Welsh Liberal Democrat Manifesto puts recovery first

This afternoon, Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds launched the party’s Welsh Manifesto ahead of the Senedd elections on 6 May. Writing in the foreword to Put Recovery First, Jane said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on all of us, and we have much to do. We understand how you feel: frustration, exhaustion, loss, disappointment, anxiety, relief, hope.

Like you, we want to focus on the things that are most important to you and your family after a tough year. To do that, we first have to get Wales back on its feet…

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats will put recovery first.”

The 17,000 word, 70 page manifesto groups the commitments under nine themes:

  • A Caring Recovery
  • A Recovery in Education
  • A Recovery for our Economy
  • A Recovery for our Planet
  • A Recovery for our Communities
  • A Welsh Recovery
  • A Child Friendly Recovery
  • A Rights-based Recovery
  • A Democratic Recovery.

It is not possible to give comprehensive coverage in this article. The following are just some of the highlights.

A Caring Recovery

  • Step-change in approach to mental health, increasing the share of funding to 13% of all NHS spend by 2028.
  • NHS and social care recovery plans to ensure that people who have had care delayed are supported quickly.
  • Equalise pay and conditions across the NHS and social care and ensuring that all care workers are paid the Real Living Wage.
  • Pass a Clean Air Act in the first 100 days.

A Recovery in Education

  • Free school meals throughout the school holidays and investment to tackle hunger, isolation, and exclusion during the school holidays.
  • A right to lifelong learning ensuring that everyone can benefit from free, flexible and accessible courses.
  • End digital exclusion at all levels of education.

A Recovery for our Economy

  • A £500m fund to help high streets, town and city centres, and support small businesses.
  • Measures to boost incomes, create jobs – especially green jobs, and tackle poverty.
  • Remove the barriers that businesses in Wales now face to trading with European markets.
  • Freeze business rates during next Senedd and, in the long-term, replace business rates with a fairer system.
  • Introduce a Business Rate Investment Relief Fund.

A Recovery for our Planet

  • Invest £1bn a year to fight the climate emergency, create jobs and to invest in new technology.
  • A Green Homes Act to help cut average household energy bills by £500 per year and build more energy efficient homes.
  • Action to protect natural environment and biodiversity, including on flooding, reforestation, wildlife conservation, marine conservation and loss of public green space.
  • Declare a Nature and Biodiversity crisis.
  • Agree Nature and Marine Recovery Plans.
  • Legally binding nature recovery targets.
  • Make every town in Wales a Tree Town.

A Recovery for our Communities

  • Make sure public transport works for everyone; free transport for young people up to 25; invest in active travel.
  • End homelessness, including new legislation to ensure nobody goes without the help needed to escape homelessness.
  • At least 90% of homes and businesses in Wales to have full fibre broadband in five years.
  • Build 30,000 new social homes for rent.

A Welsh Recovery

  • A Welsh Language Education for All Act, normalising the Welsh language in education.
  • Support the growth of rural, Welsh-speaking communities.
  • Ensure public health and care services and services are available to all through the medium of Welsh.

A Child Friendly Recovery

  • Universal free part-time childcare from 9 months to school age, expand provision of before and after school care, and universal part-time holiday care for 5-13 year olds.
  • Immediate moratorium on private for-profit contracts in areas of the care system, including residential children’s care.
  • Legislation to define a statutory function for youth work overseen by a Minister for Children and Young People.

A Rights-based Recovery

  • Pursue devolution of criminal justice to Wales.
  • Commission to investigate what services can do to prevent violence against women and girls and to support victims of abuse.
  • Action against hate crime and race inequality.
  • Deprioritise pursuing convictions for drug possession and divert resources towards targeting trafficking.
  • Work with Police and Crime Commissioners to halt facial recognition surveillance by police until there is greater accountability and transparency.

A Democratic Recovery

  • A stronger Wales as part of a federal United Kingdom, with an immediate transfer of fiscal and other powers to Welsh Government.
  • Shape our approach through a programme of Citizens’ Assemblies.
  • Introduce a proportional voting system for Senedd elections and all local authority elections.
  • A new Planning Act for Wales to ensure a fairer more transparent system for residents and developers.
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This entry was posted in News and Wales.
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