First Minister to commit to putting climate change at heart of government policymaking

Mark Drakeford will lay out the Government's key priorities over the next five-year Parliamentary term Credit: Welsh Government

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has set out the Welsh Government's priorities over the next five years, including a commitment to put tackling climate change at the centre of policymaking.

Unveiling the administration's Programme for Government, Mr Drakeford highlighted the government's main objectives over the next five-year Parliamentary term.

He said: "We will build a fairer, greener, stronger and ever more successful Wales that we all want for ourselves and for each other.

"But I am determined that as we move Wales forward, no one will be left behind and no one will be held back.

"People in Wales look after each other, and this programme is built on exactly that principle.

"These plans will help move Wales forward beyond the pandemic which has affected every part of our lives. They focus on the areas where we can make the greatest difference to people and communities."

Some of the Welsh Government's stated priorities include:

  • Prioritising investment in mental health

  • Paying care workers the real living wage

  • Delivering the Young Person’s Guarantee – giving everyone under 25 the offer of work, education, training, or self-employment

  • Introducing a Clean Air Act and banning more single-use plastics

The Programme for Government included a commitment to manage coal tip safety and legacy matters from coal tips

Other notable commitments include a pledge to create a new medical school in north Wales, pay care workers the real living wage, create 125,000 all-age apprenticeships and seek a 30% target for remote working in Wales.

On its climate change commitments the Welsh Government said it planned to create a national forest to extend from the south to the north and introduce a Clean Air Act that would follow World Health Organisation guidance.

There was also a pledge to introduce legislation to deal with the legacy of centuries of mining and ensure coal tip safety.

The Government said it aimed to "push towards a million Welsh speakers" and planned to establish a National Music Service.

Responding to the Government's announcement, leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies said he felt the programme did not "inspire confidence".

He said: "Last month, Labour secured a new mandate from the people of Wales through the power of incumbency and continuity, not the pull of their manifesto.

"Families, workers and businesses across the country will therefore be alarmed and concerned that this 17-page document is the sum total of Labour’s plan to get Wales on the road to recovery after the pandemic.

"We desperately need this Welsh Government to succeed if we are to recover from the most difficult year our country has experienced, but unfortunately this programme – combined with Labour's poor track record over the past 22 years – does not inspire confidence."

The Welsh Labour Government holds 30 seats in the Senedd after May's Parliamentary elections Credit: PA Images

Responding to the Program for Government, Plaid Cymru Deputy Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth MS said it was "thin on detail and absent of targets."

She said: "What Wales needs now is a government that will tackle unemployment and NHS waiting times; a government that will address child poverty and its root causes; a government that will solve the housing crisis with the urgency that it requires and a government that will deliver positive and transformational change for everyone who calls Wales their home.

"But there's nothing transformational or ambitious about Labour's program for Government.

"There’s no economic strategy to support and help small and medium Welsh businesses grow or any detail on how they will deliver high-skilled, well-paid jobs in all parts of Wales.

"There’s nothing here that comes close to tackling child poverty – nor any concrete commitment to extending free school meals.

"And there’s nothing here that addresses the ever-growing housing crisis that is pricing young people out of their communities.

"This program, thin in detail and absent of targets, almost certainly does not provide the new start that Wales so desperately needs and is not the plan needed to take Wales forward to recovery and beyond."

Welsh Labour won the 2021 Senedd election in May, falling one seat short of an overall majority.

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