Welsh Conservatives have criticised John McDonnell and his ‘shopping list’ of spending commitments in his speech to the Labour Party conference, stating they would ‘bankrupt’ the Welsh economy.
Addressing delegates in Brighton today, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor pledged to:
- Bring back into public ownership rail, water, energy industries plus the Royal Mail
- Build Crossrail for the North and electrify all railway lines in the South West
- Scrap the public sector pay cap
- Build the Swansea Tidal Lagoon
- Scrap tuition fees
- Bring Public Finance Initiatives back ‘inhouse’
- Increase living wage to £10 an hour
These commitments were also married to a pledge from the Shadow Chancellor to eliminate the deficit and reduce debt in the economy. Unsurprisingly, little or no detail was provided by McDonnell as to how any Labour Government would go about funding this extravagant spending bonanza.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Secretary for Finance, Nick Ramsay AM, has described the speech as the ‘most economically dangerous speech ever given by a senior politician from a mainstream party.’
“Today’s shopping list of spending commitments with absolutely no detail on how it will be funded represents the most economically dangerous speech ever given by a senior politician from a mainstream party. Without any substantial costings, the very prospect of implementing this dreamed-up wish-list would threaten to bankrupt the Welsh economy.
“To deliver on these promises, the Labour Party would need to make reductions to public spending in areas which it has yet to identify, raise taxes in areas it has yet to identify or break some of the promises it has made to the electorate.
“The Welsh electorate is not gullible. Hardworking people across Wales know how it works; when you take out a loan you have to pay interest on it, and that means making tough decisions on where to cut back elsewhere or increasing taxes. Labour’s current position is economic madness.
“These commitments would have huge repercussions on our public finances, and with Wales’ fiscal deficit worth just under 25% of its GDP – any major breakdown in the United Kingdom’s finances would put our country in an extremely perilous position, directly threatening livelihoods and the day to day functioning of public services.
“You simply cannot trust the Labour Party when it comes to the country’s finances and delivering on its promises.”