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We couldn’t move to level 4 without Treasury support, says Drakeford after scientific advice for lockdown published

02 Jan 2022 3 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford on Politics Wales

Mark Drakeford has said that the Welsh Government could not have implemented a lockdown as advised by scientists before Christmas even if they wanted to, because they did not have the support for the Treasury to do so.

Scientific advice the Welsh Government received on 17 December said that only a four-week lockdown would make have a “significant impact” to Omicron cases.

It advised moving to Alert level 4 which includes a stay local rule and no extended households of the kind last seen during early 2021.

Mark Drakeford said that he felt that the restrictions they did impose – including closing nightclubs, a rule of six and table service at hospitality venues – were the correct ones but that they couldn’t have moved to Level 4 with the funding they had.

“The advice that we have seen, as I say, it changes day by day as more information is fed into the model,” he told Sunday Supplement. “We believe that the measures we have taken, the level two measures we have taken, were the proportionate measures to take at the time that we took them.

“But we have had this long-standing argument with the Treasury in London. That when English ministers know that they need to move up the levels they know that they can draw on Treasury money to do so.

“And we, as are Scotland and Northern Ireland, are not in that same position. So we would not be able to move to level four on our own because the level of support you need to offer to the Welsh economy in those circumstances is simply beyond what the Welsh Government ourselves are able to mobilise.

“So that point about Treasury support is really critical.”

‘Challenging’

Mark Drakeford added that they now expected to see a rapid rise in cases through the beginning of January, culminating with a peak in the second half of the month.

however, he warned against comparing Wales too closely with South Africa, where the Omicron wave has dissipated rapidly, as our population is significantly older.

“The data shows us that Omicron is now apparent in all parts of Wales, and has now become the dominant form of coronavirus,” he said. “On December 30, 10,400 new people fell ill with coronavirus in Wales on a single day and the positivity rate is now 37%. That’s a really, really high figure.

“The difficult January that we could see coming, I’m afraid is with us. And the protections in place are really necessary to help us all to get through the challenging weeks ahead.

“The modelling shows that we will see the peak towards the end of the month, that we will see a rapid rise to the peak, and then, compared to earlier waves, relatively rapid decline as it goes through Wales and out the other side.”

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Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
17 days ago

The answer to this unacceptable situation is something which Mark Drakeford and the Welsh labour party he leads sadly refuse to countenance – independence for Wales! In a independent Wales a Welsh govt wouldnt need ‘treasury support’ from another govt to impose the measures which are needed to fully protect people in Wales from the latest covid variant.

Last edited 17 days ago by Leigh Richards
Dewi
Dewi
16 days ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

No, it’d just not do it outright because it couldn’t afford it.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
16 days ago
Reply to  Dewi

An independent wales could afford it Dewi. Nations with much smaller economies than Wales have been able to afford it during the pandemic

Last edited 16 days ago by Leigh Richards
Dafydd
Dafydd
16 days ago
Reply to  Dewi

Making things up again, Dewi? How is the “UK” affording all this? Oh that’s right. It isn’t. It’s all debt.

Quornby
Quornby
17 days ago

No treasury support from our “precious” union? Well, well, there’s a thing.

Rob
Rob
17 days ago

I’m sympathetic to independence and I trust Drakeford over Boris any day, that being said I can imagine a lot of people would have watched this interview & have thought ‘thank god for the Union’. We don’t need or want another lockdown. We have to learn to live with it.

Jack
Jack
17 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I wouldn’t say “Thank God for Union” but I must say I wouldn’t support another lockdown.

Asking triple jabbed people to go into lockdown is just too much imo. We need to expand NHS capacity to deal with this, rather than relying on restrictions.

Last edited 17 days ago by Jack
Rob
Rob
16 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Jack, neither would I. But I can imagine a lot of viewers would.

I agree with your point that fully vaccinated people should not have to face anymore restrictions & expanding the NHS. But if we are to have one then it should only apply to the unvaccinated like in Austria.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
16 days ago
Reply to  Rob

How precisely do you enforce a lockdown only on the unvaccinated in a democracy? I’m genuinely interested.

Rob
Rob
15 days ago
Reply to  Owain Morgan

The government would officially declare a lockdown, however if you carry a Covid pass or proof that you have been vaccinated then you would be exempt from the lockdown. Is it draconian? yes, but lockdowns generally are draconian. My mother works for the NHS & says that hospitals are being overwhelmed by Covid patients who have refused to get themselves vaccinated. This is why we are having restrictions. Whilst I appreciate some people cannot get the vaccine for medical reasons and they should be protected, it is entirely unfair to impose restrictions on the general public simply because others refuse… Read more »

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
16 days ago
Reply to  Jack

If we’re going to expand NHS capacity that requires more money. Most, if not all, of which will have to come from the Treasury. So, however you look at it, the status quo is unacceptable and the majority of people in the Devolved Nations will not accept going back to Westminster being the only Legislature that Governs them. Therefore there are only two viable options: DevoMax or IndyLite. These will be the two options that come out of the Constitutional commission and that, as they say, is that.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
16 days ago
Reply to  Rob

If they thought “thank God for the Union ” would in fact be contradicting their opinion that Mark Drakeford has done a better job as First Minister than bumbling Boris. You forget. Wales contributes also to the Treasury coffers. Actually, Wales is in credit to the tune of trillions seeing the resources usurped over the centuries and decades be it Human ,Coal, Gold, Silver, Nickel, Slate , Water & Copper etc ……. The list is endless Boris Johnson’s Chancellor Rishi Sunak has borrowed billions using Quantitative Easing which means printing money that doesn’t exist while selling bonds using Britain’s family… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by Y Cymro
Rob
Rob
15 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Its not that I’m disagreeing with you. Its the nature of politics, especially when it comes to populist leaders who lie their way to the top. One minute they are public enemy number one and its feels inevitable that their time is up, but then the next thing you know they are the hero of the day.
Yes you are right Drakeford has done a better job than Boris, but if Wales continues to live under restrictions and a growing sense of envy is developed towards our English friends, then all of that will be forgotten.

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
17 days ago

The ‘money’s talked about here if not real money
Westminster abolished the gold. standard a long time ago so it could create massive overdraft type debt which could be written off with impunity or used as a theoretical balancing act the so called national debt that could be used to justify state taxes and expenditures.

Taxes come from the people so in Wales we must raise our own taxes not pay them to another state that decides what we can or cannot receive from our endeavours

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
17 days ago

The entire monetary system is based on debt, what really matters is the ability to device that debt.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
16 days ago

If the Welsh Government raises the taxes they control, then those who can afford to will either, legally evade it or move out of Wales. Then your tax intake goes down, not up. We need full borrowing powers, to borrow from the bond markets.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
17 days ago

Says everything we need to know about the so-called union.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
16 days ago

So basically Mark Drakeford is saying that the English Tory Government has Wales on a fiscal leash and can hold us hostage unless we hop to their tune.

I echoes others call. Only Welsh Independence will restore Wales & Welsh dignity from Whitehall & Conservative Government oppressive authoritarian regime

#YesCymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 #Ymlaen 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Llyn
Llyn
16 days ago

The regulations we have now are about as much as most people will accept and understand. MD didn’t appear to say that he would have gone with Level 4, but if they had it would have not gone down well with most and would have been potentially disasterous for devolution. The WG should not get carried away with their popularity in comparison to the UK Gov on covid. Voters can change their minds and opinions quickly. Who am I to advise but unless there is a big hit on the NHS, in my opinion they should start to get rid… Read more »

Chris
Chris
16 days ago

Never thought I’d feel like this but I don’t want independence if it means we live under the Nazi society Drakefords setting up, quite grateful for the Union at the moment it’s corrupt, evil and broken, but the Senedd is a snakepit currently

Dafydd
Dafydd
16 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Wow, Chris. Calling Drakeford a Nazi pretty much shows you don’t know what a Nazi actually is. You have access to the internet and I bet you go around telling people to “do their own research” when in reality you’ve never looked up a single thing or tried to read around any subject whatsoever, EVER.

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