Carrie Harper, Plaid Cymru councillor and parliamentary candidate for Wrecsam, has blasted the austerity consensus of the London parties, stating that ‘unfair’ cuts are hitting the poor, women and the disabled disproportionately hard, whilst imposing unnecessary cuts to public services.
Speaking at the party’s spring conference in Caernarfon, Carrie Harper outlined Plaid’s vision of a progressive alternative to austerity, with a focus on job creation, a commitment to tackle tax evasion and avoidance and scrapping of ‘wasteful’ spending, such as £100 billion for renewing Trident nuclear weapons.
Plaid Cymru are also demanding parity with Scotland on powers and on funding. They state the current devolution settlement is third rate, and equality on funding would mean an additional £1.2 billion every year for Wales.
Carrie Harper from Caia Park said:
“ Austerity is a failure and it hasn't reduced the deficit as planned, UK debt currently stands at £1.4 trillion and it’s rising every day. Plaid Cymru MP’s will demand that austerity is abandoned for the ineffective and immoral policy that it is. We want to see prosperity not austerity.
With our sister party the SNP in Scotland and the Greens in England, we will form an Anti Austerity Alliance after this election. With a hung parliament likely, we may well hold the balance of power. We have a real chance now to make sure Wales is heard in London.
There is a clear alternative to austerity, which involves investment in infrastructure, job creation and tackling issues such as tax evasion and avoidance. It also means scrapping wasteful spending like £100 billion on replacing the Trident nuclear programme and implementing a Living Wage. We also need a more ambitious approach to public procurement in Wales to ensure more money goes to local firms.
Wales has already been hit hard by this Governments austerity agenda, and we've seen that first hand locally with cuts to public services. The London parties have all voted for more cuts over the next 5 years. Labour promise a further 1 billion in cuts for Wales, the Tories are promising almost 3 times that. Plaid do not believe that cuts or more cuts is any sort of choice for the people of Wales.
Wrecsam needs an MP who is ready to put forward a progressive alternative and who is determined to argue for re balancing wealth and power across the UK. It is simply immoral that those with the least are paying for the mistakes of the bankers, and it’s a sad reflection of the growing inequality in our society when all the London parties refuse to stand against it.
It also can’t possibly be right that Wales is being treated differently to Scotland in terms of powers and funding, we deserve equality and only Plaid will fight for that.
I know my community does not agree with the immoral ideology of austerity, the current self-interest of Westminster politics, or the domination of corporate interests in defining public policy. In reality what we have in London is a growing democratic deficit and an elite who couldn't care less about Wales.
If we want something different, we have to vote for it. Labour, the Tories, the Lib Dems and UKIP only promise more of the same, but in May we have a chance to make sure Wales is heard with a vote for Plaid Cymru."