Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: Osborne in Powys promises power and growth

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Media captionGeorge Osborne says Wales will benefit from a 're-balanced' economy

Chancellor George Osborne has promised a law giving more power to Wales within 100 days of a Tory election victory.

Campaigning in Powys, he also pledged "more security of funding" than had never happened under Labour.

Mr Osborne also insisted the Welsh economy was "fundamentally better than it was five years ago".

Labour said Tory promises on funding were "nothing but a con" while the Lib Dems claimed devolution had "moved faster" due to their role in office.

'Risk' warning

The chancellor's comments in Glasbury-on-Wye on Wednesday followed figures showing the economic growth rate halved in the three months to the end of March.

But Mr Osborne said Wales and the UK were doing better under the Conservatives.

"Fifty four thousand jobs have been created, we've committed to major infrastructure projects like the M4, like electrifying railways and the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon," the chancellor added.

"Why put all that at risk?"

On more powers for Wales, Mr Osborne said: "Within 100 days of coming back into office we will have Welsh legislation through parliament to give Wales more control over its own future and security of funding that's never happened under Labour governments in the past."

'No strings attached'

Labour's Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith rejected the Conservatives' promises on funding as "nothing but a con".

"They've made clear that for them fair funding comes with conditions and are trying to force a referendum on income tax that Wales doesn't want," he said.

"Funding settlements are either fair or not and it's despicable of the Tories to play games with such an important issue - Labour will deliver fair funding for Wales 'no strings attached'."

Liberal Democrat candidate Jenny Willott said: "Devolution to Wales has moved faster with the Lib Dems in government than in any time over the last ten years.

"We achieved this despite much Tory resistance.

"The Tories will only promise fair funding for Wales with strings attached," she added.

Image caption George Osborne began his visit feeding livestock in Glasbury-on-Wye with farmer Mark Eckley
Image caption The chancellor (centre) was on a campaign visit to mid Wales
Image caption Later, Mr Osborne had tea with Mr Eckley and his wife, Lisa

Elsewhere in the election campaign, Ed Miliband has promised a Labour UK government will raise tax credits at least in line with inflation every year, claiming the Conservatives are planning a £3.8bn "raid" on them.

He argued that "millions" of family budgets across Britain would be at risk following a Conservative victory.

Plaid Cymru has criticised Mr Miliband's refusal, during a campaign visit on Tuesday, to say whether Wales will be safe from cuts if he becomes prime minister.

The Labour leader said an extra £350m would come to Wales from new taxes in the first year of his party taking power, but the longer-term picture would depend on a spending review.

Plaid AM Elin Jones told BBC Wales: "We think is is time that Wales and Scotland are treated equally by the UK Treasury, and for that to happen there needs to be an additional £1.2bn into the Welsh public purse to fund our hospitals and our schools."

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