Autumn Statement – My Response – 23 Nov 2016
Responding to the Autumn Statement, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Jo Stevens MP said:
“The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today confirmed what many have been thinking – that the Government has no ideas to improve life for people in Wales. Following six years of stunted growth, Theresa May and Chancellor Phillip Hammond still have nothing new to bring to the table.
“Today’s announcements are barely different from those put forward in previous budgets and financial statements, and there was very little which will make real change for people in Wales.
“Wales appears to have been a complete afterthought to the Chancellor. An additional £400million to the Welsh Government’s capital budget over 5 years is there because of the Barnett formula and is nothing to do with the influence of Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns.
“The only other Welsh announcements have been trailed before. What we need now is action, not repeat announcements of the same projects which Welsh people already agree are needed urgently.
“Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has claimed that the Government’s investment in research and innovation will support Welsh universities but it is unlikely the universities will feel reassured by this concession, when faced with the prospect of huge loss upon Britain’s exit from the EU.
“The Government has also today confirmed that next April’s Minimum Wage rise will be 10p an hour lower than they promised last year. This means 80,000 people in Wales earning the Minimum Wage are going to lose out on £202 a week each, a total of over £16m a year.
“The Chancellor has today demonstrated his lack of interest in Wales and the devolved nations. Our communities in Wales need to see improvements in infrastructure, future prospects and economic performance, but nothing in today’s statement will deliver that.
“The Secretary of State for Wales needs to start standing up for the people of Wales so we don’t become a permanent afterthought.”