Plaid Cymru has today announced a budget deal that will secure benefits for everyone in Wales. The deal, announced by local Assembly Member and the party's Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy Adam Price, invests in communities, sectors and people.
Adam Price said that this deal showed Plaid Cymru's commitment to delivering on its manifesto pledges and improving the lives of the people of Wales wherever it can. He said that seventeen months after the election, more than 50% of Plaid Cymru's major spending commitments had now been secured in full or in part - a record for any opposition party.
As a result of Plaid Cymru's negotiating, Carmarthenshire and west Wales once again take their rightful place in benefiting from the agreement. It includes:
- Upgrading the TrawsCymru services from bus to coach;
- A Young Farmers Entrants Scheme
- Scrapping of the tolls on the Cleddau Bridge;
- A commitment to explore a new Metro for the Western Valleys and Swansea Bay, looking at utilising the existing Amman Valley Railway;
- Additional money for the National Museum which has the Woollen Museum in Drefach Felindre;
- An integrated care centre in Cardigan; and
- Funding for a new regional cooperation between local authorities across the west of Wales who have shared challenges and opportunities in the rural economy.
The agreement is on top of the deal Adam Price and Plaid Cymru secured last year which achieved funding for the Llandeilo bypass, museums and additional support for local businesses.
The budget deal, announced today, includes:
- 80 new district nurses, £40m for improving mental health services, new investment in medical education in north Wales, an integrated care centre in Cardigan and the re-establishment of perinatal mental health support services.
- Investment to boost the economy across Wales including a Brexit Preparedness Fund for businesses, a young farmers entrants scheme, additional money for tourism and a major £30 million investment in a power station for our steel industry.
- An additional £40m for our universities and colleges, extra money for the National Library, the National Museum and the Welsh Books Council, and £2m to help promote music in our schools.
- Investing in important capital investment projects across Wales to connect our country including upgrades to the A470 and A487, investment in the development of a third Menai crossing, upgrading the Traws Cymru Service from bus to coach, the removal of the Cleddau Bridge tolls and new commitments by the Welsh Government to explore extending the South Wales Metro to the Rhondda Fach and creating a new Metro for Swansea Bay and the Western Valleys.
- A new push to make Wales the greenest of all nations – with 100% rate relief for community hydro schemes, new investment in electric vehicle charging points, a new energy atlas of Wales and a pilot glass and can deposit scheme.
- £15m extra investment for the Welsh language, including £10m for the Welsh for adults and Welsh promotion, £2m for Mudiad Ysgolion Meitrin, £1m for Welsh medium learning materials and £2m to establish the Arfor economic region.
Speaking about the agreement, Carmarthenshire AM Adam Price said:
"Plaid Cymru's budget deal will deliver tangible benefits for people's lives – from bread and butter services including the NHS and the roads we drive on, to exciting new innovative models of care and regional economy. Plaid Cymru's budget agreement will mean investment in the things that matter to people.
"Our budget deal will mean investment in Mental Health services, universities, culture and the Welsh language, tourism and agriculture, and regions of Wales like north and west Wales through roads, medical training, and lifting the tolls on the Cleddau Bridge.
"We are frustrated that the government rejected our calls for action on crucial issues such as the pay cap and tuition fees. The Labour government will have to answer to the people of Wales as to why it is refusing to implement its own manifesto promises on these matters. But where we can, Plaid Cymru has secured the best deal for the people of Wales.
"This deal shows that wherever Plaid Cymru can it will secure gains for the people of Wales and deliver on its manifesto commitments. Just seventeen months since the election, Plaid Cymru has secured £0.5 billion for its manifesto commitments.
"Since May last year over 50% of our manifesto's major spending commitments have now been secured in full or in part – a record for any Opposition party. Plaid Cymru will continue to force the government to act in the best interests of the people of Wales. If this is what we can achieve in opposition, just think what we could achieve in government."