The First Minister Mark Drakeford has agreed to ‘explore’ the devolution of welfare administration in a landmark victory for the proposal by Plaid Cymru.
Plaid Cymru have long called for the devolution of welfare administration to mitigate the effects of universal credit.
The First Minister was responding to a question by Labour backbencher John Griffiths AM who asked whether the First Minister would consider devolving welfare administration to alleviate the consequences of universal credit.
The First Minister replied that the Welsh Government “ought to explore the devolution of administration” and that “the case is made for exploration.”
Despite calls from Plaid Cymru AMs, the Welsh Government had previously ruled out the devolution of welfare administration.
Responding to the First Minister’s comments, Plaid Cymru shadow cabinet minister for equalities Leanne Wood AM has hailed it as a victory,
“Plaid Cymru has consistently called for the devolution of welfare administration and at long last, the First Minister has finally agreed today to consider devolving control over the way benefits and welfare are handled so we can have a more compassionate system and protect Wales’ citizens from the worst effects of Westminster’s cruel policies.
“A third of Welsh children are living in poverty, thousands rely on food banks for a decent meal. No Government can claim to be serious about tackling the scandal of our poverty unless they aspire to hold the levers of change which affect it.
“I call on the Welsh Government to be true to their word and take responsibility for the citizens of this country.’