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15 years of Labour failing Wales

Andrew RT Davies AM

Wales has been run by a Labour Government for 15 years today.

Since May 1999:

GVA has fallen from 79% of the UK average to 72.3%. Labour abandoned a target to raise it to 90%.

NHS bed numbers have been cut by over a fifth from 14,723 in 1999/2000 to 11,495 in 2012/13.

Wales has fallen down the PISA rankings, falling 14 places in Science, 10 places in maths and 12 places in reading between 2006 and 2012, now ranking alongside Israel, Croatia and Lithuania.

£4billion of EU structural funds have been spent, but West Wales and the Valleys are still poor enough to qualify for more EU handouts.

Average Band D council tax has risen by 112% from £602 to £1,276.

250% more patients stuck on an NHS waiting list, rising from 167,892 in May 1999 to 418,442 in March 2014.

Two botched NHS reorganisations, the second undoing the changes of the first, have cost millions and distracted attention from improving patient care.

Deepest cuts to any UK health service imposed, 8.3% according to the King’s Fund.

Passenger numbers at Labour’s state-owned Cardiff Airport have fallen by a fifth.

A fifth of the £2.5billion schools budget wasted in red tape every year.

£226million wasted on transport project overspends according to a 2011 Wales Audit Office report.

Long-term target of halving child poverty by 2010 was spectacularly missed.

Over this period, the Welsh Government’s budget has increased from £7.5billion in 1999/2000 to £15.8billion in 2014/15.

The current First Minister Carwyn Jones has been sat around the cabinet table continuously since February 2000.

Andrew RT Davies AM, Leader of the Opposition, said, “For 15 years, Labour has been running Wales into the ground, wasting money and pursuing populist gimmicks while Wales gets steadily poorer and public services are stretched to breaking point.

“Against nearly every performance indicator Labour has let down the people of Wales, not only wasting the past 15 years but actively making the problems many people face worse.

“After 15 years of Labour, Wales is the poorest part of the UK, is ranked bottom of UK nations in school league tables, has consistently missed key NHS waiting time targets and has seen some of the UK’s highest rises in council tax.

“Carwyn Jones has been sat around the cabinet table for 14 of the past 15 years, supporting decisions to plough public money into fraud-hit charity Awema, abolish the WDA and most recently deny an inquiry into dangerously high death rates.

“Over 15 years, Labour has kept the red flag flying, expanding the role of the state by nationalising an airport, taking responsibility for cleaning children’s teeth and banning chocolate bars in hospitals.

“Throughout those 15 years, only the Welsh Conservatives have offered a centre right vision of a healthy, prosperous and green Wales - an alternative to Labour’s tired socialist dogma, which most people thought died at the end of the Cold War.

“Welsh Conservatives are the party of low tax, big ideas and will continue to put forward a positive alternative and hold this failing Labour government to account.”

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