“The Chancellor has made the wrong choices and broken promises”– Finance Minister responds to UK Government Spending Review
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans yesterday responded to the UK Government Spending Review saying that she is deeply concerned and disappointed that promises have been broken and the wrong choices made.
The Welsh Government called on the Chancellor to rule out the public sector pay freeze announced and urged him to use UK Treasury levers to support fair pay and economic demand. This decision is unfair and disregards the sacrifices made by frontline workers throughout the crisis.
The Minister also expressed her deep unhappiness at the very disappointing capital settlement, which is much lower than expected.
Rebecca Evans yesterday said:
The UK Government talks a good talk about investing in recovery, but they continue to refuse to invest in it. Today’s figures completely undermine our ability to plan for and invest in our recovery.
The Chancellor also failed to acknowledge in his statement today that any multi-year settlements offered to public services are exclusive to England only, and do not apply to Wales, which makes our task of planning ahead extremely difficult.
There was nothing new for Wales in yesterday’s statement. Despite calls for the UK Government to provide long term certainty for Welsh communities affected by storms and coal tip safety issues, Welsh priorities were ignored.
Rebecca Evans yesterday said:
The Chancellor could have used his statement today to deliver a long term settlement that finally recognises the anxiety felt by communities affected by recent flooding and our mining legacy.
Despite warm words from the Chancellor about levelling-up, what was clear from yesterday’s statement is that Wales is being drastically short-changed by a government which is breaking all its promises on replacing EU funding.
The Minister added:
The Chancellor’s refusal to protect additional universal credit payments means that the burden of this crisis will be heaped onto those who can afford it least.
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