Huw Irranca-Davies addresses Welsh Labour Conference 2018
Huw Irranca-Davies addresses Welsh Labour Conference 2018

Huw Irranca-Davies AM speech to Welsh Labour Conference in Llandudno, Saturday 21st April 2018

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Thank you, Chair – and can I add my congratulations to Carolyn and to both candidates for running such a positive and engaging campaign.

Carolyn, I look forward to campaigning alongside you in the future in your new role.    

Conference, it is my pleasure to open the debate on the first theme from our manifesto – creating a healthy and active Wales.

I was appointed as Minister for Children and Social Care in November, and to be delivering a Welsh Labour programme for government in these critical policy areas is a challenge but also a privilege.

I would like to begin by paying tribute to the work of my predecessor in post, Carl Sargeant.

Carl was passionately committed to improving the lives of children and young people across Wales, determined to make a positive difference to their well-being and their prospects for the future.

He worked tirelessly to ensure that the rights of children and young people were always recognised and respected across Government – and of course Labour party values were at the heart of everything he did.

I will do all I can to continue his excellent work.

Cynhadledd, ers fy apwyntiad, rwyf wedi gweld yn uniongyrchol sut mae’r penderfyniadau polisi a wneir gan Lafur Cymru yn y llywodraeth yn newid bywydau er gwell.

Mae cyflawni ein hymrwymiadau maniffesto yn symud ymlaen yn gyflym.

Fe wnaethom addo y byddai rhieni sy’n gweithio yng Nghymru yn elwa o’r fargen orau yn y Deyrnas Unedig ar ofal plant.

Mae ein cynnig o tri deg awr o ofal am ddim, sy’n cael ei dreialu ledled Cymru, yn gwneud gwahaniaeth go iawn i rieni,

gan leihau’r straen ar incwm teulu,

gan roi’r cyfle i sicrhau gwaith neu gynyddu eu horiau i ddegau o filoedd o rieni sy’n cael eu cyfyngu gan bwysau gofal plant.

Cynhadledd, dylem fod yn falch o’n record Llafur yng Nghymru o hybu hawliau plant a gweithio i sicrhau bod pob plentyn yn cael y dechrau gorau posib mewn bywyd.

Rydym yn gwybod bellach y gall cosb gorfforol gael effaith hirdymor negyddol ar gyfleoedd bywyd plant, ac rydym hefyd yn gwybod nad yw’n effeithiol fel cosb.

Felly, fel yr addawyd yn ein maniffesto, rydym wedi ymgynghori ar gynigion deddfwriaethol i gael gwared â’r amddiffyniad cosb resymol.

Rydw i’n gwybod fod yna wahanol safbwyntiau ar y mater hwn. Dyna pam rwyf wedi rhoi cyfle i bawb ddweud eu barn, i sicrhau ein bod yn gallu datblygu ateb effeithiol sydd yn orau amddiffyn plant ac sydd yn cefnogi rhieni.

Our manifesto pledged to more than double the capital that people can keep when entering residential care.

Earlier this month we raised the capital limit for a second time to £40,000. This will allow residents to retain a further £10,000 of their hard earned savings and assets.

By the end of the term the limit will go up again to £50,000, by when over 1,000 people of the 4000 in residential care will benefit.

We know the pressure on social care is growing and with people living longer meeting future demand will challenge.

We want to support people to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

Regulations which came into force this month will ensure that care staff who look after people in their own homes are treated fairly and people receiving care received the best possible services. They will address the serious problems of call clipping and the exploitation of zero-hours contracts, providing more security for staff that need it.

Unpaid carers make a crucial difference Unpaid carers make a crucial difference within families and communities but also contribute more than £8billion to the Welsh economy every year.

The Welsh labour government expects health boards and local authorities to work together to enhance the lives of carers in line with the key priorities they themselves have identified – we have provided funding for them to do so.

I look forward to working with the Carers Working Party to expand on the actions we are taking to make sure all of the challenges facing unpaid carers are being considered.

Conference, we have a motion before us today on the Welsh Independent Living Grant.

I know there is fear and anxiety amongst recipients around future support.

I want to reassure all recipients today that every penny piece of the £27 million funding will go to meet their care and support needs, though local authorities who have a legal duty to help them to live independently.

I would like to thank Nathan Lee Davies and his campaign which has bought many of the issues of concern to the fore.

However, the Welsh Independent Living Grant was an interim measure and the long term approach we have decided to take is a result of extensive engagement with stakeholders and will ensure those who need additional support are treated fairly and equitably.

Conference, the Welsh Labour Government will continue to work hard to empower and support children, families and communities to prosper despite the harm that has been caused by eight years of tory austerity.

In England, in stark contrast to the support that Welsh Labour provides though Flying Start and Families First the Tories have closed a thousand children’s centres since 2010. They have destroyed any gains made by Labour’s flagship Surestart programme, cutting vital community lifelines during the difficult and isolating early days of parenthood. 

Our efforts to improve outcomes for low income families are being seriously damaged by the Tories tax and welfare reforms that will push 50,000 more children into poverty by 2021 and increase levels of deprivation for our most vulnerable families.

Conference, we cannot and will not sit by and allow this to happen.

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