“Serious moral questions need to be asked when vast sums of public money are spent while the vast majority live hand to mouth” says Luke Fletcher MS
An MS for South Wales West questioned the Welsh Government’s Minister for the Constitution yesterday about discussions being had with the UK Government over the future of coronation ceremonies.
Plaid Cymru’s Luke Fletcher, who represents the region, spoke out in the Senedd against the decision to spend exorbitant sums of money while the cost-of-living crisis continues to ravage communities. The rebuke comes ahead of the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday 6th May.
Mr Fletcher told the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution Mick Antoniw that “an important moral question” needs to be asked about the “pageantry” of a royal coronation ceremony “at a time when people are going without the essentials, when they can’t feed their kids or put food on the table for themselves, when they can’t pay for bus or train tickets, or heat their homes.”
During plenary yesterday, Luke Fletcher MS said: “I represent deprived communities, like many Members in this Chamber, that consistently rank high on the Index of Multiple Deprivation. I’m from one of those communities, I still live in that community and I see people struggling daily.
“Students are dropping out of education because they can’t afford to learn; families are forced to live in unaffordable housing in poor conditions; parents cannot afford to feed their kids or put fuel in their cars.
“We’re told that this will bring everyone together, but if you want to bring everyone together the Government should sort out these problems first.
“How can we justify spending £100 million on such extravagance – a one-off event – when that is the state of the country?”
Mr Fletcher concluded: “The UK is one of the only countries in the world that retains the coronation rite. It has been exactly seventy years since the last one – they’re a thing of the past and that’s where they should remain along with the very institution itself.”
In response to Mr Fletcher’s remarks, Mick Antoniw MS said: “Of course, the coronation is a reserved matter. The spending on the coronation is not a matter within the decision making of Welsh Government.
“What I’ve tried to do in the statement I’ve made is to say that we recognise the pressures and the issues that exist now, but also how there may be opportunities to look at how we actually reflect on the cost-of-living crisis out of this.
“What we will do is seek to recognise our own responsibilities within the constitutional structure as it exists.”
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