The policies below seek to address some of the key problems facing Wales; also, incorporating measures, which can help post-pandemic recovery and provide support following Covid-19. Offering a Classical Liberal emphasis, our policies look to offer a fairer system for all citizens whilst offering opportunity and greater freedoms:
Devolution of State Based Benefits
Wales before the pandemic had one of the highest poverty rates in the UK up to 1 in 5 people living in poverty. The introduction of Universal Credit by the Conservative Government in 2013 was a disaster and made matters worse.
The Welsh Liberal Party wants to devolve State Benefits to Wales. The Senedd Cymru can provide a more efficient benefits system, giving greater security for those in Wales who rely on State benefits
Welsh language taught equally to English language in schools
The Welsh Liberal Party supports the development of the Welsh language and calls for all Primary and Secondary schools to teach Welsh the use of Welsh in customer service roles promoting the language, thus allowing, Welsh usage as the everyday language in all settings.
Biogas facility to create renewable energy for public transport and fertilisers for agriculture
The Welsh Liberal Party is thoroughly committed to investing into green energies as the climate emergency continues to develop. The building of a new Biogas facility will provide the necessary investment to make a real change and help Wales become a leader in green energy with the project costing £200 million. The biogas facility will use waste agricultural products and household food waste to produce energy. The concept has proven itself with a facility in Linkoping in Sweden able to produce 120 GWh of energy a year. This is enough energy to power all the taxis and buses within the city of Linkoping, with there being a potential to provide power to other processes. The plant will bring jobs and opportunities into Wales, which in turn will provide a boost to the economy.
Pledge additional fund to the NHS across five years to ease the problems of covid-19
Pre-covid-19, the NHS was under stress, through a lack of funding, made worse by the pandemic. The Welsh Liberal Party wants to provide extra funding to help the NHS recover from the pressures of covid-19. We need an additional £40 million a year to cover the cost of under-funding from the Westminster Government. This extra money will enable the Welsh NHS to look at investing into new infrastructure, addressing staff shortages and improving the quality of care to patients.
Extending the Rights to Free School Meals
Almost a third of children in Wales live in poverty, this is a disgrace the Welsh Liberal Party will increase the number of people eligible for free school meals to reduce the burden on families. All families in receipt of Universal Credit should be eligible for Free School Meals.
Devolution of Railway Network to the Senedd
A recent research project carried out by Cardiff University found that Wales between 2011 and 2020 has lost as much as £514 million in additional rail funding, if devolution of Wales’s rail networks occurred. A devolved rail network would allow the Welsh Senedd to invest in a targeted manner helping to improve the transport links from the North of the country to the South.
Investment into Transport Networks to create a more co-ordinated travel network in the South East of Wales
The Welsh Liberal Party wants to invest into the transport system in South East Wales as recommended by the Burns Commission. Following the report’s recommendations, integration of the bus and rail services between Cardiff and Swansea would see an improvement in efficiency, making it easier for people to travel to and from work within South East Wales. This in turn would reduce congestion on the M4, especially with investment into new stations, which would allow those in between the two cities to find it easier to travel by train. An investment into greater transport links would lead to greater efficiency of travel helping to boost the economy, whilst the building of new stations would help generate jobs in the South East of Wales
Re-development of the Wylfa Power Plant
The UK Liberal Party and the Welsh Liberal Party support the re-opening and re-development of the Wylfa power plant focusing on nuclear fusion rather than nuclear fission. The re-development of the Wylfa plant would cost between £15 -20 billion however, the investment would bring much-needed jobs and if the plant saw redevelopment the same as Trawsfynydd, the Wylfa could provide medical radioisotopes, with these either seeing use in the UK, or as a product to sell to other countries. With the re-development of Wylfa, North Wales would become a leader in nuclear power and greener energy.
Bring Zero Hour Contract laws into line with those of New Zealand to address the imbalance on workers
According to recent data, 974,000 people in the UK are on Zero hour contracts with the employer holding the balance of power within the current legal framework. To avoid the negative impacts, the lack of knowledge over hours and the last minute calls for work, we will propose changing the laws on Zero hour contracts. Under our plans, an employer must provide any of the following:
- guaranteed hours of work
- days of the week performing work
- start and finish times
There has to be flexibility in this to help protect business owners whereby the number of hours of work is unknown. Inserting availability clauses into a contract to ask employees to work over the hours requested would provide this flexibility.
Building of 14,000 new homes a year to match the current demand for housing
Currently, Wales has a yearly housing deficit of 13,000 houses; The Welsh Liberal Party seeks to address this by building 14,000 houses a year. We will look to re-develop Brownfield sites and create affordable housing.