Plaid Cymru have dismissed the joint meeting of the Shadow Cabinet and Welsh Government cabinet as an attempt to dupe Wales at a time when youth unemployment remains high. Labour leader Ed Miliband has been praising the Welsh Government's Jobs Growth Wales scheme.
Wales doesn’t need an awkward, one-off blind date with a shadow cabinet that has very little understanding of the needs of our economy and communities. Wales will not be duped either by their ‘sweet-nothing’ statements on jobs when youth unemployment here is well above the UK average and in some areas in the valleys it soars to above 40%.
What Wales needs is a long term, meaningful commitment. Plaid Cymru wants to bring about investment in the Welsh economy; ensure fair funding for our communities and get a better deal for future generations. It’s about providing a strong voice for Wales in Westminster rather than being simply Westminster’s voice in Wales.
Ed Miliband has highlighted the Welsh government's Jobs Growth Wales programme during his visit to Nantgarw near Caerphilly. After a joint meeting of the Shadow cabinet and the Welsh cabinet, the Labour leader will address staff at the GE Aviation aircraft engine plant.
The scheme shows a Labour government delivering for young people right across Wales by helping them onto long-term careers so they can play their part in society. A future Labour Government in Westminster will ensure that those who don’t have the skills they need will be in training not on benefits, and will guarantee paid starter jobs for young people who have been out of work for a year. Jobs Growth Wales is an excellent example of how we can ensure young people are at work and in training.
Members of the Labour Shadow cabinet at Westminster and ministers in the Welsh Government cabinet are gathering at the GE Aviation aircraft engine plant at Nantgarw near Caerphilly. It's their first joint meeting and is part of Labour's preparation for next year's UK General Election.
I am delighted that the Shadow Cabinet is holding a meeting at the site of one of the most important employers in the area. This really shows that Labour is well and truly in touch with the issues confronting people in this part of south Wales. I am sure that the visit will be an important staging post for the next election.
– Wayne David, MP for Caerphilly and Parliamentary Aide to Labour Leader Ed Miliband
Labour leader Ed Miliband is bringing his entire shadow cabinet to Wales later this morning for a joint meeting with Carwyn Jones and his ministers. Wales' role in next year's Westminster election seems likely to figure large in their discussions.
Labour is anxious to stress its achievements in the one part of the United Kingdom where the party is currently in government but also needs a strategy for fending off Conservative and Liberal Democrat attacks on its record in Wales, especially in health and education.
We have plenty to talk about. The next future Labour Government in Westminster will be grappling with the unbridled chaos that has been unleashed in the NHS in England and the fragmentation of the schools system. First and foremost however, Ed Miliband will need to deal with the cost of living crisis that continues to blight the lives of millions, despite the slow and slight improvement in the UK economy.
Welcoming Ed, and his team to Wales, I look forward to discussing and showcasing some of our policies that have protected our communities from the worst excesses of the Coalition Government. We are delighted, for example, that Rachel Reeves is looking to develop a new offer for young people based on Jobs Growth Wales. Other decisions we have taken in Wales, like the Council Tax Relief scheme and our equitable Tuition Fees policy have shown that even in tough times there are alternatives to the UK Government's austerity measures.
That isn't easy, however, when our budgets have been cut so severely by the Tory-led Government in Westminster. A real terms cut over the lifetime of this Assembly means that we have £1.7 billion less to spend on frontline services. This is on top of the £300 million a year that Wales is losing through the UK's unfair funding system.
– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM
The way Wales is funded is one area where Carwyn Jones wants a commitment that a future Labour government at Westminster would offer a better deal. The last Labour Government didn't accept calls to end the system that limits Wales' share of any increase in public spending to its population share.
The latest email from Ed Miliband begins 'Andrew, I am so inspired by this party' - presumably his party, not the one Mr Davies leads in Wales. Mr Miliband goes on to talk about Labour's Future Candidates Programme and issues this invitation:
If you’re at all interested in becoming a Labour candidate, I'd urge you to apply now.Applications for the next group of trainees close on Monday morning.
Obviously the email is a circular aimed at Labour members but the Welsh Tory chief is baffled as to how he was included on the mailing list. Perhaps the fact he shares a name with a former Labour minister explains it. Either way, he's not planning to take up Ed Miliband's offer.
We always knew Labour was short on ideas, but it looks like they’re short on candidates too. I am flattered by the offer, but I have enough on my plate holding Ed Miliband’s lazy Labour Government to account.