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Opinion

What a UK Labour government would do for Wales

26 Jan 2024 5 minute read
Cardiff Central MP Jo Stevens

Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens

This year brings an opportunity for voters in Wales to make their voices heard.

Fourteen years of Conservative government has left people worse off. Families continue to struggle with the cost of living crisis, higher taxes and eye-watering energy bills. The Conservatives don’t have a plan for our future. They crashed the economy and now expect working people to pay the price.

So the choice at the next election couldn’t be clearer. More chaos and division with the Tories, or a stronger, fairer, greener Wales with a UK Labour government working in lockstep with our Welsh Labour Government.

That’s the message I am bringing to doorsteps across north Wales this week as I speak to residents alongside some of our fantastic Labour candidates.

Decline

But voters are right to ask us what we’ll offer. How will we reverse 14 years of decline, if voters put their trust in us once again? A mission-driven Labour government under Keir Starmer will take action on the day-to-day issues that matter most to voters.

Nothing is more fundamental than the health of our nation. Yet we are seeing health services under pressure across the UK. In Wales our Labour government continues to prioritise health spending in its latest budget despite a tough financial situation.

Despite a difficult winter, the overall waiting list is growing at a slower rate than in England and the longest waits for treatments are falling. We have more nurses and consultants working in Wales than at any time in the last ten years.

But we know there’s more to do. Labour is committed to modernising our NHS, and I saw that first-hand this week while passing through Bangor. The university’s new medical school will soon be training the NHS workforce of the future, with places funded every year by the Welsh Labour government. As the party who founded the NHS, Labour can always be trusted to protect it.

Economy

But we cannot pay for the health service we want without a strong UK economy. The Conservatives have presided over the largest reduction in living standards in Wales since the 1950s. Just over a year ago, their disastrous mini-budget deepened the cost of living crisis for hard-pressed families. This month alone, 7,000 homeowners in Wales will be hammered with higher mortgage bills, paying at least £250 extra on average.

Labour will break the vicious cycle of low growth, low wages and rising inequality. We will take responsibility for public finances with our tough fiscal rules, driving growth supported by good jobs and in partnership with business.

We’ve seen the need for a new approach only this week. The gutting news that almost 3,000 Tata jobs are at risk at Port Talbot threatens livelihoods, communities and our sovereign steel-making capability. It is yet another symptom of a UK Conservative government that has no plan for our economies and our communities.

We cannot have a repeat of the damaging deindustrialisation under Thatcher that we experienced where I grew up, when thousands of steelworkers lost their jobs at Shotton. If Labour was in government in Westminster, Port Talbot workers would have a brighter future. We have pledged long-term investment to ensure a sustainable transition to green steel comes with jobs in Wales. We need more Welsh steel not less.

Green energy

But Labour will go further. We will create the jobs of the future by unlocking Wales’ green energy potential. Whether it’s floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea, or tidal energy, we will prioritise investing in green energy to create new jobs and industries to be proud of in our communities, as well as delivering cheaper energy bills.

We must also take back our streets. Dedicated police officers across Wales are doing their very best, but with very limited resources and too many people tell me they aren’t getting the response that they need. 143,000 offences went uncharged in the last year alone, with fewer people being charged for day-to-day crimes like shoplifting and possession of weapons. Labour will restore neighbourhood policing and recruit 13,000 officers and PSCOs to bring back the bobby on the beat, rebuild community confidence and tackle crime.

None of this will be achieved overnight and it will not be easy. But under Keir Starmer’s leadership, voters in Wales know that the Labour Party is back in the service of working people right across the UK.

After more than a decade of feeling like things are heading in the wrong direction, the people of Wales deserve to have their priorities addressed. So when I speak to people out on doorsteps this week, from Llanfair PG through Bangor, across the coast and on to Wrexham, I will be telling them that Britain can get its future back with Labour.


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Gareth
Gareth
28 days ago

What we want is the same rights as the rest of Britain, the same powers enjoyed by Scotland and N Ireland, and the devolved powers that have been given to the mayors of cities in England, policing, airport duty, the crown estates, justice and probation, and for you lot to stop treating us like third class citizens, and show some respect to the long history of voting Labour in Cymru.

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
28 days ago

Er no devolution of criminal justice and policing. No devolution of broadcasting. No devolution of major energy projects. No devolution of the crown estates. No full devolution of powers over water. No devolution of Rail infrastructure (i could go on but it would get monotonous and too depressing). Frankly it’s more a case of what Labour isnt doing for Wales!

Jeff
Jeff
28 days ago

First you need to address the massive harm done over the Cons tenure of the coffers of the UK. This will impact your plans and I fear you risk one term if you get this wrong. That leaves the Cons back in to finish the fire sale of the UK to the highest bidder. Can you cancel the palantir contracts for example. I want to see a lot for Wales but we are still joined at the hip to the UK, the treasury will have a lot of strain on it. Make it fair. You will have to bake in… Read more »

Gary H
Gary H
27 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

What a missed opportunity Jo. This is just an iteration of Labour’s UK policy with Welsh examples pasted in. Remember Labour will still win according to the polls withiut Welsh MPs so let’s all vote Plaid for Welsh Socialism and give the Unionists the boot.

Jeff
Jeff
27 days ago
Reply to  Gary H

Any vote for the local MP I see as a must be done to remove the Tory implant (or retain Plaid, Labour), which means tactical voting in many area’s. That is the only way to remove the Cons absolutely. They will be gaming feelings to put people off. In my constituency Labour are the only game in town to remove the conservative buffoon so I vote Labour. I see protest votes against Labour where they can remove the tory incumbent as an act of self harm. But it’s your vote. I choose to try to remove the biggest threat to… Read more »

Steve Thomas
Steve Thomas
28 days ago

So what are you offering Cymru directly? You claim to be in lockstep with the Welsh government who want control over policing and justic(Scotland,North of Ireland, Manchester and London have it) yet you refuse to devolve it to us ! You will never have my vote-you are just a bunch of unionist tories😡

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
27 days ago

Continue to treat it like a colony.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
27 days ago

What will UK Labour do for Wales? I’ll give a simple answer. Absolutely nothing!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
27 days ago

Next time you nip through Bangor make it a Sunday and spend a couple of hours in YG…

Neilyn
Neilyn
27 days ago

Jo Stevens,

The ONLY thing of any worth you lot can possibly do for Wales and the Welsh is to remove the filthy exploitative claws of Westminster from around our country’s neck. Everything else is BS and doesn’t wash any more.

Annibendod
Annibendod
27 days ago

Every single vote for a Unionist party is a waste of time and a backwards step for Cymru. The problems Wales endures are deep rooted and structural. They will take years and significant investment to put right. Labour offer the equivalent of a dab of cream when what you really want is a hip replacement. Absolutely useless. Vote Plaid Cymru to give us a mandate for independence.

ci du
ci du
27 days ago

Why does Scotland get what Cymru doesn’t? What is different about the Scottish people?

Gareth
Gareth
27 days ago
Reply to  ci du

They put the frighteners on the English establishment, Tory and Labour, by voting for a pro independence party

G Williams
G Williams
27 days ago

What a frightfully inadequate and uninspiring programme (typically grey Starmerism). Nothing about the devolution of justice or broadcasting, Crown Estates rights, HS2 consequentials. etc. Wales will get nothing from the Red Tories.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
27 days ago

The heading says what a Labour government at Westminster would do for Wales.Nothing or at best the same as what we have at the moment.

Rob
Rob
27 days ago

Sweet FA

Maesglas
Maesglas
26 days ago

All the usual vague promises but no details. All UK Labour politicians do is spend most of their time vilifying the Tories (the easy bit) but never discuss how something will change if they win. Added to that Starmer flip flops on any topic that meets resistance with the media. It’s going to be more of the same as the Tories apart from some minor tinkering at the very time when the country needs radical changes.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
26 days ago

I suspect this mediocre rant from Stevens is more about self interest than the rights and well being of Welsh people. How Labour Monetarists (red tories) crawl out of the woodwork at election time and Stevens is no exception. Nothing to say for the rest of the time. Silence on crown estates, the £5billion robbery of Welsh investment linked to HS2, the unfairness to Wales of the Barnet formula etc etc.
A vote for Plaid is the only vote for Wales that counts

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
26 days ago

Independence

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
26 days ago

I have zero confidence in uk labour doing anything positive for Cymru! Mr keir Starmer authoritarian leadership is dragging labour further and further to the right, in some ways to the right of the tories. The only option in Cymru is to vote Plaid!

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