Plaid Cymru has called on the UK Government to make the £20 uplift in Universal Credit permanent at today's budget.

Urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to support the most disadvantaged, Plaid Cymru's treasury spokesperson Ben Lake also called for “fundamental flaws” in the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to be fixed.

He said: “Westminster’s grip over our economy has created the worst regional inequalities in the western world – concentrating wealth in the South East of England while Wales is impoverished."

The UK Government introduced a temporarly increase in Universal Credit during the first lockdown last year to support the hardest hit during the Covid pandemic. 

Mr Lake, the MP for Ceredigion, urged the chancellor to use his budget to support communities in Wales.

He also criticised the UK government for its decision to keep control of the the Shared Prosperity Fund that will replace EU grants for communities, in London rather than with devolved governments.

Mr Lake urged the chancellor to reverse this “disastrous decision”, and to “show that he trusts our communities” by granting Wales the borrowing powers needed to “invest in our future”.

“Today is the Chancellor’s opportunity to build trust in our economic recovery," he said. "That means fixing the fundamental flaws in the self-employed scheme. It means making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent. And crucially, it means empowering our communities, not further licensing Whitehall to take decisions on our behalf.

“He has a chance today to put ideology aside and show that he trusts our communities to recover from this crisis. I urge him to reverse the disastrous decision to centralise the Shared Prosperity and Levelling Up funds in Westminster and grant Wales the borrowing powers we need to invest in our future.”

The chancellor will deliver his budget in the House of Commons this afternoon.