Plaid Cymru is right to clearly state that it would use a hung parliament to push for measures to strengthen the Welsh economy in order to secure a recovery that benefits all the people of Wales. Plaid wants to see a steadier, more responsible rational approach to tackling the deficit that would include a modest increase in government departmental spending and a boost for infrastructure investment.
Plaid has outlined plans to tackle the UK deficit in a steadier, more responsible manner than the current Westminster government's approach. Plaid refuses to balance the books on the back of the poor. Instead, Plaid want to see a modest increase of 0.5% per year in government departmental spending, starting in 2016-2017. This would lead to a decline in the budget deficit from 4.2% in 2015-2016 to 1.4% in 2019-2020 - a reduction of over 60% that wouldn't come from savage cuts to our vital public services.
An additional 1% of GDP invested across the UK in infrastructure in order to boost the economy and create jobs would grant Wales an extra £950 million each year to spend on our roads, railways and more. In the event of a hung parliament, Plaid Cymru will rightly demand the same deal for Wales as Scotland, in terms of resources and responsibilities. This is vital so we can invest in jobs and generate growth. Quite simply this would mean an additional £1.2 billion a year for our nation - £400 per head for every person in Wales - and is a simple matter of equality.
Plaid Cymru would also press Westminster to introduce a living wage by 2020. This would not only secure a pay rise for 250,000 Welsh workers, it could also bring about £2.1 billion additional income through tax and save around £1.1 billion in in-work benefits. These proposals would help to bring down the deficit without inflicting more pain on our communities and also shatters the Westminster consensus that there is no alternative to cuts.