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Shadow Welsh Secretary criticises 'another empty promise' on M4

Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith says the further cuts set out by the Chancellor represent 'an admission of failure to tackle the deficit.' And he criticised the lack of specific news on an M4 relief road.

He blamed the Welsh Secretary David Jones for that delay, saying his 'determination to block' borrowing powers for the Welsh Government was 'holding back Wales.'

Wales has already taken more pain than other parts of the country, with real wages falling £1600 since 2010, and the further cut announced today will mean that the Welsh Government’s budget is down by more than 10 per cent since the coalition came to power. Families and businesses in Wales need action now to get growth back into the economy, generate jobs and protect living standards. Instead, we heard yet another empty promise on the M4 relief road but still no detail on when work might start.

What we should have heard from the Chancellor is that the Welsh Government will get the borrowing powers that were agreed last October, so that it can bring forward investment and get people back to work. The Welsh Secretary’s determination to block these extra powers is holding back investment, and holding back Wales.

– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary
  1. Adrian Masters

Welsh Conservatives' 'regret' M4 delay

A senior Welsh Conservative source says it's 'regrettable' that negotiations between the UK and Welsh Governments on borrowing powers for the Welsh Government weren't concluded before the Chancellor's spending review

In his speech, George Osborne said he would make an announcement on 'impressive' plans for an M4 relief road shortly. It's thought those plans are linked to Welsh Government borrowing powers as recommended by the first report of the Silk Commission.

The UK Government's response to the Silk Commission report was due in the spring but has been delayed while talks continue between the Treasury and the Welsh Government. The source said:

Funding mechanisms are always complex, but it is regrettable that Silk 1 couldn’t be sorted prior to the CSR. We remain firm in the view that Silk 1 must be implemented in full and will continue to campaign for it and an M4 relief road.


Twitter reaction to Tory M4 call

Tory 'service station summit' on M4

Conservative MPs and AMs meet business leaders at Magor services Credit: ITV News, Adrian Masters

Conservative MPs and AMs have met business leaders to push the case for a major upgrade to the M4 motorway around Newport. They held a mini summit at Magor Service station to ensure the UK Government gets the message that an upgrade is long overdue.

Wales Office minister Stephen Crabb represented the government and told those at the meeting that the message was being heard loud and clear at the highest levels in Westminster.

It's thought an announcement could come within the next week or so on a deal between the UK and Welsh Governments on a way to fund significant improvements to the stretch of motorway.