Together for Wales - Welsh Labour unveil ambitious pledges for Wales ahead of May’s Assembly election
Welsh Labour have launched an ambitious policy offer ahead of May’s Assembly election that will boost prosperity and opportunity in Gower.
The package will reward responsibility and extend Welsh Labour’s support for families, businesses and older people and build on the continuing improvements in Welsh schools.
Welsh Labour’s candidate for Gower, Rebecca Evans, said:
“Welsh Labour has a record of delivery in Government despite huge cuts to the Welsh budget by the Tories. These pledges build on Welsh Labour’s successes over the past five years and will have a positive impact across communities across Gower.
“Tax cuts for small business, free childcare, 100,000 new apprenticeships for all ages, and building on our best ever GCSE results with a school improvement fund will all support growth in our local economy and give people the opportunity to succeed. We believe that when you are sick you deserve the best care and if, when you are older you need residential care then you should be able to keep more of the money you’ve worked hard for.
“These are our ambitious pledges for Wales and Gower. A plan that only a Welsh Labour Government led by Carwyn Jones will deliver. “
Welsh Labour leader and First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones said:
“In 2011 I promised the people of Wales a decade of delivery. I said that despite the record cuts to our budget, we would fulfil the promises we made to steer the country through tough times. We are half way through that journey and on the promises we made in the last election, we did deliver. Today I set out six new promises. Welsh Labour’s pledges to the people of Wales.
“Building on our successful apprenticeship scheme we will fund 100,000 new apprentices of all ages. Recognising that small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and local communities, we will use our new powers on business rates to give effective tax-breaks for all small businesses in the country.
“Following on from the record GCSE results achieved last year, we want to go further and do better still, so we will create a £100m fund to improve school standards further, giving teachers and education professionals the resources they need to realise our children’s’ ambitions.
“The NHS is our proudest achievement in Wales and in recognition of the continuing advances in technology and medicine we will create a New Treatment Fund to support people with life-threatening conditions.
“A future Welsh Labour Government will also provide 30 free hours of childcare for working parents. Our offer – covering not just 38 weeks, but 48 weeks’ worth of care for 3 and 4 year olds – will be the most generous in the UK and provide an important helping hand for families right across Wales.
“We believe that people in old age who need extra help - those who have played fair and paid in – deserve a fairer deal. So we will double the capital limit they will be allowed to keep on the sale of their home should they need to go into care - an effective £26,000 tax-break for thousands of older people in Wales. Responsibility rewarded. That is the kind of Wales I believe in.
“A helping hand for parents, breathing space for small business, continuing improvement in schools, the latest treatments for the sick and fairness for the older generation.
“Together for Wales, we can achieve so much.”
Rebecca Evans, Welsh Labour's Assembly candidate in Gower, has welcomed an announcement from the Welsh Government that the number of nurse training places will increase by 10% in 2016-17 as part of an £85m investment package in the next generation of healthcare professionals. This comes hot on the heels of a 22% increase in nurse training places in 2015-16.
Rebecca Evans, who as a current regional AM has chaired the Assembly's Cross Party Group on Nursing and Midwifery, said: "Welsh Labour is committed to investing in our NHS in Wales - and this includes investing in our excellent NHS staff.
"This new investment means that we will have the highest level of nurse training places in Wales since devolution; and the number of people directly employed now stands at 84,000 - an increase of a third since the Assembly was established in 1999.
"Physiotherapy training places will also increase, as will places for both diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers.
"The package of funding will also be good news for existing NHS staff across the Swansea and Gower area as it will fund training opportunities for existing staff to build their skills and develop their careers. It will also ensure opportunities exist for individuals who, for a variety of reasons, have taken a break from their careers.
"Junior Doctors are striking in England and are at loggerheads with the UK Government. We don't see that kind of chaos here in Wales because we value, talk to, and listen to our NHS staff."
Further details of the £85m investment package include:
I read the article on Byron Davies MP's offer to meet steelworkers to discuss job losses with more than a little incredulity.
After all, it is the failure to act by his party in Westminster that is partly responsible for those losses.
The Conservative Party's refusal to deal with high energy costs, their lack of any tangible action on committing to British steel procurement and getting on with major infrastructure projects such as the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, and their ideological opposition to accessing EU funding to help workers losing their jobs, have all let down workers at Tata.
But whilst Byron Davies is offering to talk, the Labour Welsh Government in Wales is acting.
The Welsh Government has brought together Tata, the Trade Unions, Swansea University, and a range of organisations able to offer practical support to individuals and the business community following the devastating news.
It is putting in place tangible steps such as a 'one stop shop' for support and advice for the workforce, and the development of a single coordinated route for vacancies to be communicated. Consideration is being given to up-skilling those workers who will retain their jobs to support the sustainability of Tata in the longer term.
The Tata supply chain right across South Wales is being proactively contacted and offered support.
Local Health Boards have been involved to support the physical and mental health of affected workers in both the short and longer term.
On procurement, Welsh steel market capability and capacity is being explored, including how this aligns with known future project demand. Much here will depend on action from the UK Government, however.
I will continue to back all efforts by the Labour Welsh Government to support the long term sustainability of steel making in Wales, to champion the cause of Welsh steel, and to offer tangible, practical help to workers who face losing their jobs.
Rebecca Evans AM
Welsh Labour Assembly candidate for Gower
Rebecca Evans, Welsh Labour's Assembly candidate for Gower, has visited the Forget Me Not Dementia Day Club in Mumbles.
Forget Me Not Dementia Day Clubs were set up across Swansea in 2010 to help people with dementia and their carers. The clubs offer the chance to meet in a friendly social environment at a local base.
Rebecca Evans is a current regional Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales and has been a sponsor of both the Assembly's Cross Party Group on Dementia, and the Cross Party Group on Older People.
Rebecca Evans said: "It was a real pleasure to spend time with the Forget Me Not group. There was a warm welcome waiting for me, as well as a fun - and very competitive - game of indoor bowls.
"I take my hat off to the volunteers who run the clubs across Swansea. Their dedication and passion for ensuring that people with dementia and their carers have such a supportive and enjoyable club to be part of is wonderful."
Back in 2014, Rebecca Evans became one of Wales' first 'Dementia Friends' when she launched the Welsh Government funded Dementia Friends programme alongside Gavin and Stacey actress Ruth Jones. The programme is a trailblazing initiative that aims to improve people's understanding of dementia and its effects.
Welsh Labour's Gower candidate Rebecca Evans has written to Sainsbury's and Swansea Council after concerns were raised with her by local residents on learning that Sainbury's is pulling out of the planned new store in Gowerton.
The Sterry Road site was approved for a Sainsbury's store by Swansea Council in 2014, but news that the supermarket giant has now scrapped plans for a store has provoked concerns for the future of the site.
Rebecca Evans said:
"After concerns were raised with me by local residents, I have written to Sainsbury's and the local authority for an update on the future of the site.
"Even though it is fair to say that local opinion was divided on the desirability of the proposed new store, it is important that we have clarity on what the future plans are for the site. It is a location which, if used correctly, can create jobs and offer improved services for Gowerton residents."
Rebecca Evans, Welsh Labour's candidate for Gower, is supporting the National Voter
Registration Drive. The initiative, running throughout the first week of February, will
encourage young people to vote.
The drive is organised by the non-political 'Bite the Ballot' campaign in partnership
with a host of grassroots, charity, faith and not-for-profit collaborators. They are
coordinating a week of social action, calling on people to register to vote and have their
say in how Wales is run.
Last year’s drive was hugely successful with 441,696 people registering to vote. 90%
were online registrations. The campaign is a reaction to the startling statistic that
10million people are missing from the register.
Rebecca Evans is encouraging unregistered voters in Gower to check out Bite the Ballot
on Facebook or twitter; and most importantly to register to vote. This can be done by
Rebecca Evans said: “The National Registration Drive is a fantastic initiative which
achieved tremendous success last year.
“There are still thousands of people who are not registered to vote, and who risk not
being able to have their say in who represents them in the Assembly next year."