AM presses the case for reform in Assembly Queen’s Speech debate

First published in News

In the National Assembly debate on last week’s Queen’s Speech, Ceredigion’s AM and Plaid Cymru Deputy Leader Elin Jones has set out the party’s case for major constitutional and economic reform for Britain, as a way of ensuring that Wales is not “marginalised” by the independence referendum in Scotland.

Elin Jones said that the UK Government is failing to take steps to strengthen the economic and decision-making powers of the Assembly, and that its Wales Bill, confirmed in the Queen’s Speech, is the outcome of cherry-picking and hesitation.

She will further set out the case for the UK Government to make a legislative commitment to rebalance the economy of Britain, pointing to alternative legislation that has been proposed by Plaid Cymru’s Westminster MPs. Plaid Cymru’s Economic Fairness Bill would create a legal duty for UK Governments to prioritise disadvantaged areas for investment, not only helping Wales.

The Party of Wales Deputy Leader Elin Jones said:

“A stronger Assembly is the next step for Wales. We need to have the full range of tax and policy powers recommended by the cross-party Silk Commission, without the lock-step and other clauses which are only designed to hold Wales back.

“Regardless of how the Scottish referendum plays out, Scotland will receive more of the powers it needs to grow its economy and achieve social justice. People in Ceredigion feel that they lack a voice at a UK level, so Wales needs to have its own response, in order to avoid the economic, social and constitutional marginalisation of our country.

“The UK Government did not deliver that last week, and instead gave us a half-baked offer of powers which are deliberately unusable.

“Plaid Cymru was the only party in Westminster that put forward ideas for the Queen’s Speech which would improve the way both Wales and the United Kingdom functioned, including our Economic Fairness Bill.”

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