And they’re off: Labour launch campaign as Plaid Cymru accuse them of stealing ideas
Plaid Cymru have accused Labour of snatching their ideas as the Senedd election campaign kicks off, with a little over a month until polling day.
Welsh Labour today launched its campaign with a string of pledges on jobs, building a greener economy, improving wages for care workers and helping younger people.
But Plaid Cymru said that “Labour incapable of devising own policies let alone delivering them”. They pointed to a medical school in the north of Wales as a “longstanding Plaid Cymru policy” which Labour had “previously rejected”.
Welsh Labour launched with six key pledges including:
- A Covid Recovery catch-up programme for the NHS and schools, and a new medical school in North Wales.
- A Young Persons’ Guarantee, with an offer of work, education or training for all under-25s.
- The Real Living Wage for all social care staff.
- A greener future, with the abolition of single-use plastics and the creation of a National Forest for Wales.
- Safer communities, with the jobs of 500 police community support officers safeguarded and a further 100 employed.
- The creation of thousands of jobs in a low-carbon house building revolution.
Launching the Labour campaign, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Our first pledge will be to lead our recovery with the most comprehensive programme of catch up support ever seen for our public services.
“We’ll support our children and our young people with a major schools catch-up plan, employing over 1,800 additional tutoring staff so that none of them are left behind.
“We’ll launch an NHS Recovery Plan on day one and begin work delivering a new medical school in North Wales.”
But Referring to the medical school, Sian Gwenllian said that she “was told in 2016 that ‘it ain’t going to happen’ by the powers that be! Now it finds it way into the Labour manifesto”.
Plaid Cymru also pointed to the fact that they launched their own £10 p/w minimum wage for care workers policy in July 2020.
“Much like their hapless campaign launch, Labour’s twenty years in power has been marred by delays, failures and a policy of demanding patience whilst they manage problems rather than solve them,” Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Health Rhun ap Iorwerth said.
“Labour have had two decades to deliver fair wages for health and care staff and a plan for the future of the Welsh NHS. It is only now when they need the support of the Welsh people that they stumble into action.
“Labour are incapable of devising their own policies let alone delivering them. It’s been almost a year since Plaid Cymru affirmed our commitment to a minimum wage of £10 to care workers and have demanded a medical school for the north of Wales for the past six years.
“The choice facing the people of Wales in May is between another Labour health policy promise or Plaid with health policy delivered.”
The Welsh Conservatives said the pandemic had exposed “what 22 years of Labour Government has done to Wales”.
Leader Andrew RT Davies said: “Labour broke the majority of their 2016 election promises to the people of Wales and there’s no reason to believe this time will be any different.
“They’ve failed to deliver the M4 relief road, A55 upgrade, metro systems and better paid jobs for our people. In short, when Labour make a promise to the people of Wales they inevitably break it.
“Our communities can’t afford another five years of same old Labour. Only the Welsh Conservatives will deliver change and build a better Wales, with more jobs, better hospitals and first-class schools.”