Plaid: We’ll protect public services

By Richard Chidwick

Plaid Cymru have promised to protect public services in Wales at the launch of their 2010 manifesto in Cardiff.

The nationalist party said that talk by the main parties of spending cuts could leave Wales’ economy, which is more dependent on public spending than much of the country, in a worse state.

Party leader Ieuan Wyn Jones said: “Plaid will prioritise the needs of the families and communities of Wales above all else while the London parties pamper to the ‘haves’ of so-called middle Britain, rather than the ‘have nots’.

“The party is also calling for a venture capital fund to be established in order to help start up businesses, boosting the Welsh economy.”

Plaid’s manifesto says that cutting the deficit while preserving public services could be achieved by scrapping the replacement for Trident and the ID card scheme.

Mr Jones added: “Tackling the deficit by stopping costly and unnecessary government spending; closing tax loopholes and introducing more progressive taxation measures.”

Other key policies include increasing the old age pension from £130 per week to £202, developing a fully electrical rail service and promoting localized energy production in Wales.

“Plaid also wants to see reform of the banks and for bonuses to be curbed immediately,” said Mr Wyn Jones.

The party has called for increase the powers of the Welsh National Assembly and will lobby on any incoming government to offer the people of Wales a referendum on the issue.

Plaid Cymru and the SNP have combined forces to make a joint list of demands for their support in the event of a hung parliament.