First Minister taken to task by Welsh Conservatives on health service and house building

The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew R.T. Davies MS has attacked the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford on the record of the NHS in Wales and house building in Wales.

During the Plenary on Tuesday (Oct 10) the Welsh Conservative MS reminded the First Minister that one in four people are on a waiting list and nearly 28,000 are waiting two years or more for treatment in Wales. With reference to Keir Starmer’s statement that the Labour party was ‘a party of healers’ he asked: “ Do you think he’s misleading the public when he talks about being the party of the healers when he looks at your record?”

The First Minister replied that he was ‘very proud’ of the fact that the leader of the Labour Party looks to Wales for examples of what Labour can achieve in power. The First Minister said: “The next Labour Government will be a government that will need to heal many, many of the rifts in the United Kingdom that are the product of 13 years of his party in power. And in that, he will no doubt be reminding people in England that while waiting lists in Wales have grown by 1.9 per cent in the last 12 months, in England they have risen by 10.7 per cent over that same period.”

The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives  pointed out that one in four people are on a waiting list, or 25 per cent of the population and that in England it’s 14 per cent.

Referring to the numbers Andrew RT Davies said: “In England, there are just over 250 people waiting two years or more; in Wales, as I said, there are 28,000 people waiting. I notice you didn’t offer any solutions or help for justification to Keir Starmer for what you’re doing here in Wales, because you know full well that the record of the Welsh Labour Government here is so atrocious.”

The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives also criticised Labour’s record on house building. He said “He’s (First Minister) also going to call the Labour Party the party of the builders. But when you look at the house building programmes that successive Labour Governments have delivered here in Wales, you haven’t delivered half the quantity of housing that is required here in Wales, and that’s why so many people find their inability to put a roof over their head—leave alone the transport Minister’s ban on road-building projects here in Wales to develop the economy. So how on earth can the Labour leader in London call them the party of the house builder, when here in Wales, if you take your blueprint, you fail to deliver even half the number of houses that are required?”

The First Minister accused Andrew RT Davies of ‘trying, always, to split people off, to be divisive in the way that he portrays the United Kingdom’.

The First Minister told Andrew RT Davies that here in Wales, Welsh Government press ahead with their house building programme with the 20,000 new houses for social rent that they will create in Wales. He said : “Far, far more than his party will ever create in England.”

On the health service the First Minister replied: “I’m happy, any single day, to put our record in front of people in Wales and ask them who will they trust with the future of the health service. And I can tell you this at least: it won’t be his party.”

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