How Welsh Labour do things differently

…a list of achievements showing the difference a successive Welsh Labour Government has made. 


  • Free school breakfasts.
  • ‘The Foundation Phase’ has changed the way children learn.
  • 21st Century Schools – the biggest investment in new school buildings since the 1960s. The first wave of funding provided though the Programme will see investment of more than £1.4 billion over the five year period ending 2019. This will support the rebuild and refurbishment of over 150 schools and colleges across Wales. More than 100 schools have already been built or refurbished and a further 63 schemes are under construction or approved to proceed. A second phase of the programme began in 2019, bringing total investment to over £3.8bn. 
  • Investing to reduce infant class sizes. 
  • 30 hours – Welsh Labour funded early education and childcare for working parents of three and four year olds, for up to 48 weeks of the year. This is the most generous childcare offer anywhere in the UK. 
  • Introduced the Welsh Baccalaureate which gives broader experiences than traditional learning programmes, to suit the diverse needs of students. 
  • Wales is consulting on new guidance for Relationships and Sexuality Education – It will better support schools in engaging with a range of important topic, including healthy relationships, domestic violence and LGBT issues. 
  • Flying Start – provides services to children under the age of four in some of Wales’ most deprived postcode areas. 
  • Children’s commissioner, first in the UK.
  • Made the UNCRC law in Wales. This law is called the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011. 
  • Introduced a Bill to remove the defence of reasonable punishment 
  • Allocating an additional £12m to ensure that more young people will be in receipt of free school meals. 
  • The most generous package of support for students anywhere in the UK. Listening to the voices of students and the NUS. 
  • Schools to get free sanitary products. 

Health, public health and social care 

  • Free prescriptions – removing barriers to treatment for people with long-term conditions and addressing a source of health inequalities. 
  • Free hospital car parking.
  • Opt-out model for organ donation – saving lives.
  • Opened brand new hospitals.
  • New Treatments Fund will give even greater chances to those who need them. 
  • Smoking ban first in the UK.
  • Protected funding for Community Pharmacy.
  • Minimum Unit pricing.
  • Food hygiene ratings.
  • Record investment in social services has helped prevent the crisis seen in England. 
  • Spending on health per head of the population is higher in Wales than England and our health spending is increasing at a faster rate. 
  • Delayed transfers of care are the lowest on record. 
  • Raised the capital threshold for residential care to £50,000 enabling people to keep more of their savings without having to use it to pay for their care. It means that, by some distance, Wales has the most generous capital limit for residential care in the UK. 
  • More people surviving cancer than ever before. 
  • Overall cancer survival continues to increase in Wales and premature death from cancer for people aged under 75 has fallen by 21.4 per cent since 2001. 
  • World’s first Autism strategy.
  • Investing more in health than ever before and making cutting-edge treatment more accessible. In 2016-17, Welsh Labour spent 8 per cent more per person on health and social services combined than England, giving patients the right treatment, at the right time, and in the right place. Welsh Labour are spending over 14 per cent more per person on health and social services than Welsh Labour did in 2009-10. 
  • More people are starting the treatment they need within the target time. Almost 90 per cent of patients had been waiting less than 26 weeks for treatment in July 2018, the highest for 5 years. Welsh Labour are leading the way internationally with the Welsh ambulance clinical response model. Ambulance services in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Australia and Canada have now replicated the clinical response model pioneered in Wales. 
  • NHS staffing is at record levels with over 90,000 employees, including consultants, midwives, nurses and health visitors. 

Economy and transport 

  • 100,000 all-age apprenticeships in Wales – a Fair Deal for all people looking for good work. Since 2011 the Welsh Labour Government has supported over 185,000 high quality jobs in Wales.
  • Wales has helped generate one of the highest rates of foreign direct investment in the world.
  • More than 31,000 jobs have been supported across the whole of Wales in the last year and over 190,000 in the last five years of government. 
  • Launch of the new Development Bank for Wales which is supporting 1,400 businesses and creating and safeguarding more than 20,000 jobs. 
  • Secured steel jobs and steel making in Wales for a generation. 
  • 19,000 fewer young people (16 to 24) not in education, employment or training. 
  • 18,000 people finding opportunities through our Jobs Growth Wales programme. 
  • 20% increase in new jobs created in Wales by overseas companies. 
  • Rail Infrastructure, despite infrastructure not being devolved Welsh Labour have invested heavily. 
  • Plans to invest in major infrastructure projects over the coming years including £738m in the first phase of the South Wales Metro.
  • Active travel – By law local authorities must encourage walking and cycling. They achieve this by doing things like improving cycle routes in all road developments. 
  • Every train on the Wales and Borders franchise will be equipped with free wifi by September 2019. 
  • The Welsh Labour Government has delivered tax cuts for small businesses right across Wales. In April 2018 it introduced a permanent SBRR scheme in to provide certainty and security for small businesses in Wales. This provides more than £100m of relief in 2018-19, supporting more than 70,000 ratepayers across Wales – more than half pay no rates at all as a result. 
  • A considerably smaller proportion of small businesses receive support from the UK Government’s small business rates relief scheme in England, for example. 
  • Free bus pass for older people through the Concessionary bus pass scheme.
  • Free weekend travel on Welsh Labour Government’s long distance TrawsCymru service. 
  • The new Wales and Borders rail franchise commenced on the 14th October 2018. The contract awarded by the Welsh Government to Keolis Amey will transform Welsh rail with new trains, more services and better stations. 
  • Transport white paper to re-regulate the bus industry. Ensure bus routes serve people rather than profit. 
  • Saved Cardiff Airport and ensured Cardiff Airport grows as an international gateway to south Wales. 
  • Committed to social partnership with employers and trade unions in promoting fair work practices and in building a Fair Work Nation. Drawing on established social partnership structures, the Welsh Labour Government has established a Fair Work Commission which is exploring how it can support fair work outcomes from public spending and procurement practice in Wales. 
  • Trade Union (Wales) Act 2017 and Agricultural Sector (Wales) Act 2014 Wales now has the highest availability of superfast broadband among the devolved nations. 

Housing and communities and local Government 

  • Ended the right to buy.
  • Council house building across Wales.
  • Welsh Housing standard of 20,000 new affordable many of which are social housing.
  • Vibrant and Viable Places, invested over £124 million of capital funding for regeneration schemes in 18 communities across Wales between 2014 and 2017. It also levered in an additional £300 million from other sources of funding. 
  • CFAP Grant, funded a huge number of community facilities across Wales. 
  • Welsh Labour have put 500 Community Support Officers on our streets. 
  • Landmark legislation to tackle domestic violence – Wales has led the way in the UK by passing the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act. 
  • Exempted care leavers who are under 25 from paying council tax. 
  • Older persons commissioner. 
  • Moved to end imprisonment for Council Tax debts. 

Environment and Sustainability 

  • Since devolution, our municipal recycling rate has increased from 5% to 63%
  • Introduced the pioneering Future Generations ACT.
  • Carrier bag charge, which was introduced in Wales first. 
  • Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales, setting out more than 100 policies and proposals to help to ensure a fairer, healthier and more equal society as Welsh Labour transition to a low carbon economy. 
  • In 2018, Welsh Labour generated almost half of the electricity consumed in Wales from renewable sources. The Welsh Government has set a target to generate 70% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030. 
  • Over the course of this Assembly term, Welsh Labour will invest more than £350m in flood and coastal erosion risk management in Wales. The Coastal Risk Management Programme allocates funding for schemes to reduce risk to more than 18,000 properties through projects to repair, replace and create new coastal defence systems. 
  • The Action Plan for Pollinators in Wales sets out our plan to provide diverse and connected flower- rich habitats for pollinators and raise awareness of their importance. 
  • Making Wales a refill nation; to pioneer the use of deposit return schemes. 

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