Spring Budget 2023: Welsh Communities

Wales – in the House of Commons at on 19 April 2023.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Robbie Moore Robbie Moore Conservative, Keighley

What assessment he has made of the potential impact of the Spring Budget 2023 on Welsh communities.

Photo of James Davies James Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

The spring Budget delivered for Wales. As announced, the Government will provide £20 million to restore the Holyhead breakwater, deliver at least one investment zone in Wales and provide up to £20 billion for the development of carbon capture usage and storage across the UK, which Wales is well-placed to benefit from.

Photo of Robbie Moore Robbie Moore Conservative, Keighley

The UK Government prove time and again that they are delivering for Wales, whether through supporting hundreds of thousands of households with the energy price guarantee or through the £20-million Holyhead breakwater. However, does my hon. Friend agree that the Welsh Labour Government are advertising Wales as closed for business, with the recent ban on road building and tax on tourism?

Photo of James Davies James Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

I could not agree more. The Welsh Government’s response to the roads review was more of a roadblock. There has been widespread rejection of the tourism tax from the sector, including UK Hospitality, which has called it “anti-competitive”. The contrast between the approaches of the two Governments is stark: the UK Government are striking trade deals and promoting Britain as open for business, while the Welsh Government seem focused on punishing small business owners.

Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Standards

A little birdy tells me that the Secretary of State has had a meeting about the Rhondda tunnel in the last few days. I hope very much—as no doubt do you, Mr Speaker—that there will be an announcement soon of some money to ensure that the Rhondda tunnel can be opened up, making it the second longest cycle tunnel in the whole of Europe and a great advert for tourism in the Welsh valleys. Will he meet me and my hon. Friend Stephen Kinnock so that we can explain to him its significant benefits and he can lobby to get that money for the Rhondda tunnel?

Photo of James Davies James Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales

The hon. Member is right to raise that question. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State tells me that he would be happy to hold a meeting with him, and adds that Rhondda Cynon Taf council should be encouraged to make a levelling-up fund bid.