The Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price MS, has today accused Labour Welsh Government of a “cut and paste” of Tory policy, following their decision to raise Welsh rail fares by 5.9%, the highest increase in a decade.
The matter was raised during Questions to the First Minister, where Mr Price noted that Welsh Government followed a decision made by UK Government to raise regulated rail fares by the same amount.
At the time, the UK Government decision was met with criticism from Labour’s Shadow Transport Minister Louise Haigh who called the fare hike “savage” and the move a “sick joke”.
Mr Price said it was “hard to disagree” and challenged why, then, Labour in Wales decided to “passively implement” the very same “Tory austerity”.
Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price MS said,
“Rather than consider what the Scottish Government did, which is to reduce peak fares and pay for it through a progressive use of income-tax powers, Labour Welsh Government has simply followed the 5.9% decision that was made in Westminster.
“When one of the primary benefits of devolution is to give Wales a shield from the Tories in Westminster, it is almost inconceivable that Welsh Government has turned themselves into a cut-and-paste Parliament that passively implements Tory austerity.
“Let’s not forget that, at the same time they are increasing rail fares, Welsh Government is slashing subsidy for the bus industry, effectively pushing large parts of the bus industry over the edge of a cliff at the end of June.
“When a stated aim of Welsh Government is to get people out of cars and into public transport, it’s difficult to understand why decisions are being taken that make this goal even further out of reach.”