Proud of our record standing up for Welsh workers, ambitious for our future
I am proud to standing for the Welsh Assembly in Delyn and it would be an absolute privilege to serve the North East Wales community that shaped me. As an active trade unionist, I am particularly proud to be a Welsh Labour candidate able to stand on the record of a government that has worked in partnership with trade unions to make a difference for working people and for wider Wales.
We all too often hear the popular refrain that politicians and governments are all the same. But if we look from the rhetoric to the reality of the political decisions taken in Wales under a Labour Government it is clear that this is simply not the case.
Whilst the Conservative government axed the Future Jobs Fund, scrapped EMA and hiked up tuition fees, a Welsh Labour Government protected Welsh students from higher fees (they pay around £17,000 less over the course of their degree), retained EMA and introduced the highly successful Jobs Growth Wales that has created 15,000 opportunities for young people.
A Welsh Labour Government has worked in real social partnership with the trade unions – supporting and investing in our workplaces; protecting the wages of rural workers in Wales when the Tories got rid of the AWB for England and Wales; and action through public procurement on blacklisting and exploitation by way of bogus self-employment.
Then there are free prescriptions; free school breakfasts for under 7s; free bus passes for pensioners, disabled people and their carers; alongside protecting our most vulnerable through the Employer Support Grant to help former Remploy workers into employment and stepping in to plug the gap left by the Tories tearing up the Independent Living Fund.
And finally, let’s look at that pernicious piece of legislation that is the Trade Union Bill. Three key areas of the legislation that impact on our public services and public service workers in Wales; facility time, ‘check off’ and the threshold for industrial action relate to areas – the NHS, local government and other public services – that are wholly the responsibility of the Welsh Government not the UK Government.
In order for these parts of the Bill to become law, the UK Government should seek the consent of the Welsh Government. The Welsh Labour Government is opposed to the Bill being imposed in Wales and the Welsh Assembly voted against consent for the Bill in Wales. Only the Tories voted in favour. Welsh Labour will act to protect our public services from this anti-democratic and anti-devolution attack on Welsh workers.
This is just a window into how Welsh Labour has stood up for workers and Wales.
But we cannot and will not rest on our laurels. Welsh Labour will not simply rest on our record but are ready to step up and offer hope and ambition for a fairer future.
This week I had the privilege of welcoming the First Minister and Welsh Labour Leader Carwyn Jones AM to Airbus in North East Wales to launch Welsh Labour’s six election pledges in front of an audience of apprentices.
The pledges will build on Welsh Labour’s record of support for apprenticeships and workplaces: funding 100,000 quality apprentices of all ages and using new powers on business rates to give an effective tax break for all small businesses in the country. A future Welsh Labour Government will also provide 30 free hours of childcare for working parents, covering not just 38 weeks but 48 weeks’ worth of care for 3 and 4 year olds and will additionally assist people in old age by doubling the capital limit for those needing to go into residential care.
There are also pledges to create a £100m fund to improve school standards further, giving teachers and education professionals the resources they need to realise children’s ambitions and a New Treatment Fund to help people with life threatening conditions.
These are Welsh Labour’s pledges to the people of Wales, building on our record and offering ambition for the future.
Together for our workplaces, together for our communities and together for Wales.
Welsh Labour Assembly Candidate for Delyn
Secretary of unionstogether Wales
If you'd like to find out more about Hannah and the Welsh Elections please visit www.hannahblythyn.wales
To join the campaign against the Trade Union Bill visit www.loadingthedice.org.uk