Plaid Cymru calls on Chancellor to adopt ‘realistic, practical, fair’ proposals in Budget
Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson, Ben Lake MP has today (12 March) outlined the party’s five point plan ahead of Wednesday’s Budget.
Mr Lake urged the Chancellor to adopt his party’s “realistic, practical and fair” proposals as Jeremy Hunt prepares to deliver his first full budget as Chancellor, with people continue to struggle due to the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.
Plaid Cymru’s five point plan would prioritise increasing public sector wages; extend energy support and improve energy efficiency; release funds owed to Wales; reduce poverty through investment in the social security system; and improve digital connectivity and fund research projects.
The Ceredigion MP said that Plaid Cymru’s five point plan would “put more money in the pockets of ordinary people” and “provide real hope” to communities in a difficult economic context.
“With 61 per cent of people in Wales reporting that their mental health is being negatively affected by their financial position, it is clear that the cost-of-living crisis is far from over,” Mr Lake said.
“As people face further hardship, the Chancellor’s main priority must be to put more money in the pockets of ordinary people. That’s why I urge the Chancellor to adopt Plaid Cymru’s realistic, practical and fair five point plan.
“There is no excuse for failing to increase public sector workers’ wages at least in line with inflation next year. Without our public sector workers, our social fabric falls apart.
“It is unacceptable that in Wales, four in ten people go without heating their homes, and that energy bills are set to rise even further. The Chancellor should use his January budget surplus to extend support as well as bring forward the £6bn committed to energy efficiency in order to permanently slash energy bills,
“The Chancellor must also release the £1bn owed to Wales from money spent on the English HS2 project. Wales deserves our fair share of the entire cost of HS2, which could result in a transformational £5bn over the course of the project’s lifetime.
“The value of benefits have been driven down by inflation. We must start seeing the social security system as a tool to lift people out of poverty, not a burden, and recognise that poverty itself costs our public services billions.
“Finally, digital connectivity must be a priority for the Chancellor. In large parts of Wales, gigabit connectivity is dire, which hinders businesses and workers’ ability to operate effectively. Releasing the £5bn allocated to Project Gigabit could help unlock massive economic potential for Wales.
“A spring statement accompanied by OBR forecasts may feel like Westminster is back to business as usual but high energy bills, inflated food prices and crumbling public services means that business-as-usual will not do. The Chancellor must use the opportunity on Wednesday to provide real hope to communities across Wales.”
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