Plaid Cymru call for more powers for Wales in Queen’s Speech after Tories ‘rejected’ at local elections
Plaid Cymru have set forth an alternative Queen’s Speech calling for more autonomy for Wales after saying that the Conservatives were “rejected” by the people of Wales.
Westminster party leader Liz Saville-Roberts said that it would be “foolish” for the Conservatives to proceed with their legislative agenda after Wales “roundly rejected” them last week.
The Conservatives lost 86 seats across Wales in Thursday’s local elections, 43% of their total, and lost control of Monmouthshire council which was the only local authority they controlled outright.
In their alternative Queen’s Speech, Plaid Cymru mooted legislation devolving the benefits system, the shared prosperity fund and the Crown Estate in order to help tackle the cost of living crisis. They also called for the devolution of powers over justice and more powers over energy.
Plaid Cymru Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP said: “Last week’s local elections must lead to a fundamental rethink for the Conservatives in Westminster. They have bulldozed authoritarian legislation through Parliament since gaining a majority in 2019, systematically misled the public, and undermined devolution at every turn.
“Wales roundly rejected the Tories last week. They would be foolish to push ahead with their divisive policy agenda in this new context.”
Plaid Cymru called for six bills to be introduced in the 2022-23 parliamentary session, namely:
⚫ Social Security (Devolution to Wales] Bill – A Bill to devolve the benefits system to the Senedd, giving the Welsh Government power to create new benefits and top up existing reserved benefits. This would allow the Senedd to create payments such as a Welsh Child Payment, similar to that in Scotland, to ease pressure on households struggling with the cost of living.
⚫ Local Electricity Bill – With energy costs through the roof, the Local Electricity Bill would establish a Right to Local Supply to ensure that the setup and running costs of selling locally generated renewable energy locally are proportionate to the scale of the business.
⚫ Crown Estate (Devolution to Wales) Bill – A Bill to devolve the management of the Crown Estate and its assets in Wales to the Welsh Government. This would replicate the situation in Scotland, permitted by Westminster in 2016, and would bring our natural resources under Welsh control, allowing the people of Wales to benefit economically from the net-zero transition.
⚫ Shared Prosperity Fund (Wales) Bill – A Bill that would require the Secretary of State to report on the merits of devolving the management and administration of funds allocated to Wales via the Shared Prosperity Fund to the Welsh Government. This would correct double-counting by Tories, enable the use of a needs-based formula and address Westminster’s broken promise to Wales of “not a penny less” than EU funding with current proposals making Wales worse off by £772 million in terms of structural funding.
⚫ Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill – A Bill to restore faith in a shattered political system by banning lying in politics. Plaid Cymru have for 15 years called for legislation to legally prohibit politicians from wilfully misleading the public. According to Compassion in Politics, 73% of those polled would support the implementation of a law that meant that politicians were required to never willingly lie to the public.
⚫ Justice (Devolution to Wales) Bill – A Bill to devolve powers over Justice to Wales to reverse authoritarian measures imposed by the Tories since 2019. Plaid Cymru will introduce a Bill to devolve justice and policing to Wales, as is the case in Northern Ireland and Scotland, in line with the Co-operation Agreement and recommendations of the 2019 Commission on Justice in Wales report.
Dwyfor-Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts added: “Plaid Cymru’s alternative Queen’s Speech would help people through the cost-of-living crisis, which Westminster has for too long allowed to spiral out of control.
“From creating a devolved benefits system that is fit for purpose, to easing electricity bills in the long term by establishing an energy strategy that puts local ownership at its heart, to ensuring that ‘levelling up’ works for Wales by devolving management of the Shared Prosperity Fund, Plaid Cymru’s proposals would help struggling households across Wales.
“Plaid Cymru are also calling for the Chancellor to deliver an emergency Budget this week to give much needed support to households and small businesses.
“Our proposals would also restore faith in a political system shattered by Boris Johnson’s lies. Plaid Cymru has for 15 years been calling for a bill to ban lying in politics, which has the support of 73% of people polled by Compassion in Politics last month.
“By adopting our Bill, the Tories could prove to voters that they have learned from their dismal performance last week and attempt to regain trust. I urge the Prime Minister to engage constructively with our proposals this week.”
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