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Rich List shows need to rebalance power and wealth

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has today set out the case for rebalancing power and wealth throughout the UK as the Sunday Times Rich List shows that the wealth of the richest 1,000 individuals and families in Britain has more than doubled over the past decade.

Leanne Wood called for an Economic Rebalancing Bill to rebalance the economy away from financial services and banking towards areas like manufacturing and engineering, and allow for measures such as prioritisng poorer areas for infrastructure spending and investment.

She added that the UK's current devolution settlement was 'unsustainable' and that a rebalancing of power and wealth was needed in order to forge a new partnership of equals between the nations and regions of the British State.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said:

"Today's publication of the Rich List boosts the already overwhelming case for rebalancing wealth throughout the UK. The fact that the number of billionaires has increased shows that austerity is benefiting the wealthiest to the detriment of those who are struggling to make ends meet.

"For too long, vast areas of the UK have been economically depressed with most political efforts concentrated on the south east.

"GDP in Inner London is almost twelve times more than some communities in Ynys Môn with several areas of northern England in the same position.

"Plaid Cymru wants to see an economic recovery that reaches all parts of each nation. An Economic Rebalancing Bill would force the UK Government to implement a range of measures to ensure that more job opportunities are created the south east of England.

"This would shift the focus of the economy away from banking and financial services towards areas such as manufacturing and engineering. It would also allow for measures such as prioritising less wealthy areas for infrastructure spending and investment.

"As well as rebalancing the UK economy, we must also address our asymmetric devolution settlement. Parity of powers with Scotland for Wales is one of the Party of Wales's key priorities in this election.

"By achieving this, we can secure greater equality between the nations of the UK and forge a new partnership of equals in which people's living standards aren't dictated by their postcodes.

"Plaid Cymru's vision for a balanced economy and an end to austerity would benefit all in these islands. While we'll always pursue the Welsh national interest, we're committed to working with other progressives across the UK for the good of all nations and communities."