For one vote, Labour have sold themselves cheap, one might even go as far as to describe them as a “cheap date“.
Plaid have played the situation brilliantly. For one vote today they have secured quite a list of concessions. Here they are:
- Thirty hours of free childcare with a commitment to increase the number of Welsh medium places
- National Infrastructure Commission to deliver investment across the nation
- Establish fund to end postcode lottery and improve access to new drugs and treatments
- Welsh Development Bank
- Recruitment and training of GPs
- At least 100,000 new apprentices
- Securing a successful future for the steel industry
- Campaign vociferously for a ‘Remain’ vote
- New Public Health Bill without the controversial e-cigarettes element
- Additional Learning Needs Bill which will include a new Autism Act
- Strengthen Welsh Language Measure
- Legislate to remove the defence of reasonable chastisement (the smacking of children)
- Parliamentary Review into Health & Social Care
Has there ever been an opposition that has succeeded to get so much in so little time.
Today, Leanne Wood and Carwyn Jones will make a joint statement regarding the agreement reached to overcome the deadlock in nominating and appointing a First Minister.
It is clear what this won’t be.
It will not be an announcement of a formal (nor in formal) coalition. Plaid have made clear that they intend to be an effective opposition, unlike that of the Conservatives in the last assembly.
It won’t be an announcement of a ‘supply and confidence’ agreement where Plaid props up a Labour minority government for the next 5 years.
What will the announcement be?
This agreement is for one vote- that of appointing a First Minister. The will be a minority Labour government.
For this Plaid has won many concessions from Labour. These include:
- Re-structure the committee process, which will strengthen the process of scrutinising the government.
- Establish bilateral committees to examine legislation, budget and constitutional matter. This will put Plaid in an unique position to hold the government to account and have a hand in important developments.
Plaid has also successfully won concessions on 5 of their 9 election pledges. Although details of these will be announced later today, they range from commitments on childcare to working on a New Treatment Fund for the NHS.
In the first week of the Fifth Assembly, Plaid have shown that they are an effective opposition which will ensure that the people of Wales get the best possible deal.
Just imagine what they could achieve on government in 5 years time!