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Wales’ future: Jeremy Miles to launch manifesto in First Minister bid

Welsh Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Miles will today (Thursday 1st February) launch his manifesto for transforming Wales’ future, calling it a “plan to make Wales a more prosperous and compassionate country” and pledging to make sustainable economic growth his government’s top priority.

The manifesto – Our Mission for Wales’ Future – sets out his ambitions to give every person and community the chance to thrive, fulfil their potential and live the life they want to live.

Speaking about his pledge to make growing the economy sustainably his number one priority, he will say: “There is no route to the more compassionate country that we want to be which doesn’t pass through the more prosperous country that we need to be.”

The manifesto commits to a series of economy-focused measures including an expansion of energy efficient retrofit for existing homes and buildings; creating a national Future Skills map, anticipating future skills needs; and a review of business support to ensure its delivery is fit for the future of the Welsh economy. The government will explore financial incentives for new and recent graduates to set up businesses and work in Wales, and a new “Make it in Wales” campaign will attract more talent to Wales and bring Welsh diaspora home.

Other stand out measures include commitments to improve women’s health outcomes, help for renters to buy, reverse the decline in biodiversity in nature, and lift children out of poverty. Miles promises to:

  • Refocus the Welsh Government’s approach to women’s health, informed by the voices of women. It will look to provide a menopause consultation at the age of 40 and a public health information campaign for employers on supporting women through menopause.
  • Develop a new ‘Rent to Own’ scheme to help renters buy a home.
  • Ensure the Welsh Government is a ‘nature positive government’ through a package of ambitious biodiversity measures, including a statutory target to reverse the decline in biodiversity, with an improvement in the status of species and ecosystems by 2030 and their clear recovery by 2050.
  • Work with an incoming UK Labour government on a “freedom from poverty” plan for Wales with a particular focus on child poverty.

Miles plans to use public budgets to support well-paid green jobs, foster a culture of innovation to cut NHS waiting lists and drive up the use of digital technology in health and care, investing more in education to improve school standards, build more homes by unlocking land and unblocking the planning system, deliver fairer fares and better public transport, and strengthen Welsh democracy by giving the people of Wales a stronger voice.

Speaking ahead of the manifesto launch in Rhyl later today, Jeremy Miles said:

“The manifesto I’m publishing today sets out a clear mission for Wales’ future. A government I lead will focus on the day-to-day priorities of people across Wales, and the party that I lead will be rooted in our communities, bringing new and imaginative ideas forward that reflect the day-to-day experiences of people across our nation.

“This contest isn’t about me – or indeed any individual. It’s about what Wales needs to do over the next decade to change our trajectory and flourish in a new world of changing technology and disruption.

“While the current budget situation poses real limitations on new spending initiatives in the short term, this will not limit our ambitions nor detract from the need to be radical and imaginative. So from day one, I will bring a sense of urgency and purpose to taking forward the proposals in this manifesto that will help make Wales the prosperous and compassionate country we want it to be in the years ahead.

“That’s my vision for Wales – let’s get on with it.”