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Welsh independence ’10 times more painful than Brexit’ says Lib Dem leader

06 Mar 2021 3 minutes Read
Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Jane Dodds

Independence for Wales would be “10 times more complex and 10 times more painful than Brexit”, according to the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Speaking at the party’s virtual conference she supported “a strong, equal and confident Wales within the federal United Kingdom” and that independence would cause decades of harm.

She added that it would be “silly” to focus on anything other than recovering from the pandemic at the moment.

“At this critical moment in our future anything other than securing our recovery from Covid and the havoc it has reigned on every aspect of our lives would be foolish,” she said.

“Some say we should go it alone and cut ourselves away from the UK, but that would be ten times more complex and ten times more painful than Brexit. It would damage not just the next generation, but the generations which follow.”

‘Horror’

She also committed to a trial in Wales of Universal Basic Income.

“In Wales, 25% of our children live in poverty; we are deeply ashamed of this situation and must be bold in changing this,” she said.

“Families need well paid- jobs, good education to give everyone better outcomes, and to have a financial safety net so that food and basic essentials are not missed out.

“Universal Basic Income is that safety net, creating an income floor under which no-one will be without.  Universal Basic Income means no-one will be left without enough money to buy what they need.

“We need to be clear that the wickedness of sanctions and the horrors of Universal Credit should be left behind – they are abominations. We cannot continue to just see queues of people for food banks, families desperate for hope, and children living in poverty.

“Welsh Liberal Democrats can and will do better for those families who deserve a dignified life, not a life of desperate existence.  Wales needs the powers to trial Universal Basic Income.”

New housing

The Liberal Democrats also committed the party to a target set by Shelter Cymru to build 30,000 new affordable homes.

“In government the Welsh Liberal Democrats have used our influence to double the number of affordable homes built in Wales, with £1.5 billion spent on affordable homes over the past five years,” Jane Dodds said.

“But that’s not enough. Too many people of all ages are struggling to afford a house of their own to call a home. Over the next five years we will match the target given to us by Shelter Cymru of building 30,000 new affordable homes in Wales.

“And that’s not all – I want the next Welsh Government to go further. Welsh Lib Dems will invest in new housing and not just any housing – green housing utilising the latest in design, heating and insulation.”

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