Plaid Cymru unveils assembly manifesto

Plaid Cymru today unveiled its manifesto ahead of May’s Welsh assembly election.

Focusing on practical issues ahead of Welsh independence, Plaid Cymru expanded on its Seven for 07 policies, presenting a manifesto based on “fairness, sustainability and trust”.

Plain Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones declared: “Our manifesto is brimming with new and innovative ideas to help transform Wales into a flourishing nation and make a difference to people’s everyday lives.

“The other parties are failing to come up with such ambitious proposals, and the Labour party in particular is resorting to negative, personal attacks and the politics of fear rather than hope.”

Rather than focusing on negative campaigning, Plaid Cymru promised to focus on real policy issues. Billed as their most professional and practical manifesto, journalists at the launch in Cardiff Bay were handed fully-costed copies of Make a difference.

If they succeed in forming an executive after May 3rd, Plaid Cymru would launch a national living wage above the UK minimum wage.

Students who studied at Welsh universities would be exempt from top-up fees and if they went on to work in Wales, the executive would pay their student loans for the first five years. Every 11-year-old would be given a laptop.

Plaid Cymru also promised to help first-time buyers, offering grants up to £3,500, provided buyers matched the government pound for pound and saved for three years in a government approved scheme.

It would also come close to doubling childcare spending within four years to £100million, aiming for universal childcare post-maternity leave.

New community health services would be created, including check-ups at work and school nurses.

Mr Jones also pledged a Plaid Cymru government would hold cabinet meetings in public to improve transparency.

Energy use would be cut by ten per cent and carbon emissions by three per cent. Plaid Cymru pledged to cut business and tax burden on small and medium businesses and reduce business rates to encourage investment. They would also seek Treasury support for a corporation tax rebate for west Wales and the Valleys.

Mr Jones said Plaid Cymru would be prepared to form a coalition executive if no party receives majority support in the Welsh elections, but did not confirm which of its policies would be “non-negotiable”.

Plaid Cymru is the biggest challenger to the minority Labour executive in the Welsh assembly, holding 12 of the 60 seats.