My latest column for SA4 magazine:
I often hear on the doorstep that 'politicians are the same.' But we are not.
I write this in the week that the Tories announced huge cuts to the winter fuel allowance, reduced the amount of pension that older people can expect, and unveiled hugely unpopular plans for paying for social care in England. They are so confident of older people’s votes, that they will take them for granted.
At the very same time, in my role as Minister for Social Services and Public Health, I was announcing further investment in social care. I announced that the Welsh Labour Government will invest an extra £20million a year in the crucial areas of the social care workforce, looked after children, and respite provision. This is on top of an extra £35million I have announced for this financial year.
And it is not just in social care that the differences are stark.
In England, the Tories have scrapped the Education Maintenance Allowance. In Wales, Welsh Labour has kept it because we want all young people to achieve.
In Wales, Welsh Labour has put in place a planning moratorium on fracking. The Tories in Westminster have voted to allow fracking - even underneath Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Tories have scrapped Nursing Bursaries across the border. In Wales, Welsh Labour has kept them - and they come with the guarantee of a job.
Across the border, the Tories scrapped the Agricultural Wages Board, removing protections for low-paid farm workers. We kept it in Wales, and expanded its role.
Welsh Labour is committed to the Tidal Lagoon. We see its huge potential for green energy and skilled jobs. The Tories have quietly dropped it from their manifesto, hoping that the people of Swansea won’t notice. You will find it in the fifth paragraph of ours.
And in England, child burial fees apply. In Wales, the Welsh Labour Government has scrapped them.
We are not all the same.