14/03/2017 First Minister's Questions


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


14/03/2017

Full coverage of AM's questions to the first minister from the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 14/03/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Good afternoon, welcome to the programme and our weekly

:00:20.:00:21.

coverage of questions to the First Minister.

:00:22.:00:23.

Carwyn Jones' place will be taken by Jane Hutt today

:00:24.:00:26.

and she can expect questions on a range of subjects

:00:27.:00:28.

including business rates, energy efficiency and how Government

:00:29.:00:31.

Don't forget we're on Twitter @walespolitics, where you can see

:00:32.:00:37.

For now, business in the Chamber is already well underway -

:00:38.:00:41.

so let's take a look now at today's First Minister's Questions.

:00:42.:00:52.

Call the National Assembly to order in the first item on agenda this

:00:53.:00:58.

afternoon is questions to the First Minister and I have received

:00:59.:01:02.

notification understanding order that the leader of the house will

:01:03.:01:06.

answer questions today on behalf of the First Minister. Question one,

:01:07.:01:13.

Nick Ramsay. Will be leader of the house provide an update on support

:01:14.:01:15.

available to businesses affected by the business rate re-evaluation. The

:01:16.:01:22.

Welsh Government has announced an extra ?20 million to support

:01:23.:01:26.

businesses affected by this. ?10 million through transitional relief

:01:27.:01:29.

scheme and ?20 million through high-street rate. This is action to

:01:30.:01:39.

provide certainty and security to ratepayers in Wales affected by

:01:40.:01:43.

re-evaluation. Thank you for that answer. Business is in my

:01:44.:01:47.

constituency continue to be deeply concerned by the business rate

:01:48.:01:50.

re-evaluation. What any support is welcome, I hear about the relief

:01:51.:01:55.

that your Government has announced the additional discount every drop

:01:56.:01:58.

in the ocean for those businesses facing the busiest hikes. What about

:01:59.:02:05.

the businesses who will not benefit from the scheme of support and will

:02:06.:02:08.

be Government look again at raising the threshold at which businesses

:02:09.:02:13.

are paying business rates in order to avert some of the large-scale

:02:14.:02:16.

business closures which I fear are going to happen after April? Para

:02:17.:02:21.

?10 million transitional rates relief scheme will assist businesses

:02:22.:02:24.

his entitlement to small business rates relief would be adversely

:02:25.:02:29.

affected by the evaluation. Her ?10 million high-street rates relief

:02:30.:02:34.

specifically targets businesses in your constituency. We listened to

:02:35.:02:42.

the concerned responding to be some businesses in Wales. These are

:02:43.:02:46.

bespoke funded schemes and indeed they are in addition to a ?100

:02:47.:02:52.

million small business rates relief. As a result, three quarters of

:02:53.:02:55.

businesses will receive help in their bills and development 17 and

:02:56.:03:00.

2018. Reader of the house, as a result of the evaluation, the

:03:01.:03:04.

average rateable value has decreased by 6.1%. With this be a fairly

:03:05.:03:10.

common pattern across the area, what impact could this have on the Welsh

:03:11.:03:15.

Government's policy towards promoting economic prosperity across

:03:16.:03:19.

the South Wales Valleys? The statistics published by the

:03:20.:03:24.

evaluation are showing that total rateable value will fall in all of

:03:25.:03:29.

the values. That does mean the majority of ratepayers in these

:03:30.:03:32.

areas will benefit from reduction in their bills and of course, we have

:03:33.:03:37.

acted to provide that additional support to businesses through an

:03:38.:03:40.

extension of ?100 million small business rates relief scheme. Of

:03:41.:03:45.

course, business Wales and all the other levers that will assist

:03:46.:03:48.

businesses in your constituency will have a bearing on economic

:03:49.:03:55.

opportunity. Including the city deal which is a key partner. Adam Price.

:03:56.:04:07.

Notwithstanding that point, this is fundamentally an unfair tax. It is

:04:08.:04:11.

wreaking economic carnage on our high-street. Isn't it time to scrap

:04:12.:04:16.

this tax altogether and replace it with something like an Internet

:04:17.:04:22.

sales tax? Clearly this is an issue where we have worked over a period

:04:23.:04:25.

of time as a pro-business Government to take action to help new and

:04:26.:04:30.

existing businesses and do indeed look at the impact, not just in

:04:31.:04:33.

terms of re-evaluation, but our business support scheme. We are

:04:34.:04:38.

looking at a new permanent scheme in terms of small business rates relief

:04:39.:04:44.

from 2018. Supporting ways that reflect the needs of Wales. We have

:04:45.:04:50.

engaged widely as possible about our scheme in a short time available

:04:51.:04:55.

between the publication of its traffic waiting list and the date by

:04:56.:04:59.

which these regulations had to be in place. It is their scheme, we have

:05:00.:05:04.

to make sure that it redistributes the amount payable between

:05:05.:05:10.

properties reflecting changes in the property market. That is their

:05:11.:05:15.

responsibility. Leader of the house, the business rate re-evaluation is

:05:16.:05:20.

spitting at our high-street at risk. Many small businesses are facing

:05:21.:05:25.

huge hikes in the rates bills, yet their turnover is not increasing.

:05:26.:05:28.

For many, the only alternative is to stick rental properties with smaller

:05:29.:05:33.

rateable values of the high and this could be the final straw that broke

:05:34.:05:38.

the camel's back for small independent high-street retailers.

:05:39.:05:42.

The UK Government's latest budget proposes a cap on the business rate

:05:43.:05:46.

increases for those small firms set to lose their rate relief. Will the

:05:47.:05:54.

Government consider doing something similar for small high-street

:05:55.:05:58.

retailers here in Wales? Can I does make it clear that we are doing it

:05:59.:06:01.

more than the UK Government and if you look at the funding for the

:06:02.:06:04.

rates relief measures that the Chancellor announced last week, it

:06:05.:06:10.

will amount to just over ?12 million and if we had relied on that, it

:06:11.:06:13.

would have meant ?8 million less support for small businesses in

:06:14.:06:17.

Wales. We have got to fully funded this book schemes. I'm sure many of

:06:18.:06:21.

your businesses in your constituency will particularly benefit from

:06:22.:06:27.

those, not just the transitional scheme, but also the new scheme,

:06:28.:06:31.

which specifically targets the high-street ratepayers. What

:06:32.:06:38.

consideration how the First Minister given to prioritising energy

:06:39.:06:43.

efficiency and homes as part of National infrastructure policy in

:06:44.:06:46.

Wales? Investing in housing including energy efficiency is

:06:47.:06:50.

already a priority in the plan, a long-term vision and the actions we

:06:51.:06:53.

are taking in this important area are set out in the energy efficiency

:06:54.:06:58.

strategy published last year. There's a lot of excellent work

:06:59.:07:02.

already being done in Wales, but putting domestic energy efficiency

:07:03.:07:05.

alongside other nationally important infrastructure programmes could have

:07:06.:07:11.

multiple benefits, including massively boosting efforts to tackle

:07:12.:07:16.

fuel poverty, including the health and well-being of older citizens,

:07:17.:07:21.

reducing energy constructing, reducing the number of power plants,

:07:22.:07:28.

creating new jobs in streets entreaties to throughout the land.

:07:29.:07:32.

Far from being a win-win, it would be a win win, win win. As we await

:07:33.:07:37.

the results of the recent consultation on the National

:07:38.:07:40.

Infrastructure Commission, could I ask the leader of the house and the

:07:41.:07:43.

First Minister and his cabinet to consider seriously the huge

:07:44.:07:49.

potential for Wales bidding energy efficiency for wealth of National

:07:50.:07:51.

infrastructure and the transformative effect it could have

:07:52.:07:53.

on future perspire tea and well-being. I am completely with the

:07:54.:08:01.

member. If you look at the opportunities we have in terms of

:08:02.:08:05.

interceptor, not only delivering on carbon reduction commitment,

:08:06.:08:10.

multiplier benefit effects on some the outcomes, better inflated homes,

:08:11.:08:16.

tackling fuel poverty, creating jobs and economic activity. I will say

:08:17.:08:21.

that it is important. We have been refining the remit in terms of

:08:22.:08:25.

reference for the proposed National Infrastructure Commission for Wells

:08:26.:08:28.

following a response to feedback from consultation and will include

:08:29.:08:32.

economic and environmental infrastructure, including energy and

:08:33.:08:36.

it will be looking at the interactions with social

:08:37.:08:39.

infrastructure on housing and across cutting delivery issues. Our housing

:08:40.:08:47.

stock is among the oldest in Europe and we really need to focus on

:08:48.:08:52.

schemes of retrofitting, because a lot of that housing stock is

:08:53.:08:55.

occupied by people who have low incomes or are otherwise vulnerable.

:08:56.:09:01.

If we improve the skills and develop retrofitting projects, we would then

:09:02.:09:05.

find a other parts of the UK for those goals and products and indeed

:09:06.:09:11.

other parts of Europe. Indeed, and I think this is where it is important

:09:12.:09:16.

that we are working with industry in terms of the opportunities for

:09:17.:09:20.

skills base. We're looking at in which we can develop the skills and

:09:21.:09:27.

experience, not only of our workforce, our young people, but

:09:28.:09:30.

also clearly through the apprenticeship schemes that we are

:09:31.:09:36.

supporting. Thank you, Presiding Officer. I agree with the original

:09:37.:09:40.

question. There is no better example of what we debated last week than

:09:41.:09:44.

investing in this area where you link in the skills that are local

:09:45.:09:49.

and ensure that Welsh Government capital spend a spread across Wales

:09:50.:09:52.

as well, because the Society regional problem, it is spread

:09:53.:09:57.

across Wales in terms of the houses that we have. We are looking for a

:09:58.:10:02.

clearer cited purpose around investment in energy efficiency and

:10:03.:10:07.

something that fits into the National Infrastructure Commission

:10:08.:10:09.

and the task and aim of that commission. I have already said that

:10:10.:10:15.

we are going to change the remit as a result of consultation. It is

:10:16.:10:20.

important that we recognise we are continuing to invest 100 into ?8

:10:21.:10:25.

million annually to ensure over 222,000 social homes meet and

:10:26.:10:28.

maintain a Welsh Housing quality standards that David Melding

:10:29.:10:34.

referred to, the older housing stock in Wales. The sender does require

:10:35.:10:39.

all existing social housing homes to be brought up to an energy rating of

:10:40.:10:45.

Dior above. This is an all Wales programme with the budget of ?20

:10:46.:10:48.

million to be made available to support this programme. Questions

:10:49.:10:57.

now from the party leader, leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood. Although

:10:58.:11:02.

our economic potential is yet to be fulfilled, we can already see that

:11:03.:11:06.

Wales is a strong exporting nation. Last year, we headed ?2.2 billion

:11:07.:11:12.

surplus with the EU, Harris Fire plus was higher than 2015 when it

:11:13.:11:19.

was ?1.5 billion. With non-EU countries we had a trade deficit of

:11:20.:11:24.

?2.3 billion, well the UK as a whole hand trade deficits with both the EU

:11:25.:11:31.

and is non-EU markets. What future do you see for our EU trade surplus

:11:32.:11:37.

if we are taken out of the single market? It is important that we

:11:38.:11:43.

recognise the value of exports for Wales for the year up to and

:11:44.:11:51.

including 2016, ?12.3 billion, an increase of ?725 million on the

:11:52.:11:56.

previous year. As the leader of Plaid Cymru, Wales benefit hugely

:11:57.:12:02.

from the EU 's and got market with access to over 500 million

:12:03.:12:05.

customers. That is clearly going to be a huge impact in terms of the

:12:06.:12:12.

prospects in terms of how we exit and how we make sure Wales'

:12:13.:12:19.

interests are safeguarded. Plaid Cymru predicts a difficult future to

:12:20.:12:23.

those exporters who rely upon the single market. We now have some in

:12:24.:12:26.

the UK Government talking about leaving the EU without any deal at

:12:27.:12:32.

all, which would effectively mean WTO own rules and that would be the

:12:33.:12:36.

hardest possible tech of Brexit. It could lead to future targets and

:12:37.:12:41.

other barriers. On the social and our mental side, it could lead to

:12:42.:12:43.

deregulation and of lowering standards. The UK Government has now

:12:44.:12:51.

indicated that Article 50 will be sent later this month. That means it

:12:52.:12:54.

is a winter of opportunity. The window where there can be some

:12:55.:12:59.

influence. The Welsh Government has said that it wants to be consulted.

:13:00.:13:04.

I wonder if you can tell us, had he been consulted yet? What are the

:13:05.:13:09.

implications of the UK Government issuing that Article 50 letter

:13:10.:13:12.

without a fully consulting Wales as to its content?

:13:13.:13:19.

Clearly we want a process that is sensitive to the interests of world

:13:20.:13:31.

map. We with Plaid Cymru the position. This included continued

:13:32.:13:38.

preserve put Britain's vision of the single market. Certainly, we want

:13:39.:13:46.

and expect to be consulted on any Article 50 letter before it issues.

:13:47.:13:51.

The First Minister made it clear to the UK Government that anything less

:13:52.:13:54.

would be incompatible with the approach that they agreed to the

:13:55.:13:57.

joint ministerial committee after the referendum results. We have, of

:13:58.:14:06.

course, sent a copy of the White Paper to the European Commission. It

:14:07.:14:12.

clear what your Government wants. It's not clear what you will do if

:14:13.:14:16.

you don't get it. Yesterday, we saw how the mishandling of Brexit will

:14:17.:14:19.

leads to a new referendum on Scottish independence. That

:14:20.:14:25.

referendum could end the United Kingdom, the state as we know it

:14:26.:14:29.

could cease to exist. That would be a radical change for Wales. It would

:14:30.:14:34.

also greatly opportunity to be bolder and more ambitious ads were

:14:35.:14:38.

confident about our own future. I suspect that there may be people in

:14:39.:14:43.

this chamber who supported the Scottish no campaign last time that

:14:44.:14:48.

would now feel less comfortable doing so. Leader of the house, the

:14:49.:14:53.

First Minister's statement yesterday on a Scottish independence

:14:54.:14:57.

referendum lacks detail. It says almost nothing on the future of

:14:58.:15:01.

world map. Can you add more detail on reducing the Government taking

:15:02.:15:07.

will snag over the next two years? What plans does your Government have

:15:08.:15:13.

to put in place for the constitutional and economic future

:15:14.:15:18.

of this country? I do go back to your second question about

:15:19.:15:23.

engagement and instruments. -- and influence in terms of Article 50.

:15:24.:15:27.

The point I would make is that we need to work together understood

:15:28.:15:33.

sure that securing Wilson 's future -- will ... We should use our cloud

:15:34.:15:50.

as co-signatories of the paper. In terms of your third question, it's

:15:51.:15:56.

right that the constitutional future of Scotland is decided by the people

:15:57.:16:00.

of Scotland. We believe that the UK remains better together. Last year,

:16:01.:16:09.

Welsh Labour was elected on a message of togetherness. The

:16:10.:16:12.

important thing for us today is that as the party and Government we

:16:13.:16:16.

remain committed both to the union and the ongoing GMC process relating

:16:17.:16:23.

to exiting the EU. The Scots say that they have no intention of

:16:24.:16:27.

walking away from the GMC where we have common cause on many issues in

:16:28.:16:33.

terms of our negotiations of exiting the EU. Leader of the Welsh

:16:34.:16:45.

Conservatives. Many have seen in the last week, the shocking images of

:16:46.:16:55.

drug abuse, people, toes in public areas. We can only feel sorry for

:16:56.:17:00.

the full that have fallen so low. We would like to see as many safeguards

:17:01.:17:05.

as possible put in place to rectify the people's proper. -- the people's

:17:06.:17:14.

problem. Many of us will recognise the image of a town in Wales from

:17:15.:17:21.

these images. Today, we have the north police and firemen

:17:22.:17:30.

Commissioner. On this side of the house, we don't believe that is the

:17:31.:17:35.

case. I would be grateful if you could give us a Government response

:17:36.:17:38.

as to what actually you are taking as the Welsh Government given that

:17:39.:17:43.

you held a meeting with the Police Commissioner last week to address

:17:44.:17:49.

the shortcomings in this particular area. It's important to be looked at

:17:50.:17:56.

north Wales particularly. The most of my prize of ?4.9 million of

:17:57.:18:02.

substance misuse action fund to this area. -- the Government provides

:18:03.:18:17.

?4.9 million. The issue in terms of paraphernalia and the visibility of

:18:18.:18:20.

individuals with issues with substance misuse in the town centre,

:18:21.:18:27.

that clearly as to result in a cross, multi-agency approach. That

:18:28.:18:35.

includes not Wales police and also the local authority and voluntary

:18:36.:18:40.

sector organisations. I had hoped that since the time has lapped we

:18:41.:18:48.

might have had a fuller answer. The Welsh Government in 2000 and 84 for

:18:49.:18:55.

a strategy to reduce harm. These images make it seem that this

:18:56.:19:00.

strategy is not working. What a valuation has the Welsh Government

:19:01.:19:03.

is taken of this strategy and the support that is in place for the

:19:04.:19:09.

local authorities and the police forces and support agencies in

:19:10.:19:12.

Health and Social Care to add to the address these issues that are

:19:13.:19:17.

happening day in and day out, week in and week out, on the streets

:19:18.:19:24.

across Wales, that are crying out for a solution and support from

:19:25.:19:29.

central Government, in particular as you have had this 10-year strategy

:19:30.:19:32.

in place that is coming towards the end. We are still seeing these

:19:33.:19:37.

horrific images portrayed in the media as happening in public spaces

:19:38.:19:43.

as we seek. I have identified investment in the substance misuse

:19:44.:19:48.

action fund. That is available to those that are delivering on the

:19:49.:19:53.

ground not well. -- underground for thrills. They have developed an

:19:54.:20:03.

action plan, a comprehensive town centre action plan. It's got a

:20:04.:20:07.

number of actions. It has to be about the constantly changing needs

:20:08.:20:12.

and circumstances in terms of substance misuse. There are a number

:20:13.:20:20.

of planned project coordinated by people. This is identifying hotspot

:20:21.:20:24.

service and clean-up is taking place. It's also important to

:20:25.:20:32.

recognise that this is about the substance misuse that we need to

:20:33.:20:36.

look at in terms of best practice. That is where the new substance

:20:37.:20:42.

misuse delivery plan is so Bertrand. -- is so Bertrand. Everyone seems to

:20:43.:20:49.

blaming everyone else rather than actually getting to grips with the

:20:50.:20:54.

problem. The Welsh Nationalists believe that legalising drugs is the

:20:55.:21:00.

sensible alternative. From this side of the house, we do not believe this

:21:01.:21:05.

is the solution. In particular, the deaths from drugs have doubled since

:21:06.:21:13.

2012. That is clearly not a road to solving this problem. Well, there's

:21:14.:21:18.

lots of mumbling coming from the other side of the house. From the

:21:19.:21:26.

Government, there needs to be a working group set up by the Welsh

:21:27.:21:30.

Government to pull together the charities and health bodies and

:21:31.:21:36.

policing crime commission not Wales. To make sure that we can get a court

:21:37.:21:41.

may could approach to dealing with this issue, there seems to be a

:21:42.:21:49.

plain culture developing rather than -- be a blame culture developing

:21:50.:21:52.

rather than getting to grips with the serious issue that many of these

:21:53.:21:56.

people face and the tragedy that their lives have spirals out of

:21:57.:22:02.

control and ultimately they need the support of Government, working with

:22:03.:22:05.

sponsor bodies, to put the measures in place. Can you confirm that you

:22:06.:22:10.

will do that? I have identified not only the strategy and investment but

:22:11.:22:17.

I would hope that Andrew RT Davies is also speaking to the Conservative

:22:18.:22:22.

councillors in Wrexham and the independent counsel those that are

:22:23.:22:26.

at the sharp end of being responsible. With our support and

:22:27.:22:34.

the multi-agency panel. These of you can. The leader of the house will

:22:35.:22:42.

have seen that last year's budget was not an unqualified success for

:22:43.:22:46.

the Chancellor. Does she and most governments for any lessons from

:22:47.:22:52.

that experience with a view to how they are going to exercise the tax

:22:53.:22:58.

varying powers we are to obtain under the Wales act? I do think that

:22:59.:23:02.

in terms of last week, I think it has been described as a shambles.

:23:03.:23:08.

Certainly, a budget that has hit self-employed people very hard. A ?2

:23:09.:23:12.

million hike in national insurance contributions. That is affecting

:23:13.:23:18.

many of the people we talk about in the FSB talks about in terms of

:23:19.:23:23.

self-employed people. These ID risk-takers spearheading both. --

:23:24.:23:33.

these are the risk-takers. Filming to learn lessons from us. The

:23:34.:23:42.

additional funding... Can I say, you've asked me the question... The

:23:43.:23:49.

additional funding doesn't alter the magnitude of spending reductions be

:23:50.:23:53.

faced for future years, despite the small additions. The capital budget

:23:54.:24:00.

will still be less than in real terms to certain of 11. With

:24:01.:24:06.

respect, you didn't answer my question. What I was keen to elicit

:24:07.:24:11.

was whether it makes it more or less likely that the Welsh Government

:24:12.:24:19.

will use its powers to Vivienne, green -- vary its income tax. Lower

:24:20.:24:28.

tax rates can produce higher tax revenues. In the 1980s, Nigel Lawson

:24:29.:24:32.

reduced taxes and that was the effect. In 1979, the top 1% of

:24:33.:24:41.

earners paid 11% of all tax revenues. By 1997, they paid 21%, in

:24:42.:24:48.

spite of the fact that the club band of income tax had been reduced. --

:24:49.:24:56.

of the fact that the top band. Let's not make Wales into a kind of tax

:24:57.:25:03.

haven. I don't think we'd expect anything different from the reader

:25:04.:25:09.

of Ukip. I would have hoped that you would be considering the impact of

:25:10.:25:14.

the Chancellor's budget last week. The impact on the people that we

:25:15.:25:19.

represent. The impact of the fact that the sting in the tail of that

:25:20.:25:22.

budget and forecast is that there is a 3.5 billion cut plans by the

:25:23.:25:30.

Government for 1920. -- February 20 20. That is what I'm concerned. Of

:25:31.:25:39.

course, we have to look at that in terms of the implications of this

:25:40.:25:49.

budget. For self-employed and also the progress people and will. With

:25:50.:26:00.

respect, I'll try again. I still haven't had an answer. Does the

:26:01.:26:05.

reader of the house except that lower tax rates can produce higher

:26:06.:26:08.

tax revenues? In which case, everybody wins. As far as the UK

:26:09.:26:18.

Government is concerned, we take responsibility and have a

:26:19.:26:21.

responsibility that we are not taking through registration in terms

:26:22.:26:25.

of evolved and coming our way. We look forward to debating this in the

:26:26.:26:34.

next couple of weeks. In -- we need to recognise the adverse impact of

:26:35.:26:44.

the divisions made by Phil. He fumbled his budget angrily to

:26:45.:26:49.

recognise that that is bad, the fact that it is undermining the ICO to

:26:50.:26:56.

promote the UK as a place to start a business. Will Leader of the

:26:57.:27:09.

House... The investment dealers Government is making to benefit all

:27:10.:27:12.

parts of Wales and all aspects of society. The Government's own

:27:13.:27:20.

figures show that the level of Welsh Government capital expenditure on

:27:21.:27:25.

infrastructure in south-east Wales is twice that per head in north

:27:26.:27:31.

Wales and three times the figure for mid and west Wales. Its concern over

:27:32.:27:41.

huge investment cap led us to vote against the supplementary budget

:27:42.:27:51.

last week. What assurance... Lets you the question. What assurance can

:27:52.:27:58.

she give my party and members on all sides who represents those regions

:27:59.:28:03.

that we will have equal investment for all parts of Wales so that we

:28:04.:28:07.

can see Chris Berry T-shirt? I think the member has seen the

:28:08.:28:16.

combined Welsh Government allocations for local authorities,

:28:17.:28:22.

the Health Board, police authorities for 2017, 2018. And has seen that

:28:23.:28:27.

there is only one area where there is a slightly different powerhead

:28:28.:28:31.

allocation and I would want to share this again with the member. In terms

:28:32.:28:37.

of capital expenditure on an all Wales basis, that is crucially

:28:38.:28:40.

important in terms of investment in social housing, in best win in 20%

:28:41.:28:46.

through schools, investment in transport. I can again give you the

:28:47.:28:52.

investments in floods and coastal risk management, supporting the Hall

:28:53.:28:57.

of Wales, ?144 million, to improve our road network. In terms of North

:28:58.:29:05.

Wales, ?50 million to advance the north-east Wales Metro with

:29:06.:29:07.

potential to expand west in the future. In terms of the

:29:08.:29:15.

supplementary budget, we were... What was in that supplementary

:29:16.:29:17.

budget is very important to be people of Wales. It is ?170 billion

:29:18.:29:24.

to support the Welsh NHS. Just to give one example, and ?16 million

:29:25.:29:33.

for a treatment fund and an additional ?20 million funding for

:29:34.:29:37.

higher education and an additional ?85.5 billion to support

:29:38.:29:40.

construction and maintenance to be tried and road network in Wales.

:29:41.:29:51.

Let's say... Let's recognise the importance of our considerations.

:29:52.:30:04.

Thank you, Presiding Officer. Cabinet Secretary, there is a

:30:05.:30:08.

Cardiff capital region city deal as a proposed Swansea be city deal,

:30:09.:30:18.

what consideration has been given to a mid Wales deal on the same skill

:30:19.:30:21.

to ensure there is a similar level of investment in the fourth

:30:22.:30:25.

remaining economic region of Wales? There has been work done, as you

:30:26.:30:32.

know, in terms of how we can respond to opportunities in mid Wales. It is

:30:33.:30:38.

also relevant to say and very pertinent to your patch is that

:30:39.:30:44.

these are about budget choices in terms of those cuts to the capital

:30:45.:30:46.

programme that I have already spoken about. Five new primary schools we

:30:47.:30:53.

are building had been recently announced as part of the 21st

:30:54.:30:59.

century schools programme. That is so important. The prospects of

:31:00.:31:03.

children and young people in terms of growth opportunities in mid

:31:04.:31:07.

Wales. Although he would not believe it, there was quite a degree of

:31:08.:31:10.

consensus last week during the debate on the foundational economy,

:31:11.:31:14.

which has already been mentioned by Simon Thomas. It was agreed

:31:15.:31:18.

unanimously in the Chamber that small businesses connected with each

:31:19.:31:21.

other in a way that doesn't happen in large firms. Networks of social

:31:22.:31:27.

capital need to be extended beyond local social context. It was agreed.

:31:28.:31:32.

It was further agreed that the geography of the South Wales Valleys

:31:33.:31:35.

has been a barrier to death in the past. With the reader of the house

:31:36.:31:40.

therefore accept that the Government investment focused in this area to

:31:41.:31:44.

be successful, the Northern Valleys need to be seen as interdependent

:31:45.:31:47.

communities looking east and west and not simply spokes linking into a

:31:48.:31:55.

city hub. It is always good when we get back to consensus in this

:31:56.:31:58.

Chamber as we did very much a that debate on economy. The Cabinet

:31:59.:32:06.

sector of the economy and transport responded to very positively. I was

:32:07.:32:11.

also interested to see the very strong arguments for the points you

:32:12.:32:17.

are making on the northern Valleys interdependency with Vicky Howells

:32:18.:32:20.

in an article in the Westerman mail. It is a very personal point in terms

:32:21.:32:25.

of the city region deal, because we have to make sure that this is

:32:26.:32:30.

recognised, the northern Valleys recognise. It is not just been put

:32:31.:32:37.

down it is going up on it is that mutual interdependency. Will the

:32:38.:32:40.

reader has 87 on the provision for people on the otters spectrum in

:32:41.:32:42.

Wales. -- otters. We have had extensive consultation.

:32:43.:33:04.

Thank you for that response. The National Society for Wales has asked

:33:05.:33:08.

for a record of the number of people on the spectrum in order to assist

:33:09.:33:12.

local authorities to plan the services more effectively and in a

:33:13.:33:18.

war competence of manner. One would expect a record of people who have a

:33:19.:33:25.

care plan for next April onwards, but there are a number of people who

:33:26.:33:29.

do not have a care plan and there are others who go in and out of the

:33:30.:33:33.

system. When will your Government insist that a full record is kept in

:33:34.:33:37.

order to ensure that the proper resources and facilities are

:33:38.:33:41.

provided were needed in all parts of Wales? I thank the member for that

:33:42.:33:44.

question. It is their relevant to the work that has been taken forward

:33:45.:33:51.

by an implementation advisory group for the autistic spectrum disorder

:33:52.:33:56.

strategic action plan for Wales. The National Autistic Society is sitting

:33:57.:34:01.

on that import meditation group and as it is a world autism awareness

:34:02.:34:05.

Day later this month, the group is going to be meeting for the written

:34:06.:34:08.

at the end of the month. Wooding at that time, it is... It needs data.

:34:09.:34:18.

It is also about the new 26 waiting time targets from a referral for

:34:19.:34:21.

first appointment for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental

:34:22.:34:32.

diseases to speed up the reports. Leader of the house, I understand

:34:33.:34:34.

there are a strategic action plans in place only for five or six months

:34:35.:34:40.

now, but what we really need to see is how the gaps in provision of

:34:41.:34:45.

services, particularly services going to be fulfilled within

:34:46.:34:47.

Pembrokeshire, there is a massive gap in the provision of services for

:34:48.:34:52.

adults with autism and neither Pembrokeshire County Council nor the

:34:53.:34:56.

local Health Board appear to have vacancies of enough method of being

:34:57.:34:59.

able to plug those gaps. What can you the wealth Government do to

:35:00.:35:03.

encourage that happen, because I can tell you know, you are strategic

:35:04.:35:08.

action plan isn't even touching the sides on that? Look like the ?6

:35:09.:35:13.

million we put into developing our new integrated autism service will

:35:14.:35:15.

start at the Cannes impact that the member would want to see. It is an

:35:16.:35:20.

investment over three years which will be rolled out over a Wales by

:35:21.:35:28.

2019. It's going to see new specialist teams in every region

:35:29.:35:30.

providing adult diagnosis, supporting in the community and

:35:31.:35:40.

helping their parents and carers. Will be leader of the house provide

:35:41.:35:44.

an update on the work problem of the Welsh European funding office

:35:45.:35:47.

between now and the exit from the European Union? The European funding

:35:48.:35:53.

office for Wales is continuing to implement the EU funding programmes

:35:54.:35:55.

as agreed with the European Commission to deliver jobs and

:35:56.:35:59.

growth. Newly to those of the fund had been committed to date and our

:36:00.:36:03.

aim is to invest all of the funds available to Wales by early 2019.

:36:04.:36:09.

Thank you for that, but as you may already know, as well as indicating

:36:10.:36:12.

that equivalent money should come to Wales after exit, with this giving

:36:13.:36:17.

evidence to the external affairs committee have said this is an

:36:18.:36:19.

opportunity to do things differently in terms of regional funding. Can

:36:20.:36:25.

you tell me how many of the applications are currently

:36:26.:36:27.

predicated on the private sector kicking the delivery lead and what

:36:28.:36:30.

advice regarding bidders for that remaining money to make sure that

:36:31.:36:35.

long-term projects are structurally flexible enough to make sure that

:36:36.:36:40.

they can last ones the days of the commission directing regional

:36:41.:36:45.

funding have gone? Clearly multi-million projects in crude

:36:46.:36:51.

business Wales, apprenticeships, they are directly relevant for the

:36:52.:36:56.

private sector. You will be aware that in your region, they are making

:36:57.:37:01.

an impact by boosting business, helping them to increase work

:37:02.:37:05.

prospects and skills of our people. Also ensuring that through programme

:37:06.:37:10.

monitoring committee we are engaging fully with Welsh stakeholders,

:37:11.:37:13.

including the private sector in terms of the Commonwealth position

:37:14.:37:18.

on future arrangements for regional funding in Wales. That is critically

:37:19.:37:23.

important. The PMC is shared by Julie Morgan. Critically important

:37:24.:37:35.

of safeguarding those investments. It operates under EU regional

:37:36.:37:38.

policy, they are not going to be there in two years. What I'm asking

:37:39.:37:42.

is, what discussions have you had with the UK Government about a

:37:43.:37:46.

future in regional policy and how have you taken the opportunity to be

:37:47.:37:49.

created on the agenda to ensure that what happens in Wales can be unique

:37:50.:37:53.

to the country goes back I think our white paper at securing Wales'

:37:54.:37:57.

future is vitally important, because it does lay out what we made clear

:37:58.:38:03.

as far as regional economic next development. It is a clear that that

:38:04.:38:07.

is a devolved competence and it must remain so. We would resist firmly

:38:08.:38:12.

any attempt by the UK Government to reverse any form of devolution and

:38:13.:38:17.

take control of regional policy, so I'm glad of having the opportunity

:38:18.:38:21.

to put that on record today. It is important that we have got

:38:22.:38:27.

engagement through the joint administer real committee on

:38:28.:38:31.

negotiations which the Cabinet sector of finance of local

:38:32.:38:34.

Government represents us and he presented our White Paper in their

:38:35.:38:41.

meeting on the aid of debris. -- on the 8th of February.

:38:42.:38:48.

Will the leader of the house make a comment on post 16 education Wales?

:38:49.:38:58.

It insures our young people can excessive skills that they need to

:38:59.:39:04.

develop their careers and that adults can develop their careers and

:39:05.:39:08.

support our growing economy. Thank you. There is been a a lot of talk

:39:09.:39:17.

about the need for something between. But they have failed to

:39:18.:39:23.

deliver on that talk. A recent report showed that there was an

:39:24.:39:31.

oversight of finances for colleges. ?22 million to our colleges over the

:39:32.:39:37.

past five years. That has stifled them been able to make progress. In

:39:38.:39:42.

fact, nearly half of our Welsh colleges carry large deficits and

:39:43.:39:51.

are closed to eat into their savings. What action might the Welsh

:39:52.:39:54.

Government be able to take as a result of the savings which will be

:39:55.:39:57.

secured through changes to higher education student support, in terms

:39:58.:40:06.

of some of that cash being be invested in order to rebalance the

:40:07.:40:09.

situation in terms of parity between both forms of education? He may

:40:10.:40:20.

talk, we deliver. I have to say... Haven't delivered anything. Our

:40:21.:40:32.

approach, we have established an approach to vocational and technical

:40:33.:40:37.

qualifications that we've actually developed in consultation with

:40:38.:40:41.

employees. We've benefited from collaboration, engaging with

:40:42.:40:45.

Northern Ireland and Scotland, internationally recognised approach

:40:46.:40:51.

to apprenticeships, vocational and technical qualifications. As we can

:40:52.:40:55.

see by the investment and commitments to 100,000

:40:56.:40:59.

apprenticeships. And we have the original shirt skills partnerships.

:41:00.:41:04.

That is to determine the need for skills. I don't recognise the points

:41:05.:41:07.

you make at all. Those employers that I met last week, who are

:41:08.:41:15.

concerned to get young people into science and technology, engineering

:41:16.:41:24.

and maths. They say that actually parity with vocational opportunities

:41:25.:41:34.

are vital for young people. Apprenticeships is something that

:41:35.:41:40.

young aspire to. Along the same lines, there is UK research that

:41:41.:41:51.

showed that only 17% of kids -- of was the... More thought higher

:41:52.:41:58.

education as the best option for them. The perception still exists

:41:59.:42:06.

that there isn't parity of esteem between vocational and academic

:42:07.:42:11.

courses. Can I ask what he Welsh Government is doing, for example, to

:42:12.:42:17.

promote perceptions of the research that shows that the probable

:42:18.:42:20.

earnings of the best apprenticeships, many thousands of

:42:21.:42:24.

pounds more over the course of their careers by students that have been

:42:25.:42:30.

in higher education outside the main group of universities? Without the

:42:31.:42:35.

debts that results from that codification. -- from that

:42:36.:42:44.

education. 100,000 apprenticeships speaks for itself in terms of our

:42:45.:42:51.

apprenticeship. The fact that it enables young people to reach their

:42:52.:42:57.

potential. As you say, the Sutton trust research is very valuable and

:42:58.:43:06.

pertinent. Clearly in terms of our statutory duty to provide education

:43:07.:43:11.

for an owners up to the age of 18, we have protected and mitigated the

:43:12.:43:17.

brand of reductions from the UK Government. As a result of the

:43:18.:43:22.

budget agreement, we have put an additional ?30 million in to support

:43:23.:43:25.

further and higher education. That is having a huge impact in terms of

:43:26.:43:30.

targeting investment. As making the opportunities for young people real.

:43:31.:43:35.

They can progress anyway from apprenticeships into higher

:43:36.:43:40.

education and into very well paid and long-lasting jobs and careers.

:43:41.:43:54.

Question seven. Our local energy service promotes services across

:43:55.:44:01.

Wales back. It keeps the benefits of renewable energy projects within

:44:02.:44:04.

Wales. We can look at how these projects will be a new continued to

:44:05.:44:12.

develop. These mechanisms stand within the very proud cooperative

:44:13.:44:18.

tradition of promoting local enterprise and social benefit.

:44:19.:44:20.

Particularly for technical reasons they are easy-to-use and more

:44:21.:44:25.

flexible than traditional charitable approaches. They are an excellent

:44:26.:44:36.

way to Vermont communities schemes. -- to promote community schemes. I

:44:37.:44:41.

do commend the efforts that have been going on in the not-for-profit

:44:42.:44:49.

sector. I do think that the Government could do with Bush in

:44:50.:44:55.

this area. I agree with all the points. The community shareholders

:44:56.:45:02.

have raised over 5.5 million since 2010. You will be very aware of

:45:03.:45:09.

these community projects. We related to commercial developers work more

:45:10.:45:13.

closely with communities are shared ownership and investment. I think it

:45:14.:45:21.

is important, you mentioned the cooperative Centre, we are proud of

:45:22.:45:29.

that, that helps communities to share experience of how to develop

:45:30.:45:34.

local energy services. Question eight. With the Leader of the House

:45:35.:45:43.

make a statement on the duties of traffic officers? They are there to

:45:44.:45:59.

serve up to the English border. Her, as the Leader of the House has

:46:00.:46:02.

confirmed, traffic officers are not Wales patrol A55. It doesn't stop

:46:03.:46:16.

at, plus. It continues to Anglesey. This, according to police officers,

:46:17.:46:21.

is causing problems. It ties up resources in dealing with road

:46:22.:46:25.

accidents and so on. These don't happen in other portables with my.

:46:26.:46:32.

-- in other parts of north Wales. With the Government look again at

:46:33.:46:37.

the cover and strategy. -- will be Government look again at this

:46:38.:46:45.

strategy? The traffic officer service was originally devised to

:46:46.:46:50.

cover business sections of the road network. We inherited this PFI

:46:51.:46:57.

contract, as you will be aware. It has, in terms of responsibilities,

:46:58.:47:00.

we need to look carefully at the impact of that. In terms of cough

:47:01.:47:06.

and service. In the north, the server survey was A55. The two then

:47:07.:47:17.

need to see that we extend this cover. We need to improve its

:47:18.:47:28.

resilience. Finally, question nine. May I ask the leader of the house in

:47:29.:47:33.

this budget on part of the First Minister what plans he has to meet

:47:34.:47:36.

the Scottish First Minister to discuss the relationship with the

:47:37.:47:42.

Rabin union? They spoke yesterday and continues to have regular

:47:43.:47:47.

discussions with hard-boiled bilaterally and in meetings with the

:47:48.:47:49.

joint receiver committee and British-Irish Council. And quicker

:47:50.:47:58.

for the response and ensure that the First Minister wallop at an

:47:59.:48:01.

interesting conversation with the Scottish First Minister. Because

:48:02.:48:05.

there is so much in common between the Scottish Government White Paper

:48:06.:48:21.

and the red White Paper of Plaid Cymru, Dusty Welsh Government sees

:48:22.:48:26.

the importance, whatever the decision taken by Scotland on its

:48:27.:48:29.

constitutional future, that's seem out of them, of course, that there

:48:30.:48:36.

is a role for collaboration on the current negotiations between the UK

:48:37.:48:42.

and the EU, particularly to safeguard unfettered access to the

:48:43.:48:47.

single market for both nations? There is considerable common ground

:48:48.:48:51.

between our white papers secure ring Wales future. In particular,

:48:52.:49:00.

Scotland's place in Europe emphasises the economic importance

:49:01.:49:04.

of the single market and the vital contribution of migrant workers to

:49:05.:49:09.

businesses. The critical need to respect devolution settlement.

:49:10.:49:17.

That's 21st Minister has taken the lead in calling for those

:49:18.:49:22.

arrangements. -- that's where the First Minister has taken the lead.

:49:23.:49:26.

He convened an extraordinary British Irish vessel summit last July to

:49:27.:49:34.

other -- to allow to discuss the referendum.

:49:35.:49:37.

There we are - that was First Minister's Questions.

:49:38.:49:39.

If you want more more coverage of the National Assembly, you can go

:49:40.:49:42.

online to BBC Wales's Senedd Live page at BBC.co.uk/Walespolitics.

:49:43.:49:45.

If you want more Welsh politics this week, don't forget

:49:46.:49:47.

the Wales Report with Huw Edwards after the Ten O'Clock News

:49:48.:49:50.

As for today though, from all of us on the programme, goodbye.

:49:51.:50:10.

It was the most beautiful view I've ever been through.

:50:11.:50:17.

For one second, I was swimming on my back, and I was looking to the sky.

:50:18.:50:23.

I was swimming across the Aegean Sea.

:50:24.:50:29.

I was a refugee, going from Syria to Germany.

:50:30.:50:41.

The very embodiment of the England that must emerge.

:50:42.:50:49.

I have my own path to follow. Destiny.

:50:50.:50:52.