Telegraph complains about Labour-Plaid deal that takes action on second homes
The Telegraph has complained about about the cooperation agreement between Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru that takes “radical action” on second homes.
In an editorial, the right-wing London-based news organisation suggested that the programme will “scare investment away from the Principality and damage its growth prospects”.
Wales is currently facing a housing crisis in which young people are being forced to move from the areas in which they grew up because they cannot afford to get on the property ladder.
The Telegraph also claimed that the people of Wales “did not vote” for what it branded as “the enactment of a socialist/nationalist agenda”.
This is despite Welsh Labour winning 30 seats at the Senedd election and Plaid Cymru 13, which means 43 out of 60 seats in the Senedd between them. This was based on the parties winning 60% of the constituency vote between them and 57% of the regional vote.
Its description of Wales as a “Principality” is also incorrect.
The Telegraph editorial said: “The deal extends free meals to all primary school pupils, expands free childcare and proposes changes to council tax and social care.
“It also pledges ‘immediate and radical action’ to tackle the number of second homes in Wales through the planning, property and taxation regimes.
“These include a cap on the number of second and holiday homes; measures to bring more homes into common ownership; a statutory licensing scheme for holiday lets; greater powers for local authorities to charge council tax premiums and increasing taxes on second homes.
‘Hard to imagine’
It added: “The agreement is essentially the enactment of a socialist/nationalist agenda for which the Welsh people did not vote. It would be hard to imagine a programme more designed to scare investment away from the Principality and damage its growth prospects.”
The agreement between the two parties was unveiled yesterday by First Minister Mark Drakeford and the Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price.
It has been approved by the executives of both parties and will be voted on by Plaid Cymru members on the weekend.
The joint policy programme covers a total of 46 areas.
The deal includes moves to establish rent controls, the exploration of a north-south railway, the teaching of Welsh history, the extension of free school meals to all primary school pupils, childcare for all two-year-olds, and the creation of a National Care Service.
It will also aim for the creation of a publicly-owned construction company and an energy company, changes to the Senedd’s size and electoral system, including a statutory guarantee of gender balance, as well measures to promote the Welsh language.
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