23 November 2022 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Senedd Member Calls for Action on the Cambrian Line
  • Raab bullying inquiry: Sunak must sack him if allegations upheld
  • Debate on Nurses Pay – Liberal Democrats Back Calls for Higher Nurses Pay Offer
  • Conservative MPs break manifesto pledge by voting against business rates review

Senedd Member Calls for Action on the Cambrian Line

Concerns have been raised today in the Senedd over the rail service on the Cambrian Line which runs through Mid Wales.

Speaking in the Senedd, Welsh Liberal Democrat Member for Mid & West Wales Jane Dodds raised delays in the much anticipated hourly service between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury, stating that the delays were just another sign of Mid Wales being forgotten about by the Labour-Plaid Cymru partnership in Cardiff Bay.

An hourly service between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury was announced in 2014, but has faced repeated delays since, with the latest delaying the introduction from 2022 to 2024.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have stated that an hourly service stopping at all stations along the Cambrian Line is essential to encourage more passengers to use the railway instead of cars and for businesses given it will also play an important role in making connections from Shrewsbury easier.

The Party has called on the Welsh Government to prioritise the introduction of the service and tackle delays head-on.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

We really need the Labour-Plaid Cymru partnership in Cardiff Bay to prioritise this route, it is essential for businesses and the public in Mid Wales.

The fact it has been continuously delayed for almost a decade shows that once again Mid Wales is being forgotten about by Labour.

With Transport for Wales now fully nationalized and owned by the Welsh Government, there is no excuse.

If Labour wants to put a ban on all new roadbuilding the least they can do is ensure we have well-functioning public transport networks.

I am calling for the Welsh Government to prioritise the rollout of this service and put an end to repeated delays once and for all.

Raab bullying inquiry: Sunak must sack him if allegations upheld

The Liberal Democrats have called on Rishi Sunak to commit to sacking Dominic Raab, if the official investigation confirms the allegations of bullying made against him.

The party has also called on the Prime Minister to publish the report in full, within 24 hours of receiving it, with no redactions beyond those necessary to protect the privacy of individuals involved.

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Wendy Chamberlain MP said:

The Prime Minister must commit now to sacking Dominic Raab if complaints about his bullying are upheld. Anything less would make a mockery of his promise to bring back integrity.

It’s only been four weeks, and already Rishi Sunak has repeatedly turned a blind eye to allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Conservative ministers. This can’t be yet another case of one rule for Conservative MPs and another rule for everyone else.

Every day brings yet more sleaze and scandal, while families around the country pay the price for this endless Conservative chaos.

Debate on Nurses Pay – Liberal Democrats Back Calls for Higher Nurses Pay Offer

During a debate this evening in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats backed calls for a higher pay offer for nurses.

The Party also reiterated its calls for an extension to the safe Nurse Staffing Levels Act that was introduced by Kirsty Williams and the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said:

Because of the dire economic circumstances we find ourselves in – not least the Retail Price Index measure of inflation running at 11% – every single pay award offer the Welsh Government offer nurses below that level is a real terms pay cut.

That’s why the Welsh Government should do everything in its power to deliver on a real pay rise for our nurses – to address the recruitment and retention crisis in the Welsh NHS.

We also have to remember it’s not just about pay, nurses are also leaving the profession because of working conditions. For that reason, I think the extension of the Nurse Staffing Levels Act, originally introduced by the Liberal Democrat’s Kirsty Williams is essential.

Finally, as much as I welcome Plaid Cymru’s stance on this issue, I think it is important we don’t forget that Plaid Cymru has a co-operation agreement with the Welsh Labour Government and in that co-operation agreement they have not spoken about healthcare once, despite it being the number one issue facing Wales.

Conservative MPs break manifesto pledge by voting against business rates review

Conservative MPs have been slammed for voting against a review of business rates, breaking a pledge made in the Conservative 2019 manifesto.

An amendment to the Levelling Up Bill tabled by Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron would have required the Chancellor to carry out a review of business rates, and consider the impact of the current system on levelling up and regeneration.

However, 281 Conservative MPs voted against the amendment this evening. It comes despite the Conservative 2019 manifesto promising a “fundamental review” of the business rates system to cut the burden of tax.

The Liberal Democrats said it was “yet another broken Conservative promise,” coming on top of years of tax rises, the failure to build new hospitals or tackle the social care crisis.

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:

Conservative MPs have thrown yet another manifesto promise on the scrap heap, along with their pledges not to raise taxes and to build new hospitals.

Our town centres and high streets are facing a bleak few years ahead as Conservative tax rises and a record squeeze on living standards bite.

But instead of offering a fundamental reform of the outdated and unfair business rates system, the Chancellor has hit small businesses with a massive stealth tax.

It just shows that communities around the country are being completely taken for granted by the Conservatives, who have lost any right to call themselves the party of business.

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One Comment

  • George Thomas 25th Nov '22 - 10:58am

    “If Labour wants to put a ban on all new roadbuilding the least they can do is ensure we have well-functioning public transport networks.”

    Which would be so much easier if HS2 money would be devolved.

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