Drakeford Locks Down Wales, Asks UK Government to Pay for It

Not only did Mark Drakeford this morning ask the Treasury to give Welsh businesses “early access” to the UK’s expanded Jobs Support Scheme, in announcing his “Fire Break the First Minister went further.

“It is only the UK Government that has the financial power to guarantee the levels of income support workers need, and we need more generous payments to help workers through this crisis.”

So that’s the Welsh Government forcibly preventing businesses from trading, then blaming the UK Government “to help workers through this crisis” – a jobs and incomes crisis Drakeford just exacerbated. A Treasury source tells Guido that there is already support to hand, and the Welsh Government already knows that HMRC can’t deliver the early access they asked for – as Rishi told them on the phone weeks ago…

“The First minister seems to have misunderstood the financial support schemes in place and available to Welsh businesses. The furlough scheme is in place until the end of October and businesses that are mandated to close are able to apply for the Job Support Scheme from 1st Nov.

“This was explained to all First Ministers by the Chancellor personally on the phone, the morning before he announced the expansion of the Jobs Support Scheme.”

The Welsh Government is not winning supporters of devolution in Whitehall…

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