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Plaid Cymru

Mark Drakeford and Adam Price sign co-operation agreement

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The First Minister and Leader of Plaid Cymru have today signed the Co-operation Agreement, marking the start of a three-year partnership.

The agreement covers 46 policy areas, including the extension of free school meals to all primary school pupils and childcare provision; the creation of a national care service and immediate and radical action to address the second homes crisis.

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The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru will work together to jointly develop and oversee the delivery of policies in the Co-operation Agreement.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Over the next three years, the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru will work together to jointly develop and deliver the policies set out in this Co-operation Agreement.

“This is a bespoke agreement to deliver for Wales but it also captures how Welsh politics works – by finding common ground and sharing good ideas.

“I look forward to working in partnership on this ambitious programme.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford and Plaid Cymru leader Adam price sign the cooperation agreement

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said: “Today marks the beginning of a new way of doing politics.

“As Wales faces many challenges from Brexit, the climate emergency and the ongoing pandemic, co-operation has never played such a pivotal part in our democracy.

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“The wide-ranging, radical policies included in the Co-operation Agreement – from free school meals for all primary pupils to extending free childcare to all two-year-olds – will change the lives of thousands of families in Wales for the better.

“I’m proud to sign this agreement with the First Minister and look forward to working together to make a difference to the lives of the people of Wales.”

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Welsh Government plan council tax reform as part of Labour-Plaid agreement

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Welsh Government have announced plans for a consultation next year on a package of council tax reforms.

The move forms part of the Labour and Plaid Cymru co-operation agreement commitment, which the party’s say will make Council Tax fairer.

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Options being considered include revaluation, a review of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, and an evaluation of discounts, disregards, exemptions and premiums – with options for more fundamental reform in the longer term.

The Welsh Government say that reforms to council tax would be designed to ensure contributions from households are made as fairly as possible, while maintaining its role as a significant revenue stream which helps to fund essential public services including education, social care, and recycling.

Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said: “We want to modernise the council tax system and make it fairer. We want to make council tax more progressive in its design and delivery.

“This will be a significant piece of work and it will be important, through the consultation we launch next year, that we listen to people’s views and look at what can be practically achieved during this Senedd term – as well as leaving open the potential for further and more fundamental reforms in the longer term.

“I have been speaking with colleagues in local government, who are of course key partners in delivering what we set out to achieve. It’s important we co-design changes with them as well as work with partners in the Senedd and across Wales to find consensus on reform.

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“Changes won’t be brought in immediately and it will be important to focus work on the early building blocks needed for change, including revaluation. I want to achieve meaningful reform, with carefully considered ideas that everyone gets a chance to have a say on.”

This work will be carried out in collaboration with the Plaid Cymru Senedd Group, as part of the Co-operation Agreement between Labour-run Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

Siân Gwenllian, Plaid Cymru Lead Designated Member said: “Plaid Cymru will work closely with the Welsh Government and local government in Wales to reform what is an out of date, regressive and distortionary taxation. We have long argued that the current system disproportionately impacts poorer areas and change is long overdue.  We look forward to developing a fairer and more progressive system as we put our co-operation agreement with the Welsh Government into action.”

A consultation is planned with a view to introducing initial reforms during this Senedd term.

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Spectre of tourism tax raised by Labour-Plaid Cymru pact says Wales Tourism Alliance

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Labour and Plaid Cymru confirm Welsh Government co-operation agreement

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Welsh Labour’s First Minister Mark Drakeford and Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price have unveiled their long-trailed co-operation agreement

The agreement is a joint policy programme covering 46 areas, ranging from the delivery of free school meals to all primary school pupils; a commitment to take immediate and radical action to address the second homes crisis, to long-term reform of the Senedd.

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They say that this is a new form of political working arrangement. The two partners – the ruling Labour party’s Welsh Government and the Plaid Cymru Senedd Group – will work together to jointly develop and oversee the delivery of the policies covered by the agreement over the coming three years.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The Welsh Government has an ambitious Programme for Government, which it will deliver over this Senedd term. But we do not have a monopoly on good ideas and we will work with progressive parties where we have shared and common interests to benefit people in Wales.

“This Co-operation Agreement brings the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru together to respond to some of the most pressing issues facing Wales today, such as climate change and the energy and cost-of-living crisis.

“We can achieve more for people in Wales by working together and the Co-operation Agreement is both a response to the external challenges we face and a chance to build on the opportunities in our future. It will also help us secure a stable Senedd over the next three years, capable of delivering radical change and reform.

“These commitments build on our shared values of social solidarity, a sustainable planet and a vibrant democracy.” 

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Adam Price, Leader of Plaid Cymru said: “Almost a quarter of a century ago, people in Wales voted for self-government for Wales, with a promise of a new type of politics.

“They placed their trust in a new democracy with an instruction to work differently – inclusively and co-operatively. 

“The challenges we face require real ambition to deliver radical ideas. The fallout from leaving the European Union, the legacy of the pandemic, and the UK Government’s determination to erode the Senedd’s powers all increase the need for transformational change.

“Taken together, the bold policy pledges will unite Wales and benefit every generation, from all primary school pupils receiving free school meals to a national care service, free at the point of need.

“I am pleased this pioneering Co-operation Agreement is founded on common ground on a range of issues that will make a long-lasting difference to people’s lives.”

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As part of the agreement, a publicly-owned energy company for Wales could be created to encourage community-owned renewable energy generation; there will be further investment in flood defences and new measures to strengthen the Welsh language and support for young people’s mental health.

The groups are keen to stress that this is a bespoke agreement – it is not a coalition; Plaid Cymru Members will not be joining the Welsh Government as Ministers or Deputy Ministers. Plaid Cymru will appoint a designated lead member for the agreement and committees made up of Welsh Ministers and Plaid Cymru designated members will be established to reach agreement on issues covered by the Co-operation Agreement.

Funding has been put in place as part of the Co-operation Agreement and will be reflected in the draft Budget, when it is published in December.

Both parties reiterated that all issues outside the Co-operation Agreement will be handled in the normal course of political engagement.

Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, and the party’s sole Senedd member Jane Dodds MS responded to the deal saying: “Now more than ever it is important that parties are able to work together to confront the big issues affecting Wales. I look forward to seeing the detail but be assured that as leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats I will continue to demand better people across Wales and hold both Labour and Plaid Cymru to account.

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“On the surface, there are a number of issues which have been covered in the announcement that were part of our manifesto, including work to tackle Wales’ high child poverty levels through the expansion of free school meals and greater childcare provision. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will work constructively with the Government on issues such as the above and in improving our democracy and fighting for increased powers for Wales.

“But, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will remain an independent opposition party ready to hold Labour and Plaid Cymru to account, particularly in how they intend to reach their goals of net-zero by 2035.

“I will continue to fight to make the Welsh Liberal Democrat’s budget priorities heard. This includes our desire to see a Children’s and Young People’s Budget, a ringfenced budget for mental health, more action on the cost of living crisis and support for small businesses.

“I am also concerned the agreement does include measures to tackle long NHS and ambulance waiting times. It is absolutely vital that all parties and stakeholders work together to tackle the crisis in healthcare provision in Wales as we continue to recover from COVID-19.

“Unlike the Welsh Conservatives who take their instructions from Westminster, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will remain an independent opposition voice for Wales.

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“Against a backdrop of job insecurity, the rising cost of living, and coronavirus, people across Wales need to see practical solutions to their problems and that is what I and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to work towards.”

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