Monday, 22 May 2017

NATIONAL ENERGY COMPANY TO TACKLE FUEL POVERTY

Plaid Cymru has called for a national energy company for Wales to be established to reduce energy prices and tackle climate change.

Ynni Cymru (Energy Wales) - a not-for-profit organisation similar to Welsh Water - would be responsible for tackling fuel poverty through investing in infrastructure, green energy production, and research and development.

Simon Thomas, Plaid Cymru's spokesperson on Energy, Climate Change, and Rural Affairs, commissioned the report on Ynni Cymru. He said, "In Wales, we generate more electricity than we consume and yet we have some of the highest electricity costs in Europe. Ownership, control and investment in renewable and sustainable energy is a key question in this election and central to our future prosperity."

The Plaid Cymru report highlights the severity of Wales' fuel poverty, as nearly a quarter of Welsh households spend more than ten per cent of their household incomes on energy bills, compared to only 11.6% of households in England.

Simon Thomas said:

"Wales needs a national energy company to focus on reducing energy prices for consumers through renewable sources. Even though we have a thousand miles of coastline and five million acres of land, we produce less renewable energy than elsewhere in the UK.

"Despite being a net exporter of electricity, Welsh consumers are faced with higher bills than any other country in the UK. The answer is not to place an arbitrary cap on bills but to take profiteering shareholders out of the equation and take ownership of our own energy.

"Plaid Cymru wants Wales to be fully self-sufficient in renewable electricity by 2035 and creating a national energy company for Wales is part of achieving that aim

"If we are serious about cutting Wales' emissions by 80% by 2050, we need to act now. Plaid Cymru is committed to defending Wales' natural environment and reducing high-energy costs for consumers.

"As we leave the EU, a new internal energy market will develop in the UK, and it's important we accelerate towards self-sufficiency through cleaner, greener energy production

"The Tories have dragged their feet on projects like the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon that would create high quality jobs and green energy, and once again they have left it out of their manifesto.

"The two Westminster parties continue to bicker about capping energy prices but the sensible solution is to take profiteering out of the equation, replicating successful models like EDF which is owned by the French public.

"The only way to defend Wales' natural environment and reduce energy prices is to send a strong group of Plaid Cymru MPs to Westminster to form a united Welsh block in the House of Commons."


ENDS

Sunday, 21 May 2017

JEFF REES FOR TORFAEN

Jeff Rees, Plaid Cymru Prospective Parliamentary candidate for Torfaen

Now more than ever the Welsh National interest has to be defended, we need to take our destiny in our own hands and create a strong Welsh economy that can fund strong Welsh Public Services, Plaid Cymru is the only party that can do this.

I will fight for Wales to be granted its own immigration visa system. This will ensure that where the Welsh Government identifies a skill shortage in the Welsh economy those needs can be met, while protecting the jobs of those already in employment in Wales, making sure our wages cannot be undercut.

I will fight to cut VAT on home renovation costs. This would lead to a renaissance in the Welsh construction sector helping turn our country’s fortunes around - creating jobs, increasing wages and securing people’s standard of living. Torfaen's ageing housing stock offers ample opportunities for work.

I will fight to keep the British Government's hand off our NHS. Its one of Wales's greatest achievements and it would be my duty to defend and strengthen it, keeping it in public hands opposing the British Government, who are desperate to privatise it for profit given any opportunity.

Come home to Plaid Cymru.



Published and promoted by Jeff Rees (Plaid Cymru Candidate) of 16 East Roedin Cwmbran NP44 7DX

Saturday, 20 May 2017

NO CLEAR WATER

Plaid Cymru criticises Labour water nationalisation plans
Plaid Cymru has criticised Labour's plans to intervene in the water industry in Wales. Despite announcing plans to nationalise the water industry in England in order to get rid of profit-making companies, Labour has failed to answer how this would affect Wales where England-based companies operate.

Labour's plans do not say whether policy control of water will be devolved to the Assembly, or whether the nationalisation will actually remove powers from Wales.

Crucially, they do not say whether English companies, operating in Wales and using Welsh reservoirs, such as Severn Trent, would be taken under English public ownership, leading to Welsh consumers having to pay the English public to use their own water resources.

Water has a specific resonance in Welsh politics as an issue of contention. Controversial decisions in the past have been made by governments and local authorities outside of Wales with no regard to Welsh opinion.

Jonathan Edwards, seeking re-election as MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, has previously called a number of votes in the House of Commons on giving the National Assembly and Welsh Government the ability to regulate Wales' water and other natural resources. A vote in the House of Commons on a Plaid Cymru amendment to remove the UK Government’s veto over Welsh water policy was defeated thanks to the Tories voting against and the Labour Party abstaining.

The recently enacted Wales Act allows the removal of the UK Government’s veto only to replace it with a “protocol” which would require the Welsh Government to seek the agreement of the UK Government before making any changes that would impact on water supply in England.

Mr Edwards said that both Labour and the Tories must stop interfering in the water industry in Wales and allow it to be determined by elected Welsh Governments. He further added that Plaid Cymru had a positive vision for the future of the water industry in Wales.

Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards said:

"Labour's plans show a complete lack of understanding of the water industry in Wales. I doubt they have consulted their own Labour Welsh First Minister, who is on record as wanting these powers devolved. It demonstrates how the Labour Party is totally London-centric.

"Plaid Cymru agrees in principle with public ownership of water, but this must be implemented by Wales, for Wales, not imposed on us by a Westminster government. 

“Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water is already constituted as a not-for-profit company and Labour's plans would not be completely relevant here. But much of Wales’ water resources are owned by England-based multi-national companies, not Dwr Cymru. Nationalising English water companies could potentially mean Welsh consumers being forced to pay another country to use our own water. That would be wholly unacceptable.

"There are three water companies operating in Wales and any plans to merge them into a single entity, if that would benefit our citizens, must be taken by a Welsh Government, not a British Government.

"Plaid Cymru will vote in favour of any nationalisation plans which also transfer policy control to elected Welsh Governments. But we will oppose any plans which keep those powers at Westminster.

"In order to promote a positive vision for water in Wales, whereby communities and citizens benefit from the stewardship and care of our own resources, we must have the power to do this in Welsh hands. No longer should we tolerate decisions on water being made outside of Wales, without any regard for our country's needs. 

“Labour’s policies for England need to respect devolution not muddy the waters further.

"Plaid Cymru is fed up of this total cluelessness from the Labour party about devolution. The country deserves better."​
  
Notes:

Hansard details the debate on “Clause 44” to remove the UK Government’s veto over matters relating to water, here:

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Friday, 19 May 2017

CAMERON WIXCEY FOR NEWPORT EAST

Cameron Wixcey, Prospective Parliamentary candidate
for Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales for Newport East

I am proud to stand in Newport East where i have spent all my life, except my 3 years in Lampeter studying history and Islamic studies. My family has been in Newport for at least 5 generations and in Monmouthshire for around 400 years at least. As a young person I know how easy it is to tune out of politics, however politicians decide the rules that life is played by and I for one, have no time for those that destroy our heritage such as the Chartist mural or jeopardise our future through short sighted cuts.

I have done minimum wage catering jobs, bogus self employed sales job and now shift work in a industry so I understand peoples' workplace concerns. My degree taught me to learn from out ancestors lest we repeat their mistakes. I joined Plaid as I realised no one else can or will fix Wales except us who live here. Our country and communities will only improve if we control the levers of power. I hope to be your new MP and I will ensure our corner is fought for and that the establishment, know Newport cannot be ignored.




Published and promoted by A Salkeld, 114 Brynglas Road, Newport on behalf of Cameron Wixey, Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales Westminster Parliamentary candidate for Newport East.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

CUTTING WELSH CORPORATION TAX

In a post Brexit world (if the Unionists are serious about delivering for Wales) there is no real reason why Wales could not (with the appropriately devolved powers) cut Corporation Tax to bring businesses to Wales and boost wages. Plaid Cymru AM for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, Adam Price (speaking on the BBC’s Wales Report on Tuesday night (16th May) said that Brexit offers opportunities for Wales such as introducing “variable tax rates across the UK” including Corporation Tax and VAT.

The Party of Wales has long advocated transferring responsibility over taxation from Westminster to Wales, ensuring taxes paid by people and businesses in Wales stay in Wales. Plaid Cymru has previously called for Corporation Tax to be linked to the size of the economy, meaning poorer areas would benefit from lower taxation whilst richer areas would pay more.

This would certainly be a fairer and more sensible system, which could incentivise businesses to invest in areas where investment is most needed, and could lead to increased wages across Wales. Brexit naturally offers some opportunities as well as some threats our economy.

Adam, Price called on politicians to take advantages of the opportunities, suggesting Wales could set lower rates of Corporation Tax than the rest of the UK, giving the country a “competitive advantage” to attract businesses to Wales and to help existing businesses grow.

Plaid Cymru’s finance spokesperson, Adam Price, said:

“Politicians from all parties must look to the future and get on with making sure we get the best Brexit possible for our country. There are specific risks to our economy with our manufacturing and agriculture sectors being heavily driven by our exports and particularly to the EU, and we must do everything we can to defend those sectors, but there are also some opportunities which are not often talked about.

“In coming out of the EU, for example, we now have the ability to set varying rates for different taxes in the different countries that make up the UK. We could have a lower VAT rate to help our tourism sector and our construction sectors for example. We could also do the same for Corporation Tax and ensure business taxation reflects the lower levels of economic strength in the different UK countries.

“If we cut Corporation Tax in Wales it would give our country a competitive advantage which would draw businesses to Wales and help those who are here already to grow, to employ more people and to offer higher wages for their employees.

“With one rate of Corporation Tax for the whole of the British State including every single country within it, there is no incentive for businesses to go anywhere but the richest areas like London and the south east of England. If we want people in Wales to be paid higher wages, to be offered better mortgages and for our Welsh Government to have more money to invest in our health service for example, we have to make Wales attractive to businesses.

“We have to make the most of every opportunity that Brexit offers and make sure we defend Wales from every threat. The only party that is fit and able to do that is Plaid Cymru.”