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Chancellor's 'humiliating climb-down' - Plaid

Plaid Cymru's Treasury spokesman, Jonathan Edwards, says the Autumn Statement represents an admission that the Chancellor's 'austerity experiment' has failed. He said:

This Autumn Statement is a humiliating climb-down for a Chancellor in denial who is now being forced to admit the failure of his austerity experiment.

Missed debt and deficit targets coupled with the OBR’s downgrading of forecasts have exposed the Chancellor’s lack of a long-term strategy for growth and he is now presented with a golden opportunity to reverse the downward spiral which is rapidly leading to increased and institutionalised poverty and unemployment.

Mr Edwards went on to criticise as 'self-defeating' the decision to fund extra money for capital projects by cutting the budgets of nearly every Whitehall department.

The announcement on capital investment is also to be welcomed, but for this to be funded via extra austerity will be self-defeating. We also have grave concerns over the introduction of regional pay for teachers – a deeply damaging policy that The Party of Wales warned against in our 2011 manifesto.**

Regional pay row dominates Welsh debate

by Adrian Masters

Controversial UK Government plans to introduce different pay rates for public sector workers in different parts of the UK have so far dominated today's meeting of the Welsh Grand Committee.

There have been signs that the Government is backtracking on the idea, but ministers at today's session stood by the principle, even if they dispute the use of the term 'regional pay' as you can see in this exchange between Labour's David Hanson and Wales Office Minister David Jones MP.

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