Welsh Labour MP Chris Elmore has called on the UK Government to deliver radical infrastructure investment in Wales as part of its plans to “level up” the country.
Speaking during the annual St. David’s Day debate in Parliament, the Ogmore MP highlighted the Welsh Labour Government’s record of investment in spite of 10 years of austerity from the Conservative UK Government.
Highlighting the government’s mooted plans for building a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland and recent confirmation that HS2 will go ahead, Chris complained that “not even a crumb” of new funding had been announced for Wales alongside these plans.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“The Tory UK Government has completely and utterly failed Wales over the past 10 years. Whether it be scrapping rail electrification to Swansea, shelving the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, or ignoring the plight of our steel industry, the investment vacuum is having a real impact on our communities.
“The Welsh Labour Government has tried desperately to mitigate against the worst impact of these Tory cuts with what limited resources they have. If the Tories in Westminster are serious about levelling up our country, they must start to invest in Wales – and particularly Welsh infrastructure.”
The Welsh Labour Government’s budget is around 5 per cent lower in real terms than it was in 2010. The Wales Trades Union Congress (TUC) assesses that the Welsh budget would be £6 billion higher than it is today if it had risen in line with long term trends in public expenditure.
Among other achievements, Chris highlighted the positive impact new apprenticeships being created across Wales are having on people’s lives in his Ogmore constituency and beyond. The Welsh Labour Government are set to exceed their target of delivering 100,000 new all-age apprenticeships by 2021.
“The Tory UK Government has short-changed Wales for the past ten years and it’s time they demonstrated their commitment to all four nations of our threatened United Kingdom. Investing in Wales’ future can’t just be left to Welsh Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay – the Tories in Westminster have to start listening to, and delivering for, Wales.”