The Welsh Labour Government announced their Programme for Government two weeks ago, and put it to the National Assembly for Wales last week.
The Welsh Conservatives have criticised this document – which outlines the priorities of Carwyn Jones’ Cabinet for the Fifth Assembly term and runs to just 15 pages, including the cover – as it does not inspire the necessary confidence or contain the detail required to improve the life chances of people and communities across Wales.
It is deeply worrying that the First Minister cannot make basic commitments on the issues that most affect our lives here in Wales. Many of the commitments outlined only go to demonstrate the various areas in which Labour, and their erstwhile coalition partners, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats, have let Wales down since devolution in 1999. Our education system, health service and economy trail behind the rest of the UK, yet we have the people, the enterprise and the ambition to be world leaders. We need to empower communities, businesses and the people of Wales to have more say and influence over how Wales works for you.
The commitments outlined by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, in her address to the Conservative Party Conference last week were in stark contrast to the vague promises of the First Minister, and truly will help to build a better, stronger, fairer Britain for all.
The Prime Minister committed to helping more people onto the housing ladder, making sure every child has access to a good school place, giving everyone the chance to go out and earn a living and to enjoy the dignity that comes with a job well done.
She also pledged to encourage businesses of all sizes, and to support free trade, whilst cracking down on tax-dodgers – ensuring that we do not accept one set of rules for some and another for everyone else. The Conservative Government will outline plans to see both consumers and workers represented on company boards, and to ensure that in our modern and flexible economy, people are properly protected at work.
The Prime Minister pledged to protect the NHS, and to rebalance our economy alongside genuine and deep social reform to overturn some of the longstanding injustices and barriers that stop working people from getting on in life.
It is clear: the UK Conservative Government is working for people, for workers, for businesses and for families. Given the choice between the firm commitments of our Conservative Prime Minister, and the vague promises of the Labour First Minister – my colours are firmly nailed to the mast!