Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones and Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith are today launching Welsh Labour’s General Election Manifesto which will include details of £375m extra each year for Wales, in addition to a raft of new powers and a plan to make the economy work for everyone.
Commenting on Labour’s manifesto commitment, Nia Griffith, Labour’s candidate for Llanelli, said
“With a Labour UK Government we can be absolutely certain of an extra £375 million each year for Wales. Unlike Plaid Cymru whose handful of MPs would have to go cap in hand to beg from the larger parties in Westminster, we know that with a Labour Government, that the extra money will come to Wales. The Tories’ manifesto shows they have no intention of giving fair funding to Wales, and UKIP is actively planning to reduce the budget for Wales.”
The manifesto sets our Labour’s plan to reward hard work, share prosperity, and build a better Britain for working people where the next generation can do better than the last.
At its heart this manifesto is centered on fairness and the single idea: that Britain and Wales succeeds when working families succeed.
Labour will rebalance the economy, putting Britain and Wales on a strong economic footing, ensure higher living standards and tackle the cost-of-living crisis, while investing in the Welsh NHS and doubling early years childcare provision for working parents.
Every policy contained in Welsh Labour’s manifesto is fully funded with not one requiring any additional borrowing.
Wales will benefit from an extra £375m per year funding with a Labour government
Welsh Labour leader and First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“This manifesto is a fair plan for Wales – a plan to rebalance our economy so that it works for ordinary people, not just a privileged few at the top. A plan to rebalance power so that more decisions affecting Wales can be made here, near the people and communities they affect.
“With two Labour governments working together, we can put behind us the negativity of the past five years and forge a new, positive union for our people.
“In this election Wales faces a clear choice between Labour, which wants to give new impetus to our economy and give hope to our young people, and the Tories, who will never be a friend to Wales.”
Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith said:
“At the heart of Labour’s manifesto for Britain are economic policies that will be hugely beneficial to the people of Wales. Increasing the minimum wage, scrapping abusive zero-hours contracts, taking on the energy companies are just a few of the practical, fully costed plans that will make a difference to working people in Wales.
“And I think people will also be pleased to hear that unlike the Tories, who have cut £1.5bn from the Welsh budget, Labour will deliver fair funding and a guaranteed funding floor.
“With a pledge for fair funding an extra £375m for Wales each year. With over a billion pounds in extra funding over the next Parliament it’s clear that only Labour will deliver for Wales.”
A better future for Wales and Britain
Britain is a great country ready to build a better future. This manifesto sets out Labour’s plan for national renewal. Britain is at its best when we work together we see this in our workplaces, in our families, and our communities.
· Raise the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 an hour,
· Ban exploitative zero hours contracts and promoting the Living Wage.
· Continue to help young people into sustainable employment like we did with Jobs Growth Wales, keep tuition fees low, and continue to drive improvements in our education system.
· The UK will follow Wales’ lead and ensure firms with a major government contract will have to offer apprenticeships.
Building an economy that works for working people in Wales
The Conservatives claim that the economy is fixed and that our country is on the right track. But much of this has been based on low paid, exploitative work that does not help working families. We will forge a fresh partnership with the UK Government.
· Cut the deficit every year and balance the books as soon as possible in the next Parliament,
· Reverse the 50p tax cut so that the top one per cent pay a little more to help get the deficit down,
· Not increase the basic or 40% rate of income tax, national insurance or VAT,
· Cut and then freeze business rates and maintain the most competitive corporate tax rates in the G7,
· Create a million new high technology, green jobs by 2025,
· Increase the National Minimum Wage to more than £8 an hour before 2020,
· Ban exploitative zero-hours contracts,
· Support apprenticeships and build on the success of Jobs Growth Wales
· Maintain low tuition fees in Wales while reducing fees to £6000 in England,
· Freeze energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cuts bills by this winter.
Providing world class health, education and public services
The NHS is Labour’s proudest achievement. It embodies our belief that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone. A good education is essential to achieving personal fulfilment and economic prosperity and the Welsh Labour Government is driving up standards across our schools system and investing in 21st century schools. Protecting and investing in the Welsh NHS is central to ensuring our country works for working people. Labour will:
· Strengthen our early years intervention dealing with problems before they get out of hand.
· Expand the Flying Start programme to 36,000 places this Assembly term.
Helping our families and communities to thrive
A decent society grows out of the life of family and friends, out of the work we do, and the local places to which we belong. The next Labour Government, working in partnership with the Welsh Labour Government, will help to create a more secure and inclusive society by building and strengthening the institutions that help individuals, their families and communities to thrive.
· Double early years and childcare provision for working parents of three and four year old children.
· Double paternity leave from two to four weeks and increase paternity pay by more than £100 a week.
· Work with the UK Labour Government to increase the number of new homes built by 2020.
· Introduce a compulsory jobs guarantee, paid for by a bank bonus tax.
· Abolish the Bedroom Tax.
· Ensure that migrants will not be able to claim benefits until they have lived here for at least two years.
· Make it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.
· Protect neighbourhood policing by safeguarding over 10,000 frontline police officers from cuts and keep neighbourhood policing on the beat.
Standing up for Wales and Britain’s interests in Europe and the World
With Labour, Britain’s response to threats to our security will be based on enduring principles. We will protect our national interests and strengthen our long-standing international alliances, in particular our membership of NATO and the European Union.
· Conduct a Strategic Defence and Security Review in the first year of government.
· Return Britain to a leadership role in Europe but reform the EU so that it works for Britain.
· Guarantee no powers will be transferred to Brussels without an in / out referendum.
· Appoint an International LGBT Rights.
· Appoint a Global Envoy for Religious Freedom.
· Outlaw discrimination and abuse of members of the Armed Forces.
· Push for global targets to tackle inequality and promote human rights.
· Establish a Centre for Universal Health Coverage.
· Push for an ambitious target in Paris to get to goal of net zero global emissions in the second half of this century.
Time for change
Wales cannot afford another five years of extreme Conservative cuts and the threat they would pose to vital public services like our NHS.
Wales needs a Labour Government in Westminster to help the Welsh Government deliver better jobs, investment in our schools, and the Welsh NHS.
People want an economy that works for them and their families. They want their children to have a better future. They want to have control over their lives and not be bossed around. They want a level playing field so that they have a fair chance to get on. They want change that matters.
The next UK Labour government will lead that change.
We know that Wales and Britain only succeed when working people succeed.
Together we will build a country of which we will all be proud.
Welsh Labour Pledges
A STRONG ECONOMIC FOUNDATION
We will balance the books and cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS. None of our manifesto commitments require additional borrowing.
HIGHER LIVING STANDARDS FOR WORKING FAMILIES
We will freeze energy bills until 2017 and give the regulator the power to cut bills this winter, as well as protecting the triple lock on pensions and the free bus pass. We will ban exploitative zero-hours contracts and raise the minimum wage to £8.
AN NHS WITH THE TIME TO CARE
We will train an extra 1,000 doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to target areas of greatest pressure, funded by a Mansion Tax on properties worth over £2 million.
CONTROLS ON IMMIGRATION
People who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years, and we will introduce fair rules making it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.
A COUNTRY WHERE THE NEXT GENERATION CAN DO BETTER THAN THE LAST
We will double early years and childcare provision for working parents of three and four year old children. We will support apprenticeships, and build on the success of Jobs Growth Wales. We will maintain free school breakfasts for all pupils in primary schools.