First Minister's News Conference

First Minister Carwyn Jones has held his monthly news conference. He concentrated on defending the Welsh Government's running of the health service.

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"I'm standing up for the NHS" says Carwyn Jones

The First Minister holding his news conference Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales Nick Powell

The First Minister has defended the Welsh Government's record on the NHS, claiming it's wrong to suggest the health service is better in England. He said targets will be reviewed and patients given a new web service. will give detailed information about how the local NHS is performing in each part of Wales and will be used to drive up standards.

Carwyn Jones said spending on cancer treatment is already £11.92 higher per head of population higher in Wales than in England and he challenged the UK government to match it.

He also said nearly six out of ten requests for cancer patients to receive drugs not yet approved for routine use were granted in Wales but 70% of applications to the cancer drugs fund in England are rejected.

But the First Minister wouldn't commit to protecting the health budget from future cuts. He said the Tories were calling for an extra £800 million without saying where the money is going come from.

He argued that health is such a big part of the Welsh budget that even a small increase for the NHS meant a big cut elsewhere.

The only solution was a better funding settlement for Wales and the Prime Minister was badly advised if he thought that was just an issue for people in Cardiff Bay. The people of Wales wanted tax and borrowing powers devolved.

Carwyn Jones called on the Welsh Secretary, David Jones, to apologise for delays in devolving the minor taxes recommended by the Silk Commission. He accused the Secretary of State of giving the construction industry in England a veto on whether the Welsh Government controlled stamp duty.

He said that was was half of Wales' potential tax revenue and the ability to borrow money to pay for an M4 relief road around Newport depended on it.

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