are out of ideas, out of energy and out of touch.
“First the government needs to urgently scrap October’s energy price rise to avoid a social catastrophe for families and pensioners this winter. Then we need a general election, to get the Conservatives out of power and deliver the real change Wales needs.”
She defeated rival Rishi Sunak with 81,326 votes to 60,399 and will take over as prime minister on Tuesday with the immediate challenge of easing the cost-of-living crisis for households across the country faced with soaring energy bills.
Boris Johnson will depart No 10 on Tuesday and Ms Truss will fly to Balmoral to meet the Queen for the formal handover of power.
She will then begin work putting together a response to the energy crisis, with support promised within days.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies MS said: “I am delighted that Liz has been elected party leader and will be our next Prime Minister, especially having backed her during the contest.
“Throughout her political career and this contest, we have seen someone with the tenacity, ideas, and stoicism required to lead the Conservatives into the next election and the country through a difficult period.
“There is a lot of work to be getting on with, especially in tackling the cost-of-living crisis, and I look forward to seeing Liz’s ideas put into action to alleviate the struggle millions are facing.
“It is now time to unite behind our new leader, and further build on our record of delivering for Wales and the wider United Kingdom.”
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