Christina Rees, MP for Neath, has criticised the UK Government for its failure to tackle the weaknesses in the UK-wide economy and called on them to address the serious gaps in our Covid recovery support packages.
Now that details from the Budget are emerging, we can finally see what Wales will be receiving from the UK Government. On a like-for-like basis, the Welsh Government’s core budget for day-to-day spending in 2021-22 is still 4% lower per head in real terms than it was in 2010-11. Despite the slick presentation by the Chancellor, by 2026, the level of GDP is expected to be approximately 3% smaller than the level expected pre-pandemic. This will particularly harm disadvantaged groups and young people as they try to enter the employment market.
The Chancellor acted upon Labour’s calls for the Universal Credit uplift of £20-per-week to be maintained but insisted on inserting a new cliff edge by removing the uplift in six months’ time. This will take an estimated £500 out of household budgets in Neath by the end of September.
Not only is the UK Tory Government increasing people’s household costs during a recession, they are also cutting the public sector by an additional £4bn. This will bring the total cut to the public sector to £14bn.
Christina Rees, MP for Neath, said:
“This Budget was an opportunity to implement the much-needed support for businesses and households in Neath. Instead, what we got was tax rises and public sector cuts. I have been campaigning for months to get a decent settlement for those who are Self-Employed and those on Universal Credit. Although I welcome the few concessions, once again too many are being left behind. An estimated 3 million people are affected by these gaps in support, yet the Chancellor saw fit to help only a few thousand across the UK. He has also created yet another cliff edge in six months’ time for those on Universal Credit.
“Thankfully, in Wales we have a Labour Government on our side. As soon as the Chancellor had completed his budget speech, the Welsh Government announced an additional £15.2 million funding for our towns and an extension of a further year to the Business Rates holiday. This is what a Welsh Labour Government who wants to move Wales forward looks like.”