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Unemployment Support

Volume 489: debated on Wednesday 11 March 2009

6. What recent discussions he has had with the First Minister on assistance for those who have lost their jobs in the current economic downturn. (261329)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular discussions with the First Minister about assistance for those who have lost their jobs in Wales, not least at the all-Wales economic summits that he attends. I would also point out that I have recently visited Llanelli to talk with local businesses, as my hon. Friend well knows.

My hon. Friend will know that balancing the books in Wales depends on a £9 billion subsidy from the rest of the UK. How could the help that he has described be provided if an independent Wales had to depend entirely on Welsh tax revenue?

My hon. Friend makes a very valid point. It is extremely important in these difficult economic times that we all pull together in the UK, not pull apart. I find it strange, as she does, that Plaid Cymru is demanding £3 billion from the UK Government at the same time that it is calling for independence.

I call David Taylor. No, I apologise, the hon. Member for The Wrekin (Mark Pritchard) did stand up.