Welsh and Scottish government offer to take more Ukrainian refugees a ‘power grab’ says conservative commentator
The Welsh and Scottish Government’s offer to take more Ukrainian refugees is an attempt at a “power grab” according to a conservative commentator.
Writing on Conservative Home, Emily Carver, who is Media Manager at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said that the UK Government had provided “provided tremendous military and humanitarian support” to Ukraine.
But she took aim at the Welsh and Scottish governments offers to take become ‘super sponsors’ taking more refugees, suggesting that it was a way of taking control of the scheme from the UK Government.
The Welsh Government has offered to take 1,000 refugees and the Scottish Government 3,000 as part of the ‘super sponsor’ scheme.
“The Scottish and Welsh first ministers have already announced their desire to become ‘super sponsors’,” Emily Carver said, “which may well signal more of a power grab than an intention to ameliorate a scheme that Nicola Sturgeon has disparaged as ‘beset with bureaucracy and red tape’.”
She also noted that some had queried “why the Government has been shelling out millions of pounds of taxpayer money on hotel accommodation for those crossing the channel, while now relying on the goodwill of the British people to house those fleeing war in Europe”.
She added that any move to “liberalise” the refugee policy further should “come with caution”.
“Housing supply in this country has reached crisis point; over six million people are waiting for treatment in the NHS, while welfare payments and taxes are set to rise as the Government battles with the squeeze on the cost of living,” she said.
“While free market reforms to liberalise planning and improve the NHS might go some way to easing these pressures, one cannot ignore the reality that there is little political will to do so.”
On Monday Michael Gove said in the House of Commons that he had talks with the Welsh Government about the ‘super sponsor’ plan and was open to it.
“I was grateful to the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales for their generous offer to act as super-sponsors, and we are doing everything we can to facilitate that,” he said.
“My officials are working with those in the Scottish and Welsh Governments to ensure that we can do that in a way that enables everyone to live up to their responsibilities.”
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