28 April 2015Plaid Cymru's Election Manifesto 2015: Gweithio dros Gymru - Working for Wales
In the recent Faith in Politics? report published by Evangelical Alliance, a table was given of issues and policy positions that are important to evangelicals. Below is a list of those issues with references from Plaid Cymru's 2015 Manifesto to accompany each one.
The top 10 issues for evangelicals according to the Faith in Politics? survey (priorities which may, of course, differ from individual to individual):
- Policies which ensure religious liberty and freedom of expression
- Polices which are likely to make a positive difference to the poorest people in the UK
- Policies to eliminate human trafficking
- Opposition to same-sex marriage legislation
- A pro-life stance on euthanasia
- Policies to reduce the need for foodbanks
- A pro-life stance on abortion
- Policies to introduce the Living Wage
- Policies to reduce availability of pornography
Better health services
Plaid Cymru's policies on these issues:
- Policies which ensure religious liberty and freedom of expression.
- There is no mention of this in Plaid's Manifesto.
- Plaid Cymru has had Christian involvement throughout its history. One example which relates to religious liberty was the founding of the monthly Assembly Prayer Breakfast, which was initiated by Ieuan Wyn Jones, a Christian and former MP, AM and leader of the party, in conjunction with church leaders.
- Policies which are likely to make a positive difference to the poorest people in the UK.
- Equality and fairness are themes that run throughout Plaid's manifesto.
- In the Plaid Cymru Easy Read Manifesto , policies which would benefit the poorest in the UK can be found under the following headings - economy, working conditions, education, a fairer Wales, housing, international equality and equality.
- Please also see the following references to poverty in the manifesto:
- We recognise the impact poverty has on a child's education and success in later life, and the effect on the wider economy. We will therefore continue to ensure disadvantaged pupils are helped to reach their full potential, as we have done by supporting the Pupil Deprivation Grant, and by further supporting schools to ensure effective early intervention. Plaid Cymru will support methods which will help children to overcome the challenges that a disadvantaged position may present. (p22)
- Plaid Cymru's proposals for a Welsh Job Centre Plus system will put the focus upon helping people into work rather than punishing them for disadvantages that they face. With an increase in in-work poverty, child poverty will be best tackled through better-paid and full-time work rather than simply finding a job. We will also investigate how tax credits can be better used to reduce child poverty. (p27)
- To bring about an end to pensioner poverty, we would ensure that the new single-tier pension is a Living Pension for all, set at least at the rate of Pension Credit, and support moves to allow early access to pensions. (p27)
- Tackling fuel poverty:High energy bills are hitting many people hard. Plaid Cymru will ensure that Winter Fuel Allowance is paid to off-grid households during the summer so that they can get better value for money (p27)
- Plaid Cymru supports the international right to selfdetermination and believes in improving our world through global equality and the ending of poverty (p34)
- Policies to eliminate human trafficking.
- "We will continue to support intelligence-led cross-border crimefighting initiatives across the British Isles, Europe and worldwide, with a particular emphasis on preventing terrorism and ending human trafficking."
- Opposition to same-sex marriage legislation.
- No direct mention of same-sex marriage in the Manifesto but Plaid has been unequivocal in their support for same-sex marriage legislation in recent years.
- Plaid Pride
is the LGBT affiliate group for Plaid Cymru members and supporters who identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) and the
Plaid Pride page on the Plaid Cymru website says:
"The party strongly supports civil marriage for same-sex couples as a natural and necessary extension to the successful introduction of civil partnerships."
- In that context, there is implied support for same-sex marriage legislation in the manifesto here:
"We support the Human Rights Act and will work with international organisations to ensure that LGBT rights are understood and implemented on a global scale."
- A pro-life stance on euthanasia.
- No mention of this in the manifesto
- Policies to reduce the need for foodbanks.
- "Plaid Cymru will work to remove the need for food banks whilst supporting the good that they carry out in the face of economic pressures placed upon people from government."
- A pro-life stance on abortion.
- No mention to this in the manifesto
- Policies to introduce the Living Wage.
- Plaid's manifesto makes numerous references to the Living Wage:
- A fairer economy: increase the minimum wage to a living wage for more than 250,000 workers and zero business rates for over 70,000 Welsh companies. (p3)
- We'll seek a pay rise for those struggling on earnings below the living wage (p4)
- "Our workers should be given a decent day's pay for an honest day's work. It is unacceptable that 25% of workers in Wales are paid less than a Living Wage. If you work a forty hour week, you should earn enough to live on. That is why in this election we are committed to getting a living wage for all by 2020 - a pay rise for 250,000 Welsh employees. We want Wales to be a beacon of economic fairness." Leanne Wood AM, Plaid Cymru leader (p10)
- Plaid Cymru will increase the minimum wage to be the same level as the Living Wage over the next Parliament. (p10)
- We will ensure a Living Wage, which will particularly help women who are in low-paid or part-time work and allow them greater financial independence. (p58)
- Policies to reduce the availability of pornography.
- No mention in the manifesto but Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Jocelyn Davies AM chairs the Assembly's Cross Party Group on Childhood Sexuality, Sexualisation and Equality which has raised awareness of the problems of pornography (e.g. see minutes of the meeting on 10 February 2015)
- Better health services.
- Plaid's manifesto has a whole section devoted to this (pp16-19).
- Their priorities for better health and healthcare are:
- 1000 more doctors in Wales and faster GP appointments.
- Better integrated health and social care to make sure patients and not business concerns are looked after.
- More help at home for chronically ill people so they don't have to visit hospital.
- No NHS privatisation.
- Better mental health care and wider help and understanding of mental health issues.
- Plain cigarette packaging and stricter e-cigarette marketing regulations.
- Better access to sporting and fitness opportunities including our 'Inspire Wales' programme which encourages sporting activity.
- To develop eHealth and Telemedicine to increase the speed and quality of healthcare.