Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Conservative Senedd Member ‘astounded’ at over £1m spent on smacking ban act

24 Jan 2022 4 minutes Read
A screengrab from the Welsh Government’s smacking ban advert

A Conservative Senedd Member has said that she is “astounded” after it was revealed that over £1m was spent on a law that will ban smacking children in Wales.

Describing it as a “nanny-state intervention,” Janet Finch-Saunders MS said that she was in “shock” that the act had cost so much to develop.

The Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020 will come into force within three months’ time, on 21 March this year.

The Welsh Government said that the purpose of the legislation is to help protect children’s rights. Under the law, parents and other adults acting in a parental capacity will no longer be allowed to physically punish children in Wales.

Earlier this month the Welsh Government announced in a newsletter that they would be releasing a “big burst of advertising” to count down to the law coming into force.

It will include TV advertising, radio advertising, billboards and advertising on buses and cinema adverts.

But Janet Finch-Saunders said that, according to a Freedom of Information reply obtained by her office, the Welsh Government had already spent £1,650,098 on the development and introduction of the Act between May 2016 and the 4th January 2022.

“I am astounded that over one and half million pounds of taxpayers’ money has been ploughed into this nanny-state intervention that unreasonably criminalises good parents and intrudes excessively on family life,” she said.

“While we all continue to strive to create the safest possible environment for our children here in Wales, instead of introducing unnecessary additions to the statute book, this money could have gone towards supporting our already overstretched social services and education avenues.

“Having led the opposition to this Act during the last Senedd, you can be sure that I will continue to scrutinise its impact on society.”

‘Reasonable punishment’

The Welsh Government say that the new law will clarify what has been a ‘grey’ area for some time.

As the law stands in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, it’s illegal for a parent to smack their own child, except where the smacking is “reasonable punishment”.

But without a legal definition of “reasonable punishment” the decision about whether a smack is reasonable or common assault depends on the individual circumstances of each “punishment”.

Under current laws, factors that would be considered include the age of the child and the nature or force of the smack and that “reasonable punishment” would not include anything that left a child with swelling, bruises, cuts or grazes, reddening of the skin, abrasions or a black eye.

Scotland outlawed any type of physical punishment against the child in 2020, declaring: “There is NO legal justification for hitting your child. The defence of ‘reasonable punishment’ that exists in England, Northern Ireland and Wales no longer counts in Scotland.”

Under Scottish law physical punishment was defined as slapping and smacking with a hand or an implement, kicking, shaking or throwing, scratching, pinching, biting, pulling hair or boxing ears, forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions, burning, scalding or forced ingestion.

From 21 March 2022, the defence of ‘reasonable punishment’ will no longer be available in Wales; all types of physical punishment will be illegal.

Information, advice and support is available for anyone who needs it, to help them find positive ways to manage children’s behaviour and to help avoid such a situation ever happening.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
3 months ago

This is about child abuse by adults

You can criticise the amount we in Wales are. spending that’s no problem its our country and our money

But how can you justify spending our money on England’s Jubilee event.
If you think you can . We want to see all our. financial contributions refunded along with our financial contributions to HS 2

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
3 months ago

She is fine with ‘taxpayers money’ funding her expenses, they are staggeringly high by the way, still she does have a property empire to run. Further, she seems not to have uttered a word about the wasted billions the Tories in Westminster have staffed up the wall, as their idiot-in-chief would put it. Odious woman. Odious views. Aberconwy deserves better.

Mark
Mark
3 months ago

Ask any tory and they will tell you there’s nothing wrong with a sound thrashing, its character building, and it never did them any harm.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
3 months ago

What does this amount actually mean? Just running Westminster costs £600M a year before the costs of passing a law which can take 5 years or even more. Please don’t even consider the minimum of £12Bn the refurb is costing, thats 175 times as much as it cost to build the Senedd from scratch.
Sense of proportion bypass or just intellect deficit?

Last edited 3 months ago by Kerry Davies
Gareth
Gareth
3 months ago

I think the reason she is astounded, is the fact that it is not in the billions, that the Tory’s are spending on projects in England, as the Tory party in Wales are keen to point out, why are we not doing as the English are doing.

Grayham Jones
3 months ago

Kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

hdavies15
hdavies15
3 months ago

The answer is in her initials – JFS – just effin’ smacking !

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
3 months ago

That’s rich from the party that spent almost a million pounds of tax payer money spray painting a plane for Boris Johnson to show off with!

Last edited 3 months ago by Mr Williams

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.