PROGRESSIVE public health policy in Wales being hamstrung by Westminster’s Tory economics Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price has said.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak had refused to bring the Job Support Scheme forward or to top-up the furlough to the level it was at the beginning of the first wave despite Wales having to enter a national lockdown this Friday following a rise in Coronavirus cases.
The “Fire Break” lockdown will begin from 6pm Friday 23 October until 9 November with people told to stay at home and pubs, restaurants, hotels and non-essential shops required to shut.
The Plaid Cymru Leader called the move “reprehensible” and suggested the purse strings would not be “shut quite so tight” if there was a circuit breaker in the south of England.
The Welsh Government’s TAC report said that “doing nothing new now” would mean an additional 2,500 deaths by the end of the year and that a two-week fire break would save almost a thousand lives.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price MS said,
“No responsible Government or Opposition could fail to support radical action in response to the national emergency we’re currently facing. And whilst it’s important to acknowledge the mistakes made by both Governments which have led us to this point, as the TAC report says doing nothing new now would mean 2,500 extra deaths by the end of the year. A two-week fire break would save almost a thousand lives.
“It is therefore utterly reprehensible that the Chancellor has refused to bring the Job Support Scheme forward or to top-up the furlough to the level of the first wave. It’s difficult to believe the purse strings would be shut quite so tight if there were a circuit-breaker in Surrey.
“This is a question of fairness. Progressive public health policy in Wales is being hamstrung by Westminster’s Tory economics. It is therefore no wonder that more and more people are waking up to the idea that Wales’ interests better lie as an independent nation – small, successful and free from the mercy of Westminster.