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Monday, October 06, 2014

Onwards and upwards at Glasgow

This is my final day at the Federal Liberal Democrats conference and it is also the day that the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats gets to address representatives.

As the Western Mail reports, Kirsty to planning to send a very clear message to the party leadership that Wales should not be left out of talks on the future of the UK's constitution:

She will also throw down a challenge to the Lib Dems’ rivals, saying: “Now is the time for the other parties to step up to the plate. I challenge them to do as Nick Clegg has done and sign up to the Silk Commission’s recommendations – so that Wales can speak as one voice.

“Wales must have a proper parliament, one that reflects the will of the people, one that has the powers to make a difference.”

The Scottish referendum, she will say, demonstrated that “people across the UK want more of a say over their future,” adding: “The Liberal Democrats must now take back the devolution agenda. From the conflict of the referendum, must come hope.”

But this has not all been about the constitution. We have pledged an extra £1 billion for the NHS if we get back into government next year, giving Wales a Barnett consequential of £50m for our own health service.

Vince Cable too, will be reflecting the budget deal we recently struck with the Welsh Government by unveiling a proposal to create a single national minimum wage for 16 to 17-year-olds and people on the first year of their apprenticeships.

This would result in around 31,000 apprentices in the first year of their programme benefiting from a pay rise of more than £1 an hour. At present, the minimum wage for apprentices is just £2.73 per hour while the rate for 16 to 17-year-olds is £3.79.

Meanwhile, BBC Wales concentrates its reports on fridge magnets. So much for balanced reporting.
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