Decisions in areas like welfare benefits and across many parts of the public sector in Wales still rest with the UK Government, despite a more progressive approach by the Welsh Government.
No-one now believes that the UK Government cuts are fair. What’s more no one voted for them. Yet Wales’ citizens lose out twice; The biggest cuts to any devolved nation alongside cuts to benefits which impact significantly more Welsh people.
Our economy is in trouble because we’ve been through the worst recession since the 1930’s. When companies go bust and people lose their jobs; the tax take falls.
We need to deal with it, but getting rid of it in four years is the UK Government’s political choice. They say the deficit leaves no alternative as we have to borrow to make up the gap. But it is only a crisis if you can’t borrow or afford the repayments.
We don’t have a debt crisis – debt’s gone up but it’s much lower than in the past. Many other countries including Germany and France have bigger debts and that means we don’t have to get rid of the deficit in just four years.
There are fairer alternatives that make more economic sense.
We can collect much more in tax by cracking down on tax dodging by big companies and the super rich and with the Robin Hood tax that could raise £20 billion a year from the banks and the finance sector that caused the crash.
The better way is to get the economy growing again and get the unemployed back to work; fairer tax and policies for sustainable growth; banks that serve the economy; a fairer share of resources so the Welsh Government can invest in skills, infrastructure, education and research, using the crash to build a better future for everyone.