I am concerned about the lack of information contained within the Autumn Statement pertaining to north Wales. North Wales MPs have been tirelessly campaigning for the UK Government to invest £270 million into the region during this week’s Autumn Statement.
Buried away on page 33 of the Autumn Statement Blue book was a short sentence which stated:
“[The UK government] will also consider options for a growth deal in north Wales and looks forward to receiving proposals from local partners.”
Nothing more is mentioned about the £270 million that north Wales needs or if these considerations will ever become reality.
The UK Government has yet again treated Wales as an afterthought in today’s Autumn Statement with virtually nothing to say of the significant challenge facing our country.
The Government today confirmed that the minimum wage next year is going to be 10p an hour lower than they promised last year; that means 80,000 people on minimum wage in Wales are going to lose £202 a week each. In total, people on low incomes in Wales will lose over £16 million a year because of this broken promise.
The additional money announced for the next five years is welcome, but it is simply a consequence of the Barnett formula rather than any real show of intent or support for Wales.
There was no commitment on infrastructure projects in Wales. Of particular concern was the lack of an announcement regarding north Wales’s rail electrification.
The Autumn Statement was another display of 6 years of failed economic policy from the UK Government. What we need now, more than ever, is investment into our economy. We need to improve our productivity; allowing Delyn workers to earn more and work fewer hours.
What is most concerning is the lacking of a commitment to deliver the £270 million to the north Wales region. All north Wales Labour MPs have worked tirelessly to bring about this money and the UK Government has decided to give a lukewarm response. We will continue to pressure the Government to give our communities the funding they deserve.
There will no doubt be more policies that are uncovered after the dust has settled from the Autumn Statement. But rest assured I will hold this Government to account on any policies that will make people’s lives in Delyn harder.