Questions Without Notice from the Party Leaders

Part of 1. Questions to the First Minister – in the Senedd at 1:50 pm on 20 February 2024.

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Photo of Rhun ap Iorwerth Rhun ap Iorwerth Plaid Cymru 1:50, 20 February 2024

Diolch, Llywydd. Last week came confirmation that the UK economy had entered recession. But it's not just the economy that's in reverse; the decline of vital industries in Wales and the communities that they sustain, whether that's agriculture, steel or hospitality, bears all the hallmarks of a social recession too. Steel is fighting for its life; the tractors, we know, are already on the roads; and the latest 'closed for business' sign is going up in yet another eatery in the First Minister's own constituency. I've stood here long enough now to know that the First Minister will lay blame at Westminster's door: 'It's lack of funding'. And, of course, Plaid Cymru has long argued that Wales is not funded fairly; we can certainly agree on that. But does the Labour Party agree—Keir Starmer's Labour Party? Does he agree that Wales is not fairly funded? And if he does, why isn't he still pledging to put that right, even on something as fundamentally unjust as the loss of billions of pounds of HS2 consequentials? And why is the First Minister failing to persuade him?