The Welsh Liberal Democrats have delivered more for communities than the other opposition parties put together, the Welsh Liberal Democrats AM for South Wales West, Peter Black has said today highlighting the party’s key policies featured in the Annual Budget.
The final vote on the Welsh Government’s Annual Budget takes place today. The Welsh Liberal Democrats will abstain, allowing the budget to pass, in exchange for securing backing for a number of policies. These include: the Pupil Premium which means every school receives £1,150 per pupil on free school meals, a Young Persons’ Bus Pass, and 5,000 new apprenticeships.
Peter Black said:
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats have delivered more for Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend than all of the other opposition parties put together: apprenticeships, extra funding for schools, more nurses, and the list goes on – all achieved with just five Assembly Members.
“My party believes that the first few years of people's lives are crucial in helping them to get on later in life. That is why we have used our influence to secure over £42.79m, investment directly into our local schools. The pupil premium has delivered £22.71m for Swansea schools since 2012, £15.77m for Neath Port Talbot schools and £14.31m for Bridgend schools. Report after report shows that not only is this policy working, but it is the most successful and effective education policy delivered over the last five years.
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats listen to our communities, which is why we are able to deliver on their priorities. We know that people are fed up of a Labour Government that is failing to even get the basics right.
“Going into this election, our priorities are the priorities of the people of Wales: more nurses so they have the time to care for our loved ones, smaller class sizes so teachers have the time to properly teach our children, and an Opportunity Economy that helps businesses to thrive and supports people so they can own their own home and get on in life.”
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Last year the Welsh Liberal Democrats agreed to a two year deal, worth £223m, to allow the Welsh Government’s budget to pass in exchange for the implementation of Welsh Liberal Democrat policies.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats secured:
- an increase in the Pupil Premium (aka Pupil Deprivation Grant): in 2016/17 each school will receive £1,150 for every pupil eligible to receive free schools;
- the extension of the Pupil Premium to include under 5s, worth £300 per pupil on free school meals;
- a Young Persons’ Bus Pass for 16-18 year olds worth nearly £15m;
- funding for around 5,000 new apprenticeships;
- £95m capital investment in infrastructure that will provide a strong boost to jobs and the economy;
- an agreement that no construction of the M4 relief road will start before the next Assembly elections alongside a detailed Environmental Impact Study;
- extra childcare investment for further education students in Wales who are parents, investing in a pilot scheme promoted by the National Union of Students.