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Thursday, September 25, 2008

The search for Plaid's manifesto commitments

It was an interesting Assembly election last year. Plaid Cymru came up with a host of gimmicks such as free laptops for children and a £5,000 grant to help first time buyers get on the housing ladder and all the other parties condemned them for it. So what happened to these gimmicks now that they are in government?

The truth is that in the case of the first time house buyer grant they have fudged it. It seems that the reality of government has struck home and Plaid Ministers have realised that the idea was unaffordable, undeliverable, would distort the housing market and would not have the impact envisaged for it. Instead they are piloting a grant to help first time buyers put in energy efficiency measures. It is hardly the same thing, worse it is unfocussed and untargeted, another grant like the Home Energy Efficiency Scheme that does not reach the fuel poor in anything like sufficient numbers.

The pilot scheme will make £500,000 available to local authorities in certain areas to be offered as energy efficiency grants for first time buyers. The local authorities that will be allowed to bid to share in this cash during the trial are Cardiff, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Vale of Glamorgan and Wrexham. People buying new build properties or properties under the right to buy will not be eligible to apply.

Plaid Cymru's 2007 Assembly election manifesto contained a promise "to help first time buyers get a foothold on the property ladder" and to "offer grants of up to £5,000, on a pound for pound match funded basis, to all first time buyers who save for three years in a government-supported scheme."

The scheme they have come up with will not help a single person onto the property ladder. It is a fudge to make Plaid's unaffordable and unworkable promise look viable and it even fails at that. If the Government is serious about helping young people onto the property ladder then they need to look seriously at schemes like HomeBuy, low cost ownership schemes and bringing empty homes back into use. Instead of spending money on assisting key workers and the low paid they are wasting it on badly targeted grants like this.
How does the fact that their manifesto proposal hasn't been realised mean that it was not properly costed in the first place? I'm pretty sure you would have realised, but it's a coalition government not a Plaid Cymru government. When two manifestos becomes one policy programme bits of both have to be kept and bits dropped.

Whether the Plaid manifesto was properly costed or not (and I'm no economist so i can't say), the fact that all of their manifesto hasn't been implemented in a coalition government doesn't prove anything one way or another.
Peter are you suggesting when you were in coalition with Labour at the Assembly every promise you made in the manifesto was delivered? if not does that show your manifesto at the time was not properly costed?
Costing or not!

The fact that remains is that people voted for Plaid partly because of their policies and what they promised to deliver in their election manifesto.

It's really a case of we are in government now boys, lets drop our promises to the electorate and lets get on with being labours lackies.
Just to be clear this is not just a Plaid manifesto pledge, it is in One Wales as well. So the idea that Labour stopped Plaid doing it is nonsense, It was fudged because it was undeliverable, which is what I have been saying from the start.
Peter Black is quite correct on this one, credit to Peter when it is due. Plaid has turned out to be a grave disappointment. Much like what Peter is saying, Plaid could never deliver, because what it promised to deliver couldn't be delivered. One might add that what Plaid could have delivered, and should have delivered, Plaid has not delivered. One might further add that what Plaid has delivered is fluff and more excuses. Wales deserves better than what Plaid 'delivers'.
Three postings about Plaid in a row. Are the internal polls showing Plaid eating into the Lib Dem vote (not much to get your teeth into,except for Ceredigion)?

I thought this was an interesting show of Lib Dem unity: http://amlwchmagor.blogspot.com/2008/09/time-for-fisitcuffs.html
We can afford internal polls? :-( If only.

Not sure why that post and that video says anything about Lib Dem unity as it patently has nothing to do with us. It was obviously put together by our opponents and is currently being touted on Plaid Cymru sites. If anything it shows that the other parties are running scared of a change in the Welsh Lib Dem leadership.
Sorry peter, but how is it "obviously put together by our opponents"? Are you saying that every Lib Dem member is perfectly in agreement that Kirsty is "the one"?

Although you and Dib Lemming seem to be in agreement I can't believe that the whole lot you agree that "The difference is, Kirsty means it. She is pathologically incapable of saying something she doesn't believe and that is the crucial difference between her and a million other politicians."

I've said myself that I think Kirsty is the Lib Dem's best bet - but I remain unconvinced that she can actually make the Lib Dems relevant in national politics again, although I'm sure she'll give it a good shot.
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