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Welsh Labour recognises Wales’ coronavirus efforts in manifesto launch

The party pledges to invest in the NHS, jobs and green energy – while helping the nation recover from the pandemic.


Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford (Ben Birchall/PA)

Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford (Ben Birchall/PA)

Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford (Ben Birchall/PA)

The Welsh Government would train 12,000 staff to work in the NHS, if the Labour Party wins May’s Senedd elections.

Among the other pledges from Welsh Labour are a new medical school in North Wales and improved pay for social care staff.

The party said it will also retain the NHS bursary scheme, which offers grants to people training to be nurses or allied health professionals.

The manifesto we launch today is a document rooted in trust and infused with ambitionWelsh Labour leader and First Minister Mark Drakeford

Launching Welsh Labour’s Senedd election manifesto, leader Mark Drakeford said every pledge has been “fully tested and costed”.

“The manifesto we launch today is a document rooted in trust and infused with ambition,” Mr Drakeford, who is also the First Minister, said.

“These last 12 months have been a time of immense sorrow for so many.

“Lives have been lost and harm has been caused to so many livelihoods.

“But it has also been a time of immense strength and bravery.

“Together, we have faced our difficulties head on.”

Mr Drakeford said the manifesto contains six pledges for Wales:

– The recovery after Covid-19 will focus on schools and the NHS.

– A guarantee that every young person under the age of 25 will be offered a job or a place in education, training or help to start their own business.

– Care workers will be paid the real living wage.

– More single-use plastics will be abolished, and a National Forest for Wales will be created.

– A Welsh Labour government will pay for 100 extra police community support officers.

– 20,000 new low-carbon social homes for rent will be built.

During the manifesto launch in North Wales, Mr Drakeford said Welsh Labour would focus on people’s mental health and wellbeing as Wales emerges from the pandemic.

“We will build a new generation of 21st century surgeries, bringing together health and social care teams in the communities they serve,” he said.

“Making sure the pandemic doesn’t leave a legacy of mental ill health in its wake.

“And we will extend specialist support into schools; invest in easy-to-access support and we will combat stigma in the workplace.”

The launch comes after Mr Drakeford said Labour would not support holding a referendum on Welsh independence unless Plaid Cymru won a majority in the Senedd.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Drakeford said: “I’ve always believed that if a party won an election in Wales with a referendum on independence in its manifesto then it would’ve won the right to hold such a referendum.

“But if a party puts that proposition and doesn’t win a majority it couldn’t expect that that then would be implemented.”

The Welsh Conservatives accused the Labour Party of “breaking promises” contained in its 2016 Senedd manifesto.

The party’s candidate for Wrexham Jeremy Kent said: “Labour have been in power for 22 years and have consistently failed to improve our economy and public services.

“Labour remains the only party to have ever cut an NHS budget in the UK, and they failed to deliver on their major pledges of the 2016 Senedd election by breaking their promise to upgrade the A55 and on the M4 relief road.

“There is no reason to believe this time will be any different when it comes to Labour, and only the Welsh Conservatives can deliver change and build a better Wales with more jobs, better hospitals and first-class schools.”

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