'More powers needed to protect Wales from Tory policies' - Leanne Wood

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Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood has today said that Wales needs more economic powers if it is to protect its poorest communities from the damaging policies of the Tory UK Government.

Leanne Wood's call comes as Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, said that Wales needs a new system of funding the nation's most deprived communities to give all areas a level playing field so they have a chance to catch up.

The Plaid Cymru Leader added that successive governments in Westminster were responsible for poverty stemming back to the 1980s and that no UK Government based on past performance could be trusted to put the interests of the Welsh economy first.

Leanne Wood said:

"Plaid Cymru acknowledges that people in Wales voted to leave the European Union, but we reject the Tory rhetoric that they voted to centralise power in Westminster or to see even bigger cuts to money coming to Wales.

"Without the protection offered by the EU's economic policy of wealth redistribution, some of Wales's worst off communities are set to be fully exposed to the worst of damaging Tory policies.

"The only way to ensure that the Welsh economy does not suffer in light of the decision to leave the EU is for more powers to be taken by Wales from Westminster.

"This will allow people in this country to have a greater say over its own affairs and a greater ability to improve economic life for people here if Wales has control over areas like taxation, job creation and securing economic growth.

"Successive governments in Westminster are responsible for poverty stemming back to the 1980s - the Tories for killing off our industry and Labour for not implementing a successful industrial policy to turn the situation around. Our problems stem from action followed by inaction from Westminster. They do not stem from the European Union, which has a policy of prioritising the areas struggling the most for investment.

"Wales never has and never will be able to trust Westminster to put the interests of the Welsh economy first. Millions of pounds were pledged by the Leave campaign during the referendum but we have seen nothing so far to suggest that this vow will be honoured. The statements so far indicate the opposite, that there is no intention to keep to those promises.

"As the Wales Bill returns to the Commons next week, I urge MPs from all parties in Wales to support maximising the powers for our National Assembly. Wales must have the full capability to end the economic stagnation which has held our country back for too long. If we don't do it for ourselves, no one else will do it for us."

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