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Plaid MPs to vote against Westminster austerity

In seeking to maintain the Westminster parties’ consensus on damaging austerity cuts, the Coalition Government is today (Tuesday) pushing a vote on a motion backing their so-called ‘Charter for Budget Responsibility’.

The Charter, published last year, commits the Westminster Government to further damaging austerity by getting rid of the deficit by 2017-18 whatever the economic circumstances, primarily through spending cuts, and by capping welfare spending irrespective of economic circumstances and how many people are forced to claim benefits through rising unemployment or a recession.

Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, said:

“The fact that the Westminster Government is putting forward this austerity motion to a vote completely misses the point that austerity has been meted out over the past five years and has completely failed on its own terms.

“The Coalition originally claimed it would mean the elimination of the deficit by now and that the economy would grow in 2011-13. Of course they have completely failed to do this, with the deficit at the end of 2014 standing at £91.3bn, and still more painful damaging austerity cuts to come.

“The economy barely grew at all in 2011-2013 due to demand being sucked out of the economy by Westminster cuts. Wales is still reeling from the effects.

“The best way to pay the deficit down is through an investment-led recovery that rebalances the economy geographically, moves it away from financial services and banking towards high value areas such as manufacturing and productive industries. This sort of sustainable recovery would ensure that vulnerable people and those who did not cause the economic crisis in the first place are not forced to pay for the mistakes of bankers and fat-cats.

“Plaid Cymru urges all MPs from other parties who oppose damaging austerity to vote against the Government motion. Any MPs failing to do so will end up piling further misery upon those already suffering from a loss of vital public services.

“Labour has serious questions to ask itself if it fails to vote against the austerity motion. If it does not, it will be letting down the millions of people who have been afflicted by the damaging cuts, most notably the people of Wales who have been very badly affected by the austerity wreaked by Westminster.

“Labour would be signing up to the very same cuts set out for after the General Election as the Tories. It would demonstrate yet again that there is no difference between Labour and the Tories when it comes to austerity.”