‘You have the powers – use them’: Plaid leader Price calls on Welsh Government to act on cost-of-living crisis
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has today called on the Welsh Government to use its powers to act on the cost-of-living crisis.
Ahead of the first First Minister’s Questions since the summer break today, Adam Price called on Mark Drakeford and his Labour Government to use its devolved powers to halve train fares and cap bus fares, freeze rents, and extend free school meals to secondary school pupils.
He contrasted Wales with Scotland where First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a package of measures to help protect people against the worst of the cost-of-living crisis which included a rent freeze for both social and private tenants until the end of March next year.
“The cost-of-living crisis will be on a scale more devastating than most of us can ever remember. People will lose their livelihoods if not their lives,” Adam Price said.
“That is why it is crucial the Labour Government in Wales use every tool available to them to mitigate the impact of soaring energy bills and plummeting living standards.
“This should include an immediate ban on evictions, halving rail fares and cap bus fares until at least March 2023, the extension of free school meals to secondary school pupils, and a rent freeze which the Welsh Government’s Labour colleagues in Scotland have been campaigning for.
“Failure to do so will represent a dereliction of duty by Labour in Wales to maximise the benefits of devolution. Plaid Cymru’s message to the Labour Welsh Government is clear – you have the powers to act on the cost-of-living crisis, use them.”
First Minister Mark Drakeford himself called for Liz Truss to act on the crisis when she became Prime Minister two weeks ago, before parliamentary politics was put on hold for the period of national mourning for the Queen.
Mark Drakeford said that there was “no more time to waste” and that “action is needed now” as inflation rises and many face crippling energy bills over winter.
“I’d like to congratulate Liz Truss,” he said. “We now need to work together, with urgency, to tackle the Cost of Living Crisis and save millions from hardship this winter. There is no more time to waste – action is needed now.”
He subsequently told TalkTV that the impact of the cost-of-living crisis came up in conversation with Charles during their audience on Friday, after the new monarch addressed the Welsh Parliament for the first time as sovereign.
Mr Drakeford told TalkTV: “The King has always had a very direct interest in the things that are happening in contemporary Wales, the future of our agriculture, the impact of climate change.
“He mentioned the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and how that will impact on people here in Wales.”
Mark Drakeford added: “He (Charles) is concerned as to how people will manage through what is going to be a difficult winter.
“He was interested to tell me about some of the projects that he has heard of, or become involved in dealing, for example, with food waste, making sure that we don’t waste a precious resource when some people might be going without.
“Interested, as always in renewable energy generation here in Wales, and how it might play a bigger part in future energy security.”
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