During the Parliament debate on the UK Government’s Queen Speech Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, called for urgent action from the UK Government to end its austerity measures, with local councils in South Wales facing extreme financial pressure to maintain basic public services.
Following the State Opening of Parliament earlier this month, the Government set out its upcoming priorities in the Queen’s Speech, which MPs have been debating since 15 October.
In his speech in Parliament, Gerald also praised investment and innovation in the Welsh NHS, highlighting the example it has set for NHS England to follow, leading the way on prescriptions, bursaries for healthcare staff, social care, pharmacies and more.
The Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney MP also called on the UK Government to act immediately on the issue of state pension inequality for 1950s women, with more than 3 million women across the UK hit by the change in state pension age from 60 to 65.
Commenting on the Government’s austerity measures, Gerald Jones, MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, said:
“This Tory Government have starved our local authorities of resources for almost a decade, and although in the early years some councils were able to stretch their budgets to keep some of the vital services going, all that is left to cut now are jobs and services that are closest to the people.
“That is wholly wrong, and this Government must act to show that austerity really is coming to an end.”
On the NHS in Wales, Gerald said:
“Public health decisions should be made based on the health needs the people of this country, not on private profit. The past decade has been incredibly tough, and Tory austerity has continued to bite hard, but the Welsh Labour Government have set an example to follow.
“They have been able to meet their commitment to invest more per head in health and social care services than in England.”
Speaking out on the state pension inequality crisis, Gerald added:
“It is more than two years on from the last Queen’s Speech, which also failed to make any mention of this issue, which at that time had already been a huge injustice for too many years.
“This shows just how long this Tory Government have failed to act on this issue. So they must act, to get a fairer deal for the many thousands of 1950s women and bring an end to this shameful legacy of state pension inequality.”