Andrew RT Davies says that we need a government that can unlock Wales’ potential.
With polling day fast approaching I have been touring the length and breadth of Wales, visiting 12 constituencies yesterday; securing real change, one seat at a time.
The Assembly election 2016
With just days before Wales heads to the polls we’ve asked each of the six main parties to outline why they deserve your vote.
We have run these pieces over the past week. To see the series as a whole please click here.
It used to be said that you could pin a red rosette on a donkey and they would win comfortably in Wales, but thankfully things are changing for the better. Whilst the standard of Labour candidates might not have improved, I have an extremely talented Welsh Conservative team at my disposal working tirelessly to deliver more Assembly Members to our group after May 5th.
At this election Labour want you to believe that this is as good as it gets for Wales, but after 17 years in power we know that five more years of Labour rule will only make things worse.
On the weekend we had the bizarre sight of a First Minister making desperate pleas to get voters of other parties to lend Labour their vote, whilst also wheeling out staunchly Labour academics to tell Labour voters to back Plaid on the regional vote. It’s complicated, it’s counter-intuitive; but it’s also a sign that Labour are rattled.
They’re talking up a so-called progressive alliance and cutting shady deals before a vote has even been cast. But there’s nothing progressive about the lowest take-home pay in the UK, or a generation of Welsh pupils let down by falling GCSE results; and there’s certainly nothing progressive about denying cancer patients access to the life-prolonging treatments they need.
At the General Election last year, my party polled 408,000 votes across Wales, which is more than the Labour Party has ever recorded in any Assembly election; and just one seat needs to change hands in May to deny them another term in office.
It is clear to me that many voters I’m speaking to on the doorstep are relishing the prospect.
I share their optimism for the future because we have an opportunity to change government on Thursday; and because I know that our pupils are as talented, our NHS staff as dedicated, and our businesses as entrepreneurial and adventurous as anywhere else in the UK. We just need a government which can unlock that huge potential.
Let’s be clear, Labour are bad for your health. Their record-breaking NHS budget cuts have doubled waiting lists, delivered poor access to cancer treatments and led to hospital downgrading throughout Wales.
The people I speak to on the campaign trail want to know how we would fix their struggling health service; what we will do to drive up Welsh education standards; and how we plan to boost the Welsh economy and send a clear message that Wales is ‘open for business’.
I can promise that there would be no more cuts, closures or downgrades under a Welsh Conservative Government. We would protect the Welsh NHS budget, guaranteeing more investment in each and every year of the next Assembly term; and we would introduce a Cancer Patients Fund, because it cannot be right that you are seven times less likely to access the life-prolonging drugs you need in Wales than in England.
The Welsh Conservatives have published an ambitious manifesto to take Wales forward; to drive up the lowest take-home pay in the UK, and to improve education standards for Welsh pupils.
We have announced plans to treble free childcare for working families, and to allow older people to enjoy security and dignity in old age by capping weekly care costs and protecting up to £100,000 of their assets in the event that they need to move into residential care.
It’s an ambitious programme for a ‘one nation’ Welsh Conservative Government, and further evidence that only the Conservatives can secure real change in Wales.
I have a simple message for voters: Wales is in desperate need of a change and communities are crying out for a new approach.
The economy needs to be reinvigorated, and our public services are verging on crisis – a crisis of Carwyn Jones’ making. However, only one seat needs to change hands for Labour to lose their grip on power, so if you want to secure real change, then vote Welsh Conservative on May 5th.