PEOPLE in Wales who are struggling and dependent on food banks should be reassured by the UK government’s plans for new nuclear power stations, Boris Johnson has suggested.
The Prime Minister traveled to Newtown where the Welsh Conservatives held their spring conference and before his opening speech Johnson also visited a honey factory.
He told the conference the government could not ‘magically make’ the cost of living crisis go away, but said it would ‘throw its arms around people’ as it said it had done during the Covid crisis.
He also pointed to the rising cost of energy, but in interviews was evasive on calls for a windfall tax on energy companies that have seen their profits soar as prices soar .
Speaking to reporters, Mr Johnson sought to underline the government’s intentions for a new nuclear power station at Wylfa, on Ynys Mon, and a new reactor at Trawsfynydd in Gwynedd, for which he announced his support during his speech. conference, in response to energy security and rising costs.
He mentioned both sites when asked why his government was waiting to offer more support to cope with the rising cost of living as people in Wales struggle and use food banks.
The Tory leader said his government was offering “huge amounts of support at this time”, but also stressed energy supply and security was a pressing issue.
He said: “The problem we have to tackle is not just aid for the immediate cost, the cost of people’s energy, the cost of food – what you have to tackle is the energy supply in this country.
“It’s crazy that we pay so much more than other countries for reliable low-carbon energy.
“And we made a historic mistake by not going nuclear enough.
“Here in Wales we have the answer, not just at Wylfa, but at Trawsfynydd.”
Wylfa has been identified in a UK energy plan and the possibility of developing a new, smaller reactor at Trawsfynydd, another former nuclear site in the north, has also been identified by the UK government, but no plans for either no other site has been approved.
Warned that people need help ‘now’, the Prime Minister said: ‘I care deeply about the current crisis, this is what we also need to avoid, these are future crises and future peaks in the cost It’s insane that this country gets electricity from the continent, from France.
“It’s crazy, when we have our own hydrocarbons, and we continue to take them from Putin’s Russia.”
Speaking to sister site Argus The National Dylan Morgan, of the anti-nuclear group PAWB, Pobl Atal Wylfa B/People Against Wylfa B, called the Prime Minister’s comments ‘bragging’ and said new nuclear plants would still incur significant costs and commercial businesses would s would expect an agreement. government price.
Mr Morgan said: ‘As usual, Boris Johnson is shooting from the hip. All his bluster about possible new nuclear reactors shows an astonishing level of economic and environmental illiteracy.’
He said any companies wishing to develop new reactors would expect “government handouts” and said consumers and taxpayers would always pay the final bill.
He added: “To label Wylfa and Trawsfynydd as possible new sites for this most dangerous, dirtiest, most radiotoxic, most dangerous to health and most expensive technology is an insult to the people of Wales. C This is the wrong way to go and Johnson may not be in office too long to realize his wild nuclear ambitions.”
Mr Johnson was also asked about TV chef and food campaigner Jamie Oliver, who today protested against moves to delay junk food advertising bans and supermarket pricing deals originally included in the Prime Minister’s obesity plan.
asked Mr. Johnson; “Is he protesting against me? When a reporter brought up Oliver’s ‘Eton Mess’ protest in Downing Street.
Said the leader was ‘protesting against your obesity policy’, the Prime Minister said: ‘OK, we understand the vital importance of tackling obesity. It’s costing the NHS huge sums of money. If people feel healthier, happier, their quality of life is much better if they lose weight, personally.
“There are a lot of things you need to focus on, including diet, eating less – and eating less is the most important thing.
“But there are some things right now that we think make very little difference to obesity, and they can affect people’s weekly spending, people’s budgets.
“And at this particular time, if people can save on their food bills with certain deals, then I think we just need to be flexible while still fighting obesity.”
During the interviews, Mr Johnson also mentioned the tax cut for most wage earners when National Insurance contributions change in July, after being increased in April, and asked about the increase in red tape for farmers due to Brexit, said they would see benefits if energy prices were reduced.
- This article was originally published on our partner site The National. Additional reporting: Luke O’Reilly, PA