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Plaid leader promises drugs fund and an end to austerity -and Welsh income tax without a referendum first

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has called for the Welsh Government to get income tax powers without the need to hold a referendum first. She told her party's conference in Caernarfon that Plaid's agreement with the other parties that there should be a referendum was no longer valid because Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats had all failed to back in full the recommendations of the Silk Commission on further devolution.

Leanne Wood said she expected Plaid's MPs to have the influence in a hung parliament to secure many of the party's demands. She said that they would start by insisting on an end to economic austerity.

Austerity is ideologically-motivated. It’s a policy with the aim of dismantling the state and social protection. It is not rooted in fiscal responsibility or economic sense. The experiment has failed. Plaid Cymru will end it.

In building post-austerity Wales, our country must have the tools to deliver not just a new constitutional framework, but to build a new society based on the aspirations of people in Wales.

In building post-austerity Wales, closing the resources gap between Wales and Scotland is crucial. The Barnett Formula has entrenched Wales’ disadvantage, every single year since its introduction in 1978.

An additional £1.2 billion for our public services and greater resources to strengthen our country’s economic prospects and end Wales’ fiscal dependency for once and for all.

We’ll take 70,000 Welsh businesses out of the rates system altogether and we’ll reduce the burden on thousands more. Plaid Cymru is ambitious for Welsh business and we know that we won’t realise our ambition of full employment in Wales without successful Welsh enterprises creating jobs and paying good wages.

– Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood AM

The Plaid leader also called for a ring-fenced fund for new drugs and treatments, not ordinarily on the NHS. Requests from Welsh patients would be approved or rejected by a national panel, with no variations between health boards The requirement that patients demonstrate ‘exceptionality’ in order to be successful would be abolished.

Cosker makes it 20 years with Glamorgan extension

Dean Cosker has signed a contract extension with Glamorgan, which will keep him at the Welsh county until the end of 2016.

Dean Cosker makes 20 years a professional Credit: PA

Cosker will complete his twentieth year as a professional cricketer this season after making his first-class debut in 1996. He was part of the last Glamorgan side to lift the County Championship title in 1997 and won his Glamorgan cap in 2000.

"We've got some talented young spinners coming through the system so there is competition for places. I hope my role along with Robert Croft will be to try and nurture the next generation of spin bowlers at the Club and soon replicate the partnership I enjoyed with Robert in the early 2000s."

'First arrest' for police using new drug-driving law

North Wales Police have made their first arrest under new drug driving legislation that came into force this week.

Credit: PA

On Thursday 5th March at 8pm police were called to a damage only road traffic collision on Newry Beach in Holyhead.

Officers attended and tested the 19-year-old driver using the new drug-testing equipment. He was then arrested on suspicion of drug driving and taken to police custody for further tests. He has since been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

The new legislation came into force on Monday and sets legal limits for how much of a substance – both illegal drugs and prescription medications motorists can have in their system whilst driving.

A new device allows officers to test at the roadside using a swab from inside the driver’s mouth, to see if a motorist has taken cannabis or cocaine.

More: New drug-driving law comes into force

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