Wales is ‘treated with contempt’ by Westminster, says Plaid Cymru leader
Wales is “treated with contempt” by Westminster, according to the leader of Plaid Cymru.
Adam Price argued on BBC Wales’ first Ask The Leader programme that electing a pro-independence government at the upcoming Senedd election would “send a shiver down the spines of ministers in Whitehall”.
According to the Plaid leader, electing a pro-independence government in Scotland had put the country “right at the heart of the political debate in Westminster”.
He attacked the “government based in the country next door” for telling us that “we can’t actually do something about the poverty of our children.”
Price also reiterated his party’s pledges to make every child in Wales is eligible for free school meals and to deliver universal free childcare to every family in Wales.
He said: “The fact that Scotland has elected a pro-independence government means that Scotland is right at the heart of the political debate in Westminster.
“We get ignored. At best treated with contempt, so often, even by the admission of the Labour First Minister how is a passionate unionist.
“Now that changes the day that we elect a pro-independence government because that will send a shiver down the spines of ministers in Whitehall and Westminster, and they will then realise that the terms of trade between Wales and Westminster have changed.
He added: “Isn’t it a scandal that there’s a government based in the country next door that is going to tell us that we can’t actually do something about the poverty of our children.
“If they refuse to allow us to deliver a child poverty payment then we would invest that money in other means to try to drive up the income and living standards of our people.
“So that money would be reinvested elsewhere. But why should we allow a situation where the welfare powers, which have been devolved to Scotland, shouldn’t be delivered to Wales, so we can actually prise our people out of the rut that they’ve been in for so long.
“We won’t accept that. now come an independence referendum we will be able to stop that from happening in the future. But we won’t accept that now, and ill tell you what we’ll do now within the powers that we’ll have.
“We will ensure that every child in Wales has eligibility for free school meals. 70,000 of them don’t currently have that. we will deliver it.
“We will deliver universal free childcare to every family in Wales, from the age of two onwards and eventually from the age of 12 months old onwards.
“There are things we can do now if we have the ambition to do it. I’ll be battering on the doors of Whitehall and Westminster and using every power that we have to get us the powers, even short of independence that we need.”