Fairness and ambition for Wales in 2024
Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth's New Year Message for 2024.
2024 will be a pivotal year for Wales’s future.
As Labour party members prepare to elect their next leader in Wales and, by default, our next First Minister, it is more important than ever that a spotlight is shone on their record in office.
Twenty-five years on from the first ever Senedd elections in 1999, people are understandably craving change in Wales. And craving a fresh start. That is why since becoming Leader I have been determined to show how the scale of Plaid Cymru’s ambition for Wales sets us apart from all other parties.
On a UK level, we’ve suffered years of self-serving Conservative rule. This can’t go on. But as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, there’s real fear that a change of government in Westminster from blue to red may do little to ease the burden on ordinary households in Wales. With Starmer walking in Sunak’s shadow when it comes to the economy, health and tackling the climate crisis, Plaid Cymru will work tirelessly to return the largest possible cohort of MPs to Westminster to make the case for our nation to have greater control over its future.
We aim to build on the excellent record of our Members of Parliament and continue to argue for Wales to hold more powers over the economy, natural resources, welfare, and energy so that we can unleash the potential we all know our nation has.
If elected, this would be the first test for Prime Minister Keir Starmer - is he prepared to depart from the Tory orthodoxy of denying Wales its fair share of funding and parity of powers with Scotland? Or will he toe the Westminster line, proving once again that all London parties treat Wales the same way?
In the Senedd too, there will be many tests for the next First Minister. With the UK Covid Inquiry set to visit Wales in the spring, Plaid Cymru will continue to argue for a Welsh Inquiry to give the public – particularly the bereaved families – the answers they deserve. Government’s mustn’t be allowed to avoid proper scrutiny.
On the economy, health and education, there is a mountain to climb to deliver prosperity, cut waiting times, and raise standards in our schools in a way which supports teachers and lets pupils learn to the very best of their ability.
Despite the challenges Plaid Cymru remain focused on what Wales can be. I am confident that as Plaid Cymru continues to share our vision of fairness and ambition for Wales, more and more people will relate to our hopeful message that this is not as good as it gets for Wales.
Later this month I will set out my party’s plans for the future of the economy where Labour’s short-termism is abandoned in favour of a joined-up, long-term approach which sees the challenges of poverty, low wages, ill health and the lack of resilience in our communities tackled in the round.
All of us in these islands could do with a reset, and I firmly believe that a redesign of the relationship between our countries could benefit us all. Ten years since the Scottish independence referendum, Westminster continues to show a lack of respect towards the people of Wales and Scotland. Plaid Cymru remains resolute in advocating for independence and presenting a persuasive case for those are curious about its possibilities.
So I wish you a happy new year – blwyddyn newydd dda. Why not make a resolution to help us make the case for that new Wales, by joining Plaid Cymru? We’d love to have you on board.
Fighting for Wales’ future has never been more urgent and doing it together never more important.