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Wales having devolved powers has saved lives during Covid pandemic says First Minister

01 Mar 2021 2 minutes Read
Mark Drakeford the First Minister of Wales. Picture by the Welsh Government

The Welsh Government having powers to use “independently” has saved lives during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the First Minister.

Speaking at today’s press conference, Mark Drakeford said that “had no doubt at all that the powers we have here have saved lives”.

“It’s brought devolution home to people and has demonstrated to people in Wales that powers are being used on their behalf in ways that they continue to support,” he said.

“Here in Wales we have done our best to take the advice of SAGE and others – we have been the first mover on so many aspects of responding to the pandemic.

“We were the first government to guarantee that children would have access to free school meals during the holidays as well as term time. We were the first person to do it.

“We have been able to align the actions of the Wesh Government to what people want here in Wales and to make lives better for those people who would have found the last 12 months more difficult.”

He added that the last months had been very significant for devolution in that it had made it clear to people that they had a Senedd and Welsh Government that could act independently of Westminster.

‘Unprecedented’

A St. David’s Day poll today by the BBC and ICM showed that twice as many trust the Welsh Government than the UK Government in their handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, a poll has shown.

The St. David’s Day poll for the BBC/ICM shows that 70% trusted the Welsh Government’s handling while only 41% said the same about the Westminster government.

In a statement in response to the findings, the Welsh Government said that their “focus throughout the pandemic has been to keep Wales safe”.

“We’ve introduced an unprecedented series of made-in-Wales measures, working closely with the Welsh NHS, local government, businesses and others, as one Team Wales, to help save lives and livelihoods,” they said.

“We know the last year has been a huge challenge for so many. We thank the people of Wales for their sacrifices and efforts during periods of lockdown, which have been key in driving down infection rates, and helped save so many lives.”

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