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  1. Nick Powell

Wigley puts £1.2 billion demand at centre of Plaid's election campaign

Former Plaid Cymru leader Dafydd Wigley has urged voters to back the party's demand for Wales to have parity with Scotland. Lord Wigley, who's co-ordinating Plaid's Westminster Election campaign, claims that the Welsh Government would get an extra £1.2 billion a year from Westminster if Wales was funded on the same basis as Scotland.

We are sending from this Conference and from this election in Wales, a clear unmistakeable demand to Westminster that the people of Wales insist on parity with Scotland in the allocation of financial resources in the new Parliament. It is only Plaid Cymru’s programme in this election that puts such a message centre stage. So we appeal to the people of Wales - to every single voter in Wales - to consider just how their own personal and family self-interest requires us – compels us –to secure adequate resources for healthcare, education and all the other devolved services.

– Plaid Cymru Election Co-ordinator Lord Wigley

He said that the St David's day agreement on devolution announced by the Westminster coalition was "a bitterly disappointing statement". He contrasted it with the "brave words" of Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb last October, when the cabinet minister said he determined that Wales should not play second fiddle. Lord Wigley said that instead there had been a race to the bottom, with "every recalcitrant London-centric politician" wielding a veto..

The conference closed with speeches from Plaid Cymru's parliamentary leader, Elfyn Llwyd and from the woman that the party has picked to replace him in Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Liz Saville Roberts. Mr Llwyd admitted that there had been some talk by Plaid members that Westminster politics is too male, pale and stale. He said he wouldn't make a joke about his own appearance but predicted that his female successor would be part of a bigger group of MPs "making the case for Wales" in a hung parliament.


  1. Nick Powell

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party's conference in Caernarfon that Plaid's agreement with the other parties that there should be a referendum was no longer valid because Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats had all failed to back in full the recommendations of the Silk Commission on further devolution.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.

Labour attacks Plaid's 'Vote Green' call

Labour have responded to Plaid Cymru's 'Vote Green' call by accusing the party of arrogance and failing to stand up for Wales. The party's issued a statement from its candidate in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr criticising Lord Wigley's comments.

The latest Welsh poll shows that this election is a race between Labour and the Tories with just one in ten people in wales considering supporting Plaid.

Rather than arrogantly telling people in England who they should vote for, Plaid politicians would do well to focus - as Welsh Labour are - on standing up for Wales against the Tory-led UK government.

– Calum Higgins, Labour PPC

Green leader welcomes Plaid's Vote swap call

Wales Green Party Leader Pippa Bartolotti welcomes Plaid's vote swap call

The Green Party leader in Wales has welcomed Plaid Cymru's call for Welsh voters in England to consider voting Green. Plaid's Election co-ordinator Dafydd Wigley says the two parties share values and aims and would work together in parliament in parliament to try to force concessions from whichever party or parties form the UK Government. You can see Lord Wigley's comments by clicking here.

He's also said that he's not expecting Greens in Wales to return the favour and vote Plaid, although he'd like them to consider the option. The leader of the Wales Green Party, Pippa Bartolotti, says voters in Wales and England are looking for a change.

I’ve a great deal of time for Dafydd Wigley. He’s telling people to vote Green because he knows that Green policies and Green politics are essential for this country to pull away from austerity and turn the agenda towards protecting and helping the next generation who will be trapped in an impoverished world of dwindling resources.

Support for the Green Party in Wales is growing at an unprecedented rate. Voters in both England and Wales know that Punch and Judy politics must be consigned to the dustbin of history, and we must quickly move to a more inclusive, more thoughtful and more progressive kind of politics where the needs of everyone are properly considered. That means no more politics for the vested interests of the few.

– Pippa Bartolotti, Wales Green Party Leader

Vote Green if you're Welsh and live in England, urges Plaid Cymru peer

People from Wales living in England should think about voting for the Green Party in the General Election, according to the man in charge of Plaid Cymru's election campaign.

Lord Wigley says the two parties, along with the SNP share many of the same values and will work together after the election to win concessions from whichever party is in government.

He says he's not expecting Green supporters in Wales to vote Plaid (although he'd like them to consider it!) but he told our Political Editor Adrian Masters that it makes sense for Plaid-leaning voters living in England to lend their support to the Greens.


Plaid doubts Welsh Govt's call for parity with Scots

Despite Carwyn Jones' position that Wales should be offered all the extra powers being given to Scotland, Plaid Cymru's claiming that the Welsh Government isn't even actively seeking the power over fracking that Scotland already has.

The people of Wales should have the power to decide on licensing for fracking in their communities. Plaid Cymru wants Wales to have responsibility over fracking so that we can introduce a moratorium on a process that carries a host of unknown risks for the environment and public health. The Scottish Government has made this happen there, but unfortunately the Welsh Government has done absolutely nothing to stand up for Wales’ interests.

It is now clear that the Labour Government has not made any representations to the UK Government for these powers to be devolved which suggests that Labour sees no need to challenge Westminster’s policy of promoting and encouraging fracking in Wales.

– Llyr Gruffydd AM, Plaid Cymru
  1. Adrian Masters

TV debates risk sidelining Wales warns Plaid leader

Leanne Wood says Westminster leaders should debate in Wales

Plaid Cymru's leader is warning that TV election debate plans could mean that 'the people of Wales [are] sidelined.' Leanne Wood's comments follow the news that Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage have said they're prepared to debate each other without David Cameron.

Number Ten sources have suggested the Prime Minister would consider a 5-party debate but that would still exclude Plaid Cymru and the SNP. The Plaid leader Leanne Wood has written to the other parties saying that if they remain excluded, the Westminster party leaders should take part in a debate held in Wales. She said:

At the moment there is a danger that people in Wales will be sidelined by the television debates. If the debates take place without Plaid Cymru and the SNP, then it is clear that the discussions will be dominated by England only matters, and devolved issued will not be taken into consideration.

People in Wales have a right to scrutinise the parties that could have an impact on their lives after the election. With the prospect of a hung Parliament becoming ever more likely, it is very possible that Plaid Cymru will hold the balance of power.

The people of Wales should have the opportunity to hold Plaid Cymru to account.

For this reason it is important that the leaders come to Wales and hold a debate here in Wales. Welsh voters should be given the chance to properly scrutinise the parties that will represent them after the UK general election.

– Leanne Wood AM, Plaid Cymru leader

Proposed pay rise "inappropriate" say Plaid

Plaid Cymru AMs have decided to oppose the suggested £10,000 salary increase proposed by the pay review board.

The Plaid Cymru group of AMs believes that the recommendation made by the Remuneration Board for salaries post-2016 is inappropriate. We fully expect this view and wider public opinion to be taken into consideration as part of the Remuneration Board’s consultation.

– Plaid Cymru Spokesperson

Other parties are expected to take a similar stance. Under rules brought in to stop AMs deciding their own pay, they can only make representations in the same way as members of the public. The final decision rests with the board unless the Assembly votes to change the way AMs' pay is determined.

PM's comments mean underfunding will go on say Plaid

Plaid Cymru says Wales will continue to lose out after the Prime Minister told MPs that there is no reform 'on the horizon' for the Barnett Formula, which limits any change in the funding that the UK Treasury gives to the Welsh Government.

The Prime Minister's confirmation that the unfair Barnett Formula is here to stay proves that Westminster just isn't working for Wales. If Wales received the same money as Scotland per head, we would have £1.2bn more per year to radically improve our schools, hospitals, roads and railways.

– Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams
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