Election 2016 – The Manifestos: Labour

Together for Wales – English (pdf); Cymraeg (pdf)

 

Health & Social Services

  • Introduce a New Treatment Fund to pay for advanced treatments for cancer and other serious diseases.
  • Invest more money per head than England on health and social care.
  • Create a single inspectorate for health and social care.
  • Reduce waiting times by eliminating unnecessary hospital attendances and GP appointments by investing in community pharmacies to treat minor illnesses.
  • “Make it easier” to get GP appointments.
  • Consider a statutory duty for candour within the Welsh NHS to promote openness.
  • Invest in integrated health and social care centres.
  • Tackle stigma associated with mental illness and improve access to therapies.
  • Introduce a “Wellbeing Bond” to invest in the best groups and activities which address sedentary lifestyles.
  • Take action to eliminate zero hours contracts in the care sector.
  • Double the capital allowance people can keep when entering residential care to £50,000.
  • Military compensation payments will be disregarded from care cost calculations.
  • Increase training and awareness of autism.

Education & Young People
  • Invest £2billion in new school and college buildings.
  • An extra £100million to drive up school standards.
  • Legislate to grant communities access to school buildings all week round.
  • Establish a task force to look at improving school behaviour.
  • Pilot “lunch and fun” clubs at schools during summer holidays.
  • Create 100,000 all-age apprenticeships.
  • All-age support for employability skills.
  • Overhaul work experience and create a stronger youth work service.
  • Provide 30 hours of free childcare per week (48 weeks in total) for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds.
  • Will wait for the recommendations of the Diamond Review before changing tuition fee policies, but whatever it is, the package will be “better”that that offered to English students.
  • Will create a new higher education funding body.
  • Set a target of 95% of people getting digital skills necessary for the 21st century.
  • Supports lowering the voting age to 16.

Economic Development
  • A business accelerator support scheme to support investment, marketing, advertising and networking.
  • Support City Deals and work to make them a success; support Swansea Bay city deal bid.
  • Create a Welsh Development Bank.
  • Work with the UK Government to save the steel industry.
  • Will not reorganise business support.
  • Use regulatory powers on procurement to improve the prospects of Welsh businesses.
  • Will promote the Mersey-Dee Alliance.

Transport & Infrastructure
  • Ensure every property has access to fast, reliable broadband.
  • Demand 4G reception across 95% of Welsh customers by 2017.
  • Support roll out of electrification of the north and south Wales mainlines.
  • Support South Wales and North Wales metros.
  • Supports some sort of M4 Newport bypass and will “deliver improvements” to other trunk roads.
  • Establish a not-for-profit company to run the Wales & Borders rail franchise from 2018.
  • Press for the devolution of Air Passenger Duty.
  • Introduce “seamless ticketing” for public transport.
  • Call for the UK Government to either devolve or scrap Severn crossing tolls.
  • Will create a “more efficient” bus network once powers are devolved.

Finance & Tax
  • Will offer “a tax cut” to all small businesses, which will help up to 70,000 businesses.
  • Won’t increase income tax over the next Assembly term.

Environment, Energy & Rural Affairs
  • Stretch carbon emission and landfill targets to ensure the Welsh Government becomes carbon neutral by 2020.
  • Continue investment in flood defences.
  • Support renewable energy projects, including tidal schemes.
  • Review animal welfare legislation.
  • Supports a science-led approach to bovine TB.
  • Continue to deliver the existing Rural Development Plan.

Local Government & Public Services
  • “Introduce measures” to prevent unnecessary closures of public facilities (i.e. libraries) and assist community ownership.
  • Will press ahead with local government reorganisation to create “stronger, larger” local authorities, in addition to more powerful community councils.

 

Housing & Social Justice

  • Deliver an extra 20,000 affordable homes over the next term.
  • End “right-to-buy”.
  • Repeal sections of the UK Government’s Trade Unions Bill which cover devolved areas.
  • “Take further action” on the living wage and zero hour contracts.
  • “Take action” to improve the diversity of public boards and local government.
  • Improve the reach and capacity of credit unions.

Culture
  • Continue to support the expansion of Welsh-medium education.
  • Create a Music Endowment Fund to increase access to music education.
  • Explore the possibility of an all-Wales Commonwealth Games bid in 2026.
  • Aim for one million people to speak Welsh by 2050; establish as Language Usage Fund to help businesses invest in Welsh language services.
  • Press for fair funding for both English and Welsh language broadcasting in Wales; explore options for supporting online and print media.

Constitutional Reform
  • Opposes devolving Attendance Allowance.


Major Faults :
  • No costings – one of the first arguments they throw at other parties, yet they don’t do it themselves. *Shakes head*. This election was supposed to mark a growing up phase for devolution with tax and borrowing powers on the way. With the exception of the Lib Dems (and to a much lesser extent Plaid Cymru) the parties have been found wanting on the most basic issue facing them – paying for their policies. I’m not angry, just disappointed and for the establishment party to neglect it speaks volumes.
  • A 24-page manifesto, with 12 pages of that being pictures, graphics, Carwyn’s foreword and a pointless addition from Nia Griffith. Let that sink in : Labour’s plan for the next five years is under 3,000 words long. For a governing party this is incredibly vague. I was genuinely shocked at how thin it is.
  • The back-of-a-fag packet map for their proposed North Wales metro (which wasn’t officially part of the manifesto, admittedly) has already been derided.

Minor Faults :
  • There’s far too much focus on what they did in the previous term, not what they want to do in the next one.
  • Unnecessary hospital attendances and GP appointments – how will you determine what’s unnecessary or not?
  • I don’t get the “lunch and fun” proposal. Isn’t that just like summer play schemes?
  • Their Bovine TB proposals neither rule in or rule out a possible badger cull.
  • Take further action on zero hours contracts – what action?
  • Save the steel industry – how? What will you actually do?
  • Will “introduce measures” to prevent unnecessary closures of public facilities – whatmeasures?
  • “Make it easier” to get GP appointments – how?
  • Take further action to improve diversity in public boards – what action?
  • “Deliver improvements” to trunk roads – what improvements?
  • ….again there are so many half-addressed policies – several on every page – I’ll have to leave it there. Though for some inexplicable reason, Labour have more detailed policies outlined in subject specific manifestos, particularly education.