Warm words are not enough – the First Minister must act
Plaid Cymru warns that action is needed to halt the decline of the language
Prior to the First Minister’s statement on Welsh language policy, The Party of Wales’ Shadow Minister for the Welsh Language, Simon Thomas, has warned that the government must deliver more than warm words.
The Plaid Cymru AM said that the Welsh Government must act in two main areas: adopting growth areas to focus on developing the language area by area, and to respond to evidence which shows that investment is needed to halt the decline in the language.
He said that figures showed that there would be no need to invest large sums of money to increase the use of Welsh, and referred to figures by the Mentrau Iaith which illustrated that less than £5 million would be sufficient to have a positive effect.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for the Welsh Language, Simon Thomas said:
"The last census figures proved that there is an urgent need for the Welsh Government to halt the decline of the Welsh language, and it concerns me that the First Minister has taken no action at all.
"Plaid Cymru has outlined two areas where action is needed to halt the decline. In prioritising growth areas, we can concentrate on strategic action to create an environment where the language can prosper.
"We also want the government to respond to evidence which shows that a comparatively small investment – less than £5 million which would in turn bring in an extra £14.3 million of investment – would enable our Mentrau Iaith to support our local authorities effectively as they introduce language standards. This investment would strengthen provision across Wales, and would be sufficient to strengthen the network of Mentrau Iaith existing the length and breadth of Wales.
"Plaid Cymru has been clear about the need to act in a different and more radical way if we are serious in our desire to halt the decline of the language. A Plaid Cymru government would already have taken these steps to strengthen opportunities for people to live their lives through their language of choice, and to ensure that the status of Welsh as an official language is safeguarded through the introduction of robust language standards."