Wefan Gymraeg

Uncertainty remains for economy and services after Autumn Statement

Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion, has criticised the Government’s lacklustre Autumn Statement for failing to reassure businesses and workers in Wales about their future in light of the vote for Brexit.

During the Autumn Statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the downgrade of the UK’s economic growth forecasts until 2019 as a result of Brexit, and failed to announce much needed emergency funds to prevent an NHS funding crisis.

Mark said “This lacklustre budget has failed to tackle the biggest concern for many people throughout Wales.

“I welcome that the Chancellor has announced an extra £400m for Wales for infrastructure, as well as the continued raising of the tax threshold to £11,500 and the maintenance of the triple lock on pensions, both key Liberal Democrat policies.

“However, the Chancellor failed to make any mention of the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, something which has a huge potential impact for Wales. This project must be given the green light.

“Nor has the Government recognised the need for emergency funds to prevent a funding crisis in our NHS and our social care sector. We vitally need a sustainable settlement for health and care in the long-term, and today’s Statement has failed to set one out. Extra health spending in England could critically mean extra resources for Wales too.

“With economic uncertainty high after the vote to leave the European Union, this budget was a chance for the Government to set out its commitment to fight to keep us in the European single market, something that many businesses and farmers rely on having access to. Anything less would been hugely negative for our economy.

“Today was a chance for the Government to provide much needed certainty for Wales’ economy and public services, but instead it has been yet another missed opportunity.”

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