Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, has condemned the Autumn Spending Review for hitting working people hardest, with each household in Ogmore having faced a £3000 tax increase since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister whilst bankers were given a tax cut. Never before has a Chancellor asked the British people to pay so much for so little, loading the burden on working families.
Whilst the UK Government is providing a modest uplift in funding for Wales, the Welsh Government’s overall revenue settlement for 2022-23 to 2024-25 is lower in cash terms than the funding it had in 2021-22. This doesn’t deliver nearly the scale of funding that is needed to meet the challenges facing areas such as Ogmore, including no new investment for the long-term remediation of coal tips.
Coal tips in Wales are a legacy of the UK’s industrial past and could cost in excess of £600m to deal with the scale of which is something devolution was never set up to do in 1999. It is indefensible that the UK Government is refusing to work with the Welsh Government to support the long-term remediation of the 2456 coal tips identified in Wales, to make sure they are safe for local communities, instead suggesting they will only step up after disaster has struck or the impact on Welsh communities has escalated even further.
Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, said:
“This Spending Review and Budget was a crucial opportunity to deliver Wales’ Covid recovery and set a bold agenda ahead of COP26 to deliver on the investment priorities vital to Ogmore’s communities, but the Chancellor’s plans simply do not deliver for Wales despite all his claims of levelling up.
The UK Government are claiming this is the ‘biggest settlement in the history of devolution’, but whilst the Chancellor tries to suggest everything is back to normal, the reality on the ground for families is very different. The pressure facing public services, businesses and families has never been greater, and we are still being denied crucial funding to aid our Covid recovery.
The Chancellor talked about an ‘age of optimism’, but with no new investment for priorities highlighted by the Welsh Labour Government, such as the long-term remediation of coal tips or a commitment to restore the £20 Universal Credit cut that is a lifeline for thousands in Ogmore, there’s little to justify his hype.”