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Poverty in Wales within the Union

This week the Secretary of State for Wales, David T C Davies, made much of the ‘positive news’ that 400,000 households in Wales would soon be in receipt of their first cost of living payment this Spring.

In his words ‘it is good to see that over 400,000 of those most in need in Wales are getting financial support from the UK Government with direct payments’. 

The Secretary of State’s figures are wrong! He is focused on ‘households’ but as we all know, it is the people of Wales who live in those homes and, it is they who are suffering from the cost-of-living crisis. 

In fact, the 400,000 households equate to 1.4 Million individuals. That is close to half the population of Wales. These are people living in poverty as a direct result of Westminster’s mismanagement of energy policy and the UK economy. Does the Secretary of State think it good that Westminster has driven so many into a situation where they must claim financial help to go about their lives? The situation is a disgrace. The words of the Welsh Secretary are insulting to the people he is supposed to be representing. 

We should all be angry that so many in Wales are in poverty; angry that as far as Wales is concerned the United Kingdom is effectively a failed state, with almost half of its population categorised as struggling to make ends meet; angry that the Secretary of State for Wales believes that this is a good thing; angry that a nation endowed with so much natural and human resource has been reduced to receiving scraps from Westminster.

Wales must become an independent nation. But can the country afford to untether itself from Westminster? 

The real question is “can Wales afford not to be an Independent nation?” “Can the people of Wales afford to stay in this toxic relationship so that we can prop up the delusions of Westminster. The Westminster myth that the U.K. is still a ‘World Power’?” 

We should be looking to fashion a brighter future through Independence based on International cooperation and better suited to the new realities of the global economy.  

That brighter future exists for Wales. 

An independent Wales can take its place alongside its European partners, deciding its own destiny. Earning respect across the globe as an inclusive and progressive society.

If we truly want to improve the lives of the people who live in Wales – our lives – then we must have Independence. It is time for us to ‘take back control’. Time for us to plan our own futures, to make our own decisions, to invest our time, assets and resources in our own future.

Poverty is not acceptable. We deserve better. Wales is worth more than being the grateful recipient of the occasional handout from Westminster.  We must reject the proposition that persistent poverty is acceptable. We must realise that the Union has served its purpose, that its time is done and that the future needs to be different. 

The United Kingdom is in decline, its economy is shrinking relative to other nations, its wealth in freefall. The gap between the rich and poor is second only to the USA. Wales languishes at the bottom of the UK wealth table. 

As the size of the pie shrinks it will be evermore in Westminster’s interest to focus what wealth remains on the ‘regions’ which support its regime. The lives of the citizens of Wales will never be important to those who dominate the London Parliament. 

Wales is being bled by Westminster. Giving more of its natural, human and financial resources to the union and receiving less-and-less. HS2 - the high speed rail project between London and Birmingham - will cost the people of Wales at least £5 Billion, possibly as much as £8 Billion. The economic benefit to Wales is zero. Our country will, in fact, be £150 million worse off!  (Yes, you did read that correctly - we in Wales are contributing £5 Billion so that our economy can shrink by £150 Million). 

Wales is tied into an abusive relationship it would be wise to leave. The union is not working for Wales and despite consistent political appeals to Westminster for more under the current system, nothing has been forthcoming. As a free and independent nation, our country will step into the future as a culturally diverse and open economy. Necessarily internationalist. A home for innovation and opportunity. Fresh and exciting.  

In the last 50 years the list of small nations across Europe who have seized their own destiny and are now thriving is long: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia, Czechia and more. Most of these have leapfrogged Wales in terms of the wealth and prosperity of their people in the few short decades since they achieved their independence.

It is time for Wales to do the same. It is time for us, all of us, to seize our own future; to campaign for and gain our independence; to create our own, new Welsh nation, rich in history and resources, yet forward thinking and outward looking. A confident nation, a prosperous nation, a nation imbued with hope and passion, a Welsh nation.

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