The First Minister of Wales has been setting out the difficulties faced by people in Wales and pointing an accusing finger directly at Westminster and the policies of the Conservative Government as well as blasting the leader of the Welsh Conservatives for refusing to defend the people of Wales from savage cuts.
During the Plenary today, Tuesday (Oct 4) The first Minister began by saying in asnwer to a question from Alun Davies MS that the unfunded tax changes in the fiscal statement will widen inequality across the United Kingdom. He said: “Areas such as Blaenau Gwent, which already face economic challenges, will be the most adversely affected.”
Alun Davies MS asked if the Welsh Government would stand up and defend the people of Blaenau Gwent, and the people of Wales, against what he described as ‘this chaotic regime in London’.
The First Minister said that the Welsh Government will do that, but the whole of the Senedd should do that. He said: “There are real questions for the Conservatives in this Chamber this afternoon. Do they defend the Prime Minister’s wish not to increase benefits in line with inflation? What will that do to people in Blaenau Gwent, already living on bare-bones benefits, when she is prepared to lift the cap on bankers’ bonuses but not prepared to provide a guarantee that the manifesto, on which those MPs were elected, that manifesto promise, she will not guarantee that that will be kept?”
Having been interupted by the Andrew Davies MS the leader of the Welsh Conservatives the First Minister told him that he would have his chance to be on his feet rather than shouting from where he was sitting. The First Minister asked if Andrew DaviesMS would refuse to sign up to the Prime Minister’s ambition to cut the benefits of people who already have almost nothing to live on.
The First Minister asked: “Are you prepared to say this afternoon that, for people in Wales who rely on public services, teachers in the classroom, nurses in the wards, people waiting on housing lists, are you prepared to say this afternoon that you will add your voice to protect them? I see that you don’t. I see that you don’t. Alun Davies, I’ll tell you this: this Government will raise our voice to make sure that those people are defended—people in Blaenau Gwent and people right across Wales. They will look to see whether there is any opportunity that Conservatives in Wales will do the right thing by them, but I can see already this afternoon that they’re likely to wait a very long time before there’s any sign of that.”