UK-focused parties do not understand the needs of Wales while the Welsh Government is bereft of ideas, Plaid Cymru’s newest Assembly Member, Rhun ap Iorwerth, told the party’s annual conference today.
Speaking to delegates in Aberystwyth, the Ynys Môn AM said: “Wales can’t afford to keep having to take backward steps because UK-focused parties at Westminster govern with no understanding and, seemingly, no real desire to understand what we need here in Wales.
“We can’t afford to be held back because of the unwillingness of successive UK governments to right their wrongs and address the fundamental issue of fair funding for Wales with a review of the Barnett formula. We can’t afford to keep hanging on for the implementation of the modest Silk Commission recommendations on giving Wales some say over its finances.”
Rhun ap Iorwerth said that Wales could not afford the effects of successive policies which were at odds with the needs of the nation and implemented with disregard for their effects. He pointed to the bedroom tax which, he said, had caused untold misery to thousands of individuals and families, tearing Welsh communities apart.
The Ynys Môn AM hit out at the privatisation of Royal Mail which, he said, had been celebrated by institutional investors and feared by those that depended on universality. “The government is making a quick buck at the expense of its users, and whatever promises given as sweeteners barely hiding the real threat to the universal nature of postal services here in Wales.”
Rhun ap Iorwerth said that Wales could not afford to have an unimaginative Welsh Government bereft of ideas.
“We certainly don’t want a government that has no vision of how to use the tools already at its disposal to really take radical steps that truly reflect Wales’s needs and that merely follows a UK agenda with a Welsh twist.
“When we say counter the Royal Mail privatisation with a Welsh Postal Service, this government’s instinct is to say ‘it can’t be done’. Well, I say ‘can’t be done’ is a phrase we hear far too often.”
Rhun ap Iorwerth said Plaid’s role was to plan for government. “The people of Wales deserve leadership. Our job is to prove that that leadership can only come from having Plaid Cymru in government putting Wales’ needs first.”