Saturday, 31 March 2012
Tonight sees Earth Hour . Earth Hour began five years ago in Sydney when more than 2 million people turned off their lights.
Since then the event, which is organised by WWF, has gone from strength-to-strength with a record 138 countries taking part involving hundreds of millions of people last year. Hopefully 2012 will see more records broken for participation.
It's great to see that Ysgol Evan James in Pontypridd will this year lead the switch off in the UK for Earth Hour after winning a competition. Pupils from the school will take part in a candle-lit walk through Pontypridd town during Earth Hour which begins at 8.30pm.
The Earth Hour concept is worth backing and I hope it gets support in 2012 like never before. Our environmental problems are not going to be solved by just one hour of reduced power consumption. However, the more people switching off the stronger the message delivered to the powers-that-be that people want to see stringent action on climate change.
So please do this tiny bit for our planet by supporting Earth Hour at 8.30pm this Saturday.
Thursday, 29 March 2012
The last week-and-a-half has been busy and in many ways, life-changing. What an honour it has been to be elected as leader of Plaid Cymru. That I am the first woman leader in our history makes it all the more special. I can't miss this opportunity to thank everybody who helped my campaign in whatever way they could – you are too numerous to mention by name, but you all know who you are. I would also like to thank all of the Plaid members who placed their faith in me. I have undertaken do my utmost to represent the core beliefs that have made Plaid what it is; the only political party to put Wales first. Participation in the leadership election was very high at 76%. This impressive turn-out, allied to 1500 extra party members that have joined Plaid Cymru in recent months, bodes well for our future.
There has barely been any time to pause and reflect on the election since the result was announced on the afternoon of March 15th. My first official function as Plaid leader came the following Monday when the Grand Slam-winning Welsh rugby team and coaches came to the Senedd. As a Welsh rugby fan it was fantastic to be involved in some small way in the celebrations and to meet some of the players. Their dedication and willingness has made Wales proud and provides inspiration to so many.
A trip to Ysgol Erw'r Delyn Special School earlier that day may have been much lower profile but it was, nonetheless, more important. I was invited to listen to a presentation of the problems encountered by the pupils’ during what should have been routine shopping trips to Cardiff. It was shocking to see and hear how difficult it is for disabled people to access the kind of areas in clothes stores and fast-food restaurants that most able-bodied people take for granted. The lack of disabled parking in multi-storey car parks is another issue that needs looking at, as does access to public transport. I have argued that we should strive to create a nation that leaves no one behind. This will be a guiding principle during my tenure as Plaid Cymru leader.
In my first full week, we had our annual spring conference at the Ffos Las race course at Trimsaran which helped to maintain the momentum that the leadership contest has generated in recent months. The overwhelming mood at conference was very positive and members are energised as we approach the local elections on May 3rd. There was plenty of lively debate on a range of issues that provided plenty of food for thought.
During my first conference speech I highlighted the need to extricate our country from an economic system that favours London and the South East of England at the expense of the areas on the periphery of this overheated haven for multi-millionaires.
Here is an extract from my speech:
“We want an economy that is built on equity, on fairness, on balance between the needs of the present and future generations, and on the twin spirits of creativity and generosity.
“So, what is our most urgent priority?
“Over the last twenty years we have seen the gap in wealth in Wales growing ever wider.
“On current trends within a generation Wales will no longer belong in the club of high-income countries.
“But predictions only come true if we accept their inevitability.
“If we shift course then our future changes with us.
“What is this path to a better future?
“I think there are three giant goals we need to set ourselves in the coming decade.
“We must build the green economy, invest in our knowledge base and create the infrastructure for success in the 21st century.
“We need a green-print not just for the valleys but for the whole of Wales,retrofitting every home and every building until every last one is fit for the future – starting with those that need the help most, the homes of those on low-incomes.
“Through this one programme we can create thousands of jobs, hundreds of apprenticeships and save millions in energy usage which can be used to fund the project.
“We should have done this nearly twenty years ago when Dafydd Wigley first suggested it in his ground-breaking 100,000 answers job creation strategy.
“But this time we have the Parliament with the power to do it.
“Let’s build up our renewable industry.
“As a nation we have been given a truly amazing legacy.
“Our country is infused with energy.
“First it was coal – now it is wind and wave.
“But let us not repeat the mistakes of our history.
“Let us make sure that people here reap the benefit from this second industrial revolution.
“The German renewable sector employs 40,000 people in wind energy alone.
“If turbines are to be built then let them be built by Welsh hands and minds and with Welsh steel.”
Over the coming weeks I intend to visit as many parts of Wales as possible to spread the positive message we have to deliver. I hope to see you on the way.
Mae'r wythnos a hanner diwethaf wedi bod yn brysur ac, mewn sawl ffordd, yn newid llwyr ar fyd. Mae wedi bod yn fraint aruthrol i mi gael fy ethol yn arweinydd ar Blaid Cymru ac mae’r ffaith mai fi yw'r arweinydd fenywaidd gyntaf yn ein hanes yn ei wneud hyd yn oed yn fwy arbennig. Rhaid i mi achub ar y cyfle hwn i ddiolch i bawb a fu'n helpu fy ymgyrch ym mha bynnag ffordd y gallent – rych chi’n rhy niferus i'ch enwi i gyd, ond rych chi’n gwybod pwy ydych chi. Hoffwn hefyd ddiolch i holl aelodau Plaid Cymru sydd wedi ymddiried ynof fi. Rwyf wedi ymrwymo i wneud fy ngorau glas i gynrychioli'r egwyddorion craidd hynny sydd wedi creu Plaid Cymru’r presennol: yr unig blaid wleidyddol sy’n rhoi Cymru yn gyntaf. Roedd y niferoedd a bleidleisiodd yn yr etholiad arweinyddol yn uchel iawn – 76%. Mae’r ffigwr trawiadol hyn, ynghyd â’r 1500 o aelodau ychwanegol sydd wedi ymuno â Phlaid Cymru yn y misoedd diwethaf, yn argoeli'n dda ar gyfer ein dyfodol.
Prin fu unrhyw amser am seibiant i fyfyrio ar yr etholiad ers i’r canlyniad gael ei gyhoeddi ar Fawrth 15fed. Daeth fy ngwaith swyddogol cyntaf fel arweinydd Plaid Cymru y dydd Llun canlynol ar ymweliad tîm rygbi Cymru – enillwyr y Gamp Lawn – a’u hyfforddwyr â’r Senedd. Fel rhywun sy’n cefnogi rygbi Cymreig roedd hi’n wych i chwarae rhan fechan yn y dathliadau, ac i gwrdd â rhai o'r chwaraewyr. Mae eu hymroddiad a'u parodrwydd yn destun balchder i Gymru ac yn ysbrydoliaeth i gynifer o bobl.
Efallai bod ymweliad ag Ysgol Anghenion Arbennig Erw'r Delyn yn gynharach y diwrnod hwnnw wedi mwynhau proffil llawer is ond mi oedd, serch hynny, yn fwy pwysig. Cefais wahoddiad i wrando ar gyflwyniad o'r problemau sy’n wynebu’r disgyblion yn ystod teithiau siopa arferol i Gaerdydd. Roedd yn frawychus i weld a chlywed pa mor anodd yw hi i bobl anabl gael mynediad i'r math o ardaloedd mewn siopau dillad a bwytai bwyd parod y mae’r rhan fwyaf o bobl abl eu cyrff yn eu cymryd yn ganiataol. Mae angen edrych ar y diffyg parcio anabl mewn meysydd parcio aml-lawr, ac ar fynediad i gludiant cyhoeddus. Rwyf wedi dadlau y dylem ymdrechu i greu cenedl sy'n gadael neb ar ôl. Bydd hyn yn egwyddor arweiniol yn ystod fy nghyfnod fel arweinydd Plaid Cymru.
Yn fy wythnos lawn gyntaf, cawsom ein cynhadledd wanwyn flynyddol yng nghwrs rasio Ffos Las yn Nhrimsaran – digwyddiad a helpodd gynnal y momentwm a grewyd gan y ras arweinyddol dros y misoedd diwethaf. Roedd teimlad cadarnhaol iawn yn y gynhadledd drwyddi draw, gydag aelodau’n llawn brwdfrydedd wrth i ni nesáu at yr etholiadau lleol ar Fai’r 3ydd. Cafwyd trafodaeth fywiog ar ystod o bynciau a digon i gnoi cil drosto.
Yn ystod fy araith gynadleddol gyntaf tynnais sylw at yr angen i ryddhau’n gwlad o system economaidd sy'n ffafrio Llundain a De Ddwyrain Lloegr ar draul yr ardaloedd hynny sydd ar ymylon y lloches or-boeth hon i luosfiliwnyddion.
Dyma ran o’m haraith:
“Rydym am weld economi sy'n cael ei hadeiladu ar gyfartaledd, ar degwch, ar gydbwysedd rhwng anghenion cenedlaethau’r presennol a'r dyfodol, ac ar greadigrwydd a haelioni ill dau.
"Felly, beth yw ein prif flaenoriaeth?
"Dros yr ugain mlynedd diwethaf rydym wedi gweld y bwlch cyfoeth yng Nghymru yn cynyddu fwyfwy.
"O barhau’r tueddiadau presennol, ni fydd Cymru o fewn cenhedlaeth bellach yn perthyn i glwb y gwledydd incwm uchel.
"Ond dim ond os y derbyniwn ni eu natur anochel y daw proffwydoliaethau’n wir.
"Os ydym yn newid ein llwybr, yna fe fydd ein dyfodol yn newid gyda ni.
"Beth yw’r llwybr hwn i greu gwell dyfodol?
"Rwy'n meddwl bod angen i ni osod tair prif nôd i’n hunain yn y degawd nesaf.
"Rhaid i ni adeiladu economi werdd, buddsoddi yn ein sylfaen wybodaeth a chreu seilwaith ar gyfer llwyddiant yn yr unfed ganrif ar hugain.
"Mae angen cynllun gwyrdd – nid yn unig ar gyfer y cymoedd, ond ar gyfer Cymru gyfan, yn ôl-ffitio pob cartref a phob adeilad hyd nes bod pob un yn addas ar gyfer y dyfodol – gan ddechrau gyda'r rhai sydd fwyaf angen y cymorth mwyaf, cartrefi’r rheiny ar incwm isel.
"Drwy'r un raglen hon gallwn greu miloedd o swyddi, cannoedd o brentisiaethau ac arbed miliynau o ran defnydd ynni, y gellir ei ddefnyddio i ariannu'r prosiect.
"Dylem fod wedi gwneud hyn bron i ugain mlynedd yn ôl pan awgrymodd Dafydd Wigley ei strategaeth ‘100,000 o atebion’ arloesol i greu swyddi.
"Ond y tro hwn mae gennym y Senedd â'r pŵer i wneud hynny.
"Gadewch i ni ddatblygu ein diwydiant adnewyddadwy.
"Fel cenedl rydym wedi derbyn etifeddiaeth anhygoel.
"Mae ein gwlad wedi ei thrwytho ag ynni.
"Yn gyntaf roedd glo – ac yn awr mae gennym y gwynt a'r tonnau.
"Ond gadewch i ni beidio ag ailadrodd camgymeriadau ein hanes.
"Gadewch i ni wneud yn siŵr mai pobl yma sy’n elwa ar yr ail chwyldro diwydiannol hwn.
"Mae sector ynni adnewyddadwy yr Almaen yn cyflogi 40,000 o bobl ym maes ynni gwynt yn unig.
"Os yw tyrbinau i gael eu hadeiladu, yna gadewch iddyn nhw gael eu hadeiladu gan ddwylo a meddyliau Cymreig a gyda dur Cymru."
Dros yr wythnosau nesaf yr wyf yn bwriadu ymweld â sawl rhan o Gymru ag sy'n bosibl i ledaenu'r neges gadarnhaol mae'n rhaid i ni gyflawni. Rwy'n gobeithio’ch gweld yn ystod y daith.
Friday, 9 March 2012
I was angry to hear the announcement on Wednesday that seven out of nine Remploy factories in Wales are earmarked for closure, resulting in the loss of nearly 300 jobs. The Westminster coalition, with this decision, has jettisoned the livelihoods of so many disabled people. Wales has, once again, been hit disproportionately hard compared to other countries in the UK yet the Welsh Government seems to lack the motivation, inclination or gumption to do anything about it.
The workers of Remploy are in a particularly acute situation as many are disabled and in the current climate are unlikely to find work elsewhere. The situation is worse now after the programme of Remploy factory closures under the Labour Westminster Government in 2008. Anecdotal evidence from former workers at the Trefforest factory has indicated that very few found work after Labour swung the axe there. As anyone who is out-of-work will know, finding a job is very difficult in the current economic climate. If you are disabled and living in the valleys where jobs are scarce, then your prospects of working are very dire.
Anyone who follows plenary sessions in the Assembly will know that I have raised the situation at Remploy repeatedly over the last six months. I have warned the Welsh Government time and time again that the situation was looking bleak and that urgent action was needed if the principle of supported employment in Wales was to be protected. I don’t mention this to say ‘I told you so’ but to highlight the culpability of the minority Labour Welsh Government in this whole sorry episode.
Here are some of the exchanges from The Record that I have had in plenary with the First Minister and Education Minister:
September 27th 2011:
Leanne Wood: "Given the economic situation that has been outlined by previous questioners, I would argue that jobs should be the top priority for the Government. I recently wrote to the Minister for Education and Skills, who replied that the Welsh Government recognises the importance of supported employment. There are two Remploy factories in my region, South Wales Central, both of which are under threat. First Minister, will you agree to make the case for the devolution of the budget for Remploy factories in Wales? Further to that, will you make a commitment that, in the event that you are successful with that argument, you will ensure that those Remploy factories remain open?"
The First Minister: "First, the Government fully supports Remploy workers. Many people work for Remploy. The Remploy factory in my own constituency was the first of its kind. Many people working for Remploy would find it difficult, even with the right level of support, to achieve employment elsewhere. We know that many Remploy factories have a full order book. However, there are question marks over the drive and commitment of Remploy’s senior management, in my view, to ensure that those order books continue to be full. With regard to the devolution of the budget, that is something that I would like to explore—alongside the Minister for education—with the unions, to see if they have a settled view on this matter."
October 4th 2011:
Leanne Wood: "First Minister, last week, I raised the issue of the two Remploy factories that are in the South Wales Central region that are under threat and I asked you to explore the possibility of getting the budget for Remploy devolved to Wales, and I asked to undertake a commitment that, if the budget is devolved, those jobs would be safeguarded. You agreed last week to explore the matter with the Minister for Education and Skills. Given that the Remploy workers are on the brink of losing their jobs and livelihood, time is of the essence, so can you update us on your discussions, please?"
The First Minister: "The Minister for education and I are both aware of the situation at Remploy and have discussed the situation many times in the past. I cannot pretend that getting the budget for Remploy devolved is going to be easy, or that the UK Government would acquiesce to that, but we will continue to press the case."
November 29th 2011:
Leanne Wood: "First Minister, I too recently visited the Remploy factory in Porth, and was told quite clearly that, if the factory secured the public procurement contract with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, the business would be viable. In reality, public sector sales for Remploy in Wales have reduced by two thirds in the last three years. Can you update us on what discussions you have undertaken recently to secure the future of Remploy and, specifically, what you can do to ensure that Remploy has access to public contracts to secure its long-term viability?"
The First Minister: "I refer you to the point that I made earlier to the Member for Pontypridd ("It is right that local authorities should set an example and look to procure from companies such as Remploy in order to help those people who are in supported employment").
"In addition, I raised the issue with the Secretary of State in a meeting with her and asked her to consider the mechanics of the financing of Remploy being devolved. I have not had a response yet."
Then we have this exchange from Wednesday of this week between Leighton and I following the announcement that 7 out of 9 Remploy factories are earmarked for closure:
Leanne Wood: "Minister, this announcement could not have come at a worse time. Welfare reform is only just with us and, already, many people are very concerned about their future income and are asking questions such as, 'Will I qualify for benefits in the future?’ and 'Will I get a job if I’m knocked off benefits?’. It is only a short time ago that we lost the Treforest factory and other Remploy factories. Anecdotally, I have heard that many of those sacked workers—who, remember, were sacked by a Labour Government—are still out of work and have all but given up on finding a job in the current economic climate. I am sure that you will agree, Minister, that that is a terrible waste. All of those workers have a contribution to make. None of them deserves to be on the scrapheap. This is yet another example of the worst off in our society being forced to pay for a financial crisis that was not of their making. How many such examples do we all need?
"Minister, what representations did you make regarding the devolution of the budget and responsibilities for the Remploy factories in Wales? You tell us that the UK Government did not listen, but I would like to know whether you made the point. What discussions have there been between the Government’s health department from a public procurement perspective to see what business can be provided to guarantee the future of the Aberdare factory in my region? Does the Government, in principle, support supported employment? What concrete measures can you take to try to safeguard at least some of these jobs, if you cannot safeguard all of them? Finally, with the Jobs Growth Wales programme, will you commit to making a percentage of the jobs available for disabled people who may otherwise have found work within the Remploy network?"
Leighton Andrews: "The First Minister raised the issue of the devolution of the overall budget for Remploy factories in Wales with the Secretary of State for Wales. I have to say that that proposition was seen by the trade unions representing Remploy workers as very much a last resort when I discussed the issue with them. Of course, the issue is that Remploy factories have operated across Great Britain on specific lines of employment and that, for us as a Government, there would be a need to disaggregate the overall budget of those factories from those specific business lines, which operate on a Great Britain basis. We have not been given access to that information. Therefore, it has been impossible for us to make a calculation as to whether that would make those factories more or less viable. It has also been a situation on which we have wanted very much to work with the trade unions representing the Remploy workers, and we have sought to do so.
"With regard to procurement, not only the health department, but other Welsh Government departments have extended opportunities for Remploy factories to be considered in the supply of goods and services, as I said in my statement. With regard to supported employment, we recognise the role for supported employment. Currently, the responsibility for that lies with the UK Government. We believe—I still believe today—that it is for the UK Government to take its responsibilities to these workers seriously and to demonstrate that it is putting the support behind them. In respect of Jobs Growth Wales, we will look at the opportunities there may be for specific support for workers with disabilities. My colleague the Deputy Minister for Skills will make a statement on that in due course."
I would argue that with seven out of nine factories earmarked for closure, the situation is at a last resort now. Much more could have been done to safeguard the Welsh Remploy jobs and work to improve the financial viability of the factories that have struggled to balance the books. It needed political will; it looks like that will was not there. It is starting to look like the Labour party is content to sit back and do nothing while blaming the Westminster coalition for everything. Of course a lot of blame lies at the door of the socially regressive Con/Dems, but the mantra for Labour AMs seems to be: ‘love complaining, hate responsibility.”
Thursday, 1 March 2012
The cuts imposed on people in Wales by the Westminster Coalition will not only be brutal but will affect us to a greater extent than any other country in the UK.
Welfare reform will increase poverty. It will undermine the Welsh Government’s stated policy aim of reducing child poverty, wiping out the gains made over the last decade. By 2012-13, the Welsh Government has estimated the reforms could increase cases of relative child poverty in Wales by around 6,000. Plaid Cymru has said over and over that it is not right that the poorest people pay for the mistakes of the bankers. Yet that is what is happening.
A coaltion of charities produced their Cuts Watch Cymru report this week, which shows how the cuts are impacting on people in Wales. The worst of the cuts are yet to come, but so far, there has been a 38% increase in the numbers of people applying for a crisis loan since 2007 and a 40% increase in the numbers of people going to loan sharks. The Welsh Government is powerless to protect people against these cuts. There are a number of recommendations in the report which could help to provide a buffer against the worst effects of the cuts, but it is inevitable that Wales will be hit hard while so many people here depend on welfare payments.
The welfare safety net we have all become used to will not be there in the future. That is why we must now have a plan to increase the numbers of people in work, to reduce the numbers of people reliant on the ever-reducing welfare/public expenditure pot. If we want good welfare provision in Wales, and I believe most people do, then we will have to show that we can pay for it.
I have advocated bringing together all the best talents in this country to consult widely on a long term plan to create jobs, jobs, jobs. These jobs should be created as part of the building a new 'social economy' which puts people before shareholder profit and which is designed to turn around our ailing and disadvantaged economy, to bring prosperity to all parts of Wales. These outcomes will not happen by accident. No one person or party has all of the answers and a plan like this could only work if people are prepared to think long term, breaking out of the short term thinking that comes with four year election terms. It won't be an easy job. It'll be a huge challenge, but do we have an alternative?
Happy St. David's Day.
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
It is becoming increasingly apparent that water is going to be a valuable resource for the people of Wales in the years to come. It is now imperative that Plaid Cymru leads a positive national campaign to safeguard the future of Wales' water resources.
The issue was brought into sharp relief this week when the National Farmers' Union in England called for the exploitation of Wales' water for the benefit of the drought-hit south-east of England. Plaid Cymru's evidence to the UK Government's Commission on Devolution, also known as the Silk Commission, calls for the Welsh Government to be given the power to levy new taxes.
Plaid Cymru must make sure that people in Wales fully benefit from any future exploitation of Welsh resources. Water has a deep emotional resonance amongst the Welsh people. It is a crucial part of our national history and we have a lot of it. The story of Tryweryn still rings true: Wales has an abundant resource which thirsty parts of the state desire. We must play to our strengths and we should allow the export of our water - but on the condition that the people of Wales should see the benefit.
At the moment it is not possible to directly charge money for water that specifically goes to England, because in the privatised water market there aren't any national borders. However, if future changes are made to the market in line with the climate change agenda, we must make sure that Wales is in a position to benefit financially. At the moment water is not that valuable in raw monetary terms. But this could change. Any new taxes we could levy on water would be looking to the future and specifically to any new reservoirs or other pieces of infrastructure that might be developed in Wales.
The UK Government is developing a new water policy which may also involve legislation. The Welsh Government is also interested in water having recently issued a statement about its role in combating climate change. It is no coincidence that the Government of Wales Act specifically excludes the Assembly from making any laws relating to water supply. Why don't the powers-that-be want Wales to decide on our own natural resources?
These resources should belong to the Welsh people, not to corporations or to the UK Government.
Monday, 30 January 2012
How we can defend people’s livelihoods and futures against the savage cuts to public services the UK coalition is inflicting?
How we can fund all the development Wales needs?
How we can pay for the projects that will build a green and caring society, one that also does its bit to make our world a better place for its poorest communities wherever they are?
A Robin Hood Tax or Tobin Tax would be a good place to start. The Robin Hood tax is a tiny tax on financial transactions. It could raise billions to create jobs, to fight poverty and to combat climate change. A tax with the added advantage of reining in the kind of speculative trading – gambling, really – that plunged large chunks of the world economy into its current crisis.
Last year I was one of 1,000 parliamentarians in 30 countries who signed a declaration calling for early implement of a Robin Hood Tax, to make the financial sector – which caused the current crisis - pay a greater contribution towards safeguarding livelihoods and saving lives. In other words, making them help to turn the global crisis they caused into a global opportunity.
Since then, the support for a Robin Hood Tax has soared, bringing together some strange bedfellows.
Not too surprisingly, the TUC and many trade unions - Unison, Unite and the GMB, the NUJ, the teachers’ unions and more - see its potential to help hold the line against spiralling poverty, as do charities like Barnardo’s, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams and many churches.
Overseas development charities like Oxfam want part of the proceeds to go towards fighting climate change in the world’s poorest countries.
Global supporters include UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Bill Gates, George Soros, Desmond Tutu.
Even the Pope is onside: the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace recommended that funds raised from it be used to help low income countries suffering the effects of the financial crisis.
There’s strong support across Europe. As you might expect, Plaid MEP Jill Evans backs it, but so does the European Parliament. Right wing leaders like French President Sarkozy and German leader Angela Merkel have been pushing it hard. The new Spanish Prime minister Mariano Rajoy has just joined them.
Amongst European leaders, the most strident opponent is David Cameron – once again on the side of the greediest bankers against the wellbeing of millions. Ed Milliband and Ed Balls once said they supported it, but have backpedalled; while many individual Labour and Lib Dem politicians and members believe a Robin Hood Tax is right, their leaders are failing to stand up to Cameron, Osborne and the banking lobby.
In a letter to the G20, 1,000 economists - including Nobel Prize winners and our own Dr Calvin Jones – argued that the financial crisis “has shown us the dangers of unregulated finance” and that it’s time “for the financial sector to give something back to society”. They went on to say:
“Even at very low rates of 0.05% or less, this tax could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually and calm excessive speculation. The UK already levies a tax on share transactions of 0.5%, or ten times this rate, without unduly impacting on the competitiveness of the City of London. This money is urgently needed to raise revenue for global and domestic public goods such as health, education and water, and to tackle the challenge of climate change. Given the automation of payments, this tax is technically feasible. It is morally right.”
I agree with them. I’d like to see Wales come out loud and proud in favour of a Robin Hood Tax on banks, hedge funds and the rest of the financial sector to make them pay their fair share to clear up the mess they created.
Let’s have a “Coalition of the willing” in Wales, to help push for this fair and useful tax - and to show Cameron and the other Westminster politicians that defending the interests of banking’s greediest is totally unacceptable to us. That it’s simply not fair for poor people to pay the price of mistakes made by rich bankers, to die for lack of medicines or for their children to be forced out of school because of an economic crisis they did nothing to cause.
Thursday, 15 December 2011
I have decided to put my name forward for the leadership of Plaid Cymru. The next few years will present a great opportunity for Plaid to fulfil our long term ambitions and I would like to be at the helm as we enter a new chapter in our history.
Now, more than ever, a strong Plaid Cymru is needed to put the transformation of our economy at the fore of the political agenda. I have the vision, ambition and determination to do that.
More information about my campaign and platform can be found on my campaign website www.leanewood2012.com or by following me on Twitter and Facebook.