07/03/2017 First Minister's Questions


07/03/2017

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


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Transcript


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Good afternoon. Welcome to the programme and our weekly coverage of

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questions to the First Minister. From the order paper I can see there

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are questions on economic development, Cardiff airport and

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digital communications amongst other topics. We are on Twitter. Business

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has already started so let's cross to today's questions to the First

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Minister. TRANSLATION: I called the national Assembly to order and the

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first item on our agenda is questions to the First Minister and

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the first question from John Griffiths.

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Will be First Minister make a statement on the Welsh Government's

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policy on economic developer in South East Wales? Yes, we plan to

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support businesses in their growth, to invest in high-quality

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infrastructure and to improve economic conditions. Newport has

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great economic potential with its transport and economic strengths.

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There is the mainline and coast, with the neighbour Bristol, it is

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the hub of its wider regional economy. Would you agree with me

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that driving economic development in Newport would be a major factor in

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Wales achieving its great economic potential? Yes, I do. We obviously

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need Newport to develop to its full potential. Work is under way which

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will bring benefit to Newport including the ongoing regeneration

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activity establishment of innovation point, and the proposals being taken

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forward with regard to the M4. A report by the workcentre for

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well-being identified four Southeast local authorities as ranking among

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the highest for well-being in equality. These included tour van,

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Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly. There are a number of

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possible solutions but we should not dismiss the indications that we use

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which include how worthwhile people feel about their day-to-day lives.

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Economic development will be central to addressing those very deep

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feelings in those communities. Will the First Minister commit to

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rejecting now a trickle-down approach to economic development and

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instead put on record his commitment to a place -based approach so any

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future economic plans he reveals for this country are centred on what

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really matters which is people and their communities? Yes, it is

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certainly not a case we accept trickle-down economics, far from it.

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We want to make sure communities are connected and that's what the

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south-west metro is about. And digital as well. And to ensure that

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people have the skills that they need in order to improve their

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incomes and to get jobs in the future and that something as a

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government we are very much focused on. First Minister, research by

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Lloyds bank shows that the number of new businesses starting up in Wales

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has dropped by more than a quarter over the last five years. The number

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of business start-ups fell by 27% in Caerphilly, more than 33% in

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Monmouth and less than 9% in Newport and 8% in Blaenau Gwent. That

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doesn't show a good picture of start-up businesses in south-east

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Wales. What measures and incentives does the Welsh Government intend to

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introduce to ensure economic conditions to encourage new

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businesses to start up in south-east Wales? We have a record number of

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start-ups. We are seeing more and more young people getting involved

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in businesses and becoming very successful in business. It is right

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to say of course that Brexit introduces an element of uncertainty

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and these are uncertain times indeed for businesses but as a government

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we will continue to support start-ups and are sure that many of

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those businesses become SMEs and even larger in the future. Question

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two, David Rowlands. Will the First Minister outlined the Welsh

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Government's plans to improve access to Cardiff airport? We are

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continuing with proposals to improve access to Cardiff airport by public

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transport and car, supporting the current bus and rail arrangements. I

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thank the First Minister for his answer and I think all in the

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chamber welcomes the huge improvement in the airport's

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performance since the government's intervention. But does the First

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Minister not agree that a rail link will greatly enhance its

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appeal to the international traveller and give a competitive

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edge over other local airports? Can he tell us why this has not been

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included in the metro project? And I welcome what the member has said,

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particularly regarding the improvements the Welsh Government

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has made since taking it over. He does asked an important question.

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The focus is on the bus service, at looking at improving the frequency

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on the current role in line and beyond that looking to see either

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where we should consider a rail spur, there are issues with that.

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There will be opposition that is true or whether in fact at some

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point in the future the terminal itself would move closer to the

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existing railway line. At the moment it is a question of improving what

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is already there and looking to see if there is a way of locating the

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terminal closer to the rail link. Adam Price. The agreement announced

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yesterday between the Welsh Government and Heathrow Airport is

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welcome, but in stark contrast to that published in relation to

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Scotland, there is no concrete targets in the agreement. On the --

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nothing on the amount of construction spent, nothing on

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landing charges or development fund for flights? Is that because

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essentially the First Minister negotiated any leverage she had away

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from announcing his support for Heathrow, without actually getting

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these concessions, in contrast to what the Scottish government did?

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The question is about access to Cardiff airport but I am more than

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happy to answer the question about Heathrow. I'm surprised he's not

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welcoming that 8000 jobs will be secured, all that investment, the

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fact that we work with Heathrow... High pitched screaming won't help

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him! The fact that we have secured commitment to manufacturing outside

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Wales, we have an event on the 5th of July to ensure that Welsh

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businesses... There is still high-pitched screaming won't help

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him! The fact that we have secured commitment to manufacturing outside

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Wales, we have an event on the 5th of July to ensure that Welsh

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businesses... There is still high pitched screaming. He still hasn't

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learned his lesson. That Welsh businesses... I think the members

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may be screaming because the member did well these great mentor. -- --

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he did welcome the statement. We will ensure there is manufacturing

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outside Wales. We will be ensuring there are routes being looked that

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not just Cardiff and what was announced yesterday is far more

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substantial than Scotland has achieved. Russell George. I will

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give another welcome this afternoon. I will welcome the growth in

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passenger numbers on the T9 bus service. I think that is fantastic

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news to welcome. The service is a success and is now proving to be

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sustainable in the long term, but would he commit to scrapping the

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half a million pound Welsh subsidy for this service and instead of the

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subsidies to other bus services which have been axed by cuts to the

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bus operators' grants. What he seems to be suggesting is we should not

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have a bus service to the airport. They did not want the airport to

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succeed. At the end of the day, the Welsh Conservatives did not want the

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airport to grow. They were happy to see the airport the climb. They

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would have sat on their backsides to see the airport closed down. They

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are still not happy that the airport is doing well in reality. They do

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not want a bus service to the airport and we want to make sure our

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service links to the airport in Cardiff and they will continue.

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Having public transport links surely, whether they are bus or rail

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are hugely important to the future development of any airport. I

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welcome the partnership agreement, in relation to the fact that flights

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want to fly out of Cardiff airport and the potential new jobs boosting

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the Welsh economy, however, Mike concern -- my constituents have a

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better connection to airports which serve them? Better train links form

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a key part of the Welsh Metro plans. Reva Wales started operating

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services in May of last year and we are working with Mersey travelled to

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develop opportunities to deliver better services to Liverpool and

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John Lennon airport in the next franchise. First Minister, I put in

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a Freedom of Information request to Cardiff airport owned by the Welsh

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public. I wanted to know how much money had been spent on lobbying

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firms, what companies had been employed and whether or not there

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had been a tender process gone through by those lobbying companies?

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Now, this is owned by the Welsh public, so the public have a right

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to know these things. The airport have refused to answer. What to make

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of this? Well, there are ways of appealing if he feels his question

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has not been dealt with. Neil Hamilton. While the First Minister

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was away last week, he may have seen that the secretary of finance rate

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to the Chancellor of the Exchequer about proposed public spending cuts

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in two or three years' time which are said to amount to ?3.5 billion.

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The government this year is running a budget deficit equivalent to ?60

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billion on George Osborne managed the singular achievement of

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borrowing twice as much money in six years as Gordon Brown and Alistair

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Darling, and the national debt is now 1000 800 billion compared with

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1000 200,000,000,006 years ago. That is ?28,000 for every person in Wales

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and indeed the United Kingdom. It is very easy to spend money we haven't

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got, of course, and everybody would be like -- would like to be able to

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borrow interminably and never pay it back. By how much does he think the

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government's borrowing should increase on a permanent basis? It is

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a case for borrowing to invest in the future. It has never been

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cheaper to borrow on the world markets. We know from the experience

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after the Second World War when the UK was in a far worse position than

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it is now financially, that the government of the day took the

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position that it would seek to borrow money in order to invest in

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the future and then we saw the economic growth of the 1950s and

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1960s. I am unashamedly Keynesian in this regard and I take the view that

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government should be borrowing now in order to invest in order to be

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able to pay back the cost of the borrowing and more in the future.

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But the First Minister knows that never happens and he has only to

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look at the recent history of the UK government's debt position to see

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what is the reality. We have a well-being and future generations

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act in Wales, a very good thing it is indeed but what we are doing in

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carrying on this Rake 's progress of borrowing is to hand onto the next

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generation and massive debt which they will have to reply. I do think

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that is a terrible immoral position for us to hold. But there is a

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better solution for us. We do not have to borrow that money at all. We

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can look at what the government spends

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money on at the moment and cut that risk to anybody in Britain being

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disadvantaged. Let's take the foreign aid budget for example in

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which we are spending ?12 billion this year. If we knocked 3.5 billion

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of that 12 billion it would amount to the same sort of savings that the

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Cabinet sector of finance wants the Chancellor of the Exchequer to avoid

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deducting from the Welsh government's budget. There are

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plenty of reasons why we should cut the foreign aid budget. Is the First

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Minister putting the interests of people in foreign countries before

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the people of Wales? There is the obvious moral question

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of those countries who are rich helping the poor. Norway is a prime

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example, grants set up by the Norwegian government because they

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felt they had done well out of oil and gas and wanted to give something

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back. That desire to help humanity is hugely strong. Looking at it

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economically, aid, it buys friends and colleagues. -- allies. If you do

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not do it, someone else will. There is a strong moral case for aid, but

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in diplomatic terms, if you offer aid, they will remain your friends

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and trade with you in the future, increasing the wealth of their own

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people and buying the goods you manufacture. There is a humanitarian

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case for aid and no one is against that but a lot of the aid budget

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goes to country spending a huge amount of money on projects we would

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not regard for a moment as humanitarian. We are increasing aid

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to Pakistan this year by ?100 million to nearly ?450 million a

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year and Pakistan this year is increasing its defence budget by 635

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million to 6.7 billion. They spend far more per capita on defence than

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we do in the UK. They have a nuclear programme and a space programme. We

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are increasing the amount of aid to Pakistan, it is indirectly funding

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the space and military budgets. There are many other examples of

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countries where people have suffered greatly, a lot of it because of the

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ineptitude of European powers who left those countries with artificial

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boundaries and economic incoherence, without a tradition of governance

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and they struggled as a result. Many have good governance now. Barna, for

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example. Governance is robust. -- Ghana. I see nothing wrong with

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providing aid to people in order for them to survive and also to enable

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people to develop themselves economically and of course to enable

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those people to provide for those families. I was in Uganda two years

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ago and what struck me was the entrepreneurial spirit of the

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people. But they did not have capital. Offaly was the -- coffee

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was the main cash crop. The great thing that happened was banking via

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mobile phones. For many people around the world, they just need a

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bit of help to prosper and that is why we give aid to people to make

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sure they can prosper in the future and their communities can prosper.

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On the 16th of January, you introduced the Trade Union Bill and

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the intention is to do supply aspects of the UK Government's trade

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union act. Light country supports this, we believe industrial

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relations should be decided upon here and not in Westminster the --

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Plaid Cymru. It will be incompetence under the assembly's current powers.

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Do you believe it will be incompetence under the reserved

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powers model under the new Wales act? The competence will change. We

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will pass this legislation. We will do what is right by the people of

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Wales. It is a matter for the UK Parliament to decide whether it

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wishes to override an act passed by the people of Wales in their

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parliament. If they choose to do that, they will precipitate a

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constitutional crisis. The Wales act implements a heavy list of

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restrictions and industrial relations is one of those and we

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heard from the constitutional and legal affairs committee yesterday

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that the UK Government intends to legislate on industrial relations

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once the Wales act is in force and they used the words at the earliest

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opportunity. If you want to reduce strike action, the best way is not

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through legal restrictions, but through negotiation, dialogue and a

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social partnership approach that is advocated by a majority of people in

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this assembly. You have said you still intend to take the Trade Union

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Bill through this assembly, what is your plan to ensure that its

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provisions are not overruled by the UK Government? We will do everything

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we can to make sure it does not happen. We will take this

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legislation through the assembly and we believe it will pass with the

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support of not just the governing parties but our own party as well.

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It is a matter for the UK Parliament, the House of Lords

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particularly, to decide whether it is constitutionally appropriate to

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seek to overturn legislation made in a devolved parliament by the elected

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members of that devolved parliament acting within competence. That is a

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serious constitutional matter that the UK Parliament will embroil

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itself and if it goes down that line. Hankey. I wonder if we will

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now see another Supreme Court case. -- thank you. I am sure you agree it

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would be a damning verdict on the Wales act. Plaid Cymru voted against

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the legislative competence motion because we were the view it could

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lead to Westminster power grab. Would you agree that this now looks

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like a vindication of our position on that vote must not there is

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agreement across most of this to Chamber that the Wales act is not

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going to provide a lasting settlement, as the UK Government

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stated its objective was to achieve that. Will you state whether you

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believe the Wales act 27 is unworkable and if you do think it is

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unworkable, do you support Plaid Cymru's call for a new Wales Bill

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immediately? It is not unworkable, but it is not satisfactory. It was

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part of a package and parts of it we did not accept but nevertheless it

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took this assembly forward when it was viewed as a package. Does it

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mean there is unfinished business? Of course, the issue of jurisdiction

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and policing is still unfinished. Yes, undoubtedly, there will be

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another Wales Bill which will improve on the one we have had

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recently. First Minister, today there is the startling news that

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five people a week are dying in Wales five people a day, sorry, I

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dying in Wales because of air pollution. It a frightening figure

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that has been raised many times in this Chamber. Many communities would

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rightly be looking to the Welsh Government to try to understand what

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measures the Government will be taking to improve our quality

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through the lifetime of the assembly -- air quality. I would be grateful

:20:44.:20:47.

you could give us some understanding of the action the Welsh Government

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is taking so that communities can take comfort from it and see real

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improvement. It is for local authorities to review local air

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quality. We assist them. We are considering responses to the recent

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consultation held on the subject. It recognised the immediate and

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long-term health benefits to be gained by reducing pollution

:21:13.:21:19.

exposure. One area which has a beneficial effect on air quality is

:21:20.:21:24.

to encourage more people onto public transport which is why we passed the

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tram act for that to happen. We need more investment in public transport

:21:31.:21:33.

in Wales. We are doing our bit with the Metro. We need electrification

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to take place to Swansea as promised by the UK Government to encourage

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more people onto the trains. The more we can reduce car use and

:21:42.:21:46.

provide an alternative, the better it will be for air quality. Five

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people a week dying because of air quality in Wales, 2000 people a

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year, it is a frightening figure and as Public Health Wales have

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identified, one of the biggest if not the biggest issue we face. The

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programme today invited the Welsh Government to take part in the

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programme and regrettably they chose not to and issued a written

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statement. Can you understand why people are concerned they are not

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seeing real progress in their communities when they cannot see the

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lead coming from the Welsh Government to make these

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improvements? The figure of infringements is eating and yet the

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community in Caerphilly has had many more infringements of air quality

:22:33.:22:36.

and yet they are still blighted day in, day out, with the pollutants in

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the atmosphere -- the figure of infringement is 18. We need a sense

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of the figures we can calibrate. What would you do deem a successful

:22:47.:22:51.

outcome for the measures you will be taking by 2021? A reduction in the

:22:52.:23:00.

amount in the atmosphere. If we look at reducing emissions, I mentioned

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the consultation earlier, our responses to be published shortly.

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What is our contribution? Looking at the Metro providing an alternative

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to car use, meaning a reduction in exhaust fumes coming out of cars,

:23:14.:23:17.

making sure people have that alternative, promoting cycling as

:23:18.:23:22.

well, not using cars, the problem is, with the new changes to vehicle

:23:23.:23:30.

excise duty coming in, after the first year of a car's existence,

:23:31.:23:36.

every car, regardless of its emissions, will pay the same road

:23:37.:23:39.

tax. We have had a system for years were those cars who pollute the most

:23:40.:23:45.

pay the most. Now it is a flat fee and I think it is wrong. I

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understand the UK Government having to change the system. Otherwise no

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one would pay road tax eventually. But effectively now if you have a

:23:54.:23:58.

car that has a huge amount of emissions, you pay the same as

:23:59.:24:02.

someone whose car is very light in emissions. That will not help air

:24:03.:24:09.

quality in Wales. Would you agree to convene a summit on this issue of

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all the interested public bodies so there can be a joined up approach to

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it on the basis that we do across parties want to see improvements?

:24:18.:24:24.

When you have a public health issue taking 2000 lives a year, I would

:24:25.:24:30.

suggest it is rated as pressing number one button in your list of

:24:31.:24:35.

rarities. There seems to be an element of divergence when it is

:24:36.:24:40.

delivered in Wales -- list of priorities. Will you agree to host a

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summit to make sure progress can be made on this agenda item so that we

:24:46.:24:50.

can see genuine improvements across Wales, but importantly, improvements

:24:51.:24:54.

to make sure we do not continue to see the number of people dying from

:24:55.:25:00.

poor air quality going up in Wales? One of the issues increasingly a

:25:01.:25:04.

problem is cars idling in traffic jams are leaving the engines on. It

:25:05.:25:13.

creates a particular low air quality. One way to deal with it is

:25:14.:25:17.

making sure the blockages are removed. It means of course is also

:25:18.:25:21.

looking at ways of promoting electric cars. As part of the

:25:22.:25:28.

response to the consultation taking place, we will look to be as

:25:29.:25:31.

inclusive as possible in our approach. We have to work with local

:25:32.:25:38.

government as well, as the main monitors of local air quality, to

:25:39.:25:43.

make sure we can continue to improve the air the people of Wales breeze.

:25:44.:25:50.

-- breeze. How is the Welsh Government helping to reduce

:25:51.:25:54.

barriers to employment for people with long-term fluctuating health

:25:55.:26:03.

problems? We have a plan to support low activity groups including

:26:04.:26:07.

support for those with longer term health conditions. After action for

:26:08.:26:15.

any delivered employment support programme for people with any for

:26:16.:26:24.

the North Wales, Bristol NHS -- ME. How will you ensure the Welsh

:26:25.:26:28.

Government looking at the good practice across the border will

:26:29.:26:36.

address the barriers faced by people with long-term fluctuating

:26:37.:26:42.

conditions such as ME and ensure these are produced code productively

:26:43.:26:47.

in borders with the social and well-being act when you 14? I have

:26:48.:26:53.

mentioned the employability plan. In terms of healthy working Wales,

:26:54.:26:59.

there are three -- 3000 organisations engaged with healthy

:27:00.:27:05.

working Wales. 33% of the working population. An investment of

:27:06.:27:09.

?800,000 per year in the programme. We are also supporting workplaces to

:27:10.:27:13.

tackle Eskimo nation associated with mental health problems through the

:27:14.:27:21.

Time To Change. -- to tackle discrimination. I welcome your

:27:22.:27:26.

reference to mental health issues which is what I was going to raise.

:27:27.:27:31.

One effective measure in treating mental health problems is talking

:27:32.:27:34.

therapy which can reduce the need to prescribe medication which would

:27:35.:27:41.

itself enhance the ability of people to enter the job market. What is the

:27:42.:27:45.

Welsh Government doing to assist with the provision of talking

:27:46.:27:53.

therapy in Wales? We recognise that they cannot all be pharmaceutical

:27:54.:27:57.

intervention. Counselling is important, as is exercise and

:27:58.:28:01.

exercise is available in most of Wales in terms of it being

:28:02.:28:06.

prescribed to people. Our delivery plan, for mental health, is there to

:28:07.:28:14.

help people become more resilient and be able to tackle poor mental

:28:15.:28:19.

well-being when it occurs. Looking as part of that plan, we look at

:28:20.:28:24.

different therapies to help people in different and more effective

:28:25.:28:24.

ways. Will be First Minister make a

:28:25.:28:37.

statement on digital communications in Wales? Less, with our superfast

:28:38.:28:41.

Camry project and ongoing negotiations with the UK government

:28:42.:28:45.

we have access to fast fibre broadband to over 60,000 Welsh

:28:46.:28:52.

premises and achieved 90% of coverage in Wales by the end of this

:28:53.:28:58.

year. Can I congratulate the Welsh Government in rolling out superfast

:28:59.:29:02.

broadband. It is clear that the Tobruk fee of Wales, beautiful as it

:29:03.:29:07.

is, poses particular challenges to digital connectivity and we need

:29:08.:29:11.

greater proportional access to reach the same level of coverage -- the

:29:12.:29:19.

topography. I hope there are steps to press operators to share with the

:29:20.:29:24.

structure. We'll be First Minister confirm that how the publicly owned

:29:25.:29:31.

land can be used to help locate digitally connected infrastructure

:29:32.:29:35.

and how we look post-Brexit to how we can use public funds to support

:29:36.:29:40.

land management? At how we can use programmes to incentivise the

:29:41.:29:44.

digital structure in rural and semi rural areas where they can make a

:29:45.:29:49.

difference to connectivity worldwide? We can look carefully

:29:50.:29:56.

with the forthcoming mobile action plan to see how best this could

:29:57.:29:59.

support the targeted delivery of Communications of the structure on

:30:00.:30:06.

the more regional basis. -- communications infrastructure. We

:30:07.:30:11.

know some parts of Wales, the island of Anglesey for example, where there

:30:12.:30:16.

appears to be coverage but it is not powerful enough to deliver data

:30:17.:30:20.

coverage so there are issues that will need to be resolved for the

:30:21.:30:24.

future and using regional economic funding is one-way. TRANSLATION:

:30:25.:30:34.

Thank you very much. First Minister, I have received complaints from

:30:35.:30:38.

representatives of the business community on the quality of Wi-Fi

:30:39.:30:42.

services on trains running from Swansea to Paddington. This is often

:30:43.:30:46.

because of a poor signal on route. As this is a crucially important

:30:47.:30:50.

service for us in Wales, what is your government doing in connection

:30:51.:30:53.

with the Welsh Government and the private companies have to improve

:30:54.:31:00.

the signal along this route and other routes across Wales?

:31:01.:31:03.

TRANSLATION: Well, as one who has used that service many times, I have

:31:04.:31:07.

to say that the majority of the time it doesn't work and when it does

:31:08.:31:12.

work it doesn't work effectively. We are in touch with great Western of

:31:13.:31:17.

course to ensure that the service will ultimately improve. I know it

:31:18.:31:20.

is possible, I have seen it on other trends where the system works well

:31:21.:31:25.

and we wish to ensure that by considering the franchise next year,

:31:26.:31:30.

that this is something that will be quite normal in every train in

:31:31.:31:36.

Wales. First Minister, you mentioned fast fibre in your initial question.

:31:37.:31:43.

I will start with good news that the village of Tintern in my

:31:44.:31:47.

constituency has been recently connected to a superfast broadband

:31:48.:31:51.

box which is pleasing the village no end. On the flip side, in the rural

:31:52.:31:57.

hinterland in a village just outside, they haven't benefited from

:31:58.:32:02.

that box. BT seem to be under the impression that the whole area is

:32:03.:32:06.

now being served by superfast broadband and the problem has been

:32:07.:32:13.

dealt with. Can you liaise with BT that when a village in a rural area

:32:14.:32:16.

is connected, that a neighbouring village is not felt to be dealt with

:32:17.:32:19.

in the same way because then those people don't have any hope for any

:32:20.:32:23.

end date for their broadband problems. I will investigate the

:32:24.:32:28.

issue and write to the member with a response. I think mine is a

:32:29.:32:33.

straightforward question with a straightforward answer. There is

:32:34.:32:44.

fantastic work being done by superfast Wales in their workshops

:32:45.:32:47.

and road shows across the country. They are raising the potential on

:32:48.:32:49.

how to get those connections up. But the one place that is missing is one

:32:50.:32:52.

of the Hartland is of great industry in South Wales and it is Bridgend.

:32:53.:32:58.

Could I suggest that through his good offices on mine they might be

:32:59.:33:02.

able to bring one of the road shows to Bridgend, possibly north of the

:33:03.:33:12.

M4. Standing here, I cannot comment on behalf or Bridgend but I hope the

:33:13.:33:16.

member's words will find resonance with that member. Question five,

:33:17.:33:31.

Angela Burns. Good afternoon. What what plans does the First Minister

:33:32.:33:36.

have to address the barriers that are facing GP recruitment in Wales?

:33:37.:33:44.

We are investigating the money which was announced at the weekend. I work

:33:45.:33:51.

with organisations that represent all facets of the GP work sphere and

:33:52.:33:55.

the issue of professional indemnity is one of the points that comes

:33:56.:33:59.

across as a barrier for getting more GPs who are currently thinking of

:34:00.:34:03.

retiring, work part time, to release more of their GP hours and going to

:34:04.:34:07.

GP practices which would help with all of the queues and the problems

:34:08.:34:12.

we see in GP practices. I am aware that some of that ?27 million is

:34:13.:34:17.

earmarked to help offset some of that indemnity but what I really

:34:18.:34:21.

wanted to know is that I understood the Cabinet secretary had issued a

:34:22.:34:35.

report into this report -- had compiled a report into this issue.

:34:36.:34:40.

This is something which is under active discussion with the

:34:41.:34:42.

profession in order to move that forward. I can say that the package

:34:43.:34:46.

which was announced on the weekend is designed amongst other things to

:34:47.:34:51.

increase the contribution towards the rising costs of professional

:34:52.:34:54.

indemnity, as well as dealing with things like the increasing costs of

:34:55.:34:59.

pensions administration and the general uplift to deal with

:35:00.:35:05.

increasing practice costs. Adam Price. TRANSLATION: One of the

:35:06.:35:10.

frustrations is that qualifying students from Wales to want to be

:35:11.:35:17.

trained in Wales in our medical schools, but do not have the

:35:18.:35:19.

opportunity to undertake that training. If you look at the

:35:20.:35:24.

percentages in England, 80% of the students in medical schools are from

:35:25.:35:29.

England, 50% in Scotland, but only 20% in Wales. Can we guarantee that

:35:30.:35:37.

all Welsh domiciled students who have the ability to study can access

:35:38.:35:41.

a training place here in Wales and of course that has a great impact

:35:42.:35:49.

then with the ability to retain them in our health service. TRANSLATION:

:35:50.:35:54.

Well, I must say that he has said the same thing that people have told

:35:55.:35:58.

me they have seen examples of young people who have not received an

:35:59.:36:02.

offer to study in Cardiff, but have received an offer to study in

:36:03.:36:05.

England, and this is something which concerns me, because if they are

:36:06.:36:09.

good enough to go to England, then they should be good enough to attend

:36:10.:36:15.

a Welsh university. This was being considered recently but I will write

:36:16.:36:20.

to the member on this subject. I have heard people telling me this

:36:21.:36:24.

and I'm sure he said the same and it is important that we understand the

:36:25.:36:29.

selection system for students in order to ensure that Welsh students

:36:30.:36:36.

receive fair play. There is strong evidence -based suggesting that

:36:37.:36:39.

medical students are more likely to want to practice in the long term

:36:40.:36:44.

where they have trained. Therefore I welcome a health board's initiative

:36:45.:36:48.

where in partnership with Cardiff medical School, 60 medical students

:36:49.:36:51.

each year have experienced the early part of their training in GP

:36:52.:36:55.

surgeries in the south Wales valleys. Do you agree that giving

:36:56.:36:59.

medical students this exposure to general practice early on is crucial

:37:00.:37:03.

to promoting it as a career choice and how else can we promote the

:37:04.:37:09.

values as a good place for GPs to work? This is something which is

:37:10.:37:12.

hugely important as the member says. We look at the Rhondda cluster. That

:37:13.:37:17.

has been particularly active in terms of recruiting. It is hugely

:37:18.:37:23.

important that a student goes some warrant has a positive experience,

:37:24.:37:26.

and that is why it is important that we are able to do that. If we look

:37:27.:37:30.

at the Rhondda cluster as an example, they have a cluster

:37:31.:37:33.

communications officer to build up the Rhondda as a great place to

:37:34.:37:38.

work. They developed the website which describes the lifestyle and

:37:39.:37:46.

career available in the Rhondda and they have developed a recruitment

:37:47.:37:49.

survey and analysis. That is one example that can be used or adapted

:37:50.:37:54.

by other clusters in order to make sure that when students actually do

:37:55.:37:57.

their GP training in Valley areas that they feel they are coming to a

:37:58.:38:01.

place that is forward thinking, that is well resourced and has GPs who

:38:02.:38:11.

are dedicated to their community. Question six, Jayne Bryant. Will the

:38:12.:38:16.

First Minister make a statement on midwifery practices in Wales? Every

:38:17.:38:23.

woman has a named midwife to provide individual care during pregnancy.

:38:24.:38:29.

The ?95 million funding package announced recently introduced an

:38:30.:38:34.

increase in midwifery training places and that is the highest

:38:35.:38:41.

number. Thank you. The Royal College of Midwives report this year

:38:42.:38:44.

highlighted the growing age of the midwifery workforce and the need to

:38:45.:38:47.

replace those highly skilled and dedicated workers when they retire.

:38:48.:38:56.

The increase of student places and the continuing support for bursaries

:38:57.:39:00.

is very welcome. Commitment like this is essential to ensure that our

:39:01.:39:04.

maternity services attract more midwives over the coming years so

:39:05.:39:09.

they can deliver safe, high-quality care for women and babies. Will the

:39:10.:39:13.

Welsh Government pay tribute to the dedicated workforce we have and will

:39:14.:39:16.

the government worked with health boards and trade unions to make sure

:39:17.:39:20.

those approaching retirement can pass on their valuable skills and

:39:21.:39:25.

experience to the next generation of midwives? Absolutely. It's why we

:39:26.:39:29.

have increased the number of midwife training places. We know it is

:39:30.:39:32.

important to invest in the workforce of the future by making that

:39:33.:39:36.

investment now rather than wait for a time when we find we have a

:39:37.:39:43.

demographic problem with the workforce and we are making that

:39:44.:39:48.

commitment now. TRANSLATION: Thank you, I will also draw the First

:39:49.:39:53.

Minister's attention to a letter from AWI branch in my constituency,

:39:54.:39:59.

which makes the case for investment in midwifery services. They

:40:00.:40:02.

optically concerned about the sustainability of the workforce, and

:40:03.:40:07.

yes, you say there has been investment in more training places

:40:08.:40:13.

but does the First Minister agree with me that unless we see a

:40:14.:40:17.

significant increase in the training places available in Wales, that it

:40:18.:40:21.

will be impossible for us to provide for mothers and their families in

:40:22.:40:24.

the future, the kind of care that they need and deserve. Well, yes, we

:40:25.:40:31.

have invested to ensure there are more places available. We have seen

:40:32.:40:38.

a 40% increase in the number of training places available, and as I

:40:39.:40:44.

said earlier, that since -- that is since 1979. First Minister, you will

:40:45.:40:50.

be aware of the massive campaign a couple of years ago to ensure we had

:40:51.:40:56.

appropriate midwifery services and a consultant led maternity ward. We

:40:57.:41:03.

previously welcomed the development proposals of the unit and it would

:41:04.:41:07.

be really great if you could update members here on how well that is

:41:08.:41:11.

progressing and how that will lead to providing a first class

:41:12.:41:16.

consultant led midwifery service in North Wales? Well, that unit is a

:41:17.:41:24.

specialist unit. The original proposal was to move those services

:41:25.:41:28.

to Arrow Park. I took the view that we had to review that decision to

:41:29.:41:32.

see if it was possible and safe for that service to be delivered in

:41:33.:41:35.

Wales and sure enough that unit is the result of that. It is

:41:36.:41:40.

progressing well in terms of recruitment and building and I look

:41:41.:41:50.

forward to opening. Caroline Jones. First Minister, during the previous

:41:51.:41:54.

Assembly, the Welsh Government increased the number of student

:41:55.:41:59.

midwifery places. However, in the latest stated midwifery services,

:42:00.:42:03.

the Royal College of Midwives state it is no longer appropriate to

:42:04.:42:08.

maintain a steady number of training places at the midwifery population

:42:09.:42:11.

is ageing. What plans does your government have two increase the

:42:12.:42:15.

number of training places for student midwives in Wales?

:42:16.:42:20.

The funding package announced recently includes a 40% increase in

:42:21.:42:33.

midwifery training places. Will the First Minister make a statement on

:42:34.:42:36.

enforcement action under the animal welfare breeding of dogs Wales

:42:37.:42:43.

regulation 2014? The enforcement is the responsibility of the local

:42:44.:42:45.

authorities but officials are working with the heads of trading

:42:46.:42:49.

standards in Wales on a partnership delivery programme to capture data

:42:50.:43:05.

to assess the effectiveness of the regulations. Information received

:43:06.:43:06.

from anti-puppy farming campaigner says local authorities do not have

:43:07.:43:06.

the resources to enforce the legislation. The committee

:43:07.:43:12.

recommended the Government in the UK ban third-party sales of dogs and

:43:13.:43:15.

dogs should only be available for licensed regulated breeders or

:43:16.:43:22.

approved re-homing organisations, it would go a long way to shutting down

:43:23.:43:27.

the puppy farming industry. The UK Government has decided to ignore the

:43:28.:43:31.

recommendation. If the First Minister has the devolved powers to

:43:32.:43:35.

do so, does he intend to ban third-party dog sales in Wales and

:43:36.:43:40.

if he doesn't, how does the First Minister propose to take this issue

:43:41.:43:44.

further? We must separate out the issue of puppy farming and

:43:45.:43:49.

legitimate third-party sales. I do not accept there is no difference. I

:43:50.:43:54.

think there are those who sell us third-party... The third-party

:43:55.:43:59.

route, I think there are those who are dedicated to their animals.

:44:00.:44:05.

There are those who don't and they are the puppy farmers. What is

:44:06.:44:09.

hugely important is that local authorities devote the resources

:44:10.:44:13.

they should to ensuring the regulations are enforced and the law

:44:14.:44:17.

is observed and I know there was a recent court case in Ceredigion

:44:18.:44:20.

where the council did just that and they didn't force the law, followed

:44:21.:44:28.

the judicial process -- they did enforce the law. It lead to

:44:29.:44:32.

prosecution and they have also ensured suitable arrangements have

:44:33.:44:36.

been made for dogs removed from the premises. Local authorities are

:44:37.:44:42.

enforcing the law and it is hugely important those who are the real

:44:43.:44:45.

rogues, the puppy farmers, are dealt with and the law provides the means

:44:46.:44:53.

to do that. On a wider issue, of animal cruelty, it is widely

:44:54.:44:57.

established cruelty to animals is considered a gateway behaviour to

:44:58.:45:01.

violence against people, many of those perpetrators, as with other

:45:02.:45:07.

things, would deny their responsibility in these acts of

:45:08.:45:12.

violence, but what are you doing to consider this as part of wider

:45:13.:45:15.

animal abuse legislation and would you support the call I and others in

:45:16.:45:22.

this Chamber have asked of your animal Welfare Minister to have an

:45:23.:45:26.

animal abuse register for Wales? If we can track these perpetrators who

:45:27.:45:30.

are taking part in the violence against animals at the early stage,

:45:31.:45:35.

if they then go on to perpetrate against people, we can try and

:45:36.:45:40.

deflect from the seriousness of the potential things they may do in

:45:41.:45:44.

these positions, I would urge you to consider this seriously and to carry

:45:45.:45:49.

out research in this area. Can I give that consideration? It is an

:45:50.:45:52.

idea that is worth investigating. I do not know the practical issues but

:45:53.:46:00.

I wouldn't -- I would want to consider it further. I will write to

:46:01.:46:10.

the member. First Minister, I appreciate the Government gathers

:46:11.:46:15.

data at the moment which will steer any review into these regulations.

:46:16.:46:19.

Under these circumstances, can you give us an idea when this review

:46:20.:46:24.

will be held and can you also publish a timetable on this issue?

:46:25.:46:32.

There is no timetable in place at present but this is something of

:46:33.:46:35.

course the Minister will issue to the assembly once it is decided.

:46:36.:46:39.

That was First Minister's Questions. If you want more coverage of the

:46:40.:46:44.

assembly, you can go online to BBC Wales Senedd live page. That is it

:46:45.:46:51.

from us this week. We will be back next week. Thank you for joining us.

:46:52.:46:59.

How well do you know your Six Nations?

:47:00.:47:01.

OK, then. Fingers on the keypads, everybody.

:47:02.:47:04.

Who's made most appearances in the Six Nations in an England shirt.

:47:05.:47:08.

Scott Gibbs scored our last ever Five Nations try.

:47:09.:47:12.

Who scored our first ever Six Nations try?

:47:13.:47:14.

2011 was the first time an Italian player has been named

:47:15.:47:18.

Player of the Tournament. Who was it?

:47:19.:47:22.

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