By Caitlin Parr
Not only does the recovery plan promise thousands of jobs, but also a long-term zero-interest loan system to support businesses struggling due to the pandemic; thousands of new social housing builds; and, a look towards a greener Wales with more electric vehicle charging points and a greater investment in renewable energy for the country.
The idea of an expansion and electrification of the rail network and faster broadband to “all parts of Wales” was also outlined by Plaid Cymru’s leader, Adam Price. As well as hoping to create positions for 7,500 new teachers, classroom and teaching assistants, childcare workers, care home workers, healthcare workers, and home carers in a bid to “transform a system that has been under-staffed, under-paid and undervalued for too long”.
Price described the plan as “ambitious but deliverable”, he is adamant that the provisions should be implemented as soon as possible to tackle issues that he feels the Welsh Labour government should have shown “greater urgency” towards during their term.
The Rebuild Wales rapid recovery plan is hoped to be funded partially by the UK government, in a bid to improve relations in green economic stimulus and borrowing powers with Westminster.
A “plan B” has also been announced in preparation for a rejection from the Treasury, it includes acquiring councils’ borrowing powers and also a predicted “appropriate” use of the current Welsh Government’s Mutual Investment Model system.
Plaid Cymru have also claimed that this will be their “best ever Senedd election” — with not only the hope of being able to implement policies such as the Rebuild Wales rapid recovery plan should they gain power, but also to “achieve the long held dream of forming the first pro-independence Welsh Government”.
A “Decade of Transformation” under a Plaid Cymru government was announced in 2019, before the premise of COVID-19, which has strengthened Plaid Cymru’s position on creating a “caring country” out of Wales in their prospective political term.
In the first Welsh Political Barometer Poll of the year, we can see a 2% increase in support for Plaid Cymru since the last poll released in November 2020. Now with support sitting at 22%, Plaid Cymru are only 4% behind Welsh Conservatives and 12% behind Welsh Labour — who have seen a 4% decrease in support since the November polls.
Polling expert, Professor Roger Awan-Scully, said that the -4% for Welsh Labour is showing a “clear weakening of Labour support”, potentially making room for Plaid Cymru to increase their support even further.
From the projected figures, it is predicted that Plaid Cymru will win 15 seats at the upcoming Welsh elections.