Plaid: ‘London’s axe will not break our ambition’

by Peter Wozniak

Plaid Cymru will stand in staunch opposition to the spending cuts planned by the UK coalition government, its leader Ieuan Wyn Jones will say in a speech at the party’s conference on Friday.

The Welsh nationalist party, which currently partners Labour in the Welsh assembly government, will pledge to defend the Welsh budget from Westminster’s austerity drive.

Mr Jones will lambast the two parties governing in Westminster. “We will not just sit back and allow the Tories and Lib Dems to hold our nation back. Our ambition will outlast their austerity”, he will tell delegates in Aberystwyth.

“We will not allow them to wear us down, to sap our energy or diminish our determination to realise the ambition of our nation to create a more confident, prosperous and fairer Wales.”

The party endured a poor general election performance, losing one of their three seats in the House of Commons.

Plaid will now be focusing on the elections for the Welsh Assembly to take place next year, on the same day as those for Holyrood and the proposed referendum on electoral reform.

Mr Jones will acknowledge that difficult budgetary decisions would have to be made in the wake of the spending cuts, but argued that the party would preserve public services and protect the most vulnerable groups in society.

“This is what a modern left of centre party should be about; embracing ambition and aspiration for our people and our nation as well as making sure that the less well off are properly cared for,” he will add.

“My message to you today is that while we intend to fight with every ounce of energy we have to defend Wales’ budget – neither will we allow the London government’s axe to break our spirit or our ambition for our nation and her people.”