Assembly Members overwhelmingly voted in favour of Kirsty Williams’ ‘More Nurses’ bill in the National Assembly today.
In December 2013 Kirsty Williams AM was successful in the National Assembly’s ballot to introduce backbench legislation. Her proposal would see Wales become the first country in the UK with a legal duty on safe nurse staffing levels.
Speaking after the vote, Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:
“This significant vote brings safe staffing levels in all of our hospitals a step closer.
“I am pleased Assembly Members from all parties have supported my bill today.
“The premise of my More Nurses Bill is very simple: nurses who have fewer patients to care for, can spend more time with each patient. As a result, they can provide better, safer care.
“I’m fed up of hearing bad news stories about our NHS here in Wales. This Bill offers Wales to lead the way in the UK on this issue.”
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have set out a package of measures to help rural areas thrive.
The party’s ‘Countryside Charter’ will create thousands of new jobs and ensure people living in rural areas have access to the facilities they need to prosper.
The Charter includes measures to improve high speed internet provision in rural areas, keep local services open and secure the future of the farming industry.
The Countryside Charter includes plans to:
- Close the gap between urban and rural areas in high speed broadband and internet provision
- Give rural firms the transport infrastructure they need to grow and compete in global markets
- Secure the future of the farming industry
- Fight to secure the long-term future of Welsh Young Farmers’ Clubs
- Keep essential local services and facilities open
- Help rural businesses grow and expand by continuing to improve the planning system
- Help young people in rural areas develop their skills
- Support our fishing communities
Veronica German, Parliamentary candidate for Monmouth said:
“Rural areas play a large part in Britain’s economy with the rural economy worth £210bn. The Welsh Liberal Democrats want to unlock this potential so rural areas can thrive.
“In order to prosper, rural areas need good local services, appropriate infrastructure and more housing.
“It is vitally important that all parts of Wales, urban and rural, benefit from the economic recovery. For that to happen, Wales needs an economic plan which recognises the specific challenges and opportunities in rural areas.
“Only the Welsh Liberal Democrats will create a stronger economy and fairer society where everyone and every part of the UK can reach its full potential.”
Labour would borrow £70bn more than the Liberal Democrats in the next parliament as Ed Miliband again refused to give a specific date when he would balance the books during their manifesto launch.
Responding to Labour’s manifesto launch, Veronica German parliamentary candidate for Monmouth said: "By failing to set a clear timetable for when they plan to finish the job of balancing the books, Labour is playing Russian roulette with Britain’s economy.
"Despite being the party that doubled national debt and that saw unemployment rise by nearly half a million, it would seem that Labour still don’t get it.
"Whichever way they dress it up, their plans would mean borrowing £70bn more than is necessary and would drag austerity out for years to come."
On Labour’s plans for devolution, Veronica added:
"Labour’s manifesto has simply reiterated that the Liberal Democrats are the only party offering real fair funding for Wales. By committing to a minimum funding floor, Labour has merely signed up to a Coalition policy.
"The Liberal Democrat would go even further than a minimum funding floor. We would commission work to calculate how much Wales is underfunded by, and we would then top-up Wales’ budget. Only then will Wales have fair funding.
"We have repeatedly called on the Labour party to pledge to fully implement the recommendations put forward by the cross-party Silk Commission. They have failed to do that today. Again, Labour’s pick and mix approach to devolution would leave Wales behind."
Tory spending plans will not help the NHS but rather damage vital public services says Veronica German.
Veronica German, Parliamentary candidate for Monmouth said:
“The Tories still haven't said where they would find the money the NHS needs, unlike the Lib Dems. With their plans to cut and keeping cutting the budget throughout the next five years, they will have to take the money from other areas, damaging our precious public services.
“Unless and until the Conservatives show how they plan to pay for their promises, the Liberal Democrats will remain the only party to make a real, credible commitment to funding the NHS.
“The Liberal Democrats are the only party who has committed to giving the NHS the £8 billion it needs, which means millions of pounds extra for Wales' health service, and we have set out how we will pay for it."
No final construction contract for the planned M4 relief road has been awarded thanks to the Welsh Liberal Democrats, the party has said today.
Following the news that the ‘Early Contractor Involvement’ contract has been awarded to undertake statutory development and environmental work, the Welsh Lib Dems reiterated the agreement in their budget deal with the Welsh Government that no final design work would be carried out nor full contracts awarded before the end of this Assembly term.
Veronica German, Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for Monmouth, said:
“Welsh Liberal Democrats have said from the start that the proposed ‘Black Route’ is completely unnecessary. Our proposed alternative for a relief road is less expensive, less likely to damage vast swathes of our environment and academically recommended. The reduce costs would allow us to invest in public transport, reducing congestion by taking cars off the road.
“It’s for all these reasons that we ensured no final construction contracts would be awarded this side of the Assembly election, meaning the entire project can still be scrapped by the next Welsh Government. This latest announcement doesn’t change that.”
The influence of Liberal Democrats in Government is clear following today’s UK Government Budget, with numerous measures to help people in Wales get on in life.
The flagship Lib Dem policy of raising the Income Tax threshold has beenextended again this year, meaning 1.22 million low and middle income earners in Wales will have received a £900 tax cut compared to 2010, and 167,000 Welsh workers will no longer pay any Income Tax at all.
Also announced is:
- Reducing tolls on the Severn Bridge for vans and small buses to the same level as ordinary cars, when the bridges return to public ownership
- A new Help to Buy ISA, which gives individuals saving to buy a home a 25% bonus up to £3,000, which could help over 45,000 people in Wales buy their first home over the next 5 years
- The next step in the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon scheme, which could bring thousands of jobs to south Wales
The front of the Welsh Liberal Democrats' manifesto contains five priorities to build a stronger economy and a fairer society, creating opportunity for everyone in Wales.
Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has today announced that she has won her party’s commitment to overhaul the current unfair funding system for Wales.
Going into the General Election, the Liberal Democrats will pledge that Wales will have fairer funding for the next parliament, which could mean hundreds of millions of pounds of extra funding for Wales.
The Liberal Democrats recognise the findings of the Holtham Commission that the current Barnett formula underfunds Wales; therefore in government the party would commission work to update the Holtham Commission’s analysis. The party will then seek, over a parliament, to increase the Welsh block grant to an equitable level.
The Liberal Democrats will also immediately entrench a Barnett ‘floor’ so the underfunding gap could not increase.
These manifesto commitments will come in the Liberal Democrats’ ‘Pre-Manifesto’, to be published in September.
Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“I am delighted that we have secured this strong commitment to overhaul the current unfair funding system for Wales.
“This announcement means that, with the Liberal Democrats in government, Wales could receive hundreds of millions of pounds of extra funding over the next parliament.
“The Liberal Democrats not only recognise that Wales is underfunded, but we will commit to putting in place practical measures to address this. This is about Wales getting a fairer deal and we believe this is the best way forward for that to happen.
“Our communities and public services are being denied the money which we would receive if there was a fair funding system. For years both Labour and the Tories have defended the status quo and refused to acknowledge that Wales is getting a raw deal. Once again, the Liberal Democrats are showing that we are the only party in Westminster that will make a positive difference for the people of Wales.”