Welsh Tory Senedd Member slams own party’s handling of the economy: ‘Not been good to say the least’
A Welsh Conservative Senedd Member has criticised his own party’s handling of the economy over the past few weeks, saying that it had “not been good to say the least”.
Peter Fox was responding to the mini-budget unveiled by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng before he had to step aside for Jeremy Hunt who attempted to calm the markets.
Speaking in the Senedd Peter Fox said that the budget “should not have happened” and that the UK Government had made “mistakes”.
He said that the Welsh Conservatives had also written to the UK Government aksing them to raise benefits in line with inflation, a move Liz Truss had previously not committed to.
“Whilst publicly I may have defended some of the previously announced presumed proposals I did so believing that the UK Government had modelled the impacts of its plans,” he said.
“The government should have published all of the information that it had when it made its original announcement alongside detailed proposals as to its longer-term financial plans. The fact that it wasn’t made available was a mistake. It should not have happened.”
Yesterday, Jeremy Hunt announced the formation of a new economic council to give the UK Government expert advice as he addressed MPs in the Commons after reversing almost all of Liz Truss’ tax cuts.
Peter Fox said that it would be worth the Welsh Government asking if there could be “a Welsh perspective on the council to reflect our shared interests and Wales’ particular economic outlook”.
“Now I’m reassured from the Chancellor’s comments that his focus will always be on those who are most in need. But I know that we must all so do our bit to ensure that the government remains focused on helping the most vulnerable, and that’s why today the Welsh Conservative group have written to the chancellor calling for benefits to be upgraded in line with inflation.”
Peter Fox did however reserve some criticism for the Welsh Government, telling Economy Minister Rebecca Evans that he was not impressed with their economic proposals either.
“We have some of the highest business rates in the UK, a ban on new road infrastructure or tourism tax that the industry on the UK as a whole doesn’t have,” he said.
“A lack of house building across the country and Welsh people earning less per year than in the rest of the UK. How can these things be the way to achieve growth?”
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