Llyr Gruffydd calls for policies to capitalise on resources
Wales is a naturally rich nation that is being let down by a flawed system, the Party of Wales Sadow Minister for Sustainable Communities, Energy & Food, Llyr Gruffydd has warned. Addressing the party’s spring conference in Cardiff, Mr Gruffydd said that a lack of powers and a lack of leadership from the Welsh Government means that Wales is being prevented from reaching its economic potential.
Mr Gruffydd said that on the fundamental issues of energy, water and food the UK parties are holding Wales back.
The Party of Wales AM listed a number of instances where Wales is being stopped from reaching its potential. He said that:
despite being rich in natural resources such as energy Wales has high levels of fuel poverty, despite being rich in water Welsh customers pay more for their water than elsewhere,and despite the fact that 80% of Welsh land is dedicated to food production the use of Food Banks is soaring.
The Party of Wales Shadow Minister for Sustainable Communities, Energy & Food, Llyr Gruffydd AM said:
“How can it be that a nation that produces more electricity per head of population than any other part of the UK ends up paying more for that electricity than everybody else? Why, in a country that produces twice as much electricity as it uses, do we have a quarter of our households living in fuel poverty and some of the highest levels of excess winter deaths? We are also rich in water and food, yet find ourselves not reaping our just benefit from that.
“The First Minister tells us he wants energy devolved but when Plaid Cymru propose that at Westminster his Labour MPs in London vote against it. He also tells us he wants water devolved but when Plaid Cymru propose that at Westminster his own Labour MPs defy him again.
“On food, despite warnings about the devastation cutting the Common Agricultural Policy budget would bring to Wales, Labour MPs joined the Tories and Lib Dems to support such a cut. And in Brussels three of the four representatives from Wales followed suit. Wales’ Labour MEP, Tory MEP and Ukip MEP all failed to stand up for Wales’ interests.
“Plaid Cymru is the only party that can be trusted to put Wales First. On crucial issues such as Structural funding and CAP reform, only Jill Evans - Wales’ Plaid Cymru MEP, has consistently voted in favour of investment in Wales through the EU budget and EU spending. Wales cannot afford to lose that voice.
“The Welsh national interest has not only been ignored but is being actively undermined by successive UK governments and the UK parties. Under the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Ukip and Labour, Wales comes last. Their record speaks for itself.”