Tories call for extra cash to help Ukrainian refugees resettle in Wales
The Welsh Conservative’s Shadow Minister for Local Government has called for extra money to be given to local authorities to help Ukrainian refugees resettle in Wales.
Sam Rowlands MS has asked for extra support to be made available in addition to the £5.2 billion allocated as part of the 2022-23 Local Government Settlement.
Mr Rowlands, the MS for North Wales, said: “The scenes unfolding in Ukraine have been utterly horrific and heart-breaking with fathers forced to kiss their wives and children goodbye as they seek safety and the men stay behind to fight.
“It is absolutely right that Wales plays its part in helping fleeing families find peace and sanctuary here as they escape war-torn Ukraine.
“However, it is vital councils have enough money to support refugees as they are already extremely stretched, and our public services are able to keep up with demand.
“It is disappointing that there is no mention of this in the Local Government Settlement and hope Labour ministers do the right thing and announce a package of measures as soon as possible.”
Yesterday, Rebecca Evans, Minister for Local Government, told the Senedd that Wales is ready to welcome refugees and said talks had been taking place with councils about funding requirements.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions earlier today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK will eventually welcome hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees and pledged to introduce new routes by which Ukrainians can come to the UK.
The United Nations has estimated at least two million people have fled Ukraine since the invasion was launched two weeks ago, however just 760 UK visas have been granted to Ukrainians since then.
Ian Blackford, SNP Westminster leader described the government’s handling of the refugee crisis as “disgraceful” and said Ireland had managed to give sanctuary to “three times as many refugees” as the UK.
“These numbers don’t lie, they tell a devastating truth. Does the prime minister find it acceptable that his home secretary has overseen one of the slowest, most bureaucratic and incompetent refugee responses in the whole of Europe?” he added.
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