‘MY PROJECT IS NOT COMPLETE’
PLAID Cymru wants to eradicate youth unemployment with a guaranteed job through a national citizens service for 18 to 24 year olds.
The Plaid economy and infrastructure spokesman Adam Price will outline a “Youth Basic Income” at the party’s conference in Caernarfon.
Mr Price said Plaid would offer a “most comprehensive package of support for young people across the entire world” made up of four options.
The proposal would include a “guaranteed” job, a national citizen service, support for further and higher education and an enterprise allowance helping young people start their own business.
The national citizen service would be a paid 12-month placement similar to the AmeriCorps model.
For the year to the end of June 2017 youth unemployment in Wales was 13.1%, compared to the overall unemployment rate of 4% between June and August.
Mr Price, AM for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, said ahead of his conference speech: “The depth of Plaid Cymru’s passion and commitment to our nation will not be enough in themselves to deliver the change in fortunes our country so desperately needs.
“The quality of our ideas will be fundamental.
“Today I will be announcing four policies Nova Cambria [Plaid think tank] will explores.
“From additional business support for Welsh companies, replacing the out-dated business rates, to delivering the most comprehensive... support for young people across the entire world, Plaid Cymru will deliver the policies... to enhance the nation’s prosperity.”
PLAID Cymru leader Leanne Wood has called on party AMs to stop making veiled or anonymous criticisms of her and say them “to my face”. Saying she still has a lot to do as leader, Ms Wood made the comments after reports that some Plaid AMs expressed disquiet after she announced she would lead the party into the 2021 elections.
Comments from AMs including Rhun ap Iorwerth, who said he would consider running as leader, and Simon Thomas, who said the party needed to “raise its game”, have been interpreted as challenges to Ms Wood’s leadership.
Speaking after the party’s two-day conference in Caernarfon, Ms Wood said it’s better to be “open and honest”.
Ms Wood said: “If people have something to say to me I’d rather them say it to my face.
“I think sometimes conversations can be difficult but it’s always better to have the conversation, so be open and be honest.
“There may be [a leadership race], but I want to be Plaid Cymru’s candidate for First Minister.”
Writing on nation.cymru, Bangor University academic Ifan Morgan Jones said: “It’s inevitable that Leanne Wood’s position will come under pressure within the next few years. It’s worth remembering that she is the longest-serving party leader among the main parties at Westminster.
“Plaid Cymru has just come through three disappointing elections in a row. Apart from gaining the Rhondda at the Assembly and Ceredigion by a whisker in June, there has been very little to celebrate.
“This year’s General Election suggested that Plaid Cymru are still knocking their heads against a brick wall in the post-industrial south-east valleys, where Leanne Wood should have the most appeal.” In her speech at the conference Ms Wood quashed any suggestions of a leadership bid, and insisted she intends to lead the party for at least the next five years.
Ms Wood added: “When I came into this job as leader it was on the basis of a political project to build a nation and pull together a team of people to get into government and progress on a whole range of questions that we need to progress on as a nation, chiefly the economy and making sure we’ve got a sustainable economy and jobs for people over the long run – and that project is not complete.
“We’ve still got a long way to go before we build that nation and I’ve still got a big contribution to make towards doing that.
“The membership of the party made their views very clear on Friday, and they are the important people in all this.”
On the first of a two-day conference, Ms Wood said that the British state has been “plunged into crisis” due to infighting within the Conservative party, and called for a second referendum if Brexit negotiations result in a no-deal.
She acknowledged that a majority in Wales voted to leave the European Union, but said the way EU withdrawal is being carried out is a “threat” to the Welsh economy and constitution and remaining in the single market and customs union is the best scenario for Wales.
Leanne Wood at the Plaid Cymru Conference at the Galeri, Caernarfon, left