Cost of Living Crisis: Wales — Caroline Nokes in the Chair

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:46 pm on 19th July 2022.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Davies David Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury 3:46 pm, 19th July 2022

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Nokes.

I thank the hon. Members for Pontypridd (Alex Davies-Jones), for Newport West (Ruth Jones), for Llanelli (Dame Nia Griffith), for Swansea West (Geraint Davies), for Ceredigion (Ben Lake), for Cynon Valley (Beth Winter), for Cardiff North (Anna McMorrin), for Swansea East (Carolyn Harris), for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Gerald Jones), and—last but certainly not least—for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross (Jamie Stone). I may have left somebody out; if I have, I apologise. A lot of points were raised during the debate and I will try to deal with them as best I can within the confines of the time that I have.

First of all, may I make it absolutely clear that, although I am pleased that we are having a debate on this matter, there is absolutely no doubt at all in my mind or the mind of anyone in Government not only that we have a cost of living challenge, but that it is a global matter? Hon. Members can just look at the statistics for any countries across western Europe or the rest of the world to see that the problem is not an isolated one; it has come about for reasons that I will turn to in a minute. Before I go into detail on the UK Government’s commitments to support the people of Wales, I just want to make it clear that things such as the pandemic and the war in Ukraine have had a significant effect on the global economy.

The UK Government have been steadfast in our support for the people of Wales throughout these global economic challenges. We have certainly not been asleep on the matter of Wales—far from it. My right hon. Friend Simon Hart, who is my former ministerial colleague, and his successor as the Secretary of State for Wales, my right hon. and learned Friend Sir Robert Buckland, who of course is from Llanelli, are well aware of the problems in Wales and have been raising them at all times in Cabinet.

I often stood in for Mr Hart when he was unable to attend meetings—