Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood has today urged the Labour Welsh Government to either lift the public sector pay cap, or apologise to people in Wales for its misleading manifesto pledge to do so.
Leanne Wood will use her party's debate on the UK Budget in the Assembly this afternoon (Wednesday) to challenge the Welsh Government over its failure to date to deliver on Welsh Labour's manifesto pldege to lift the pay cap for public sector workers in Wales.
The Party of Wales Leader will say that lifting the cap would inject money into the economy, help workers and their families deal with inflation, and help with recruitment, retention and morale in Welsh public services.
Ahead of the debate, Leanne Wood said:
"The cost of an NHS pay rise of 2.3% would be an additional £40m. The government is already committed to 1%, so that £40m is the additional cost.
"I accept resources are strained. I would accept for example that local government simply cannot afford to do this, due to austerity.
"But while it shouldn’t be up to opposition parties to say how the government should pay for its own promises, there are options available to the Labour Government.
"The Welsh Government has £100m in reserves, kept aside for possible efficiency savings.
"There are also potential funds as a result of Barnett consequentials for Wales. And a Plaid Cymru Government would have saved £40m through reforming NHS agency work, creating a non-profit medical staff agency.
"The fact that the Labour Welsh Government hasn’t taken any of these steps shows that they are failing public sector workers who deserve better.
"So when it comes to lifting or keeping the pay cap, there are two courses of action that the Labour Welsh Government can announce today.
"The pay cap is lifted, or if they won’t do that, the least they can do is to provide an explanation as to why their election manifesto was misleading."