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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Plaid Cymru and the SNP launch stinging attacks on Ed Balls for 'backing the Tory budget'

Plaid Cymru's Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards, and Scottish National Party Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie have attacked Labour's Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls after he was asked by the Today programme what he would reverse from Osborne’s Budget, Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls replied that there was nothing, saying "From yesterday to be honest… there's nothing I'm saying to you from yesterday I would reverse."

Having spent yesterday outlining, what he calls, Plaid Cymru's positive alternative for balancing the books without punishing the poor, Mr Edwards responded to Mr Balls' comments by saying: "By admitting that he would not reverse the Budget, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls has confirmed that Labour and the Tories alike are intent on inflicting more pain on our communities."

Continuing his attack on Labour, Jonathan Edwards said: "This is the latest in a long line of events which have seen Labour's plans mirror the Tories. Only a few months ago both parties walked hand in hand through the voting lobbies to support £30bn more cuts to public services. Now we have Labour's Shadow Chancellor openly backing a Tory Budget. People in Wales are fed up of Labour's hypocrisy - criticising Tory cuts in public while voting them through behind the scenes.

Turning to why Plaid Cymru are the alternative Mr Edwards commented: "Only one party in Wales is committed to protecting our public services and securing a good deal for our nation. That party is Plaid Cymru. A strong group of Plaid Cymru MPs in Westminster after May 7th will ensure that Wales' voice is heard and that our communities are protected from Labour and Tory austerity."

The Scottish National Party echoed Plaid Cymru saying a strong team of SNP MPs in Westminster will mean a strong voice for Scotland. Commenting, SNP Deputy Leader and Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said: "Labour have now confirmed there would be no respite for Scotland by agreeing with the proposed Tory cuts."

Mr Hosie continued: "Those hoping a Labour government would offer an alternative to the Tories will be disappointed- but we already knew a majority of Labour MPs voted recently in the House of Commons hand in hand with the Tories for £30bn of extra cuts in the next government. Under Osborne's plans- and now Labour’s plans- there will be additional cuts to welfare, tax credits and public sector pensions, with overall cuts set to be far larger than anything we have seen over the past five years."

Turning his attention to the Liberal Democrats, Stewart Hosie said: "Meanwhile Danny Alexander has failed to distance himself from the Tories with his feeble statement in Parliament today. Danny Alexander himself voted with other Lib Dem MPs for £30bn of additional cuts, and people will not easily forget that the Lib Dems voted for the bedroom tax and tripling tuition fees- and they are facing political annihilation as a result."

On why he thinks more SNP MPs are needed after the election, Stewart Hosie said: "A strong team of SNP MPs in May will mean a strong voice for Scotland - to win the powers promised to Scotland, reverse austerity cuts in favour of investing in growth and jobs, and stop the waste of tens of billions of pounds on a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons."