24/10/2017 First Minister's Questions


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

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Good afternoon. Welcome to our weekly coverage of questions to the


First Minister. Carwyn Jones will be quizzed by the other party leaders


and by fellow Assembly Members on a range of topics from poverty to


immigration controls. You can see more details on our Twitter account.


Business has started. Let's look at today's questions to the First


Minister. TRANSLATION: I call members to order


and the first item on the agenda is questions to the First Minister. The


first question is withdrawn. Therefore, question two. How does


the Welsh government ensure patient safety in Wales? Well, we hold all


NHS organisations to account on a wide range of patient safety


indicators and we encourage an opening reporting culture to enable


full investigation of every case. Thank you, minister. In North Wales


we were shocked to learn that of the 77 unintended or unexpected


incidents resulting in patient deaths registered across Wales, in


the past 12 months, more than half of these fell within the university


health board. Every single unwith of the case will have been devastating


to the family and loved ones of these patients. First Minister


Questions, will be asked to how the special measures and indeed, your


government's intervention in realising any improvement in now to


the contrary. I am asking you now, will you please commit to an inquiry


as to why the safety of patients under this board and your


government's responsibility appears to be increasingly compromised.


Well, the member doesn't fully understand the way the statistics


are compiled. Rubbish. We encourage honesty and openness and that means


we encourage people to report serious incidents. Now that means


just like the crime statistics, for example, that where more people


report serious incidents then more are recorded. It doesn't mean there


are actually more serious incidents. That said, of course, we want it


make sure the incidents are reported. Nothing should be said or


done that will discourage reporting in the future because we want to


make sure the incidents are reported and out in the open. I can say to


the member in 2016/2017 the mortality rate was 1.79% which is


less than the waste average of 1.81%. It is important that every


case is investigated and it is important that people come forward


and there is an open culture dealing with complaints and that is what I


believe we are seeing here. More complaints coming forward rather


than more cases coming forward. Question three. What work is the


Welsh government undertaking to tackle fuel poverty. Since 2011 we


have invested ?240 million to improve the energy efficiency of all


45,000 homes and we have installed energy efficiency measures to low


income households. Despite the progress being made to reduce fuel


poverty through the Welsh government's suite of actions it


seems unlikely that the target will be met. Does the Welsh government


plan to review the fuel poverty strategy and what lessons will be


drawn interest the successful and not so successful elements of the


current plan? The survey is underway. It will provide important


data help inform delivery of prosperity. It will provide us with


information including updated national fuel poverty estimates and


da to help with the targeting of delivery measures and help us to


inform discussions with stakeholdest and it will mean, of course, that we


can draw on the data the survey provides in order to help to


strengthen the strategy in the future. First Minister, I agree with


what you said about energy efficiency, but it is quite a


startling fact according to Citizens Advice, only 12% of those on lowest


incomes are on the lowest available tariffs and I think there is a jb to


be done to inform people of the tariffs that available and Welsh


government and local authorities and housing associations perhaps when


they are doing the various schemes that you are referring to can remind


people how important it is to seek out the lowest tariff. People tend


to stick with the same provider through convenience and they fail to


get the best deal. What will help, of course, is to see as the UK


government has adopt add Labour Party policy, caps on variable


energy tariffs. It will help many people who are not who have not


taken the opportunity to change their tariffs or find they are not


able to do to so to benefit from lower prices.


TRANSLATION: Questions from the party leaders. First of all, Plaid


Cymru lieder, Leanne Wood. I am aware of the public health arguments


and the needs to reduce death from cancer in particular, but public


health policy should be looking at all problematic substance use. What


assessment has your government made of the impact of minimum pricing,


alcohol pricing, on the use of other substances like illegal drugs? There


will be some people, of course, who have an addiction. It maybe that


there are some who then look at illegal drugs, but for the mast


majority of people this will have two outcomes. Firstly, it will help


reduce the health issues that surround over drinking and secondly,


actually, it will help pubs because it's the pubs who suffer the most as


a result of supermarket selling that under cuts pubs which we know are


important for our communities. There is a commercial aspect to this as


well. We make no apologies for wanting to ensure that we get rid of


scenarios where very cheap alcohol is available to people in a way that


causes them to drink too much and therefore affects their health. I


have some sympathy with the arguments that you have just


outlined but from your answer it doesn't appear as if any assessment


has been made between that link, which I hope very much is an


oversight, First Minister. We need to reduce drug related deaths as


well as alcohol related deaths. Now, drug related deaths have reached a


record high in Wales and in England according to latest figures, drug


related deaths are up 44% compared to 2012. For Wales only figures,


there was also an increase on the previous year. 168 people lost their


lives in 2015. Hospital admissions are also up which means an increased


could to public services and to the NHS and anecdotally we all know that


some people are openly using drugs in public places, on our streets, in


town centres, where it is less safe, both for them and for others. First


Minister, can you explain how your substance misuse strategy is using


devolved powers to reduce drug related hospital admissions and drug


related deaths? One of the problems that we face is the Misuse of Drugs


Act has found it difficult to keep up with new drugs as they asphere on


to the market, drugs like Spice. The leader of Plaid Cymru is right,


there is too much open use of drugs and dealers who seem not to be too


concerned about being caught. The first thing to do is to target the


dealers. They need to be convicted and jailed. That's where they


belong, off the streets, yes, it is true to say others may come forward,


but it is important to send that message. How do we deal with people


who misuse drugs? Well, the substance misuse strategy is there


to help do that. It is a combination to mined of medical intervngs, but


also being strong in term of clamping done on people who supply


the drugs. While locking up the dealers hasn't worked so far and the


powers are out of your control, what you have control over, is health.


Now, a harm reduction approach has been proven to be the most effective


at reducing drug related deaths and you claim to be committed to article


harm reduction approach. We won't know whether the actions you have


taken are sufficient until the new Welsh statistics come out this


winter, but of course, the Wales and England statistics that we've


already seen don't bode well. If you are serious about reducing drug


related deaths as well as reducing the wider social problems, you would


be open to the solutions proposed by Plaid Cymru police and crime


commissioner. Will you agree to meet and provide the police and others


the support they need to enable a suitably located pilot safe


injecting facility which would reduce harm to the public, as well


as help to reduce unnecessary deaths from harmful drugs? Well, there are


already regular meetings that take place between the police and crime


commissioners and ministers in any eye vent. It is right to say, that


there is very little point, nor would it be right to see substance


misuse as something that would be a crime. There are people who have


medical issues, the suppliers are different, but those people, of


course, who are in the position where they misuse substances the


intervention for them has to be medical and that means working with


the police, that's true. It's what the substance misuse strategy is


designed to do. She has said we are waiting for the Welsh figures. And


we want to make sure the Welsh figures show that we are seeing a


positive effect on substance misuse. But the challenge is always there,


how do you deal with in new drugs that appear all the time from drugs


that didn't economist in 1971? She is right to mention heroin. But it's


hugely important that as we do, that we develop and give our substance


misuse strategy the time to develop and in that way, I believe, we will


help more and more people to get off the substances that they become


addicted. TRANSLATION: Thank you, Presiding


Officer. There are pressures across the United Kingdom when it comes to


the Health Service. In June 2015, your government took into special


measures the North Wales health board and in March this year, you


said that actually where deficits run out of control and problems


exist in other health boards across Wales, you might well have to


consider intervening in those health boards. What we've learnt is that


the deficit has doubled in the North Wales health board, waiting time


have gone up by 79%, from 4858 to 8700 and the deficit is projected at


the end of this year to be ?100 million. That's over the three


years. ?50 million for thisunder financial year, the previous two was


?25 million. How can people have confidence that your government is


putting the health board on the road to cofr rye and the concerns that


are raised by the member are being addressed when the statistics show


on waiting time and recruitment and deficit control and reduction you


are missing your own targets? First of all, to clarify his suggestion


there will be a ?100 million deficit, we don't expect the health


boards to come in with a deficit by the end of this financial year. With


the greatest respect, your own board papers, they are projecting a


deficit in this financial year of ?50 million. It's not my


calculation, it's their cal lags and they talk of unless there are


mitigating measures and actions implemented to bring that deficit


down, that deficit will exist. Here in Cardiff, you were saying that


isn't the case. Your own managers and directors in North Wales who are


responsible for the day-to-day delivery of service are saying there


is this deficit. You can't have the two working there. Perhaps that is a


cause for concern that you're so disconnected from what is happening


on the ground. I ask you again First Minister with waiting time going


through the roof and the deficit not in control and the enable to recruit


and retain staff, either GP level or in the hospitals, how after nearly


three years under your direct supervision and control can the


residents of North Wales can confidence that their health board


is on the road to recovery. We don't expect the health board to be in


deficit. If they identify an issue, they must deal with it. He talks


about waiting lists going through the roof and offers no evidence. He


says there are problems with recruitment and retention. We have


been successful in filling training places in terms of nursing


application, do you know what GPs say to us and I have had this from


one consultant, he said the reason why I wanted to come to Wales was I


like the recruitment campaign and two other words, Jeremy Hunt!


Why are waiting times that much better in the UK than here? You say


they are not, but the 12 hour wait in England is 78 people out of a


population of 55 million. 12 hours or more in accident and emergency.


In Wales, the figure was 2438 out of a population of 3 million. They are


not my figures, they are yours. What I'm trying to seek is an ability to


have confidence, and I'm using the waiting times that your government


published last week that said they had doubled from 4858 up to 8000


708. I use the deficit figures that the health board themselves have


published in their board report. I use the example that the health


board themselves say that the deficit will exist at the end of the


financial year unless mitigating actions are taken. So everything I


have quoted to you has come either from the health board or statistics


from your own government. I really seek assurances from you, first


ministers, after nearly two and a half years of your government being


in direct control of the North Wales health board that the health board


is progressing to a situation where waiting times will come down, Doctor


vacancies will be filled, and above all, the deficit will come under


control. On two occasions you have failed to give any assurances to


date. That tells you more about sure grip on reality than it does about


anything else. All I can say to him is there has been a complete


abdication of responsibility towards the NHS in England. Every time the


health boards underperforms, it's never the fault of the Conservatives


or Jeremy and Karen is to let me give him a figure that is correct so


he can mull over -- or Jeremy Vine. In England, the highest waiting list


on record is there -- Jeremy Hunt. There were 409,342 patients over the


English target, more than doubling over the last three years. We know


in Wales, we have gone in the other direction. And he sits there and


acquiesces, in a fund to Northern Ireland, he did nothing to represent


his country. He did nothing to represent his country. What


representation has he made to the UK Government, and his colleagues, dim


demand that Wales should get the Barnett equivalent of his money --


nothing. He is too scared of them. Returning to the theme mentioned


Bailly of Plaid Cymru, the minimum pricing for alcohol, how can the


First Minister support a measure which is so regressive in the way it


works? This is a measure which is explicitly designed,


disproportionally, to target those drinks which are consumed in


disproportionate measures by people on low incomes. It is well-known


that low-income households by fewer units of alcohol, but more of what


they buy is priced at less than 40p per unit. Where is the equity in the


measure that leaves the champagne socialist of the posh suburbs of


Cardiff unaffected, but targets the beer drinkers? Is he seriously


saying that people on low incomes are proportionally bigger drinkers?


That is a snobbery I have never quite seen before. And the


consequence of his argument is that, in that case, we should reduce the


tax on tobacco, because that is disproportionately regressive as


well, so let's reduce the tax on tobacco. It's exactly the same


argument. What we want to do is make sure that alcohol does not get


cheaper and cheaper, as it has done, so that people drink more and more


because they see it as cheap. As I said early on, there is an issue


here for the pubs. Pubs have been hammered year after year by cheap


supermarket alcohol, and pubs are responsible places where people


drink. They look after people and do not serve people who are drunk and


pubs are being lost at a rate of knots in our community. You speak to


any public, they will say part of the reason is that are buying cheap


supermarket alcohol sold below cost price at some points. Of course


there is a health aspect, but as a side issue, we know that one of the


consequences is that it will provide a level play-off -- playing field


for the pubs as well. I said the opposite actually, that people on


low incomes by less alcohol overall than people on higher incomes, but


more of the alcohol they drink is cheaper brands, not more expensive


brands, so it will have a disproportionally tough effect on


people on low incomes. The Centre for economic and business research


said in 2009 that there is substantial evidence that heavier


drinkers are least responsive to price changes. The problem alcohol


drinkers are the ones least likely to respond to the measures which are


now being proposed. What will happen here is that the real problem


drinkers will carry on drinking but have less money to spend on things


like food. So in other dietary respects, their health will suffer.


This will have no positive impact whatsoever. The only people who will


really benefit are the supermarkets, because this is not a tax being


imposed, you can just raise the price of a cheap product and that


will produce extra profits for the supermarket and certainly not for


pubs. The same argument can be used for cigarettes. If you're saying the


tax for cigarettes should be reduced, let's hear him say that. As


far as arguments on alcohol are concerned, if it is cheaper, people


will drink more. This is a way of ensuring the balance is right


between the price of alcohol and people's Hell. I see nothing wrong


with that and it's a hugely important thing that we have a


responsible attitude to alcohol rather than buy one get one free, by


two, get one free. These are not always the cheapest brands. They are


often on brands proportionally quite expensive and that is the way that


people are encouraged to buy more and drink more, which surely we


don't want to encourage. There is a problem with a relatively small


number of people who overindulge, and of course, we want to target


them. But the problem with a measure of this kind is that it is so


scatter gun in the approach that it penalises the many who are moderate


drinkers, not having any measurable effect on those who we do want to


help. I don't follow the logic. He could stand up and say that it


penalises the occasional smoker, so the duty on tobacco should be


reduced. The two things have the same kind of effect. For me, it's


hugely important as a society that we don't have alcohol sold below


cost price, as we see in supermarkets, and we don't have


people being encouraged to buy more alcohol. That encourages people who


might be moderate drinkers to drink more than is good for them and that


is something we are keen to avoid. As it happens, as a side-effect, it


also enables pubs to be able to compete on a level playing field


with the supermarkets who have driven so many pubs out of business.


Don't talk to me, talk to publicans and they will tell you this. The


difference in price proportion between supermarket alcohol and pub


alcohol is greater than ever before. We need to make sure that people


have a place to go in villages where they live, through pubs, and that's


not the intention of the legislation, it is to deal with


health but there are wider effects we have identified. How is the Welsh


government using public procurement to drive up horticultural production


in Wales? The National procurement service develops Pearl -- Collabro


trip approaches to apply this to the public sector -- collaborative


approaches. I have just come from the vegetable summit being held in


the pierhead at the same time as in London and Edinburgh. And we heard


really important pledges from a wide variety of producers and promoters


of four example, children's rights. The children's Commissioner


highlighted the fact that nearly 80% of people aged five to ten are not


eating enough vegetables and 95% of 11 to 16-year-olds are not eating


enough vegetables to be able to learn and play effectively. This is


a children's rights issue. We heard important pledges from the largest


supermarket in the UK, Tesco, who have agreed to buy seasonal veg, as


well as putting more vegetables in meal deals. And Cardiff University


and Cardiff met and the health board in Cardiff, Cardiff Council, they


are all pledging to serve and promote more vegetables in their


pubs, canteens and dining rooms. What can we do to ensure that that


increased purchase of vegetables comes from Welsh producers rather


than other UK outlets, or indeed from abroad? Can I welcome the fact


that the vegetable summit is taking place and as we speak it brings


together farmers, retailers, processors and government looking at


the supply chain and how we can raise vegetable production. We are


committed through the food and drink action plan which we share with


industry boards to not only grow the sector but use it sustainably to


tackle the challenges of diet and the National procurement service has


set up buying arrangements that allow public bodies to access a wide


range of vegetable products to support healthy meal planning.


Following on from Jenny Rathbone's question, can you tell us what


discussions the Welsh government has had with local authorities on food


procurement in the public sector to ensure that more local producers are


used by local authorities, and also, can you tell us one thing that your


government has done over the past 12 months to make a difference and to


ensure that more and more local producers are being used in the


public sector? A Co-operative Group has been established and that


includes, from the public sector in Wales, and the aim of the group is


to ensure that we get a good deal on procurement and that is in


collaboration with local bodies and the producers in order to progress


this project, so things are being done within the industry. And that


is to ensure that more Welsh produced food is produced. At one


time one of the problems that there was not a business or organisation


large enough that they could get into the market. Or that there was


sustainability of supply. Things have improved now and we are looking


to support these companies in different ways. Thank you. I saw the


First Minister isn't as Laugh Aloud and plums to be welcomed -- is


allowing plums to be served as a desert tomorrow, so I hope everybody


enjoys those. But as we see the CPA not giving any support to halt a


culture in Wales, what steps will you take to make sure that there is


a development of infrastructure and that farmers can invest in


horticulture for these new markets? This is a thing under consideration


with the industry at the moment, and the first thing I would like to


emphasise is that the same amount of money should be available in future


as it is currently available and that funding should be allocated or


ring fenced in a way that nothing should affect that without an


agreement between all of the governments. Having said that, it is


now an opportunity to consider in which way we can use that funding


for the benefit of Welsh farmers and look at alternate ways of working,


because remember, 17 years ago when I was a member of the assembly's


agriculture committee there was a review undertaken on diversification


and what came right at the top of the list as regards the greater


strength in the sector was the cultivation of organic vegetables.


And of course, the subsidy payment scheme wasn't flexible enough in


order to ensure that we could use that funding in the way we might


wish to use it, but there might be an opportunity to do so now. Will


the First Minister make a statement on patterns of self-employment in


Wales? Self-employment is a cornerstone of the success of Wales,


and businesses start and grow and of course improve their contribution to


the economy of Wales. This afternoon I chaired the cross-party group on


small and medium-sized enterprises and it was our pleasure to welcome


the Federation of small business to launch their report written by


Professor Andrew Henley and Doctor Mark Lang. There were


recommendations for government there. One of the stark issues was


that the largest levels of self-employment are in Powys at 23%


on the lowest levels are in the northern valleys at 8.7%. What


specifically can the Welsh government do to incentivise and


increase self-employment in those Valley communities, and particularly


among underrepresented groups and women? What is interesting about the


report is that there is an assumption that the reason more


people are solving void is because economic circumstances have dictated


that, because they lost their job -- but it seems it is an entrepreneur


or real push, a desire to beat entrepreneur Oriel which is


something we saw in Wales -- an entrepreneurial push. I understand


some of the challenges that that can cause. How do we take it forward in


the valleys? Valleys task force has done a lot of work to see how we can


encourage the self-employed. I don't think they lack the flair in the


valleys, and it's being able to say to people that you can do this.


There is no reason you cannot be successful and people need that


encouragement. That is one of the things the task force is looking


forward to moving forward in the future. First Minister, I also


attended the event which Evan chaired earlier on and we heard how


rural Wales is heavily reliant on the contribution of self-employment


and the economy as it was pointed out, 23% in Powys are self-employed


compared to the Welsh average of 13%. The FSB Wales report found that


those who are self-employed tend to be older, and young people are not


following in their footsteps. Can I ask what consideration has the Welsh


government given to understanding the barriers to young people


becoming self-employed in rural Wales in particular, and what


potential could a mid Wales growth deal played to ensure there are


local solutions which meet the demands of self-employment in Wales


and opposed to a pan Wales solution that might not be appropriate? I


think regional solutions are important and members are right to


say they cannot be one size fits all across Wales. When it comes to


younger people, much of this -- this starts at schools. I know work is


done in schools to encourage entrepreneurial projects, and the


Young entrepreneur scheme which we have and also providing that


financial support. All people often have access to capital in the way


younger people don't -- older people. How do we support people


coming into business? Business Wales is one area and the development bank


will be able to assist people to come into business as well,


improving the access of finance. The banks in the UK have historically


been resistant to providing capital for start-up enterprises which is


where we fell behind for many years, which is white the development bank


will be there -- which is why. You can encourage people but they need


to access capital. If they have no other family capital behind them,


that is where business Wales can comment.


TRANSLATION: One of the most striking things in the report is


this fact, namely that 38% of the total jobs growth in Wales over the


past ten years can be attributed to the self-employed and over the same


period there has been no net increase in the inward investment


sector and again, and I quote from the report, the language of drawing


up economic policies is skewed hugely towards the importance of


securing inward investment and foreign ownership. Now, does the


First Minister accept the figures provided by the SFB and if so, does


he accept the need to change emphasis now to indigenous business


and the self-employed? Well, I don't think that we need to choose or make


a choice. At one time in the days of the WDA, the emphasis was completely


on inward investment and it didn't care really about small businesses.


I remember talking to an employee of the WDA so, the focus was on


securing inward investment and after LG, nothing else came in. So it is


extremely important that we build a foundation of self employment in the


economy, but I don't think that we can do that by avoiding giving any


support to businesses that do employ thousands of people such as Tata,


Airbus, and so on and GE who employ thousands of people in Wales so we


must have an emphasis on attracting foreign investment, but it shouldn't


be solely our strategy and I would argue that we have,000 struck the


right balance and we want to ensure that more and more businesses aren't


only established in Wales, but grow in Wales because one of the problems


we've always faced is that businesses grow up to a particular


level and then the owners sell them. So, we must ensure that people


should be able to feel that they can grow those businesses that they


become larger and that to me, is the greatest challenge in the economy


I'd say. Don't sell out, stay in Wales and we will assist you to


grow. How is the Welsh government supporting the palliative care


sector in Wales? Yes, the updated end of life care delivery plan


published in March sets out the range of actions we are taking to


improve end of life care throughout Wales and that includes ?6.4 million


to provide specialist palliative care services. Thank you for your


answer. The majority of end of life care in Wales is provided by Wales


13 adults and two children's hospices. You indicate a figure of


?64 million I think you said, but they spent ?32.5 million a year to


deliver those services in people's homes and also day care and respite,


so they are having to raise over ?2 million a month and they're keen to


help you, the Welsh government and their Local Health Boards do very


much more. How can you or will you engage with them and ask them how


they can help you achieve more, where perhaps a little bit more


funding from the health boards and the Government would save more for


health boards and liberate services toe help tackle some of the other


problems we've heard referred to today in different contexts. Well,


if we look at the recent report by Hospice UK in Wales, that's


something we welcome, what the report said, it recognise the


positive steps in the palliative and end of life delivery plan. As part


of the budget agreement with Plaid Cymru we made ?1 million available


to further enhance end of life care provision. That's recurrent funding


as well. But, of course in terms of engagement with the sector it is the


care boards that provide that level of engagement and that's why, of


course, we work with them in order to identify the resource that are


needed. TRANSLATION: Thank you very much,


and the cross party group on hospices and palliative care here in


the Assembly is looking a the possibility of holding an inquiry


into how to deal with inequalities in terms of access to hospice care


in Wales. We referred to the funding secured in an agreement between


ourselves and the Government, but isn't the truth of the matter that a


series of Labour Governments has failed to tackle that fundamental


element, that there is inequality in terms of access to this crucial care


across Wales? TRANSLATION: No, I don't accept


that. We have ensured that there is investment available to the health


boards and it's a matter for them to ensure that the service is available


and it's something we worked with to ensure that that is implemented. We


know that the hospices themselves have taken a greater role over the


past five years than previously. Not just with the care side, but with


giving people advice and now we wish to work with the boards to ensure


that we know what next needs to be done in order to ensure that there


is a consistent and uniformed service available throughout Wales.


Question seven. What assessment has the First Minister made of the


impact to anymore gration controls following Brexit will have on the


NHS in Wales? Yes, it's bad. Well, I thank the First Minister for his


observation, but the latest figures show that immigrant workers from the


EU amount to just 1.55% of employees in NHS Wales and given that the


Welsh population of immigrants from the EU amounts to 3.3%, it would


seem that controls on immigration may well have a positive effect on


our Health Service. But I have previously brought to the attention


of this chamber the fact that each year, 80,000 applicants to work in


the UK NHS are turned down due to lack of training places. Firstly,


surely, First Minister, it is time that we in Wales expanded training


facilities. Reconsidered the practise of sending every nurse to


university, and explored the possibility of reintroducing the


distinction of SEN and SRN nurses and on the ward training,


particularly for SEN staff. Incidentally, in 2015, discussions


on the long-term future of the NHS in Wales should sit outside the


knock about of day-to-day party politics. Perhaps, First Minister,


we should once again examine that excellent suggestion.


Could I say to the member I cannot care a less where doctors come when


they work in the Welsh NHS as long as they deliver an excellent service


to our patients. We have doctors from the EU and India. Many doctors


have come from India, they are great additions to our NHS. The market for


doctors and nurse is worldwide. It is worldwide, people will go to


where they think they will get the best deal for them as an individual


and for their families. We know, for example, it is true to say that EU


nurses make up a very small percentage of the NHS workforce in


Wales, but can we really afford to lose 360 nurses? Is that what he is


saying? He seems to be saying that's fine as long as we train people to a


lower standard in the future and that would be fine as far as the


future is concerned. Is he really saying for example that we don't


want doctors from the EU? Well, I have to say, I want to make sure


that doctors and nurses come to work in Wales regardless of their


nationality because they will add a lot more to the NHS than they take


out. The myth that is pedalled by his party is that somehow


immigration puts a strain on the NHS. Most of the people who come to


Wales are young. They pay taxes. They pay far more in than they take


out via the NHS. And we know that we pay tribute to those doctors from


the EU and beyond who come to work in the Welsh NHS who contribute to


treating our people, who save lives and for me, that's far more


important than dhebging their passport.


-- checking their passport. There was criticism that the economy


secretary hadn't had direct conversations with his counterpart


in Ireland, but I think that may have happened now. Do you know


whether there were any discussions about whether existing technology


could be rolled out to help maintain the invisible border between


Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and to reduce the delays in


transit of people as well between Wales and the Republic of Ireland


itself? Well, firstly the reason why the committee mentioned it is


because I mentioned it to the committee. I raised T I discussed it


months ago with Leo Varadkar when he became Taoiseach. Why 70% of trade


between GB and Ireland goes through the Welsh ports. So there have been


discussions with the Irish government on this. Frankingly, I


know the members view on Brexit. I appreciate them. I have now seen


many documents from the UK Government that say the issue of


border control will be taken forward by way of innovative technology. It


doesn't exist. The technology dhoutz exist. If it existed we would have


sight of it by now. It talks about havelg innovative solutions and


exploring solutions, that's code for we have no idea how to deal with


this. Now, it is one thing, of course, to have border-free travel


or passport-free travel between Wales and Ireland, custom free


travel is another thing. There was always random checks in the years


gone by, but not every vehicle was checked. There is a greater problem


in Dover daus the UK doesn't have the capacity at moment to put in


place border controls in Dover. There were enormous delays. The same


I suspect applies on the French side in Calais. I do not believe that


there is a technological solution to this. If there was one then by now


we'd know from the UK Government what that solution is. One of the


solutions that was put to me was that there would be cameras on the


border between north and south in Ireland. You put cameras in Northern


Ireland, and we could open a book as to how long they would stay there.


They just wouldn't stay there of the it is a million man if hes tation of


the border. People would see them as a breach of the peace process. The


resolution is the UK stays in the customs union F the UK leaves the


customs union you have to a border like the one that exists between


Gibraltar and Spain. You cannot have a scenario where goods go to


different kets in two different customs unions without any physical


checks on crossing a land border. In the Brexit referendum, nobody


thought about Ireland and nobody thought about that border. And it is


still a problem. The solution, stay in the customs union. One of the


greatest threats to staffing long-term in the Welsh NHS would be


for us to have a one-size-fits-all immigration policy after separation


with the European Union. The University of Edinburgh have


published a paper, Scottish immigration policy after Brexit,


evaluating options for a different approach. It looks at a number of


ways of region aland national approaches to migration post Brexit.


Knowing the intentions of the UK Government in terms of their


aspirations. The options include looking at human capital,


points-based system, employer-led schemes and occupational shortage


which I would suggest are of particular importance here in Wales


and in this paper, they are proposing ways in order to have


minimal administration costs and burdens. Would the First Minister


agree that this is now worth explore and taking forward seriously, that


we need Wales to have its say on a regional or national post Brexit


migration policy for the UK because at the moment there, is the only


constituent part of the UK that said little about that prospect,


otherwise we face having the UK net migration target being the big


policy of the UK. That will be detrimental to the Welsh economy.


First of all, I don't agree with an artificial cap. I don't see what


sense it has. Surely an economy needs to recruit according to its


needs, not a lot of -- an artificial cap. If there were a cap, there


would be serious issues over sectoral caps. I have no doubt, that


the thinking of the UK Government would be, to do as much for the City


of London and the financial services and we will end up with a higher


sectoral cap in proportion to the city and the NHS. That would clearly


not be in the interest of Wales. He did not say it specifically but I


know he is intimating the idea of regional quotas. It is done in


Canada and Australia, although they are far bigger, but it's not


impossible to do this. Personally, I would prefer them not to be a cap,


but if there is one there is a case for looking carefully at where the


regional crime -- quota will work. Will the First Minister make a


statement on the Welsh government's location strategy. The location


strategy will deliver an economically and environmentally


sustainable state that is aligned with this government's future needs.


The strategy maintains our commitment to being located across


Wales and ensures that we are optimising the efficiency of Alan


estate and reducing operating costs. While it is in Tiree a talent that


the job location strategy -- entirely apparent that the job


location strategy is not helping those in Wales, those in my


constituency feel that we are being left behind, a feeling which is


backed up by facts. The first fact that the government intends to close


and sell the building in Carmarthen West out any intention to a wrecked


a new building in its place, -- without any intention. And the


number of government jobs located in Karnataka has reduced by 35% over


the last -- in Karnataka and has reduced. The intention is that we


have failed with a matter of delivering those objectives, so will


you reconsider and look at the strategy again in order to set new


criteria on specific targets in order to deliver growth and quality


jobs in all parts of Wales. May I say to the member that the


Carmarthen West office will be quitting -- not be quitting the


area, just moving building. They are moving from the building on the top


and are looking at more modern office space in order to stay in the


town. There is no problem about leaving there. Is it true that jobs


are being lost? That is true for the whole of Wales. A thousand jobs have


been lost in every part of Wales, but having said that, if we look at


North Wales we have the land of no junction office and there will be


development bank headquarters in Wrexham, so we are committed to


moving jobs out of Cardiff at the inception -- inception of the


offices there. There is not very much in Aberystwyth and the


commentary -- Forestry Commission was there but nothing else. We have


demonstrated our commitment to moving jobs out of Cardiff and there


is no problem whatsoever with regard to that office. I know how important


it is in supporting and assisting farmers and also securing employment


in the town. What guarantee has the First Minister obtained from the UK


Government during Brexit discussions in relation to securing human


rights? The UK Government has said it will not repeal all replaced the


Human Rights Act in the process of leaving the EU. We also support


efforts to amend the withdrawal bill to ensure the UK continues to


respect the Charter of fundamental rights after we leave the EU. When


Britain leaves the EU, the Charter of fundamental rights will no longer


have any effect in UK law. That means that those rights, not covered


by the Human Rights Act for example, the rights to the child, workers'


rights and discrimination, they could be scrapped. The Great Repeal


Bill White Paper does however promised to exist -- protect


existing rights. I don't know about you, First Minister, but I am hugely


sceptical about a Conservative Party that opposed many of those rights in


the first place, in terms of trusting them to defend right post


Brexit. And we only have to look very quickly across the way that


they have been willing, so far, to gamble with EU citizens or residents


rights. On another tangent, First Minister, can you reassure Welsh


universities over their rights to academic freedom from government


meddling. I am sure you will have read today, as I have, the reports


and the sinister letter sent by the Tory MP to all vice chancellors


asking for the names of anyone teaching European affairs or Brexit.


First of all, the EU Charter of fundamental rights contains rights


and freedom on on a dignity, freedom, equality, citizens rights


and justice and justice and surely there is nobody who would argue that


those thing should not apply when we leave the EU and that's why it makes


sense for the Charter who remain. There are some in the Conservative


Party who would love to get rid of so many of the protections built up


over many years. They have a hard right of the Conservative Party and


I'm sure they would delight in removing as many rights and


protections as possible. I hope the sensible people within the party


actually win out. I understand a letter was sent by Mr Heaton Harris,


to all academics demanding to know who teaches courses on Brexit and


the content of those syllabuses. That is as authoritarian --


authoritarian request as could possibly be made. I don't say the


entire Conservative Party agree with his actions, but if that is the case


it is incumbent on government ministers to slap him down.


Metaphorically. It is absolutely outrageous that somebody should look


to create, in effect, a list of people who are there to be


criticised because they do not follow the party line. I suspect


this gentleman will have a lot to deal with.


That was First Minister's Questions this afternoon. If you want more


coverage of the National Assembly, go online to the BBC Wales newspage.


That is it for First Minister's Questions this afternoon. We won't


be here next week as the assembly is in recess but we hope to have your


company when we return in a fortnight. Don't forget, all the


latest political news is on Wales today this evening at 6:30pm. From


all of us on the team, thanks for your company this afternoon.


Goodbye. # Don't want to be... #




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