Cost of living crisis demands urgency from Welsh Government
Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price MS, has called for an emergency economic summit to pool ideas on how to tackle the twin crises of surging debt and the rise in the cost of living.
Speaking in Questions to the First Minister on Tuesday, Mr Price pointed out that “many of the key levers remain at Westminster” but that there was much Wales could do independently to respond, such as capping social housing rent rises, bringing forward targets for abolishing fuel poverty, and starting talks with local authorities on debt bonfires for those with council tax arrears.
First Minister Mark Drakeford confirmed that the Resolution Foundation said recently that “April will mark a cost of living catastrophe.”
Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price MS said,
“Surging debt and the rapid and cumulative rise in the cost of living may soon overtake Covid as the biggest crisis we face over the coming year, plunging many more into poverty and mental ill-health.
“While many of the key levers remain in the hands of the Tories in Westminster, we are not powerless in the face of the storm.
Social housing rent rises could be capped so that they never exceed inflation, talks could begin with local authorities on debt bonfires for those with council tax arrears, and Wales could choose not to pass on the rail fare increases announced in England.
“It is not an exaggeration to call this a crisis, and there is much Wales can do independently to respond.
It would be naïve to think that any of these actions would shame Boris Johnson into action, but a Welsh Social Summit to pool ideas for a cross-Government response could be a beacon of hope to many people in Wales at what is a very dark time.”
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