New Welsh laws

The Welsh Government has set out its legislative programme, listing the new Welsh laws it will ask AMs to pass during the next 12 months.

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Plaid says Welsh Govt needs opposition support

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has responded to last night's announcement of the Welsh Government's legislative programme for the next twelve months. She's warned ministers that they must consult the opposition parties if they want to get their new laws passed in the Senedd.

In the past year ministers have been forced to make revisions, compromises and u-turns because they have tried to bring forward legislation without carrying out the necessary consultation with the other parties. Wales has a minority government and they must get broad support for their legislation, not just turn up and hope that it will be passed. Much greater detail is required on the Bills announced yesterday.

For example, will the NHS Finance Bill solve the issues raised by the Wales Audit Office Report today of operations being delayed so that health boards could break even, or will problems be stored up over several years leading to desperate problems at the end?Equally, many people have expressed concerns at the Sustainable Development Bill being weakened or watered down and an alliance of over 20 organisations has published a stronger alternative. Sustainable development must also include the Welsh language and sustainability for Welsh language communities.

A Plaid Cymru Government would legislate for best practice in procurement, helping to create up to 50,000 jobs by making sure that public money will be better spent. We would introduce Robbie’s Law to prevent medical records being changed retrospectively and support for whistleblowers who believe that vulnerable people are being abused, as happened at Bryn Estyn. Plaid Cymru would also legislate for more democracy and transparency in the Welsh NHS and for the pooling of health and social care budgets to make our health services more efficient.

– Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood AM

Welsh Govt "lazy and reckless" says Tory leader

The leader of the opposition, Andrew RT Davies has attacked the Welsh Government's legislative programme, claiming that what he called "lazy Labour" isn't delivering for the people of Wales. He also claimed that ministers are showing a reckless approach to law-making.

A number of these proposed Bills, including plans to end domestic violence, are very welcome but beg the question why lazy Labour Ministers have been so slow in bringing them forward. While we support the proposals to give local health boards greater flexibility in finance planning to help them cope with Labour’s record-breaking NHS cuts, fast-tracking the Bill limits the ability for AMs to properly scrutinise the plans.

Announcing the decision to fast-track the NHS Finance Bill on the day the Welsh Government is using an emergency procedure to rush through legislation on agricultural wages shows a reckless contempt for scrutiny and a slapdash and lazy approach to law-making.

Carwyn Jones’ government continues to coast its way through this Assembly term at a time when Wales needs an ambitious administration chomping at the bit to help Wales reach its potential. With delivery in education, the NHS and the economy getting worse by the day, Carwyn Jones’ plans for the next batch of Welsh laws will hardly inspire confidence.

– Leader of the Opposition Andrew RT Davies AM

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First Minister sets out legislative programme

Carwyn Jones has told AMs this evening about eight new Welsh laws his government will ask them to pass during the next 12 months. They include plans to ease NHS finances, to tackle domestic violence and to outlaw fly-grazing, when horses are left on land that does not belong to their owners.

The First Minister also gave a broad outline of when each bill will be introduced into the Senedd.

  • Public Service Workforce Bill -to be introduced by July next year
  • NHS Finance Bill -to be fast-tracked this autumn
  • Housing Bill -to be introduced in November
  • Fly-Grazing and Abandonment of Horses and Ponies Bill -to be introduced by December
  • Higher Education Bill -to be introduced in early 2014
  • Ending Violence against Women and Domestic Abuse Bill -to be introduced next June
  • Future Generations Bill (Formerly Sustainable Development Bill) -to be introduced by July next year
  • Planning Reform Bill -to be introduced by July next year

Emergency legislation on Welsh NHS finances

Emergency legislation to give health boards more financial flexibility will be fast-tracked through the Senedd this autumn. The announcement by the First Minister was made as he set out the Welsh Government's legislative programe this evening.

It comes on the day the Wales Audit Office warned of the severe pressure on health boards' budgets. The legislation will allow them to plan for three years rather than just one.

A three year, rather than an annual financial regime will mean ... prudent long-term decisions in the interests of both patients and the NHS as a whole. We have to ensure that Local Health Boards have the financial flexibility to deliver the best value services for the largest number of patients ... within the most appropriate timescale.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM
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