The Welsh Conservative Assembly election manifesto has been unveiled at a launch event in Wrexham.
The Party leader Andrew RT Davies has set out his vision to secure real change for Wales by putting the nation back on an upward trajectory of job creation, educational excellence, dignity in old age, a restored NHS and a trebling of free childcare.
The launch, held in SPI Global Play - Europe’s leading play supplier and manufacturer - will also be attended by Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns MP.
A Conservative government would seek to undo 17 years of managed decline under successive Labour governments, who have at different junctures since the establishment of the Assembly been propped up by Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats.
Among the promises made in the Welsh Conservative manifesto - which will be published here in full at 11.30am on Monday (18/04) - are:
· To protect the NHS budget, investing more to end Labour’s scandal of 1-in-7 being on a waiting list.
· To ensure at least 75% of ambulances respond to immediately life-threatening calls within 8 minutes, across Wales.
· To lower bills for 1.3 million households, freezing council tax and cutting income tax.
· To create 50,000 jobs, ending age-caps on support, backing small businesses and improving infrastructure.
· To protect £100,000 of assets for those in residential care – and introduce a weekly cap on costs - providing dignity and ensuring people do not lose their life savings to care costs.
· To direct an estimated £150 million more funding straight to the classroom, stripping away bureaucracy.
· To recognise the need to provide 70,000 new homes over an Assembly term.
· To treble free childcare, for parents of three to four year olds.
· To ensure Councils collect residual waste no less than fortnightly, protecting public health.
· To deliver universal broadband and mobile coverage by 2019, tackling rural isolation and connecting communities.
Speaking ahead of the launch, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, said:
“The upcoming election presents the most important question facing voters in a generation - and I’m proud to put my name to the most ambitious blueprint for change ever delivered in Wales.
“Our manifesto offers the people of Wales a clear and ambitious plan towards a stronger Wales – where hard work and aspiration is supported; where our health service is properly funded; where our schools compete with the very best; and our economy is allowed to grow and realise its enormous potential.
“Under Labour, as the UK surges forward, Wales risks being left behind. Wales is the only part of the UK where health spending has decreased, whilst educational outcomes trail behind and hardworking families have been denied support with household bills.
“What voters need to ask themselves when making their way to the ballot box on May the 5th is this: Has Welsh Labour made me better off than I was five years ago? Am I happy about the state of my NHS? Could our schools do better?
“After 17 years of this mismanagement, Labour are now hanging on to power by a thread – and only need to lose one seat in this election to lose that grip. Wales has never had a better opportunity to secure the real change it so desperately needs.
“The only way to secure that real change is to vote Welsh Conservative.”
Secretary of State for Wales and MP for Vale of Glamorgan, Alun Cairns, said:
“The Welsh Conservative manifesto offers an exciting, forward-looking, positive agenda, which more than ever Wales needs to secure change.
“Lazy Labour has for seventeen years taken the people of Wales for granted. This managed decline needs to come to an end with a positive change of direction by the Welsh Conservatives.
“A change in Cardiff Bay on May 5th offers an excellent chance to develop an exciting and dynamic relationship between the Welsh Government and UK Government.”
Brad Miller, Director of the Global Leisure Group - under which SPI Global Play operates - endorsed Welsh Conservative proposals to boost the North Wales economy, and urged people across Wrexham, and Wales, to vote to secure real change on May 5th.
"The economy of North Wales could do so much better.
“Welsh Conservative proposals for a North Wales Powerhouse will inspire economic growth in our region, creating jobs and empowering local communities, giving businesses like SPI Global Play more support to expand.
"Strong leadership is critical. Welsh Conservative proposals to help small businesses grow, support infrastructure investment - like the A55 - and deliver an industry-led approach to attracting investment will create jobs and offer bolstered support to businesses like ours.
"North Wales is set to be a pivotal battleground for May's Assembly election - and, in Wrexham, and across the region, I urge people use their vote to endorse these plans and secure this real change."