This week, I spoke in the Commons in response to the budget and Iain Duncan Smith's resignation:
"What a shambles from the Wizard of Osborne, with the revelation that the tin man, the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has a heart. I do not really believe it myself—I believe that he [Ian Duncan Smith] is thinking of jobs after Brexit with the Mayor of London."
"Of course, we now have a new Secretary of State, the former Welsh Secretary, who has just done a U-turn on the Wales Bill and has now done a U-turn on disability payments. I never thought that crabs did anything other than move sideways, but there we are. He was cheering away at the Budget a few days ago, but apparently now he does not agree with it."
"As usual, the Wizard of Osborne has blamed Labour, but let us not forget that in the 10 years to 2008 the economy grew under Labour by 40%, some 4% a year, whereas that figure is now about 2%. We left debt as a share of GDP at 55% and it is now 83%. Why is that? Because of economic failure and slow productivity growth. Why is that? Because we have low investment in research and development and in infrastructure compared with the rest of the developed world. In particular, that is focused on London and the south-east and not in the north, in Wales or elsewhere."
"I welcome the reduction in the Severn bridge toll, but that could have been reduced to a quarter of the price to cover operational costs as opposed to half the price, as the Government will continue to make a large margin of profit by basically putting a tax on trade with Wales. I welcome the news that there might be a new city deal for Swansea and the fact that the Chancellor is still trying to support the EU."
"Finally, I should mention the other stealth tax from employers’ contributions on pensions, which is a back-door cut for the Welsh Government that I resist. In a nutshell, this is a sheriff of Nottingham Budget that I resist."