Cyfarfod Llawn Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru 05.12.18

Full_Verbatim Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Galw’r Aelodau i drefn Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Mae heddiw yn nodi achlysur arbennig yn hanes ein Senedd ni Ac wrth i ni edrych ymlaen at ddathlu 20 mlynedd ers ethol y Cynulliad cyntaf, yn 1999, rwyín falch o gyhoeddi bod y lle hwn ar fin dod yn gartref i senedd arall gyffrousóein Senedd Ieuenctid gyntaf erioed. Dyma benllanw misoedd lawer o waith gan fudiadau, ysgolion, a thÓm Senedd Ieuenctid ymroddgar y Cynulliad yma,

ac mae ein dyled yn fawr i bawb a sicrhaodd fod y prosiect arloesol hwn yn ffynnu. Dros 450 o ymgeiswyr ifanc, a bron i 25,000 o etholwyr wedi eu cofrestru, a chynrychiolaeth o bob cwr o Gymruómae’r ystadegau yn adrodd eu llwyddiant Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: This is a golden opportunity to enthuse the next generation, and I am confident that these young parliamentarians will be fabulous champions for the issues of importance to the young people of Wales I am pleased, therefore, to announce the first ever members of the Welsh Youth Parliament, representing constituencies and partner organisations nationwide Here are the 60 names Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Dyma enwauír seneddwyr ifanc O’r gogleddóNorth Wales: Evan Burgess, Nia Griffiths, Brengain Glyn Williams, Talulah Thomas, Harrison James Gardner, Thomas Comber, Ifan Price, Abbey Carter, Jonathon Dawes, Jonathan Powell, Ifan Wyn Erfyl Jones, Grace Barton, Hasna Ali, Katie June Whitlow O’r canolbarth a’r gorllewinóMid and West Wales: Arianwen Fox-James, Marged Lois Campbell, Cai Thomas Phillips, Caleb Rees, Megan Carys Davies, Rhys Lewis, Ellie Murphy O’r de-ddwyrainóSouth Wales East: Calen Jones, Aled Joseph, Gwion Rhisiart, Betsan Roberts, Rhian Shillabeer, Manon Clarke, Ffion Griffiths, Tommy Church, Lloyd Mann, Charley Oliver-Holland, Finlay Bertram, Maisy Evans, Abby OíSullivan, Luke Parker, Carys Thomas, Angel Ezeadum, Greta Evans, Chloe Giles, Abbie Cooper, Levi Rees Ac yn olaf, finally, de-orllewin CymruóSouth Wales West. Croeso i: Kian Agar, Todd Murray, Eleri Griffiths, Ffion-Haf Davies, Eleanor Lewis, Laine Woolcock, Efan Rhys Fairclough, Alys Hall, Ruth Sibayan, Ubayedhur Rahman, Lleucu Haf Wiliam, Caitlin Stocks, Casey-Jane Bishop, Oliver Davies, Sandy Ibrahim, Nia-Rose Evans, Anwen Grace Rodaway, Sophie Billinghurst, a William Hackett Dyna nhw, felly. Llongyfarchiadau iddyn nhw oll Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: We look forward to welcoming them all to the Senedd for their inaugural meeting in February. [Applause.] Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Llongyfarchiadau, bawb. Bendigedig. Diolch yn fawr i’r Aelodau, a llongyfarchiadau i aelodau ein Senedd Ieuenctid ni Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Felly, dyma ni, ymlaen ‚ busnes y dydd. Yr eitem gyntaf, felly, yw’r cwestiynau i Ysgrifenydd y Cabinet dros Gyllid, ac mae’r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Jenny Rathbone Jenny Rathbone AM: 1. Yn sgil rhybuddion gan Gymdeithas Llywodraeth Leol Cymru am effaith toriadau i gyllid llywodraeth leol, pa drafodaethau y mae Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet wedi’u cynnal gydag Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros Lywodraeth Leol a Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus ynghylch diogelu gwasanaethau lleol? OAQ53050 Mark Drakeford AM: I thank Jenny Rathbone for the question. I hold regular discussions with all Cabinet colleagues, including the Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services. On Friday of last week, for example, we jointly attended a meeting of the local government working group, attended also by members of the WLGA, and others Jenny Rathbone AM: Thank you, Cabinet Secretary Obviously, the additional funding that was made available last week for local government is very welcome, but, in terms of how it translates into money going to Cardiff Council, it’s £1.5 million, in the context of Cardiff Council having to look for potential cuts of £34 million. So, it remains a very challenging landscape for local government. And I wondered what work the Government can do to ensure that we are ensuring that public services are joining up together, to try and protect these preventative services, which are so important to the well-being of the community Mark Drakeford AM: Can I agree, Llywydd, with Jenny Rathbone that it remains a severely challenging period for all public services in Wales? Nine years into austerity and local government is certainly in the front line I’m grateful to the Welsh Local Government Association for what they said. When we announced the additional resources for councils, the WLGA itself said that the announcement signalled significant progress and demonstrated a concerted effort to offset the impact of austerity in Wales. We will go on working with local government

colleagues to strengthen the way in which they are able to act collectively and regionally, and to find ways in which money can be moved upstream so that we spend money preventing problems from happening, rather than having to respond after the damage has been done Suzy Davies AM: As you know, Cabinet Secretary, the local authorities in my area are all Labour run, and even they are starting to say that schools and social care budgets can’t be protected, with one of them saying even that Welsh Government cannot continue to use austerity as an excuse for not allowing local government to deliver vital services to all constituents. With that comment in mind, I wonder if you could tell me whether you’ve discussed with the councils in my region, directly yourself, about whether changes to the funding formula would make a difference, and, in the meantime, whether you’ve discussed any particular ways about how they can protect those budgets on the money that you have given them this year and next year. And, if you haven’t had the chance to do that, if you are First Minister in a few weeks’ time, how will you be instructing colleagues to do that on your behalf? Mark Drakeford AM: I thank Suzy Davies. I congratulate her, of course, on having all Labour local authorities in her area, and I’ve no doubt they’ll look forward to having a Labour Government at UK level as well as here in Wales, because that is what would make the greatest possible difference to their financial circumstances. The funding formula was discussed at the meeting that I attended with Alun Davies on Friday of last week, including representatives of councils in Suzy Davies’s area. I think council leaders recognise that, in the end, the funding formula is a distraction from the main issue. The funding formula shares out the amount of money available, and changing it when money is reducing is exceptionally difficult. What they emphasise, and we emphasise too, is the need for the UK Government to provide proper funding for all public services in Wales so that it is the size of the cake that is growing rather than an argument over how a reducing cake is shared out Jane Hutt AM: Cabinet Secretary, what assessment have you made of the research by the University of Cambridge, which shows that cuts to spending on services by councils in England are, on average, double what they’ve been in Wales? Mark Drakeford AM: I thank Jane Hutt for that question. She raised this during our debate on the draft budget yesterday, pointing to the research by the University of Cambridge, which, as I said yesterday, was published, as it happened, on the same day that the provisional settlement for local government in Wales was published. And it absolutely demonstrates, as the report itself says, that Wales and Scotland have taken a different approach to the way in which we safeguard local services here, and that we have, within the constraints, which are real, that we faceóand our actions don’t mitigate all of the difficulties that local authorities face, I knowóbut, within those constraints, we have protected local government in Wales from the worst effects of nine years of austerity, while local government in England has simply been thrown to the wolves Lynne Neagle AM: 2. Pa gamau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru’n eu cymryd i wella’r ddealltwriaeth o gyfraddau treth incwm Cymru? OAQ53047 Mark Drakeford AM: I thank Lynne Neagle for that question. In November, over 2 million people in Wales received a letter from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs setting out how Welsh rates of income tax will work. The Welsh Government has launched a social media campaign, in addition to the work of HMRC, to help explain the changes, and we work with HMRC and stakeholders to go on raising awareness of Welsh rates of income tax here in Wales Lynne Neagle AM: Thank you for that response, Cabinet Secretary. I’m sure I’m not alone amongst Members in this Chamber in having to reassure constituents on receipt of that letter from HMRC that there are currently no plans to put up income tax in Wales, because the letter has, I think, alarmed some constituents, certainly of mine. What assurances can you give my constituents that there are no plans to raise income tax in Wales? And while I welcome what you just said about the social media campaign, what more can we do to ensure that there is a good understanding of our new income tax powers in Wales? Mark Drakeford AM: I thank the Member for that supplementary question. I’m sure she’s not alone in having constituents come to ask about Welsh rates of income tax, and it’s very good, I think, that local residents turn to Assembly Members for explanation of these important changes. I’m glad that Lynne Neagle was able to offer the key assurance that members of her community will have been looking foróthat

we have no plans to raise rates of income tax here in Wales next year We are following up every enquiry that has come to the Welsh Government as a result of letters that members of the public have received I know that Lynne Neagle will be interested to learn that we directly have received fewer than five calls and five e-mails to the Welsh Government as a result of the letter that went out. HMRC has, so far, received 94 calls in relation to that letter. That is a very small fraction of the 2 million letters that were sent out. But we will follow them all up, we will learn from the questions that people ask us and we will feed that into the social media campaign that we will be mounting over the coming weeks Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM: Cabinet Secretary, are you also going to agree with me that one way to assist Welsh taxpayers’ understanding of their tax deductions would be to have the Welsh rate included on both pay slips, where people get salaries either monthly or weekly, and the P60 form, where, if some people are working in England and in Wales, the end of year deduction should be showing what was taken out in England and what was taken out for Wales? So, that’s a difference in tax collection in two different regions in the country. So, what discussion has he had in this regard, please? Mark Drakeford AM: I thank Mohammad Asghar for those suggestions, and I’m very happy to pursue them with HMRC to see whether they would be a practical way of continuing to explain to citizens in Wales the changes that fiscal devolution have brought about. He’s right to point to the fact that there are some detailed discussions that have gone on and, indeed, detailed analysis that HMRC are undertaking of the 98 cross-border postcodes, where people could be living in England or in Wales, in order to ensure that notification letters are issued only to those taxpayers living in Wales. We think there are fewer than 900 people in that situation, but the additional detailed work that HMRC has carried out will mean that letters to those remaining citizens will be issued by 10 December Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd Plaid Cymru, Rhun ap Iorwerth Rhun ap Iorwerth AM: Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi. Ysgrifennydd Cabinet, pa bwys neu ba werth ddylai gael ei roi i farn a sylwadau Comisiynydd Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol Cymru pan fydd y Llywodraeth yn dod i benderfyniadau mawr ar bolisÔau gwariant? Mark Drakeford AM: Wrth gwrs, rydym ni’n gwrando ar beth mae’r comisiynydd yn ei ddweud. Fe wnes i siarad ‚ hi fwy nag unwaith pan oedd y gyllideb yn cael ei pharatoi dros y gwanwyn a’r haf. Mae hi wedi bod yn adeiladol, rydw i’n meddwl, yn y broses yna, ac rydym ni’n gwerthfawrogi’r gwaith mae hi’n ei wneud a’r cymorth mae hi’n ei roi i ni fel Llywodraeth Rhun ap Iorwerth AM: Mae’n siwr eich bod yn dyfalu o bosibl mai at yr M4 rydw i’n mynd i fod yn cyfeirio. Mae’r comisiynydd wedi gwneud sylwadau cryfion iawn dros beth amser erbyn hyn ynglyn ‚ chynlluniau ar gyfer llwybr du yr M4. Mi soniodd y llynedd y gallai cynllun yr M4 osod cynsail peryglus ar gyfer y dyfodol ac, yn fwy diweddar, mae hi wedi gwneud ei barn yn berffaith glir nad ydy hi’n credu bod y cynllun yma yn gymesur ag anghenion cenedlaethau’r dyfodol. A ddylai sylwadau mor gryf ‚ hynny, gan gomisiynydd rydym ni wedi ymddiried yn fawr ynddi hi, fod yn ddigon mewn difrif i roi stop ar y cynllun yma? Mark Drakeford AM: Wel, wrth gwrs, mae’r comisiynydd wedi rhoi ei sylwadau hi i fewn i’r ymchwil sydd wedi cael ei wneudóymchwil annibynnol ac adroddiad annibynnol, sydd wedi dod mas o’r gwaith dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf Mark Drakeford AM: Llywydd, I have to simply repeat what my colleague the leader of the house said yesterday. There is a legal process under way in relation to decision making on the M4. As finance Minister, I have a part to play in that process, and I’m not going to be drawn on any aspect of the decision making that would draw me outside the legal parameters within which I have to operate Rhun ap Iorwerth AM: There is quite rightly a lot of weight of expectation on what the commissioner can do for Wales. Surely, in

this first major test case of the influence that the commissioner has, Government should be showing that they are taking her role extremely seriously. She raises some serious and fundamental questions about value for money and what that means for finances available for future generations As the holder of the public purse in Wales and somebody who is charged with ensuring that we get maximum value for money, and get maximum bangs for the Welsh buck, can you give an undertaking that, whilst we still await decisions by Government on the next steps for the black route, you will investigate every possibility of spending that substantial amount of moneyóup to £2 billion or more evenóin a more sensible way, either by spending less for the same results through strengthening the road network and investing in public transport, or even spending the same amount of money and getting vastly greater results, which would please not only future generations, but future health Secretaries, future transport Secretaries and, indeed, future finance Ministers too? Mark Drakeford AM: Llywydd, I understand all the points that Rhun ap Iorwerth has made All of them are serious points and all of them were rehearsed in front of the independent, local public inquiry. No doubt, they will all be reflected in the inspector’s report, produced as a result of the inquiry. I am yet to see that inspector’s report and I have to reserve any comments that I might make on this matter until I’m able to do that and to see the advice that is provided alongside it Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr, Darren Millar Darren Millar AM: Cabinet Secretary, what provision have you made in your budget for next year in respect of the north Wales growth deal? Mark Drakeford AM: Llywydd, I am on the point of being able to make provision for the north Wales growth deal. I hope to be able to do that within a short number of days. I have not been able to do so up until this point because, unlike the Cardiff and Swansea city deals, where the amounts of money to be provided by the Welsh Government and the UK Government were agreed in advance of a UK Government announcement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer chose to announce the sum of money from the UK Government unilaterally and without agreement with us Darren Millar AM: You’re very slow off the starting blocks in respect of this deal, aren’t you, Cabinet Secretary? Because, as you will know, this bid was put together and submitted by the north Wales economic ambition board on 23 October. The UK Government managed to consider it and put its hand in its pocket and place £120 million on the table within a matter of just a few weeks. Why have you spent so long dithering about this? Mark Drakeford AM: I’m sure the Member would rather that we had a constructive and cross-party approach to the north Wales growth deal. I understand that it is supported by Members across this Chamber. The Welsh Government certainly will play our part and I will make a decision on the amount of money that we are able to contribute to the deal. I would rather have been able to do that in the way we did in relation to Swansea and Cardiffóby prior agreement with the UK Government. The UK Government, having decided to put its hand in its pocket, but not all that far, I must say, given that it was £170 million that was asked for by north Wales authorities, not the £120 million they ended up withó But I will make certain that there is a contribution from the Welsh Government and then I look forward to the cross-party consensus that has existed in this Chamber, on the importance of that growth deal, continuing Darren Millar AM: I noted your criticism of the £120 million, but it’s £120 million more than you’ve managed to put your hands in your pocket for so far. You’re quite right to say that there is cross-party agreement on this matter. I noted that, in advance of the UK Government’s budget, there were Members of Parliament on a cross-party basis, including Labour Members of Parliament, who were writing to the UK Government, asking it to make an announcement in the budget on the north Wales growth deal. I would anticipate that you’ve also received similar letters. Perhaps you can tell us whether you have, from either Labour Assembly Members or MPs in respect of the role that you might play I think what people in north Wales are looking for is some rapid decision making on this

We know that the Welsh Government, quite rightly, was very eager to get things signed off for the Cardiff capital region city deal and the Swansea bay city deal, but for some reason, you appear to have been a little bit more lethargic than you have been in respect of both of those deals in terms of engaging on the north Wales growth deal with the economic ambition board and in terms of putting some money on the table. You say now that you are going to make an announcement in the coming days; I welcome the fact that you’ve revealed that to us today. Can you tell us, in advance of that announcement, whether you will be providing sufficient moneys for the bid to be completely fulfilled? Mark Drakeford AM: Well, Llywydd, I, of course, received correspondence in relation to the north Wales growth deal. By and large, it urged me to put pressure on the UK Government to make its mind up in relation to the deal This was the third budget. I notice the Member talks about decision making being made rapidly This was the third annual occasion in which the Chancellor of the Exchequer mentioned the north Wales growth deal. Two years ago, he told us he was thinking about it; a year ago, he told us he’d thought about it bit more; and this year, I was very glad to see that he had come to a funding conclusion I will make an announcement, as I say, as soon as I’m able to. It will be a significant investment from the Welsh Government. I think we’re much better off focusing on making sure that we work together, the UK Government, the Welsh Government, local authorities, private sector partners and others, to make the best possible success of the deal, rather than worrying too much about whether a decision was made one week or two weeks later than somebody else did Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Llefarydd UKIP, Neil Hamilton Neil Hamilton AM: Diolch yn fawr iawn, Llywydd Can I commend the chief economist to the Welsh Government for the document that was published this week, summarising the economic analyses that have been made by the UK Government of the effects of Brexit under different scenarios? But the document contains some of the more ludicrous projections, including the ones that have been published by the Bank of England this weekóin the continuation of project fearóthat claimed that by the end of 2023, on the worst case scenario, GDP in the UK could be between 7.75 per cent and 10 per cent lower than it was in May 2016, which would be quite remarkable, because not only is that a much more severe contraction than we experienced in the recession of 2008, it is actually greater than the fall in output that occurred during the great depression in the 1930s, and is only seen in countries like Venezuela, which have been given a full dose of Corbynite economic policies, and where a 16 per cent contraction in GDP in one year is now the norm. So, would the Cabinet Secretary agree with me that the kind of worst case scenarios produced by official organisations like the Bank of England are actually grossly irresponsible in the current climate of uncertainty over Brexit, because they just magnify fears unnecessarily and, therefore, make that uncertainty even worse, and that has a real impact upon businesses and the lives and livelihoods of ordinary people? Mark Drakeford AM: Well, Llywydd, can I thank the Member, first of all, for drawing attention to the document that the chief economist published yesterday? He is independent of Government in the judgments that he makes, and I know he was anxious to publish his assessment alongside the debate that we had yesterday, and I hope other Members will have a chance to read what he said I think his analysis is sober. I think it is deliberately couched in language intended to be non-alarmist, and where I can’t agree with the Member, as he will know, is in dismissing projections that are made by absolutely mainstream and respectable forecasters, not simply the Bank of England, but also the Treasury itself, and also analysts outside Government, all of whom share a broad consensus on the potential impact on our economy of a hardline slash-and-burn Brexit. And I can’t afford to dismiss those projections in the way that he does, because in Government, I’m afraid that you have to prepare for the worst, even when you are working as hard as you can to avoid it Neil Hamilton AM: I’m afraid the Cabinet Secretary, in disagreeing with me, is also disagreeing

with the former governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, and indeed with Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman, whose political views are very far from mine and are actually not too far from the Cabinet Secretary’s, because Mervyn King has said that he is saddened to see the Bank of England unnecessarily drawn into this project fear type of exercise. And Paul Krugmanóno friend of Brexitódescribes the bank’s estimates as ‘black box numbers’ that are ‘dubious’ and ‘questionable’. So, when such a broad range of economic analysts of world renown are able to dismiss these kinds of hysterical prophecy, I can’t understand why the Cabinet Secretary himself, in the interests of a sober analysis and debateówhich I agree with him the chief economist has added to our deliberations yesterdayócan’t calm things down by agreeing with me that it does us no good whatsoever to have forecasts for the future that are wildly, alarmingly out of kilter with reality Mark Drakeford AM: Well, Llywydd, I would seek to calm things down in this way by saying that two things happened yesterday that make the prospects of a ‘no deal’ Brexit recede, and I’m very glad of that. The very best way to calm down anxiety will be for the UK Government to take the advice set out in ‘Securing Wales’ Future’ and negotiate a form of Brexit that authentically supports the Welsh economy and jobs, and then we wouldn’t have to be trading expert against expert, dealing with the hypothetical but catastrophic possibility that we could leave the European Union on terms that do the maximum damage Neil Hamilton AM: I would refer back to the chief economist’s report, because he does say in it that there is a strong consensus amongst economists about the key principles of forecasting, one of which is that distance itself is a barrier and trade is generally more intensive with partners who are approximate, both geographically and in terms of their stage of economic development. The Treasury model and most of the other models that are referred to in this document use what is called a gravity model of forecasting, and the fundamental principle of that is that the amount of trade done between two countries diminishes with the square of the distance between them. But, all the data upon which this rather dubious forecasting model is based were compiled in the 1980s and beforeóa world in which there was no internet, no FaceTime, no e-mail, no Google Translate, no standardised containerisation, no opening up of former Marxist states, like China, for example, no World Trade Organization, evenóand therefore, given that trade in services is now vastly more important to our economy and, indeed, the economy of our European neighbours than it was then, and global mobility is so much greater and the digital revolution has taken place, the assumptions upon which these forecasting models are made are wildly out of date, and that is why they produce these alarmingly out-of-kilter predictions, which are always proved to be totally wrong after the event Mark Drakeford AM: Llywydd, the gravity analysis is, as the Member said, summed up generally as ‘trade halves as distance doubles’, and that does tell you a relatively commonsensical thing: that you are more likely to have intense economic relationships with those who are closest to you, and the further away your market is from your own, the less likely it is that you will have the same intensity of trade. The real difficulty for the Member is that all the things that he points to in trying to discredit gravity analysis apply whether we are in the European Union or not And, leaving the European Union is not a material fact in the analysis that he just attempted to set out Mark Reckless AM: 3. A wnaiff Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet ddatganiad am strategaeth tymor hir Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer lefelau trethiant yng Nghymru? OAQ53044 Mark Drakeford AM: Llywydd, the Welsh Government’s long-term strategy was set out in the tax policy framework published in 2017, and is reflected in the report on our tax work programme, published alongside the draft budget on 2 October Mark Reckless AM: If the Cabinet Secretary is in charge, can we expect tax rates in Wales to be higher or lower in five years’ time? Mark Drakeford AM: Llywydd, taxation rates

must be judged in the prevailing economic circumstances of the time, and that is what I would expect anybody charged with responsibilities for the Welsh finances to do Mike Hedges AM: Does the Cabinet Secretary agree with me about the importance of taxation to support public services in Wales? If I could remind the Cabinet Secretary, in the last three weeks, the Conservatives have asked for more money for local government, more money for further education, more money for health. How are they going to fund it if they don’t want taxation? Mark Drakeford AM: Well, of course, Mike Hedges is absolutely right. Taxation is the admission charge we pay to a civilised society. It is through pooling the money that comes through taxation that we are all able to afford the things that around this Chamber we regard as important in the lives of people in Wales Now, if you chose to lower taxes in Wales by 1p, the gross cost would be around £200 million. Which of our public services would have to be cut, Llywydd, to enable that to happen? You can’t do the sort of voodoo economic trick that we are often offered by Members on the benches opposite, in which you cut taxes, have less money, and still are somehow able to spend more on everything that they tell us they would favour Vikki Howells AM: 4. Beth yw blaenoriaethau Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer buddsoddi cyfalaf yng Nghwm Cynon? OAQ53029 Mark Drakeford AM: I thank Vikki Howells for that. Our capital priorities for the Cynon Valley include investment in town centres, in flood prevention, in the health serviceóincluding, for example, the new primary and community care centre due to be completed in Mountain Ash in 2021 Vikki Howells AM: Thank you very much, Cabinet Secretary. In fact, there’s an exhibition on for that primary care centre in Mountain Ash today. But, in particular, I am keen for work on sections 5 and 6 of the dualling of the Heads of the Valleys road to be completed, which will be so important for my constituency I noted the local government Secretary’s comments last week about maximising the benefits of the investment in the A465 corridor for local communities. This was set against a 12-month time frame, so with work on sections 5 and 6 due to start at the end of 2019, how will this investment be exploited to bring the most advantage to communities in Cynon? Mark Drakeford AM: I thank Vikki Howells for that. She will know that we went out to tender on sections 5 and 6 of the A465 back in July We are now having an opportunity to consider fully the inspector’s report, and I hope that a decision to proceed with the next stage of procurement will be taken very shortly Directly in that project, there will be contractual requirements for the successful bidder to deliver a range of community benefits around the employment of local people, training apprenticeships and work contracts for local companies, all of which will benefit residents in her constituency My colleague Alun Davies was referring to a working group set up by the Valleys taskforce, which is to consider how best to maximise the opportunities around the dualling, not simply while it’s being built but once it is open as well David Melding AM: Cabinet Secretary, you will know, and I’m sure you welcomed, as I did, the decision of RCT council to launch the largest ever capital investment programme in their history. It’s set at £300 million, of which £45 million will be on housing Some innovative schemes are planned, and some important partnerships with the private sector and housing associationsóand the local authority itself, of course. Given now that the Treasury is lifting the borrowing cap on councils that want to build more houses, don’t you welcome this approach, which, in tough financial times, is just the sort of way to really see our local economies being stimulated? Mark Drakeford AM: Well, I do welcome the lifting of the cap, and I know my colleague Rebecca Evans has been in correspondence with local authorities about what that will do to their ability to raise further funding to invest in housing. Of course David Melding is right about the local economic impact of house building in communities, and I agree with him that RCT council, under the leadership of Councillor Andrew Morgan, has been amongst the most innovative councils in Wales in finding ways to expand their ability to invest in capital projects, not simply in housing but in many other areas as well. Councillor Morgan is the author, with Jane Hutt, of the local authority borrowing initiative that we have helped to fund, and I congratulate them on the work that they do in this area Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM: 5. Pa drafodaethau

y mae Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet wedi’u cael gydag Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros Addysg ynghylch ariannu rhaglen prentisiaeth Llywodraeth Cymru? OAQ53025 Mark Drakeford AM: I thank the Member. I meet all Cabinet Secretaries as part of our budget preparations to discuss delivery of our priorities set out in ‘Prosperity for All’. That includes our commitment to deliver 100,000 high-quality, all-age apprenticeships during this Assembly term Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM: Thank you very much for the reply, Minister. The Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee recently expressed its disappointment at the lack of transparency surrounding the funding and operation of the apprenticeship programme. The committee also expressed concern that this lack of transparency poses a challenge to the effective scrutiny of this flagship Welsh Government initiative Cabinet Secretary, what discussions have you had with Ministerial colleagues about this matter, and what action will you take to ensure that the concerns of the community are addressed and resolved? Mark Drakeford AM: I thank the Member for that. Of course we take seriously the views of the committee and I look forward to studying them in more detail to see how we can tell our story more clearly on apprenticeships, because it is a very good story indeed, Llywydd As a Government, we would certainly wish to make sure that no-one is left in any doubt that, for example, next year we will invest £150 million of Welsh Government money to help us in our journey to a minimum of 100,000 all-age apprenticeships during the course of this Assembly term Bethan Sayed AM: Research from the National Society of Apprentices shows that apprentices spend 20 per cent of their salary on transport, which is significant, given that some apprentices are only on £3.70 an hour. I was wondering what plansóor if you had any plans, potentially, to encourage free transportation for apprentices so that they can reach their place of work in a timely fashion and in an affordable fashion, so that they don’t have to budget for transport when they have to budget for so many other things in their lives as apprentices? Mark Drakeford AM: I absolutely, Llywydd, recognise the point that Bethan Sayed has made about the cost of travel on people who are going to work and managing on low incomes The policy matter is not one for me. It will be for my colleague Ken Skates, but I’ll make sure that the points that she’s made this afternoon are drawn to his attention Mike Hedges AM: Would the Cabinet Secretary agree with me that the UK Government’s much-vaunted apprenticeship levy has now been exposed for what it is: nothing more than a tax on employers, which has done little to improve access to apprenticeships? Will he also agree that the further education colleges in Wales are doing a phenomenally good job in training apprentices to the benefit of our country? Mark Drakeford AM: Well, of course Mike Hedges is right, Llywydd. The apprenticeship levy is simply a tax, in any other name, and a very badly designed tax, and a tax that is friendless, as far as I can see, amongst the nations of the United Kingdom and amongst employers as well. It was a botched job from the start. There was no prior discussion with Scotland or Wales. We could have helped the then Chancellor of the Exchequer to do a better job of it had he simply allowed us, as the statement of funding policy required, to be part of the design of what he was intending to achieve I certainly agree with Mike Hedges that further education colleges in Wales do an excellent job in responding to local economic needs, in matching young people with careers that they will be able to develop over the long term. I’ve recently myself met with apprentices at Airbus and in Tata in south Wales, and they all had really impressive stories to tell of the support that they have received from major employers in Wales, and how that has been matched by a genuinely responsive approach by their local education authorities and the further education colleges on which they rely Andrew RT Davies AM: 6. Pa newidiadau i ardrethi busnes yng Nghymru y mae Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet yn bwriadu eu cyflwyno yn dilyn cyhoeddiad cyllidebol Llywodraeth y DU ynghylch ardrethi busnes yn Lloegr? OAQ53035 Mark Drakeford AM: I thank the Member for the question. As he will know, I announced yesterday that I intend to enhance our high-street rate relief scheme for 2019-20. I said yesterday, Llywydd, that I would use the full £26 million consequential for that purpose, and I can say today that I intend to make £24 million directly available to the high-street scheme itself and that I will also provide an additional £2.4 million to local authorities to fund

the discretionary rate relief that they are able to provide Andrew RT Davies AM: With the UK Government’s announcement in the budget back in October, the figures that came out of the UK Government budget announcement said that businesses in England would receive about £8,000 rebate on their business rates up to a rateable value of £51,000 over two years. Given the series of announcements you just made there, Cabinet Secretary, which are welcomeóadditional money going into business ratesówhat tangible benefits will be felt on our high streets here in Wales, given that Small Business Saturday was only last Saturday, and time and time again business operators on high streets say business rates are the biggest millstone around their necks to expansion and employing more staff on those high streets? Mark Drakeford AM: Llywydd, I think it is important for me to make sure that Members understand that, once the small print of what the Chancellor said on 28 October was examined, it turned out that there is to be no national scheme in England at all. There is simply to be funding to local authorities to use their discretionary powers. There will be no national rules. You will simply be in the hands of your local authority to use the money that the Chancellor provides as they see fit So, the figures the chancellor used are illustrative at the very best and simply not to be relied upon as representing a scheme that businesses across England can rely on. By contrast, our high-street relief scheme has a set of all-Wales rules. There is a way in which businesses will know exactly how much they will be entitled to get. And, of course, I do agree with the Member. Every penny that we will get as a result of that announcement will be spent to assist businesses here in Wales, but we will design a scheme that meets the size, the distribution and the value of the Welsh tax base in this area, which is different to the one in England, and we will design a scheme that puts the money where it will have the best effect Julie Morgan AM: I’m aware that many childcare businesses in my constituency in Cardiff North are very concerned about business rates. Will the Cabinet Secretary confirm that all childcare providers will be exempt from paying business rates in Wales from April 2019? Mark Drakeford AM: Yes, Llywydd. Thank you to Julie Morgan for that, because I can confirm exactly thatóthat our small business rate relief scheme is to be extended to provide 100 per cent rate relief to all registered childcare providers in Wales, and this higher level of relief will start on 1 April 2019 It is a very good example of aligning our taxation responsibilities with out policy ambitions, because, of course, we have an ambition to provide the most enhanced level of childcare to people here in Wales, and the decision on rate relief was designed to support the sector on which we rely to deliver our childcare offer Joyce Watson AM: 7. Pa asesiad y mae Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet wedi’i wneud o’r ffigurau gwariant cyhoeddus mwyaf diweddar ar gyfer gwledydd y DU? OAQ53056 Mark Drakeford AM: I thank Joyce Watson for that. The figures show that investment in health and in social services and in education grew faster in Wales in 2017-18 than in any other UK nation Joyce Watson AM: I was interested to listen to the news bulletins yesterday morning, but dismayed to learn that spending in vital care services for elderly people in England has been cut by 25 per cent per person since 2010 That, of course, hasn’t happened in Wales, because the Labour Welsh Government has protected those budgets, and I’m extremely proud of that, and I’m sure everybody would want to join with me in celebrating that fact. But, from next April, a portion of the income tax paid by people in Wales will directly fund Welsh public services. How will that free up Welsh Government to go further in terms of prioritising those vital front-line services? Mark Drakeford AM: I thank Joyce Watson for that important question. She’s absolutely rightóthat is what the figures produced by the UK Government demonstrate, that despite the impact of austerity and the very real challenges that that poses for public services, we have protected spending in local authorities and spending on elderly services to an extent certainly not seen across our border, and spending per head on health and social services in Wales combined last year increased by 3.8 per cent, and that was the highest increase of any of the four UK countries Joyce Watson is absolutely right to point

out that the new fiscal responsibilities we have bring with them some new opportunities She will be aware of the report of Professor Gerry Holtham, looking at the possibility of a social care levy here in Wales. The Cabinet has a sub-group set up, chaired by my colleague Huw Irranca-Davies, bringing together Cabinet colleagues to see whether it would be practical to take some of that analysis and to put it to work in Wales using our new fiscal possibilities to support our ambitious policy agenda Mark Reckless AM: Could the Cabinet Secretary confirm the funding floor guarantee that the UK Government has provided in respect of spending in Wales, and compare and contrast that to any funding floor that was in place under previous Labour Governments in the UK? Mark Drakeford AM: I thank the Member for that. The fiscal framework does include a multiplieróit’s 105 per cent. I think the leader of the opposition yesterday suggested it was 120 per cent, but it’s actually 105 per cent. For every £1 that is spent in England, we get 105 per cent of that through the Barnett consequentials. That’s amounted to £70 million so far for Wales. With the additional money for healthó[Interruption.] Noó[Interruption.] Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Allow the Cabinet Secretary to answer the question Mark Drakeford AM: I think I’mó[Interruption.] Yes, yes. The point that the Member asked me was whether there is a mechanism in the fiscal framework that guarantees that Wales gets a fixed percentage of the funding that is announced in England. The answer is that it does. That has given us £70 million additional so far, following the signing of the fiscal framework, and, if you take into account the promised additional funding for the NHS over the next few years, that will give us £270 million beyond what we otherwise would have had without the conclusion of that agreement Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Now it’s your turn Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Cwestiwn 8, Darren Millar Darren Millar AM: 8. A wnaiff Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet ddatganiad am ddyfodol lefelau treth yng Nghymru rhwng nawr ac etholiad nesaf y Cynulliad? OAQ53030 Mark Drakeford AM: I thank Darren Millar for the question. The draft budget, published on 2 October, proposed that the Welsh rates of income tax remained the same as England and Northern Ireland in 2019-20, consistent with my party’s manifesto commitment not to raise income tax levels in this Assembly term Darren Millar AM: I’m very grateful for that response. I’ve listened carefully to you respond to similar questions as well during the course of this question time, and what you hadn’t indicated is what your plans or the plans of your party might be beyond the next financial year. I’d be grateful if you could assure us of your personal commitment not to increase income tax rates before the next Assembly election, including in those years beyond 2019-20 Mark Drakeford AM: Well, Llywydd, I’ve already repeated the manifesto commitment of my party not to raise income tax levels in this Assembly term. I would be much better placed if the UK Government was able to tell me how much money this Assembly will have beyond the next financial year. There is to be a comprehensive spending review, which will not even begin until January, and I have no figures at all for the Assembly’s budget beyond 2019-20 That will be a great help to us all in being able to provide the sort of certainty for the future that the Member has asked me about Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Ac, yn olaf, cwestiwn 9, Rhianon Passmore Rhianon Passmore AM: Thank you very much I think the question has been asked. Can the Cabinet Secretary confirm that Welsh taxpayers have received their HMRC letter about Welsh rates of income tax? Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Youó Rhianon Passmore AM: That is the question in front of me, Llywydd Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: That’s not the question in front of me. I think we’ll leave it at that and thank the Cabinet Secretary for his contribution Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Ac felly dyma ni’n dod at gwestiynau i Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros Lywodraeth Leol a Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus Y cwestiwn cyntafóHelen Mary Jones Helen Mary Jones AM: 1. A wnaiff Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet ddatganiad am gefnogaeth Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer cynghorau gwledig? OAQ53046 Alun Davies AM: The majority of Welsh Government support for rural councils is delivered through the £4.2 billion local government settlement The settlement funding formula includes a number of indicators that account for varying degrees of population sparsity across all of our authorities Helen Mary Jones AM: I thank the Cabinet Secretary for his answer, but here’s the reality: Powys is looking at a £14 million budget gap for the next financial year, Carmarthenshire has

had to make £50 million-worth of cuts at the same time as raising its council tax by 22 per cent over the past five years, and citizens in Pembrokeshire are facing a 12 per cent increase in their council tax in the next financial year alone. Now, I realise that the Cabinet Secretary is dealing with a difficult budget and I realise that it is not the fault of the Welsh Government that the settlement is tight, but surely, given those figures, Cabinet Secretary, you can see that there must be something wrong with the way in which the money is being allocated Because, if you compare this with communities in more urban parts of Wales, it just does not seem equitable or fair Alun Davies AM: The Member is absolutely correct, of course, that we are dealing with a very difficult financial settlement, and I and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance have been absolutely clear in our response to this This is a difficult settlement and we would prefer to be able to allocate greater funding to all local authorities. But, let me say this: I do regret the increasing tendency amongst many Members to pit different communities against each other. In the question from the Member for Llanelli she pitted rural against urban. In the past, we have pitted north against south, east against west. I do regret this tendency within our debate, because it does not reflect either the debates that we have with local government, and I do not believe it reflects the reality either. I will say to the Member that the finance sub-group, which provides representation for all authorities across the country, endorsed the settlement funding formula for the next financial year at its meeting on 27 September. In addition to this, I spoke to representatives of all political groupings in local government last week and I repeated to them the point I made in this Chamber during a Conservative Party debate on the funding formula and the settlement that, if I receive a letter from all four political groupings within local government asking for a review off the formula, then I will institute it. I have to say that the response on Friday was not very positive to that Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: I think you’re very fortunate at this point that the Member for Llanelli is not in the Chamber; I think you wanted to refer to the Member for Mid and West Wales Alun Davies AM: For Mid and West Wales, yes Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Russell George Russell George AM: Diolch, Llywydd. Cabinet Secretary, on 31 January, the leaders of both Powys County Council and Ceredigion County Council will be coming here to the Senedd as part of a Growing Mid Wales delegation jointly sponsored by the Llywydd, the Member for Brecon and Radnorshire and me. There’ll be an opportunity to showcase produce and services from local businesses from across these two rural local authorities. Now, I appreciate you’re not leading on the mid Wales growth deal, that’s a matter for the Cabinet Secretary for the economy, but can I ask you what are you doing to support these two rural local authorities to boost the economies of mid Wales? Alun Davies AM: As the Member indicated in his question, that does not sit with my responsibilities, but I will say to him that the first time I met with the leadership of Powys County Council these matters were discussed. I met with the leadership of the authority and I said to them there that this Government wanted to be an activist Government, seeking to promote and support economic development across the whole face of the country, and that we would be active in supporting that. Certainly, in the conversations that I’ve had with all local government leaders across the country, we’ve always emphasised that we will continue to provide that level of support Leanne Wood AM: 2. Pa asesiad y mae Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet wedi’i wneud o effaith toriadau i gyllid awdurdod lleol? OAQ53053 Alun Davies AM: I and my Cabinet colleagues consider local government funding with local authorities through the partnership council and its finance sub-group, as well as other formal and informal engagements Leanne Wood AM: I know you will be aware of the findings from Professor Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur for extreme poverty, and among many of his stark conclusions were that Westminster cuts have fallen hardest on the poor, on women, racial and ethnic minorities, children, single parents and people with disabilities He argued that a misogynist would find it hard to do a better job. Has your Government taken a full impact assessment of your local authority cuts to ensure that you are not repeating the callous decisions of the Tories and exacerbating the situation for those people with the least in our society? Alun Davies AM: We certainly will be reviewing the report from the UN rapporteur, and I must say I’ve read his report and I concur with the Member for the Rhondda’s conclusions on it. But let me say this: the Cabinet Secretary for Finance in answer to an earlier question pointed out that the University of Cambridge has recently published a review of the approach

from different UK administrations to local government, and that review is very, very clear that Wales and Scotland have followed a very similar approach, which is very different to that of England, and the consequences for that are very clear for the English population But let me also say this: one of the reports that I read last year, which is very influential on my thinking, was that those local authorities who represent poorer and more deprived communities have greater difficulties in raising funds, and are more reliant on central Government funding, than rich and more prosperous areas And that is one of the reasons why I have always pursued, in my time in this office, a route that seeks to have the structures in place that maximise the impact of front-line services and ensure that we have services provided at a scale that is able to withstand future financial pressures as well. And I look forward to support from Plaid Cymru and elsewhere in pursuing that agenda Mark Isherwood AM: What dialogue have you had with the chief executive of Flintshire County Council since he wrote to all councillors there on 16 November, asking them to back the #BackTheAsk campaign to get a fair share of Welsh national funds, which was, on 20 November, backed unanimously by members of all parties to take, quote, ‘the fight down to the local government department in Cardiff’? Alun Davies AM: I haven’t spoken to the chief executive, Colin Everett, on this subject in that time frame, but I will say this: as the chief executive was making that statement in Flintshire, the leader of Flintshire County Council was with me in Cardiff in Cathays Park, telling me that he had no wish to reopen the funding formula or debate or discussions around that formula Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr, David Melding David Melding AM: Diolch yn fawr, Llywydd Minister, it’s nearly a year since the finance Secretary announced his changes to land transaction tax, moving the standard threshold for payment from £150,000 to £180,000. What assessment has your department made of the likely effect this will have on first-time buyers in Wales? Rebecca Evans AM: Thank you very much for the question, and, of course, the decision around the land transaction tax means that around 80 per cent of first-time buyers in Wales won’t pay tax, with our threshold of £180,000. This, of course, is the same proportion of first-time buyers as in England with their stamp duty land tax. Currently, the average house price here in Wales is £140,000, so I think it is incorrect and unfair to suggest in the Conservative Party’s White Paper, released this week, that there is no relief for first-time buyers, because that is misleadingóaround 80 per cent of first-time buyers are protected from that David Melding AM: Well, Minister, when this policy was introduced, it diverged from the option that they took in England. There, first-time buyers have a relief of up to £300,000, and, on properties that are priced at that level, there is no stamp duty at all. You quote the average house priceóI thought you said £140,000; I think that is not accurate. The average price, I think, at the moment is £180,000 or thereabouts, and that is a significant amount. For properties then between £180,000 and £250,000, which is where the average price in many local authorities now is, first-time buyers will not get full relief; they’ll get a margin of that on the £180,000, but they will not get the same deal that those buyers would get in England Let me just spell out what that means. In Cardiff, it means our first-time buyers, compared to the equivalent in England, pay £1,700 more in tax. In Monmouthshire, they pay £5,400 more in tax, and, even in Anglesey, first-time buyers there are paying more than £1,000 in tax in addition to what they would pay if they were in England. Do you think it’s fair that our first-time buyers in Wales do not get as good a deal as they get in England? Rebecca Evans AM: Well, the Office for Budget Responsibility’s assessment of the first-time buyers’ relief was that it would do little to help first-time buyers, and it would increase house prices and result in very few additional first-time buyer purchases. So, we don’t want to replicate a relief that’s not deemed to be effective. And, in fact, our approach is much more fair in Wales, because our approach is keen to assist all of those who struggle to buy a house to do so. So, you don’t have to be a first-time buyer to benefit from our

land transaction tax relief here in Wales And, actually, I think that’s a fair thing to do. People struggle to buy their second house, people struggle to move, and I think our approach has been to help people who are struggling, rather than first-time buyers as an entire group David Melding AM: Well, relief is either helpful, or it isn’t, so I think you need to make your mind up on that. And I wouldn’t like to go out into the streets of Cardiff, or go to Monmouth or Anglesey, and tell the first-time buyers there, paying well over the odds of what they would pay if they were in England, that this extra tax is neither here nor there I think that is a really bad message. The other thing, where I do agree, is that we do need a broader range of policies, and the building rate is the key thing, really, in terms of providing a better market and a more competitive market for our first-time buyers So, how do you think the lowest building rate on record almost is helping first-time buyers in Wales? Rebecca Evans AM: Well, clearly, Welsh Government is committed to increasing the scale and pace of building, and one of our commitments in ‘Prosperity for All’ was to work very closely with local authorities to do that. And we’re able to do that now as a result of the raise inóor the scrapping of the borrowing limit, which, of course, Welsh Government has been campaigning for for some time. We’re well on course to meet our target of 20,000 new affordable homes being built through the course of this Assembly, and today you’ll have noticed that we’ve published ‘Planning Policy Wales’, which clearly takes us forward, in terms of breaking down some of those barriers in terms of planning. So, ensuring that the areas that are brought forward for planning will genuinely be built on, rather than, as we see at the moment, plots of land being included in local development plans, then they have the impact of raising the value of that land, but actually doing very little to improve the rate of house building. So, I would point to ‘Planning Policy Wales’ as being an important move forward, in terms of being able to break down some of the barriers that we are seeing to the pace of house building across Wales Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Llefarydd Plaid CymruóLeanne Wood Leanne Wood AM: Diolch, Llywydd. Minister, you spoke at the Crisis conference on ending homelessness back in June, and I’m sure you’ve read the report that was produced at that event, which outlines what can be done to end homelessness. It’s a very comprehensive report, with recommendations for all Governments, including your Government. Can you tell us what you learnt from that event and from the report, and how it’s influencing your decision making? Rebecca Evans AM: Thank you very much for that. As you say, I did attend that report, and have read the very extensive documentóI think it’s about 2 inches thick. So, it certainly is full of evidence, which we are taking very seriously. What I learnt from that conference, really, was about the importance of supporting people with a direct impact of an experience of homelessness and listening to people who have had that experience of homelessness Because, of course, I stayed for longer than my own slot within that conference, and was able to hear directly from people who have that experience of homelessness, which I think has to be the answer in terms of guiding us to our response. This is one of the exciting things that Swansea is doing, with the additional funding that we’ve been able to provide to them for tackling rough sleeping. They’re undertaking some work with Shelter to gather those individual stories of rough sleepers, so that we can understand at what point an intervention could have been made to prevent that rough sleeping, how we could have helped people out of rough sleeping much sooner, and how we can prevent people from losing their tenures in future Leanne Wood AM: Thank you, Minister. For some years now in Plaid Cymru, we’ve been arguing the case for the phasing out of priority need Now, two weeks ago, you responded to my colleague, saying that that was the subject of a review But, of course, in 2012, your Government commissioned Cardiff University to review homelessness law, and they recommended abolishing priority need, a recommendation endorsed this year by the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee, and, of course, there’s this recommendation in the Crisis report. So, why has your Government rejected the recommendations of these reviews, and instead asked for another one? Rebecca Evans AM: Well, we’re looking very seriously at the issue of priority need, and I completely understand where the call is coming from on it, and I am sympathetic to it, but, at the same time, we need to understand any possible unintended consequences. For example, when we look at the situation in Scotland, where they abolished priority need, you find larger groups of people staying for much longer in temporary accommodation, which isn’t something that we would want to see here in Wales. So, we need to be doing this alongside the increasing of the supply of housing, and also, the rolling out of housing first, for example This is certainly an area that we are looking at, but it can’t be done in isolation, because

the unintended consequences are there. And if you look at Scotland, where they have removed priority need, you can walk around Edinburgh or another city, and there will be people sleeping on the streets and rough sleeping, so it isn’t a panacea by any stretch of the imagination. It has to be part of a larger picture Leanne Wood AM: You’ve had since 2012 to work out the unintended consequences on this, and the numbers of street sleepers are on the rise. People are becoming homeless and staying homeless because of your delaying tactics, and we need action on this now. Now, your colleague Andy Burnham in Manchester has pledged to eradicate rough sleeping by 2020, eight years sooner than your Government, seven years sooner than the Tory target, and, as part of that, he spent the autumn working with local authorities to provide a bed for every rough sleeper this winter, every night, in a range of accommodation, including women-only places and places that also allow people to take their dogs. Members of the public can now download an app that they can use to direct rough sleepers to where they can have assistance Why is this level of ambition and action possible in Manchester, but it’s not possible from your Government? Rebecca Evans AM: Well, clearly, you’re not aware of the work that we’re doing through our housing first programme, and also, through the rough sleeper action plan, which was published last year, and the fact that we’ve asked every single local authority in Wales to put forward a homelessness reduction plan and a plan to tackle homelessness that has a specific focus on rough sleeping. When you look at the number of places that are available, as compared to the number of people who are rough sleeping, actually, in many cases, there are the beds there. But I understand that they’re not attractive to the people who are rough sleeping because, in many cases, rough sleepers tell me that they don’t want to go to certain places because they can’t be around people who are taking drugs or using alcohol, or people want to stay with their dogs, or people want to go as a couple. So, we’ve asked local authorities to address this in their housing action plans, which will be submitted to Government by the end of this month Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Llefarydd UKIPóGareth Bennett Gareth Bennett AM: Diolch, Llywydd. There were press reports recently that revealed that Cardiff is now the second highest council area in the whole of the UK for collecting bus lane fines. Some quarter of a million drivers were fined in the course of a year Only Glasgow council, in fact, fined more drivers than Cardiff. Now, I appreciate the need to adhere to the local driving restrictions, but, sometimes, mistakes can be made innocently because drivers aren’t familiar with an area The RAC are saying that, with this number of people being fined, there are probably genuine problems for drivers with things like signage and the road layouts. Do you think there is a danger that councils like Cardiff could be too punitive in collecting fines from drivers for these kinds of minor driving offences? Alun Davies AM: Presiding Officer, I have no responsibility for these matters raised by the Member. What I will say is that it is a matter for the local authority to deliver on their responsibilities in a way that they see fit, and then, a matter for residents and electors in Cardiff to hold the council to account for those decisions Gareth Bennett AM: I appreciate the need for local democracy and for decisions to be made at the ballot box, as you indicate. But, of course, people make decisions at the ballot box based on a variety of factors, not merely whether or not they were fined for driving in a bus lane. So, as you have oversight for local government in Wales, I wonder if you are perhaps alive to the possibility that there could be a danger that councils, without naming any particular council, perhaps in this instanceó[Interruption.] Well, let’s forget I named that council, is there a theoreticaló? To please the Minister and to perhaps engineer a more enlightening answer, is there a theoretical possibility that councils could be perhaps too punitive in collecting these kinds of fines? Alun Davies AM: That may theoretically be true. Let me say this to the Member for South Wales Central, who’s clearly having some difficulties with this matter: I do not believe it is right and proper for Ministers standing here in this place to pass comment upon the decisions taken by local government in fulfillment of its functions. We have accountability here for decisions taken by the Welsh Government, not by individual local authorities Gareth Bennett AM: Yes, indeed, you are correct in stating that. Thinking about the issue of fines as a general issue, we knowóI think we can agree on this pointóthat local government is in a difficult place at the moment in terms

of its finances. Is there a possibility that sometimes councils could be over punitive on many kinds of fines and they could be simply using the local ratepayers as cash cows? Alun Davies AM: I will, Presiding Officer, provide the leader of UKIP with a list of ministerial responsibilities prior to our next session in this place [Laughter.] I have been very, very clear with him, and other Members, to be fair, who have tried equally as hard to tempt me into a terrible indiscretionó[Interruption.] But I will not be tempted on this occasion to make a comment upon the decisions of any local council in any part of the country It is right that we have debated, and we will debate again, the difficulties facing local government in terms of funding arrangements and how it will exercise its responsibilities into the future, but I have made it my policy, and I continue to make it my policy not to comment upon the individual decisions of individual authorities. That is a matter for them, and they are accountable to their electorate, not to this place here John Griffiths AM: 3. Sut y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn annog arloesedd mewn llywodraeth leol? OAQ53059 Alun Davies AM: I would encourage all authorities to innovate in their plans for improving service delivery. Innovation and creativity is always central to delivering effective and sustainable services to all of our citizens John Griffiths AM: Yes, Cabinet Secretary, I’d very much agree with those sentiments, and in this time of UK Government-imposed austerity, it’s all the more important, I think, that we find these new ways of delivery and indeed often delivering more with less, but obviously that is quite a challenge. In terms of local government working jointly with other key partner organisations, I wonder if you might say something about the early experience of the public services boards, and particularly how health and social care are taking forward joint working, and more particularly how Welsh Government has a role in identifying good practice within public services boards, because I think it is variable from one to anotheróhow Welsh Government might identify best practice in public services boards and ensure that those lessons are shared across Wales Alun Davies AM: Presiding Officer, I will say to the Member for Newport East, in his capacity as Chair of the relevant committee in this place, that I’m looking forward to his committee’s report on these matters, and I will give it some considerable attention when I’m able to do so But he’s right to identify public services boards as an opportunity to bring together authorities to innovate and to provide new and different solutions to many of the difficulties we face. I have just agreed a package of support for public services boards, and I will, Presiding Officer, be making a statement on that matter in due course. As a part of that, I think we should be setting some very clear ambitions for public services boards as to what we want them to achieve, and the preventative agenda that the Member has described is, I believe, absolutely central and critical to that role of public services boards. I hope that we will be able to see local government working together with its colleagues in order to deliver a more profound approach to preventive services than we’ve seen in the past. And I think that public services boards are key to that, to their ability to deliver it across a particular geography, and I hope that they will be able to as well maximise the opportunity that new means and methods of working present to us I will say, Presiding Officer, the Member for Llanelli on this occasion, Lee Waters, has produced an excellent report on this matter in terms of digital services, and I’m looking hard at that at the moment, and I hope that we, alongside the leader of the house and the Cabinet Secretary for health, will be able to respond fully to the remarks and comments that he makes Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM: Cabinet Secretary, new ways of working are indispensable for sustaining the quality and scope of service delivery by local authorities faced with budget constraints. This requires adoption of innovative solutions, coupled with the development of new technology. Does the Cabinet Secretary agree that strong, top-down leadership is required if this is to be achieved and would he support each council having a recognised innovation champion, since new ideas are often developed by the passion of individuals rather than a matter of process? Alun Davies AM: I do agree that leadership is important, but I’m not sure I agree that it’s top-down leadership that is required I believe that we have some extremely talented

people working throughout the public sector, both in local government and elsewhere across Wales, and the working group that I described in an earlier answer is providing us with a very challenging report that seeks to ensure that Welsh Government is able to respond fully to the challenges of technological change as well. And I hope that, working together with all parts of the public sector, we would be able to do so Dai Lloyd AM: 4. A wnaiff Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet ddatganiad am gyllidebau llywodraeth leol? OAQ53038 Alun Davies AM: Mae awdurdodau lleol Cymru yn gosod eu cyllidebau yng nghyd-destun eu cynlluniau ariannol tymor canolig. Maen nhwín seiliedig ar gymysgedd o refeniw a godwyd yn lleol a darpariaeth Llywodraeth Cymru o grantiau penodol a chyllid heb ei neilltuo drwyír grant cynnal refeniw. Eleni, cyllidebwyd dros £7 biliwn o wariant gan awdurdodau lleol Dai Lloyd AM: Thank you for that answer. As you will be aware, local government funding has been cut by £1 billion over the last eight years. Many councils are reporting acute pressures on schools and social care. They report fatigue and low morale amongst the workforce and project the loss of a further 7,000 jobs over the next few years just to balance the books. The call for necessary financial support by local authority leaders across Wales is seemingly falling on deaf years. Are you proud of your Government’s role in driving local government and schools into the ground? Alun Davies AM: Presiding Officer, it’s the easiest thing in the world for us to describe the problems facing local government, but, on these benches, we seek to describe solutions as well. It is an inadequate and insufficient response to the challenges we face today to simply issue a press release calling for additional funding of all areas of Government expenditure It is an inadequate and an immature response I will say this to the Member: I have met with all political leaders of Welsh local government within the last week and I’ve been very, very clear with them about the challenges that we face. But I’ll say this as well: in the future, we need to think harder about how we organise and structure our services to meet new challenges. And that is a challenge not simply for Government and the governing party, but also, I would suggest, for all parties represented in this place, because all too often, when proposals for reform come here, we see the same people who’ve issued a press release saying how difficult things are, standing up and queuing up to oppose all proposals for reform. So, I would hope that we will see a great deal of maturity on benches in this place when facing challenges for local government, rather than simply listing those challenges in speeches Suzy Davies AM: Of course, it’s not easy necessarily for councils that are trying to make the most of the money that they have as well in order to regenerate their city centreóin the case of Swanseaóand improve the local economy there. A cabinet report from the council there last month stated that there is a risk that the local authority does not have sufficient resources to complete phase 1 of its city centre regeneration projectóSwansea Central In response to that report, the leader of Swansea Council told councillors, and I quote, that the ‘public will shoot us’óslightly unfortunate, I thinkóreferring to Swansea Council’s Labour cabinet, if the regeneration scheme is dropped. We all want to see Swansea city centre thrive, and I say that even though it’s a different coloured council there. How can you be confident, bearing in mind the settlement that they’ve just had, that the cabinet there is able to manage its funds and budgets appropriately so that they can respond appropriately to such financial warnings? Alun Davies AM: I’ve got complete confidence in the leadership of Swansea Council to manage funds available to it in a proper way. The leadership of Swansea Council, I think, has provided almost inspirational leadership in terms of their ambitions for that city and is putting in place the means of achieving that. The leadership shown by Rob Stewart, as the council’s leader, I think, sets an example for many other leaders to look at, but also the leadership shown by all those authorities in that area in terms of putting together the Swansea bay city deal. I hope that we will see those ambitions realised, but what I will say to the Member for South Wales West is that the greatest challenge facing Swansea is not the funding formula but the policy of austerity that has meant that, for eight years, Swansea and other local authorities in Wales have not received the level of funding that we would seek to give them. And I would suggest to Conservative Members, rather than come here and list those problems, they should go to London and list those problems Dai Lloyd AM: 5. Pa asesiad y mae Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet wedi’i wneud o effeithiolrwydd gweithio

rhanbarthol ymysg awdurdodau lleol? OAQ53039 Alun Davies AM: Rydym ni’n disgwyl i awdurdodau lleol gydweithio ac asesu effeithiolrwydd y trefniadau hynny. Pan fo trefniadau rhanbarthol yn ofynnol yn Ùl y gyfraith neu bolisi Llywodraeth Cymru, gall y Gweinidog perthnasol oruchwylio effeithiolrwydd y trefniadau hynny Dai Lloyd AM: Byddwch yn ymwybodol bod awdurdodau lleol Cymru yn aml yn danfon eu deunydd ailgylchadwy i gyfleusterau yn Lloegr neuír tu hwnt i gael eu prosesu. Mae allforioír deunydd hyn, wrth gwrs, yn ychwanegu at ein hÙl troed carbon, ond mae hefyd yn meddwl ein bod niín colli ar gyfle i greu swyddi. A ydych chiín cytuno y dylai Llywodraeth Cymru fod yn gwneud mwy o ran gweithio gydag awdurdodau lleol i ddatblygu canolfannau ailgylchu rhanbarthol yng Nghymru a sicrhau bod holl ddeunyddiau ailgylchadwy yn cael eu trin yma yng Nghymru? Alun Davies AM: Rydym ni wedi bod, ers rhai blynyddoedd, yn cydweithio ‚ llywodraeth leol a chynghorau gwahanol i greuír union fath o rwydwaith rhanbarthol y maeír Aelod yn awgrymu ein bod niín gwneud, ac mae hynnyín bodoli yn y rhan helaeth oír wlad. Rydw iín fodlon iawn ar y fath o drefniadau y maeír cynghorau wedi eu gwneud er mwyn sicrhau bod eu gwastraff yn cael ei ailgylchu neu ei drin yn y ffordd briodol Paul Davies AM: The Swansea bay city region deal should enable the potential projects being proposed to bring significant economic benefit to the four local authority areas covered. Does the Cabinet Secretary agree with me that these projects have the potential to bring major employment opportunities across the region? Does he also agree with me that this sort of collaboration, if done in the right way, could be seen as a blueprint of local authorities effectively working together in the future, and it would therefore not require forced mergers as he originally wanted? Alun Davies AM: I do support the collaborative approach that the Member for Preseli has outlined It is important for local authorities of whatever size or shape to be able to work together with their neighbours to deliver the sort of ambition that he and I would probably agree on in terms of the Swansea bay city deal However, the issues of mergers or structures within local authorities are slightly different, of course, and those are about the sustainability of those units of governance. It is my view, and the view of local government, that the current structures are not sustainable into the future. So, therefore, as a Minister, it is my responsibility to ensure that those facts are put in front of this place and local government and that we are able to move towards a conclusion on that But I will say to the Member that it is right and proper that he then supports those proposals to ensure that his electorate and all our electorates have the quality of services they require and that local authorities are sustainable into the future Mike Hedges AM: Can I first of all say that I agree with everything that Paul Davies just said? Does the Cabinet Secretary agree that it’s important that all public services work within the same regional footprint, which is true of the Cardiff city region but not true of the Swansea bay city region, and on the importance of ensuring that local authorities get used to working together? The four local authorities in south-west Wales may have different political leadership but have shown great leadership in the area in working together Alun Davies AM: I do believe that, at times, we make government too complex. I think I’ve made that very clear both here and elsewhere I believe that we need to look for clarity in the way in which we structure the delivery of our services but also in the way in which we structure the public accountability for the delivery of those services. So, I do believe that we need to ensure that we have a regional footprint that is understandable not simply to those of us who have to work with it, but also to the electorates we all serve. But I do not believe that that, in itself, is a sufficient response to some of the challenges we will face in the future. We will all be aware of the financial difficulties facing local government today, but we also know that Brexit and other issues mean that they will face even more difficult decisions in the future, and, so, we do have a responsibility to think hard about that future and to put in place structures that are sustainable in the future Julie Morgan AM: 6. A wnaiff Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet roi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am wasanaethau cyfiawnder ieuenctid yng Nghymru? OAQ53036 Alun Davies AM: Members may recall that I commissioned the development of blueprints for youth justice and for female offenders I have shared these blueprints with members of the Cabinet, and I hope, Presiding Officer, to be able to provide Members with an update

in the next week or so Julie Morgan AM: I thank the Cabinet Secretary for that response and look forward to reading the updates. The latest safety figures, published in October, reveal that the number of self-harm incidents in prisons in Wales is rising and that, of course, includes Parc and the young offenders institution there, where I believe there have been a staggering number of incidents already this year: 777 incidents between January and June. Can the Cabinet Secretary provide an update on Parc’s plan to employ behaviour analysts to improve safety levels? Alun Davies AM: I have visited HMP Parc and the youth offenders institution within the prison, and I have discussed these matters with the director there. Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service have confirmed that there are behavioural management analysts in Parc who are working towards reducing self-harm and violence within the prison. However, I believe we need to go further than this. I believe that we need a distinct penal policy for Wales, which looks, in the first instance, at the issues around youth offending and female offending, and that we need to look at investment within the secure estate but also, critically, at a holistic approach to policy that seeks to reduce offending, to enhance rehabilitation and to ensure that women particularly are not treated in the way they are today David Melding AM: Cabinet Secretary, a little while ago, the ministerial advisory group on outcomes for children received a presentation from Lord Laming and his review into the youth criminal justice system and the alarming discovery that looked-after children were much more likely to come into contact with the youth justice system compared to their peers, often because those involvedóthe police, teachers and the courtsóassumed a certain response was appropriate for looked-after children that they wouldn’t have for children from other backgrounds, and this in-built bias is obviously really very worrying. It’s an excellent review and a very compassionate one, and I do hope that all relevant agencies have taken on board the recommendations that are contained in that review Alun Davies AM: I agree very much with the conclusions from the Member for South Wales Central. I did meet with Charlie Taylor, chair of the Youth Justice Board, in the last few weeks to discuss these matters with him and how we approach youth offending. The analysis that the Member has described is absolutely correct and one that I believe is an emergency that we need to address. I hope that, when he reads the blueprint, when it is published, which, I hope, will be next week, then he will be assured that we are doing so. I would certainly be very happy to attend the cross-party group to discuss these matters in more detail if he wishes me to do so. But the burden of my analysis is that I believe that we need to take a far more holistic approach to policy The broken settlement we have in Wales at the moment is an impediment to that, and I would like to see the devolution of the penal system and criminal justice to Wales to enable us to develop and deliver exactly that holistic approach to policy Leanne Wood AM: I share the concerns that have been outlined here by the findings of the recent Wales Governance Centre report into violence and self-harm in youth institutions You are responsible for youth justice services, but, of course, the other services that operate within Parc prison are adult services, and they fall within the remit of Westminster So, what we really need is to see the criminal justice system devolved. Now, that’s something that Plaid Cymru has been calling for for as long as I can remember, and it’s nice to see that some of our political opponents have come on board now with that argument. Will this Government remain committed to the commission on justice in Wales under the next First Minister? And has your Government managed to persuade your Labour Party colleagues in Westminster of the case for the devolution of the criminal justice system to Wales? Because there was a block of MPs from the Labour Party who I found to be every bit as devosceptic as some of the Tories during my dealings with them over Part 2 of the Silk commission Alun Davies AM: Despite the best efforts of the Member from the Rhondda, I do believe we actually agree on far more than perhaps she would believe. This Government is absolutely committed to the devolution of policing and criminal justice to this placeó

Leanne Wood AM: You need to persuade your MPs, though, don’t you? Alun Davies AM: óand to the creation of a holistic approach to policy. We created, at the request of the police, a policing board for Wales, which met last month for the first time, and we are working well together with the police. I’ve met with the Home Office on a number of occasions to pursue these matters, and I’ve met with Ministers in the Ministry of Justice to pursue these matters as well It is my view that the matters that we’re discussing this afternoon are best addressed by this place in a holistic way. That is the view of this Government, and that will continue to be the view of this Government Joyce Watson AM: 7. A wnaiff Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet roi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am yr hyn y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei wneud i gefnogi cyn-filwyr yng Nghanolbarth a Gorllewin Cymru? OAQ53057 Alun Davies AM: We have made tremendous progress in improving services and support for veterans, which includes those living in Mid and West Wales. I hope the Member will agree that my recent statement on these matters highlighted that Joyce Watson AM: I do, indeed, welcome your recent statement and I do also believe that ex-servicemen and women have done their duty by our country that we, in turn, then, owe them something back, not least how they return to civilian life. Part of that is, of course, trying to find work. But meaningful employment, I think, is pivotal to that journey, and also findings that it will support their mental health. So, I’d like to ask you, Cabinet Secretary, if you could tell us some more about the employment pathway that you just said you announced yesterday Alun Davies AM: Presiding Officer, Members will be aware that we launched the employment pathway in partnership with the armed forces expert group that consists of representatives of public and third sectors, as well as military charities and including the Department for Work and Pensions. It provides options for veterans and service leavers on where to find support and information to secure employment relevant to them. I should also say to Members that prior to my duties here today, I launched a new toolkit for employers alongside Business in the Community and others to complement the employment pathway. This seeks to ensure that employers themselves understand the benefits of employing former service personnel and to ensure that they are able to deliver the best opportunities for employment for all those leaving our services Russell George AM: Last month, the Welsh Government voted against the Welsh Conservative proposals to create an armed forces commissioner for Wales to ensure that the armed forces covenant is upheld. Will the Cabinet Secretary reconsider the Welsh Government’s opposition to the creation of the post to ensure that the new cross-Government strategy for veterans in the UK can be delivered effectively? Alun Davies AM: No Helen Mary Jones AM: The Cabinet Secretary will be aware that veterans are often over-represented in the homeless population. In Mid and West Wales and rural communities, these people are perhaps less likely to end up actually rough sleeping, but are very often in very insecure, sofa surfing from one family member to another type of situations. What discussions have you and your colleagues had with local authorities in Mid and West Wales to ensure that this kind of hidden homelessness amongst the veteran population is addressed? Alun Davies AM: One of the reasons why I was very anxious to ensure that we do fulfil our responsibilities under the covenant is to deliver resources to the front line where they’re needed. So, we will be spending considerable resource supporting the local authority liaison officers network across Wales, which delivers support for all service personnel, both in terms of housing and in other terms as well So, I hope we will be able to work with local authorities to ensure that local authorities are able to deliver exactly the services that the Member for Mid and West Wales describes And, for me, and certainly for those people that I’m talking to at the moment, they want to see that level of resource there, delivering services for people. We’ve heard many times during this session this afternoon about the challenges facing local government in terms of delivering services, and it is therefore incumbent on all of us to look at how we can deliver those resources to the front line to ensure that people do have the services that they need and require. And that, Presiding Officer, was the point I made in reply to the Conservatives about the request to create a commissioner. What we want to do is to put money on the front line and not create further bureaucracy here. It is a matter for Members here to hold Ministers to account for the

decisions we take and the services we deliver, and that level of democratic accountability I think is important Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Ac yn olaf, cwestiwn 8, Neil Hamilton Neil Hamilton AM: 8. A wnaiff Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet roi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am y setliad llywodraeth leol ar gyfer Cyngor Sir Penfro? OAQ53037 Alun Davies AM: I published the provisional local government settlement for 2019-20 on 9 October. The Government announced further funding for local government on 20 November The final settlement will be announced on 19 December Neil Hamilton AM: I thank the Cabinet Secretary for that reply. When I raised this question a year ago, Pembrokeshire was being forced to raise its council tax by 12.5 per centóthe highest rise in Wales. This year, the draft budget was presented on Monday, as a result of which, council tax is set to rise by another 10 per cent and there are going to be £15.5 million-worth of cuts in services. Prior to the budget being set, senior officers in Pembrokeshire had warned that council tax would need to rise by 28 per cent in order to meet service needs. Pembrokeshire is being penalised by the current local government settlement and there seems to be no incentive for economical councils to continue to be economical, because the higher your council tax is, the more you get from the Welsh Government. So, can I add to the plea from Helen Mary Jones earlier on that this settlement formula should be reconsidered? Because it’s not just rural councils that are penalised in this way, but any economical council is bound to be, because the higher your council tax is, the higher the financial needs estimations are, and consequently the higher the grants from Welsh Government, which does seem to be perverse Alun Davies AM: I did notice the comments made by the leader of Pembrokeshire County Council on these matters in a newspaper recently I will say to him and to the Member for Mid and West Wales that Pembrokeshire County Council has taken a number of decisions over its council tax levels over a number of years in full knowledge of the consequences of those decisions And it is a matter for the electorate of Pembrokeshire to determine whether those decisions were correct or not, and not a matter for me. What I do not believe is that either the professional or the political leadership of Pembrokeshire can take those decisions and then turn around to the media and say that they have no idea of the consequences of those decisions. Whenever we take political decisions, there are consequences, and Pembrokeshire has taken decisions to reduce its council tax, in relative terms, over a number of yearsóit has the lowest council tax in Walesóand, as a consequence of that, they’re now facing difficulties in their budget That is a matter for that authority and for the electorate of Pembrokeshire Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Diolch i’r Ysgrifennydd Cabinet Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Yr eitem nesaf, felly, yw’r cwestiynau amserol. Y cwestiwn cyntaf i’w ofyn i’r Ysgrifennydd Cabinet dros Addysg, ac mae’r cwestiwn gan Suzy Davies Kirsty Williams AM: Our national mission sets out clearly our plan to raise standards for all young people in all of our schools. We are delivering record investment to support teacher development, to support our most disadvantaged learners and to enhance leadership capacity and good practice across the system Suzy Davies AM: Thank you very much for that answer, Cabinet Secretary. I think perhaps I should just begin by acknowledging that Estyn does say that they’re happy that there’s been progress in the primary sector. But I think it would be a betrayal of those young people if they then move on to schools in which the majority of pupilsóand I mean the majorityóacross the age and ability range continue to fail to develop from skills and knowledge well enough, or make enough progress, or struggle to think independently, or feel responsible for their own learning. Obviously, I’ve taken those quotes from the Estyn report With half of schools underperforming and a suggestion by Estyn that the gap between well-performing schools and those that are not performing well is likely to widen, I’d be grateful if you could give us a little bit more detail about what you’re planning to do, because Donaldson will not be biting in until 2022, that’s almost a school generation away, and you cannot sacrifice this current cohort to another period of inadequacy. And I think you’d be the first to say that, if you were sitting on any of the benches other than the front bench in this place So, firstly, the schools that are in special measures or still in need of significant improvement: I asked you what action you’d taken on these back in September, and you reeled off a list of actions, but admitted that you had not exercised your powers under the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 to intervene with schools. Bearing in mind the results of this report, I’m wondering if you would now be prepared to do that For some of the studentsó. In a third of the schools that Estyn investigated, they

saw that pupils were disengaged, had little interest in their work, they would disrupt the learning of others, and that some year 12 students had a lack of critical and independent learning skills, meaning that they were struggling with their A-Levels and actually dropping out in year 12. I think there’s a significant number of students here who are failing to meet their potential as their independent and critical learning capabilities are not being developed earlier in their education What worries me about this, Cabinet Secretary, is that those students could be internalising this as their own failure, when actually it’s a failure of their education. It’s clear that some of these schools need the support that they’re not getting at the moment Now, after consortia, Schools Challenge Cymru and academy Wales, which talks all about leadership, I don’t think they’ve been giving you the results you were hoping for. So, what can you do next to ensure that this year’s year 7 pupils progress towards meeting their potential rather than, I don’t know, getting static or even slumping? Can you tell us what the updated plans are for your National Academy for Educational Leadership? That’s an idea that the Welsh Conservatives were very interested in themselves. And will you share with us the answers to the searching questions that you will undoubtedly be asking the consortia on the back of this Estyn report: why they have not prompted the sea change that we might have expected in those schools, especially as you’ve been content to give them an extra £5 million in-year as a result of space in the budget. I’m very keen to hear about what happens to our pupils now, not after 2022 Thank you Kirsty Williams AM: I welcome very much the chief inspector’s annual report for 2017-2018 I’m looking forward to studying the report in more detail, and of course will formally respond in the Plenary debate, which I understand, Presiding Officer, is provisionally scheduled for 19 February of next year I’m glad that the Member has acknowledged the progress that has been made in the primary sector, but I would be the first person to say that progress in our secondary sector is not good enough. I say it not just because I’m on these benches; I say it as a parent who has children in the system herself. I want all of our children to attend a good or excellent secondary school here in Wales, and our approach is to support all schools to be good and excellent, rather than the approach that we saw very much in operation yesterday across the border, when £50 million was announced to support just 16 highly selective secondary schools. That’s the difference between the approach of this Government and the approach that the Tories would take, picking off certain schools and certain children for support, whereas we want all of our schools to do well Now, let me be absolutely clear what we are doing. The inspection report yesterday says that we need to do more to support our teaching profession. That’s why we will spend £24 million over the next 18 months on supporting the professional learning of our staff. That is the single biggest investment in Welsh teachers since devolution, and we are determined to make sure that all our practitioners, in every classroom, are as good as they can be The Estyn report also rightly pointed to disparities in the quality of leadership in our system That’s why we have established the National Academy for Educational Leadership, and to be fair, Suzy, that is less than a year old, and to say that it has not delivered is simply not fair on those people who are working very, very, very hard to ensure that our leaders, our new and our aspiring head teachers, are as good as they could be For me, what is absolutely critical is that by the time a school is put into a category by Estyn, either in special measures or significant improvement, that is too late. Both local authorities and regional consortia should know their schools well enough that when they suspect a school is struggling to meet the needs of their pupils, they are able to intervene earlier, and we should not let it get to the stage of needing an Estyn inspection report to say that that school needs extra help I am currently considering options of what more we can do to intervene earlier in schools that, potentially, are not meeting the needs of their children, are struggling to cope and are causing concern. At the moment, local authorities have the statutory responsibility for monitoring those schools, and for schools where there are those concerns, I expect local authorities to take prompt action. If they need more help to do so, either from the Welsh Government or from the regional consortia, I will make that help available Jenny Rathbone AM: However challenging the situation is in Wales, it’s nowhere near as

challenging as for pupils in England, where schools that have been found to be in special measures are simply being hung out to dry because they are obliged to be taken over by academies, and academies are simply walking away. They don’t even get inspected by HM inspectors, so it’s absolutely ridiculous for people on the Conservative benches not to recognise that our situation is so much better I think the Estyn report is a very good guide to what good practice looks like, and is in a very readable form for all school leaders to be able to access. It’s absolutely not true that half the schools are failing. I have one concern, which is around the paucity of excellent early years provision. This may seem a very long way from secondary school education, but, actually, that is where we can really begin to tackle the disadvantage of deprivation. It’s excellent that we now have four examples of early years provision that are deemed excellent, which is four more than last year, but we obviously need many more In terms of supporting excellence in our secondary school teaching, I wondered if, in your response to the Estyn report, you might reconsider restoring Schools Challenge Cymru. I’m not the only person on these benches who thinks that they were dismantled before they had had time to embed the sharing of good practice that is very clearly evident in many of our secondary schools and needs to be shared, particularly with those schools who are facing the most challenges. We saw how excellent and transformative it was in London, therefore I wondered if you would consider that Kirsty Williams AM: The evidence to note from the Schools Challenge programme in Wales was mixed. Undoubtedly, there are some schools that benefited from participation in that programme. There are some schools that, despite considerable extra financial resource and support, failed to make the progress that we would have liked to have seen. Again, one of the challenges around Schools Challenge Cymru is that that support was limited to a single group of schools, rather than a national approach to schools that are causing concern You will be aware, I’m sure, Jenny, of the interesting proposals that have been put forward by Graham Donaldson in his review of Estyn, the inspectorate. There is some commentary about how we can improve the situation for schools that find themselves in categorisation or in special measures. For too many of those schools, the support that is available to them to make rapid improvement is not consistent and it is not what I would want it to be I continue to discuss with Estyn what more we can do to support those schools that find themselves in categorisation We are aware of some crucial elements that can make a real difference to improving schools’ performance rapidly if they find themselves in that situation. But, as I said, a school that has to wait for a formal categorisation by Estyn has waited too long for support We need to work with our local authorities and with our regional school improvement services to better understand how we can identify problems earlier, and how we can provide assistance to those schools before Estyn comes in and says that they need to improve Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Diolch i’r Ysgrifennydd Cabinet Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Yr eitem nesaf, felly, yw’r datganiadau 90 eiliad. Vikki Howells Vikki Howells AM: Diolch, Llywydd. Wednesday, 7 December 1938óthousands of people gathered at the pavilion at Mountain Ash, including my very own grandmother, who would regale the family for many years afterwards about the amazing and talented superstar that she saw there. They came to attend a Welsh national memorial meeting and concert in honour of 33 members of the International Brigade from Walesómen who had given their lives fighting against fascism in defence of democracy in the Spanish civil war, and appearing at that concert was the famous American artist and actor Paul Robeson. Robeson, the son of a former slave, was a skilled sportsman and academic, but he chose to pursue a career in the arts, winning plaudits for his roles on the stage and screen. The 1930s saw Robeson’s increasing association with political causes

Central to this was his support for the republican side in Spain. Robeson regarded this as a turning point in his life. Speaking at a benefit concert for Spanish refugees, he proclaimed: ‘The artist must take sides. He must elect to fight for freedom or for slavery.’ The decade also saw Robeson forging lifelong links with the mining communities of south Wales. He performed in miners’ clubs, sang for the miners’ relief fund and starred in The Proud Valley. Just as the Spanish civil war shaped his activism, so did his association with these communities, and on Friday, 80 years since the pavilion concert, I’ll be opening an exhibition at Mountain Ash working mens’ club to celebrate this historic event and a truly remarkable transatlantic association between Robeson and the south Wales miners Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Helen Mary Jones Helen Mary Jones AM: Diolch, Llywydd. Yesterday we said goodbye to Professor Mike Sullivan, director of Swansea University’s Morgan Academy, socialist and Welshman. Mike grew up in a working-class family in Risca, the first in his family to go to university. Graduating from Oxford, he worked as a social worker before starting a distinguished academic career, first in Cardiff, then in Swansea. He served here, as a Labour special adviser during the period of the One Wales Government, ensuring the passage of the best possible version of the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011. After his return to Swansea, Mike was pivotal in raising the university’s international profile, initiating the relationship with Secretary Clinton, and he founded the Morgan Academy, named for Rhodri Morgan Mike was warm and compassionate, but he could be steely when he needed to be. His passion for social justice and for Wales informed all that he did. He had a great gift for friendship, and I know, Llywydd, that there are many in this Chamber who were proud to call him their friend Mike died too soon. He is survived by his wife Jane, their son Ciaran and his stepchildren, and their loss is incalculable. For those of us who knew him, Mike’s life will inspire us as we work to build the Wales and the world that he believed was possible, and with his beloved university, beset at present by troubles, we vow to protect his legacy Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Bethan Sayed Bethan Sayed AM: This week is Lifelong Learning Platform’s Lifelong Learning Week. This is the pan-European civil society for education, which is using this week to bring together partners from across Europe to encourage and talk about ideas to foster lifelong learning With our future in the European Union currently uncertain, I hope that Wales can continue to play a role in European engagement platforms such as this one. Exchanging ideas and visions in this area can help us understand what works best in other nations, and how it can work here too. We can learn from smaller fellow countries that have seen success in improving and developing a lifelong learning framework that is truly cradle to grave. In previous generations, the pattern of life was often school, career, retirement. This is not the case anymore, and in a world where we face challenges from automation, competition from around the world and a flexible and fast-evolving economy, we must put an emphasis on learning and training at any age, and constantly promote a mindset that emphasises that nobody is ever too old to learn a new skill or to take up a new interest The Lifelong Learning Platform believes that the objective of education and training should not only be described in terms of employability or economic growth, but also as a framework for personal development and to promote active citizenship and engagement. Going forward, regardless of our position in Europe, I think it’s vital for us to support and fund lifelong learning here in Wales so that we can support this vital asset for our nation Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Yr eitem nesaf yw’r ddadl ar adroddiad y Pwyllgor Safonau Ymddygiad i’r Cynulliad, o dan Reol Sefydlog 22.9. Rydw i’n galw ar Gadeirydd y Pwyllgor i wneud y cynnig, Jayne Bryant Jayne Bryant AM: Diolch, Llywydd. As Chair of the Standards of Conduct Committee, I formally move the motion The committee considered the report from the commissioner for standards in relation to a complaint made against Gareth Bennett AM The complaint regarded his failure to comply with the rules and guidance on the use of Assembly resources and bringing the Assembly into disrepute, which is a breach of the code of conduct The Standards of Conduct Committee gave the commissionerís report careful consideration, and our report sets out the committeeís judgment as to the sanction that is appropriate in this case. The facts relating to the complaint, and the committeeís reasons for its recommendation, are set out in full in the committeeís report

The motion tabled invites the Assembly to endorse the committeeís recommendations Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Nid oes siaradwyr yn y ddadl yma. Rydw i’n siwr, felly, nad yw’r Aelod eisiau ymateb i’r ddadl. Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid nodi adroddiad y pwyllgor? A oes unrhyw Aelod yn gwrthwynebu? Felly, derbynnir y cynnig yn unol ‚ Rheol Sefydlog 12.36 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Daw hyn ‚ ni at yr eitem nesaf, sef dadl y Ceidwadwyr Cymreig ar berfformiad Llywodraeth Cymru. Ac i gyflwyno’r ddadl, rydw i’n galw ar Paul Davies i wneud y cynnig. Paul Davies Paul Davies AM: Diolch Llywydd. On the eve of learning the identity of the new Welsh Labour Party leader, it is timely to reflect on the performance of the Welsh Government under the leadership of the current First Ministeróthe success, the failures and the lessons for the future. It will be for others to cast judgment on the First Minister’s legacy, but today I want to focus specifically on policy and the burgeoning gap between promises and delivery For eight and a half of the First Minister’s nine years, there has been a Conservative Prime Minister in Downing Street, and for Ministers here, the temptation to play party politics has been too great. Too often, the First Minister has played the role of the leader of the opposition to the UK Government, rather than acting as a leader of a Government here in Wales. In Labour’s campaign for the 2011 Assembly election, devolved areas barely got a mention, as they were keen to take advantage of low levels of public awareness of what the Welsh Government’s responsibilities were Now, of course, it would be churlish not to acknowledge that there have been some successes in the past nine years and areas of agreement between the parties: the 5p carrier bag charge, introduced with cross-party support, has helped change shoppers’ behaviour and has reduced the number of single-use carrier bags in circulation; the children’s rights Measure and the food hygiene rating system were also introduced in the past nine years. All parties worked together on the successful referendum on further law-making powers for the Assemblyóa decision that was followed by the devolution of taxation, empowering this Chamber to make better decisions for the people of Wales. Both those successes have been, I’m afraid, few and far between The Welsh Government record since 2009 is, sadly, one of failure and missed opportunities, and no more disastrously than in the national health service. Despite campaigning on a leadership manifesto, promising to protect health spending, Carwyn Jones became the only leader of any modern political party in the UK to inflict real-terms cuts to the NHS. Carwyn Jones’s first budget as First Minister took £0.5 billion out of the Welsh NHS. By 2014, the health budget had lost almost 8 per cent in real terms, equating to £1 billion The NHS has still not recovered from the legacy of Labour’s budget cuts. Today, health boards are facing a record combined deficit of £167.5 million. The impact on waiting times and standards has been devastating. In December 2009, no patient in Wales was waiting any longer than 36 weeks from diagnosis to the start of treatment Yet today, that figure stands at 13,673. Of these, more than 4,000 patients are currently waiting more than a year for surgery. When Carwyn Jones took office, 224,960 patients were waiting in the queue to start treatment That queue has doubled to 443,789 patients In nine years, some key performance targets have not been met once. The target for 95 per cent of accident and emergency patients to be seen within four hours has not been met since 2009, and performance is getting worse. In October this year, only 80 per cent were seen within four hours, and at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, that figure was just 54 per centóthe worst on record Shockingly, the number of patients waiting over 12 hours to be seen in A&E has risen by 4,000 per cent since 2009. Earlier this year, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine described the situation in A&E in Wales as ‘dire’ and ‘horrific’ with an experience for patients which is ‘unsafe, undignified and distressing’. Capacity in the NHS has shrunk with the number of beds falling year on year to the lowest on record todayó2,000 fewer beds than in 2009, and in some health boards, the bed occupancy rate is breaching safe limits on a daily basis. This decline in NHS performance has coincided with Welsh Government decisions to continue to downgrade and centralise NHS services, forcing patients to travel further for vital care, and putting even more pressure on retained services. NHS cuts, closures and downgradesóthat’s what we’ve seen since December 2009 Now, a commitment was made by the First Minister during his leadership campaign to spend 1 per cent above the block grant on education

every year until the per pupil funding gap between Wales and England had been eliminated Nine years on and the funding gap still remains, and the education budget is 7.9 per cent smaller in real terms than it was in 2011. In the 10 years to 2016, 157 schools closed, mainly in rural Wales, and, across the country today, 40 per cent of schools are facing a budget deficit. This is despite the fact that the Welsh Government receives £1.20 for every £1 spent on schools in England. GCSE performance has deteriorated since 2009, with the gold standard of five A* to C grades falling this year to its lowest level since 2005. Wales has declined in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment tests, with worse scores in reading, maths and science, with the most recent results placing Wales in the bottom half of the OECD ranking, and ranked the worst in the UK. Targets and timescales to improve Wales’s education system position have all been quietly dropped, ditched and changed to cover the tracks of failure Under the current First Minister’s watch, another target, for Wales to reach 90 per cent of UK average gross value added by 2010, was dropped. Wales still has seen has the lowest wage growth of any UK nation. Opportunities to create the conditions for indigenous small business growth and greater inward investment have been missed in favour of trying to control and over-tax business. The Welsh Government’s business rates regime has led to Wales having the UK’s highest high-street vacancy rate, with too many vacant and boarded-up premises Wales is now the most expensive part of the UK in which to do business. However, it is good to see, from yesterday’s comments in the budget debate, that the Welsh Government is finally listening to our calls for action on this. Nevertheless, this Labour Government still fails to recognise that low-tax economies are more vibrant, more competitive, and, actually, generate more revenue because of the greater viability of setting up a business. Creating the conditions in which businesses can prosper, and investors are attracted to set up in Wales, should have been a far greater priority over the last nine years, to generate growth and increase prosperity levels Labour has failed to deliver a fit-for-purpose public transport network, so there remains no proper alternative to the car. The jury’s still out on the success or otherwise of the new franchise, although it’s fair to say its start has been, at best, shaky. Numerous major road projects have been delayed by ministerial dithering, while many of those that did get built fell victim to massive overspends, including the Heads of the Valleys dualling Inadequate mobile signals and broadband infrastructure are still a problem, given the slow progress on addressing notspots Creating the conditions for economic growth would have gone some way to tackling cyclical poverty, which still blights too many of our communities. The flagship pledge to eradicate child poverty was dropped, while evidence shows that the hundreds of millions of pounds that poured into Communities First had no impact on prosperity levels, and, after 20 years of Labour, these communities remain as poor as ever The current First Minister has made home ownership further out of reach for many, including denying social housing tenants the right to buy their property. House building has been constrained by red tape, creating a housing supply crisis, which has driven up prices and made getting a step on the property ladder more difficult Sadly, this has been a Government that spent billions treating the symptoms of poverty rather than properly investing in the preventative agenda to give the next generation better prospects than the last. The last nine years have been blighted by mismanagement, particularly in Betsi Cadwaladr University Local Health Board, not to mention the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales and the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association scandals, by indecision and inaction over business rate reform, the M4 relief road, and a lack of house building, and by poor decision-making, cutting the NHS budget and scrapping the right to buy For the sake of the 3 million people we serve, Wales needs original ideas, a fresh approach and new leadership. While I wish the First Minister well for the future, I am more convinced than ever that, to fulfil its true potential, Wales needs a new Government, and I urge Members to support our motion Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: Thank you. I have selected the amendment to the motion, and I call on the Leader of the House and Chief Whip to move formally the amendment tabled in her own name Julie James AM: Formally Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: Thank you. Rhun ap Iorwerth Rhun ap Iorwerth AM: Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd Rydw i’n deall, wrth gwrs, beth fyddai’n cymell y Ceidwadwyr i gyflwyno cynnig fel hyn. A ninnau’n dod at ddiwedd amser y Prif Weinidog presennol, mi allem ni fod wedi cyflwyno rhestr o fethiannauófel yr ydym yn eu gweldógan y Llywodraeth ein hunain. Ond rydw i’n meddwl ei bod yn dweud llawer am y Ceidwadwyr, yn y rhestr hirfaith yma, nad oes yna gyfeiriad at dlodi plant, digartrefedd, allyriadau carbon,

ac yn y blaen. Mae Llywodraeth Cymru, drwy eu gwelliant nhw, yn ymateb yn y ffordd, mae’n siwr, y gallem ni fod wedi ei ddisgwyl: yn rhestru rhes hir o ystadegau heb gyd-destun, neu wedi cael eu defnyddioówaeth i ni fod yn blaenómewn modd camarweiniol, a hynny er mwyn cyfiawnhau eu gweithredoedd. Gallaf i gyfeirio yn benodol at yr 20,000 o gartrefi fforddiadwy y maen nhw’n cyfeirio atyn nhw Wrth gwrs, mae hynny’n cynnwys cartrefi wedi eu gwerthu drwy Gymorth i BrynuóCymru, cynllun lle mae traean y tai wedi eu gwerthu dros £200,000 mewn pris, sydd ddim yn gallu cael ei roi dan bennawd ‘fforddiadwy’, pa bynnag ffordd yr ydych chi’n edrych arno fo Felly, mi adawn ni i’r Ceidwadwyr a Llafur chwarae eu ping-pong nhw heddiw. Mi fyddwn ni yn ymatal yn y bleidlais yma, ond mi wnaf i ddefnyddio’r cyfle yma i wneud ychydig o sylwadau fy hun hefydónid wrth restru yn y ffordd y mae’r Ceidwadwyr wedi ei wneud, mor foel a diddychymyg, ond wrth edrych ar rai o’r ffactorau sylfaenol yna sydd yn broblematig, rydw i’n meddwl, yn y ffordd y mae Llafur, dan y Prif Weinidog yma, wedi ceisio llywodraethu Cymru. Mae’n nhw’n batrymau ac yn them‚u cyson, sydd wedi cael eu hadlewyrchu mewn cyfresi o adroddiadau pwyllgor, gan yr archwilydd cyffredinol, gan lawer o’r amrywiol gomisiynau a grwpiau gorchwyl a gorffen y mae’r Llywodraeth wedi eu creu i guddio’u diffyg gweithredu A dyna gwnaf i ddechrau, o bosibóyr holl grwpiau gorchwyl a gorffen, y paneli adolygu yma, llawer ohonyn nhw yn ddiangen, ac yn hytrachómaen nhw’n cael eu gweithredu dro ar Ùl tro ar Ùl tro, yn berffaith blaen fel tacteg oedi, yn hytrach na gwneud penderfyniadau Ystyriwch ddigartrefedd a’r cwestiwn o ddiddymu’r angen blaenoriaethol, sydd bellach yn destun adolygiad. Pam adolygiad arall? Mi gomisiynodd y Llywodraeth Brifysgol Caerdydd i adolygu cyfraith ddigartrefedd nÙl yn 2012, a’r argymhelliad oedd i ddiddymu angen blaenoriaethol. Nid oes yna ddim byd wedi digwydd o hyd, a beth sy’n digwydd ydy bod pobl yn dal, y gaeaf oer yma, i gysgu allan, yn marw ar ein strydoedd ni, oherwydd oedi gan y Llywodraeth cyn cyrraedd penderfyniad Mae yna them‚u eraill hefyd. Targedauómae yna gyfeiriad yn y cynnig ei hun, ac yng ngwelliannau y Llywodraeth, at dargedau. Rydym ni’n gallu gweld beth sy’n digwydd o ran targedau: mae targedau y Llywodraeth yma, dro ar Ùl tro, yn cael eu gosod yn is na’r Alban a Lloegróyn dal i gael eu methu, gyda llawófel ymgais i wneud i’r Llywodraeth edrych fel pe bai nhw yn perfformio. Diffyg uchelgais ydy’r broblem graidd yn y fan hyn, rydw i’n meddwl Cymerwch honiad y Llywodraeth yn y gwelliant bod bron i naw o bob 10 claf yn cael ei drin o fewn 26 wythnos: wel, 77 y cant ydy’r ffigur hwnnw go iawn, ar gyfartaledd, dros y ddwy flynedd ddiwethaf, yn Ùl StatsCymru, nid naw allan o bob 10. Yn yr Alban a Lloegr, 18 wythnos ydy’r targed, ac, o leiaf yn yr Alban, mae bron i naw mewn 10 claf wir yn cychwyn ar eu triniaeth o fewn 18 wythnos Problem arall: amharodrwydd y Llywodraeth yma i ddysgu o arfer da. Mi ddywedodd Comisiwn Williams bod arfer da yn teithio yn wael dan law y Llywodraeth yma. Faint o weithiau a ydym ni wedi clywed am yr arferion da ar raddfa fach sydd wedi methu ‚ chael eu hehangu neu eu rowlio allan? Mi allwn i fynd ymlaenómae amser yn brin Un peth a wnaeth fy nharo i’n gynharach y prynhawn ymaóun o broblemau sylfaenol y Llywodraeth yma ydy eu hamharodrwydd nhw i arwain. Dilyn y mae’r Llywodraeth yma, yn llawer iawn yn rhy aml. Ac roeddwn i’n clywed un Ysgrifennydd Cabinet yn siarad yn gynharach am ei gefnogaeth bybyr o i ddatganoli heddlu a’r drefn gyfiawnder Wel, grÍtórydw i wrth fy modd yn gweld y Llywodraeth yma’n cefnogi hynny rwan, ond tu Ùl i’r curve fel bob amser, ac rydym ninnau ym Mhlaid Cymru yn falch mewn un ffordd o weld y Llywodraeth yn ein dilyn ni ac yn cefnogi’n safbwynt ni ar hynny neu ar dreth ar ddiodydd ‚ siwgr ynddyn nhw ac ati, ond o mae o’n rhwystredig o weld Llywodraeth yn colli cyfleon i wneud gwahaniaeth go iawn i fywydau pobl I’r Ceidwadwyr, gwrandewch, dewch ‚’ch syniadau eich hunain i’r bwrdd hefyd. Nid ydy rhestr negyddol fel hyn, heb gynnig syniadau yn eu lle nhw, byth yn edrych yn dda yng ngolwg y cyhoedd

Suzy Davies AM: It is the legacy of the First Minister that’s in the spotlight today. It’s only this week we’ve produced our own policy on how to improve housing and provision for that in Wales, so you can’t say that we’re without ideas. It’s just today is not the day for them. You’ll be getting plenty from us in the next couple of yearsódon’t you worry about that Predictably, of course, had the First Minister himself been here today, he would have tried to respond to the deficiencies in his Government just by blaming the UK Government, but education has been thoroughly devolved for the last 20 years, and actuallyóand I think I’m probably more likely to get it from you, leader of the houseóI’d rather hear an analysis of what you think has gone right or wrong on his watch when it comes to education I can quickly talk about money, because there is a connection there with the UK Government, and, of course, the Welsh Government’s well-oiled wheedle of not having enough moneyówe say year-on-year funding increase; you say real-term cuts. But both positions prompt the question of how Welsh Government has chosen to spend what it does get on giving children the first chance of a better future. In his leadership campaign, the First Minister recognised that education in Wales was getting a poor deal from his own Government at that point, and it wasn’t the UK. His pitch included a commitment, and I quote, ‘to spend 1 per cent above the block grant every year until we reach a situation where we have parity of funding per head of pupils in England.’ Well, we still don’t have that parity of funding per pupil nine years later, and England’s own figures have dropped in the meantime What we have had in that time, certainly in the time I’ve been here, is a 7.9 per cent real-terms decreaseóand it’s you that like the real-term figuresóin the gross budgeted expenditure for education, and a 7.5 per cent real-terms cut in per pupil spend. You get 20 per cent more to spend per person than in England, yet, for years, you have spent less per pupil than England. That is undeniable, and we are now in a place where Labour councils are saying that they are no longer in a position to protect school spending. Welsh Government’s had nine years to keep that promise on which the First Minister was elected, first as leader of his party, and then as leader of the nation, and that is a promise that has not been kept On his own terms, that is a failure But education’s not just about money, in case anyone was thinking that; it is about a wider culture of competitive standards, the creation of an ambitious and fulfilled workforce, including educators themselves, and, most of all, resilient, healthy, creative children and adults who are interested in this world and want to contribute to it to the best of their abilities. And while Welsh Government needs money, of course, the success of education is every bit as much about the philosophy and the policy direction The effects of years of Labour policyówell, we’ve rehearsed them many times; Paul Davies mentioned some of them. For the fourth time in a decade we’re behind the other UK nations on PISA resultsóthe most recent being even worse than 2009óspecifically in reading, maths and science, and, this year’s A to C grade at GCSE, which were down again on last year, itself the lowest year of achievement since 2006, it was maths, English, biology, chemistry and physics, as well as Welsh language, mirroring those PISA results, despite being measured in a completely different way. Forty-five education institutions across Wales are in special measures or in need of significant improvement; one there for four years. As Estyn says in yesterday’s report: ‘Despite various initiatives, including banding and categorisation…not enough is done to support them’, meaning these schools, or to develop sustainable strategies for schools. And with so much effort and money going into these various initiatives, especially on standardsówe’re talking about regional consortia, Schools Challenge Cymru; Jenny Rathbone was talking about that earlierówhy are more than half our secondary schools still stuck with inspection reports that aren’t good or excellent? Now, this is a year-on-year failure in the time that I’ve been in this place Thousands of children and young people’s parents and grandparents went through an education system envied and respected not just in the UK but around the world, and those children are now denied the same privilege, because it’s being run by a Labour administration with its eye off the ball, a belated mea culpa from the First Minister and a bureaucratic approach to raising standards. It will not be enough to say that more young people have GCSEs, or their equivalent, than in the 1990s Not only is that true of the rest of the UK, but the rest of the UK have done a stellar job in comparison. I have come to this portfolio to face a tsunami of reviewsóa tsunami of reviewsóon which, by the way, if you want more moneyóI don’t know where the education Cabinet Secretary is at the momentóget your act together on the Reid review. There is plenty of money waiting for us there, if you follow those recommendations I think this ruck of reviews is a sign that

Welsh Government accepts that it’s got it very wrong, for a very long time, and that it needs to start from scratch. That’s certainly what it feels like. So, for our young people and their future, though, a change of party leader doesn’t meet a change in substance All the reviews in the world won’t change a thing with the same dead hand on the tiller of the sinking ship that is Labour Wales Michelle Brown AM: I support this motion Under Labour, the people of Wales have had to endure a crumbling health service, a failing education system and economic and local government policies that make no business sense whatsoever Once again, Labour have tabled a series of amendments that show they’re in complete denial about the problems they have caused and, regrettably, I have to say that it’s their propensity to indulge in denial that causes many of these problems to go unchecked The Welsh Government are boasting in point e) of their amendments that A-level students had the best results this year since 2010 That’s good news, of course, but the PISA results of 2016, as mentioned already, paint a rather different picture from the rosy one presented in Labour’s amendment. The results in reading and science were worse in 2016 than they were in 2006, and although, in maths, there was a marginal improvement, it was only of six points in 10 years, which is hardly stellar improvement, is it? In Wales, the percentage of pupils considered top performers across reading, maths and science is less than half that across the border in England. Literacy and numeracy are essential basics of education, and if the Welsh Labour Government can’t ensure that pupils are both literate and numerate enough to enable them to learn the skills and disciplines they need to succeed in life and to be financially independent in adult life, there is scant hope that they can get much else right either The Welsh Government needs to get its priorities right and focus on the basics instead of trying to criminalise parents, dictating the values children are taught and interfering with the dynamics of the parent-child relationship for no other reason than value signalling and an elitist attitude that they know better than the parents. It is no measure of their ability to govern if something that may be the best it has been for seven or eight years is still worse than it was 12 years ago In point f), they state that disposable income in 2016 was higher than in 2015, and in point g), they say that wages have increased by 2.1 per cent. All of this might sound really positive until you remember that they’ve been in power in Wales for 20 years. That boast about wage rises is simple in the extreme when you consider that inflation is currently at 2.4 per cent. In real terms, Welsh workers have had a pay cut, but Labour don’t just deny it, they try to spin it as an increase No doubt, Labour will say that the people endorse them as they keep returning them to power, yet, they didn’t exactly win the last election. At the moment, they cling to a majority in this place thanks to the outsourcing of two Cabinet positions to get their policies through, and this isn’t the first time that Welsh Labour have had to be propped up by someone else Their inability to run public bodies can be proven in no better way than the ongoing scandal that is Betsi Cadwaladr. Labour have taken direct control of the health board and still waiting times for some services are getting worse. If their direct involvement makes it worse, or results in little or no improvement, how can they possibly claim to be the right people to set the overall strategies and targets for the NHS or anything else? As population figures rise, hospital beds reduce in comparison with that population, as do training places for doctors and nurses. Welsh Labour refuse to make the hard decisions necessary to put the failing NHS boards back on track. That’s the Labour version of the NHS As competition from talented youngsters across the border, at home and abroad, increases, Welsh schools sit at the bottom of the UK PISA rankings. That’s Labour’s version of an education system. As fewer and fewer people vote Labour, they deny it’s because of anything they’re doing wrong, and insist they don’t need to change, and when the people of Wales vote to leave the EU, they rewrite history, patronise the electorate, accuse their opponents of lying and plan a way to thwart the will of the people. That’s Labour’s version of a democracy for you Finally, failing policies across the board, a disrespect for the electorate and a never-ending stream of weasel words deflecting blame. That’s Labour’s version of Government, and it’s well past time for change to give the people of Wales what they need and deserve. That’s why I’m supporting this motion. Thank you Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM: Sir Christopher Wren was the leading architect of London’s reconstruction after the great fire in 1666 He lays buried beneath the floor of his most

famous building, St Paul’s cathedral. An elaborate dome marks the site of his burial. Instead, there is an inscription on the floor and it says, ‘If you are searching for his monument, look around.’ Deputy Presiding Officer, if we were to look around at Wales today for the First Minister’s monument, it would be a much less edifying prospect. We would see the sad result of another nine wasted years of Welsh Labour Government Nine years ago, the First Minister set out his vision for Wales in his leadership manifesto It was called ‘Time to Lead’. Launching his manifesto, the First Minister said ‘Our priority has to be that we protect public services like the NHS and education’ The reality, however, is somewhatóvery different During his period in office, the First Minister has inflicted real-terms cuts to the health budget in Wales. Key performance targets have not been met. In December 2009, not one patient waited longer than 36 weeks for treatment Today, the figure is more than 13,500. More than 4,000 of these patients have been waiting more than a year for surgery. In December 2009, 225,000 patients were waiting to start treatment. Today, nearly 444,000 are waiting on waiting lists. Performance against both the four- and 12-hour targets in Welsh emergency departments has deteriorated. The urgent cancer treatment referral target that says patients referred by the urgent route should start treatment in 62 days has never been met under this First Minister In ‘Time to Lead’, the First Minister pledged to increase education spending by 1 per cent above the block grant. However, since 2011, his Welsh Government has delivered real-terms cuts in education spending. GCSE performance has worsened. This summer saw the worst attainment of GCSE top grades since 2005. The international PISA assessment reveals Wales has the worst performing education system in the United Kingdom. PISA scores for reading, maths and science are worse than in 2009, placing Wales in the bottom half of the OECD global ranking In the 10 years between 2006 and 2016, Welsh Government closed 157 schools, mostly in rural areas Rhianon Passmore AM: Will you take an intervention? Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM: Go on Rhianon Passmore AM: Would you agree with the OECD viewpoint, strongly made, that Wales is moving in the right direction in regard to its education reforms? Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM: I am just giving you the facts and figures that are actually in the world domain. Interviewed by the Western Mail at his manifesto launch, Carwyn Jones said ‘We know that education is the route out of poverty for many people in Wales.’ Thanks to his education policies, the First Minister has put considerable obstacles in the way to block that route I would like to mention another pledge made in ‘Time to Lead’, namely to increase the building of new affordable and council hosing On his watch, the number of homes being built annually in Wales has fallen. Successive administrations under his leadership have failed to build enough homes to meet Wales’s ongoing housing crisis. Over the past decade, the number of new homes being built has fallen from over 10,000 a year in 2008 to just 6,000 this year The First Minister has set a target of building 20,000 affordable homes, but, given his record of failing to meet targets on the NHS and education in Wales, what confidence can we have in this Government’s ability to deliver enough new homes? Jenny Rathbone AM: Will you take an intervention? Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM: Go on then Jenny Rathbone AM: You’ve got a long shopping list of things you’d like more money put into Could you tell us what you think should receive less funding in order to pay for it? Mohammad Asghar (Oscar) AM: The thing is, Wales hasn’t seen any other side of the coin It’s only the Labour Party’s performance I’m telling you about. Wales does not need a new Labour Government. Wales needs a new Government here

There are 200,000 poor children living in poverty in Walesó200,000. On poverty, the economy, families, ethnicity and disability, we are worse than the United Kingdom. There’s a long list of material deprivation, persistent poverty, poverty in different areas and deprivation in the south Wales Valleys. You still haven’t woken up since Margaret Thatcher. Basically, you can say many things about it, but you are the ones running the Government since 1999, and nothing has been done, and it’s shame on the Welsh Labour Government altogether Rhianon Passmore AM: I will be voting for the amendment to this motion tabled by Julie James AM The Tory motion is both cynical and politically opportunistic. The Tory motion is also fundamentally flawed. We know, do we not, that since 2009 there have been two National Assembly for Wales elections. Both times the Welsh nation has gone to the polls, and both times democratically following the elections a Welsh Labour Government has been formed. The Welsh people are no fools They do not support the Welsh Labour Party out of blind obedience. We are talking about a Welsh populace with a great collective memory of their history and our progressive future The Welsh Labour Party works to renew the immense bond that exists between it and the Welsh people, and we will continue to do so with fresh policies, like disbarring nurseries from business rates and the best childcare offer of the UK The last decade has been dominated by the UK Tory Government’s policies of imposed austerity Purposeful cuts to the Welsh budget, purposeful cuts to the welfare safety net, growing poverty and inequality, purposeful cuts to the public sector, who often deal with the most vulnerable in our society. And austerityóthe name itself is actually a stroke of purposeful genius, somehow not a chosen cuts policy, but an inevitable default position of others. Austerity has been a vicious, determined ideological attack on the state’s ability to intervene, to support the poorest in society with the levers of the UK, as highlighted by not one but two UN reports on the severe state of poverty inflicted by the UK Conservative Government on its people Despite sustained Tory attack, devolution, Welsh Labour and our Government have afforded some protection for the Welsh people from a right-wing Tory Government’s policies. In the dark shadow of this inflicted austerity, the Welsh Labour Government has secured 83,000 more people in work since 2010; £1.4 billion of investment via the twenty-first century schools programme; 41 new schools, including the impressive £22 million Islwyn High School in my constituency; the lowest diagnostic waits since 2010; Wales leading the UK on household recycling, and rated in the top three of the world. In the last Assembly, we delivered 10,000 new affordable homes in this Assembly, and we are on target to deliver 20,000 more Welsh Labour has done all this in the shadow of a greed-driven global recession, and the longest period of self-inflicted austerity in living memory. And that has been the Conservatives who have propagated that via their weakening of our financial regulations previously, and all against the uncertainty of a Brexit that will also deliver on national insecurity The Welsh Government’s overall budget in 2019 is down 5 per cent, or £850 million in real terms compared to 2010-11, something not deserved by our people, and also, again, as a result of the Welsh Conservatives’ policy. The Welsh Government’s revenue budget in 2019 is down 4 per cent, or £650 million in real terms compared to 2010-11. The Welsh Government’s capital budget for 2019-20 is down 10 per cent or £200 million in real terms compared to 2010-11. When it comes to leadership, Welsh Labour and our succession of leaders have offered and delivered principled leadership Compare that to the strength and stability of the chaotic mess that we are seeing in London from Theresa May and the rest of the ragbag UK Tory Government I can assure the Welsh people that the next Welsh Labour First Minister will continue

to stand up for Wales and deliver on our strong socialist and ethically principled leadership and our sound socialist policy in action Thank you Andrew RT Davies AM: I think it was quite telling at the start of this debate, when the Government bench had one Minister on it, and the back bench had one member of the governing party to defend its actions in a debate that was looking back over the last nine years, back to 2009. That in itself tells you its own story of engagement by the governing party in debates here this afternoon It is a pleasure to stand up here today, and it is also worth reflecting on the activities and achievements of the current First Minister This time next week, he will not be the First Minister, and someone who has occupied a role for nine years and been at the centre of Government for the principal part of devolutionóI think he came into Government in 2000-01óis worthy of any recognition and praise as well, because that is an intensity in public office that really does warrant sufficient observation from opposition parties and the governing party as well, that someone’s dedicated themselves to public service But it is right, also, to reflect on missed opportunities, especially over a sustained period of time. Sometimes, instead of looking at the big issues, you sometimes need to look at the very small issues and work up from the small issues to the big issues. Today, for example, I was in the town of Barry, where there has been a vigorous campaign around the incinerator that has been located there, which has been granted planning permission through the normal process. The environment Minister, back in February, agreed to consider imposing an environmental impact assessment on that incinerator. I raised the question with the leader of the house yesterday, and, some 300 days later, that community is still waiting for that decision from the Government If you are in Government, you’ve got the ability to do things. You have the abilityóas Mohammad Asghar referred to on the front page of the First Minister’s manifesto, ‘Time to Lead’óto lead, and actually make a positive impact in communities. In respect of that particular community, that inertia in making this decision epitomises much of the bigger stuff that the First Minister, and indeed his successive Governments, have failed to achieve for Wales You cannot walk away from the successive PISA tables that have shown, regrettably, that we have not enjoyed the success in education that we all want to seeótake the politics out of it; we all want to see a better education system. It’s not much good saying, ‘We can wait till 2022 when the new curriculum comes in.’ What about the generation that’s going through schools at the moment? I’m a father of four kids. They get one go around the track, they do, and you want to give them the best chance possible. So, what are we saying: ‘The last 20 yearsóoh, well, sorry about that, but we’ll get it right for the next generation’? The international figures do not lie. And, you know, a bit of reflection from the governing party and the governing benches wouldn’t go amiss on where things have gone wrong and where we can put things right. I am the first one to acknowledge that twenty-first century schools has made an improvement in schools the length and breadth of this country, but it is a fat lot of good having shiny new buildings if the outcomes coming out of those shiny new buildings aren’t replicated in the achievements of our young people. I am as ambitious as anyone for our young people to achieve the best that they possibly can in their lives, but it has to be on the scorecard that the Government could have done better If you look at the economy over the last couple of years, it is a fact that Welsh workers are taking less home today compared to their Scottish counterparts when they started in 1999ó£55 a week less, in fact. Now, the governing party talk about austerity. I have not heard an alternative put forward for how we could have cleaned up the mess that Gordon Brown left of a public sector borrowing requirement of £160 billion that is coherent and would have kept the confidence of the markets so that we wouldn’t have seen a massive recession But what I have seen is the economic policies of successive Labour Governments in Wales deliver poorer take-home pay as opposed to improved take-home pay in other parts of the United Kingdom. It is a fact: we are the lowest take-home pay economy of the United Kingdom That is a fact. You cannot deny that When it comes to the NHS, it is a fact that a political decision was taken in 2011-12 to cut health spending here in Wales. That was a political decision that was taken. It is the only Government in the United Kingdom, and, indeed, the First Minister is the only leader of a Government who has taken that conscious decision to cut spending. And the argument at the time was that that money needed to go into other columns to support other services, and that is fine if that’s what the political choice is, but the fact of the matter is that decision was taken and the Government has to reap the consequences because of it. In 2009, for example, the 36-week wait in the Welsh NHS was zeroózero. Today, it is 13,500 people waiting 36 weeks or more

to have treatment. That is the measure that people use to measure the success of the NHS, of how timely they can be seen when they are presented with an illness or condition. And that, on the scorecard, has to be marked down as a failure So, I am more than willing to stand here and praise the public service of the current First Ministeróa record that deserves to be praisedóbut the successive Governments that he has led have failed to achieve the real improvements that were promised at the start of devolution and through the time of the Governments that he has led. Now, that’s not the fault of devolution: it’s the political choices that have been taken, and let’s reflect on that, because the next week is a time for reflection and a time to get onside and actually change the record so that we change the outcomes. And that’s why I hope this Assembly will support the motion before them this afternoon Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: Can I now call the Leader of the House and Chief Whip, Julie James? Julie James AM: Thank you, Deputy Presiding Officer. Well, I would very much like to begin by thanking the Conservatives for bringing forward this debate today because it’s given us a timely opportunity to reflect and celebrate the significant progress successive Welsh Labour Governmentsóso, that’s successively elected by the Welsh people, Welsh Labour Governmentsóhave made during Carwyn Jones’s time as First Minister. As our amendment says, this is an opportunity to thank him for his work and leadership as First Minister, a First Minister that I, for one, have been very proud to serve For nine years, the First Minister has led the Welsh Government through some of the most difficult times this country and, indeed, the UK as a whole has experienced since the end of the second world war: hard times that the Conservatives would very much like us never to mention again. Those nine years have been punctuated by a global recession, followed by the longest period of austerity in living memory, which, let us not forget, the UN’s special rapporteur on poverty last month described as a political choice by the UK Conservative Government And the final years of this FM’s tenure have been dominated by Brexit, the proverbial catfight in the Conservative Party, not to mention the chaos caused by the Prime Minister’s flip-flop negotiations and those members of the Tory Party once described by a member of David Cameron’s inner circle as ‘swivel-eyed loons’ The Government was defeated three times yesterday in the Houses of Parliament: not something to be proud of Deputy Presiding Officer, through all of this, successive Welsh Labour-led Governments have maintained their commitment to work towards a more prosperous Wales and have delivered for the people of Wales. Yesterday, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance set out again in the draft budget debate the impact austerity has had on our budget. It bears repeating today Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Will the Member give way? Julie James AM: Yes, certainly, Janet Janet Finch-Saunders AM: With all due respect, you represent Swansea as a constituencyóSwansea West, yesóand I cannot be alone here in receiving e-mails daily about our failing health system in Wales. When you have a constituent who comes to you with such delayed treatment times, such a lack of co-ordination within our health services, do you turn around and say, ‘It’s the UK Government’s fault, it’s austerity’, or are you truthful, telling them that you run the health service here in Wales? Where is the reality in this debate, Julie? Julie James AM: Well, that is the reality I was about to come on and say. But, actually, if you really want to know what I say to my constituents in Swansea, Janet, I say that the Tory Government has cancelled electrification; it’s cancelled the Swansea bay tidal lagoon; they cannot deal with any of the infrastructure problems. It is an absolute shambles. So, you asked the question: that’s the answer you’re getting So, as I said, yesterday, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance set out again in the draft budget debate the impact austerity has had on our budget Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: Thank you. I’d like to hear the leader of the house. Thank you Julie James AM: It bears repeating today: if we were not a penny better off in real terms than we were in 2010, we would have £850 million more to invest in front-line services today. Now, if spendingó Rhun ap Iorwerth AM: It is a serious point You’ve just said exactly what you tell your constituents. I agree with you entirely on the damage that has been caused by a decade of Tory austerity, but surely you cannot duck the blame and duck the responsibility of decisions taken by Welsh Government on health and other matters Julie James AM: I’ll come on to that, Rhun If spending on public services had kept pace with the growth in the economy since 2010, we would have an extra £4 billion to spend on public services in Wales. And if the UK Conservative Government had matched the level of investment in public services achieved by every Government for the last 50 years, Wales would have £8 billion more to spend David Melding AM: And what would have happened if the Labour Government had been returned in 2010 and Mr Darling’s spending plans had been put into effect? How would that have affected your current spending? Julie James AM: Well, as you know, David, Gordon Brown had already turned the economy around and we had growth. The Conservative Party choked that in its infancy immediately

So, I don’t have any worries at all of what would have happened there. The Tory Party that followed was one of the most fiscally irresponsible in the history of Great Britain Llywydd, in the face of this global recession, austerity and Brexit, ours is a Government that has, and continues to deliver for Wales in every aspect of devolved life. More people are starting the treatment they need within the target time. Almost 90 per cent of patients wait less than 26 weeks for treatment; cancer survival continues to improve, and the NHS in Wales is consistently seeing and treating more cancer patients than ever before. We now have an £80 million new treatment fund that has delivered faster access to 137 new medicines for a range of life-threatening and life-limiting conditions This year, we will complete the hundredth twenty-first century schools project, a real milestone in an ambitious programme that will see us invest more than £3.7 billion in rebuilding our children’s schools to give them a better environment for their education. GCSE performance in the very top grades has improved, and the overall pass rate for A-levels is at a historic high. Wales now outperforms England at the top grades Our economy has improved. Despite the UK’s slow recovery from the recession and the negative impact of UK Government policies, we have seen important improvement, and in some areas, we are outperforming other parts of the UK There were 1.5 million people in employment in Wales in the three months to September 2018, up 4.2 per cent from the same period a year earlieróthe largest increase of any UK country or region. [Interruption.] It’s been less than a decade sinceó. You wanted us not to take the credit for that, but to take the blame for austerity. Cracking, Darren, but not very logical It’s been less than a decade since we gained primary law-making powers on the FM’s watch, and we are using them to lead the way in the UK. We’ve banned smoking in public outdoor places, legislated to prevent, protect and support victims of gender-based violence, domestic abuse and sexual violence. We introduced the internationally recognised legislation to put the interests of future generations at the forefront of decision making, and legislated for a bilingual Wales. We introduced the first deemed consent system for organ donation in the UK, and we introduced a 5p charge for plastic bags.At the start of this Assembly term, we set out another ambitious programme for government; we have made good progress in delivering it. We’ve increased to £40,000 the amount of money people can keep before they have to fund the full cost of their residential care. We have extended the number of places where working parents can access 30 hours of free childcare for their three and four-year-olds, with more than half of local authorities now covered by our pilots We are making significant progress towards delivering the 100,000 all-age apprenticeships programme with 16,000 starts in the first half of this year alone. We have delivered the most generous financial package for students in the UK as we continue to provide financial support to our young people and adult learners who wish to continue or return to further education. All Welsh students will now receive support for living costs that is equivalent to the UK national living wage Deputy Presiding Officer, we will not be supporting the Conservative motion today. This is a party that continues to insist everything we do is at fault in Wales while failing to acknowledge the terrible mess of its own making the UK Conservative Government is presiding over at Westminster. A Government that you have to wonder, hour by hour, whether it’s still in power. It’s certainly not in charge. From the welfare cuts to the forced introduction of universal credit, it’s left people destitute and starving. From the shambolic introduction of new timetables to the rolling failure that is its rail franchising, from the disappearance of social care from great swathes of middle England to the deterioration in performance of the English NHS, the real failure is the one happening over our border under the watch of the party opposite Deputy Presiding Officer, I am proud to have served Carwyn Jones as the First Minister of Wales. His legacy will stand the test of time, which cannot be said for the current serving Prime Minister. We support the amendment Diolch yn fawr Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: Thank you. Can I now call on Mark Isherwood to reply to the debate? Mark Isherwood AM: You’ve caught me slightly unawares; I’m still strugglingólots of horrible notes. May I start by thanking all contributors? Paul Davies referred to some success and some cross-party agreement that pointed out that under Carwyn Jones’s Government, Labour was the first party anywhere in the UK to have imposed real-terms cuts to the NHS. He referred to the downgrading, centralisation and closure of NHS services, to the per-pupil funding gap with England remaining, to Labour’s target to close the prosperity gap with the rest of UK having been dropped and Wales being the most expensive part of the UK to do business He pointed out that higher tax revenues to fund public services do not come from high tax economies. He talked about Labour having created a housing supply crisis, and I know first-hand that they ignored warnings going back 15 years that this would result if they didn’t take action, which they didn’t take

They spent billions, he said, on the symptoms of poverty rather than targeting the causes and said that Wales needs new ideas and new leadership Mark Isherwood AM: Rhun ap Iorwerth referred to Welsh Government’s delaying tactics, their repeated reviews rather than action, and he referred to homelessness as one example. He referred to Welsh Government setting targets lower than England and Scotland and then missing them, and about their unwillingness to learn from good practice elsewhere We heard from Suzy Daviesóhere we are; I found the missing pageó[Interruption.] We all lose our pages sometimes, even Members of the Welsh Government. We heard from Suzy Davies who focused on how Welsh Government spends the money it has to spend, rather than simply the amount. She pointed out that, yes, they do get 20 per cent, currently, more per person to spend than in England, and yet spend less on school pupils, that forty-five education institutions are in special measures, the bureaucratic approach to raising standards, and referred to the sinking ship that is Labour Wales Michelle Brown referred to Welsh Government painting a rosy picture to conceal reality, to Welsh Government’s elitist ‘we know best’ attitude, to Labour only clinging to Government by giving roles to two non-Labour Assembly Members, and to Labour’s disrespect for the electorate Mohammad Asghar noted that key performance targets were not being met and that performance had deteriorated in key areas. And he referred again to the failure by successive Welsh Governments to build affordable and council homes, not over five or 10 years, but over two decades If I come to Rhianon Passmoreócan I thank Rhianon for not giving a shouty speech, although the content was fairly similar? She described facts as flaws, she referred to austerity, so let’s hope that the next time a Labour Government thinks it can break the economic cycle, and impose pressure on the regulators in finance to go light-touch, they remember the pain that that will cause successive generations She referred to the increase in employment in Wales since 2010 when the UK Government came into power after Wales lagging for years and years prior to that, and she referred to the weakening of financial regulations Well, if you read the successive reports following the financial crash, as I have, you will know that those identify Messrs Blair, Brown and Balls as being the great financial deregulators whose political interferenceó[Interruption.]óread the reportóled to the banking crash, despite being warned years in advance that if they didn’t take action, this would be the consequence Andrew R.T. Davies talked about missed opportunities and pupils only getting one chance, and that it’s no good having shiny new buildings if the outcomes haven’t done better. And he referred to 36-week waiting times in the NHS in 2009 being zero, now in their thousands The leader of the house, speaking for the Welsh Government, gave what sounded like a very good Welsh Labour conference speech, but she dodged the key political choices taken by almost 20 years of Labour and Labour-led Welsh Government, which have led to the failures outlined in this debate. She referred to the £850 million more that we’d have for front-line services if the money hadn’t all gone and the UK’s credit line been threatened with closure in 2010. She made reference to the UK Government’s apparent non-contribution to Walesówell, they delivered the funding floor to the formula that ensures that Wales gets more per head than in England, they delivered almost £0.75 billion for the city and growth deals in Walesówe’re still waiting to hear from the Welsh Government over north Walesóand they provided £10 million for the compound semiconductor applications project in Cardiff, £82 million for a defence contract in Denbighshire, and they’re pumping millions into RAF Sealand, by centring the F-35 programme there So, let’s look at some factual statistics in the time left to us. From recent official reports, Wales is the least productive nation in the UK. Poverty and deprivation are higher in Wales than in any other nation in Britain Median hourly earnings in Wales are lower than England and Scotland. Average earnings in Wales are lower and have grown slower than in other UK nations. Wales has the lowest long-term pay growth among the nations of the UK. Wales has a higher relative income poverty rate than England, Northern Ireland

and Scotland, a higher proportion of working adults in poverty than any other UK nation, and a pensioner poverty rate in Wales far higher than in any other UK nation. Wales is suffering from one of the worst Governments endured by any part of the United Kingdom since the arrival of the universal franchise Not only thatóone of the most reactionary Governments, whose only action is to react against the UK Government and whose only policy is to blame the UK Government for its own serious and successive failures over far too long, fanning the flames of public confusion over their responsibility for the mess we’re in and adding to the lack of public accountability that has kept them in place for so long, and so much pain Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: Thank you. The proposal is to agree the motion without amendment. Does any Member object? [Objection.] Thank you. We defer voting under this item until voting time Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: The next item on our agenda this afternoon is the short debate, and I now call on David Melding to speak on the topic he has chosen David Melding AM: Deputy Presiding Officer, I’m unaccustomed to such a warm welcome. In the last 24 hours or so we’ve discussed the budget, we’ve discussed Brexit and we’ve just been discussing the Welsh Government’s record, but now we have a calm interlude, and I want to turn to the Neolithic in the story of Walesó David Melding AM: Boom boom. [Laughter.] There were great achievements in the Neolithic, as you’re about to discover. In north-west Europe, where we find ourselves, the Neolithic ran from about 4,500 BC to 1,700 BC, although exactitude in these matters is not particularly helpful. No-one woke up one day and said, ‘Ah, the Neolithic is over and the Bronze Age has begun’, but we do like to use these categories. But what marks out the Neolithic period above all is farming and settlements But there were other great achievements too: pottery, statuettes, figurative art, decorations such as spirals, chevrons and lozenges, pictograms, ideograms, axes and even rudimentary food preservation. It was a time of remarkable technological invention and discovery Now, all of the sites that I will refer to in my short debate appear on the rolling photo presentation that is now playing on the screen I want to start with Tinkinswood in the Vale of Glamorgan. It is one of my favourite places I’ve walked there and spent time there, read poetry there, discussed eruditely, I hope, with some Members in this Chamber, indeed, whilst pondering and looking at that monument It does remind me, anyway, of the amazing achievements of our ancestors in prehistory I believe it is really important that we respect and celebrate these achievements I’d like now to turn to John Davies, and what he says about Tinkinswood in what I think remains a mesmerising history, A History of Walesósurely the greatest one-volume history yet written, and we have some really magnificent one-volume histories of Wales, going back to David Williams. But John Davies starts that work with a chapter titled, ‘The Beginnings: Paviland, Tinkinswood and Llyn Cerrig Bach’, and I think it’s absolutely the right context to set. Tinkinswood demonstrates the growing mastery over environment that is really the mark of the Neolithic, and just think: the capstone on that monument would have required 200 men to put it in placeójust remarkable organisation. And it was built after much of the woodland in the Vale of Glamorgan had been cleared away by the new technologyóthe new axes. Because after the end of the ice age, we had a period of thick temperate forests over most of Wales, and much of that was cleared, then, to make way for farming. And activity in this part of Wales was heavily influenced by the culture of Brittany, and I know quote from John Davies: David Melding AM: ‘This is an aspect of the “personality” of Wales which can be overlooked

if the country is seen as no more than part of the Highland Zone of Britain. Eastwards, Wales faces the lowlands of England, but it also faces the western waters, with their network of sea-routes. People and influences came from the one direction and the other, and the interplay between what came by land and what came by sea is one of the most fascinating of the themes of the early history of Wales.’ And I completely agree. In June 2017, when Welsh Water carried out upgrades on a site at Llanfaethlu, archaeologists working on behalf of Welsh Water found evidence of prehistoric activity dating back around 4,000 to 6,000 years. Amongst the findings were flint tools Silica-rich flint can be fashioned into a variety of tools, for example the knives and axes that I’ve been talking about. This site also contained burnt food, such as hazelnuts and other seeds, which will enable experts to radiocarbon the site and reconstruct the Neolithic diet Additionally, on Anglesey, one can find the mound in the dark grove, known as Bryn Celli Ddu, and Cadw says of this monument that it seems to have begun in the later Neolithic period, around 5,000 years ago, as a ritual enclosure. Cadw also notes that later in the Neolithic period, the henge made way for a passage tombóa monument often found around the Irish seaboard and as far afield as Brittany The real magnificence of this tomb is that it has been built with such accuracy that it is perfectly aligned to coincide with the rising sun on the summer solstice. The sun penetrates down into the inner burial chamber Excavations there have led to 10 examples of rock carvings being found, as well as pottery and flint tools. Amazingly, the history of the site goes back even further as post holes found in the henge have been carbon-dated back to the Mesolithic period. And it just shows you that we’re discovering constantly new insights into these sites and discovering others Another site of particular interest to me is the hillfort at Caerau, Cardiff. This was a major power centre for the region of Cardiff prior to the Roman invasion, and a major centre for many thousands of years. A six-year-old uncovered pottery and arrowheads there, and it emerged that Caerau was the home of a powerful community from at least 3,600 BC. Other arrowheads have been found that were broken, presumably from impact, and other weapons were found, indicating that a battle took place there some 5,000 years ago of great significance And this is activity that goes back much earlier than we previously thought. And it just amazes meóa child out there suddenly finding these remarkable discoveries and then having the wit to ask about them and then them being identified by the various experts. This is, I think, what’s wonderful about that particular project, which I’ll talk a little bit about in a moment, again demonstrating that with constant discoveries, we are led to new interpretations of these sites, which is why they are so precious CAERóCaerau and Ely rediscovering; the heritage project thereóconsists of archaeologists from Cardiff University along with Ely and Caerau Communities First. They aim to explore the history and archaeology of the Cardiff suburbs of Caerau and Ely, from prehistory through to the modern day, helping to connect communities with their heritage and develop educational opportunities. Their website notes that before the advent of the Roman invasion, Caerau hillfort was the major power centre for the entire Cardiff region, and is one of the largest and most impressive hillforts in south-east Wales. During the medieval period, a ringwork and churchóSt Mary’sówere built within the ancient Iron Age boundaries, and their impressive remains can still be seen today, showing the remarkable continuity of that particular site. Again, I think that’s another precious aspect of these monuments Oliver Davis, who has worked on the project, said that: ‘The location and number of Neolithic finds indicate that we have discovered a causewayed enclosureóa special place where small communities gathered together at certain important times of the year to celebrate, feast, exchange things and possibly find marriage partners’ It was a key social development of the neolithic Such sites, incidentally, are very rare in

Wales, with only five other known examples, mostly in the south as it happens In June this year, Cardiff University’s Live Local Learn Local programme, in conjunction with the CAER Heritage Project, launched a six-week course, ‘Hidden histories of Caerau and Ely’, which delivers free accredited courses in communities facing social and economic challenges. What a wonderful idea that is Five members of the community, along with several participants from further afield, took part in the course, and had a rare opportunity to visit the vaults of the National Museum of Wales to get valuable training in designing and executing museum exhibitions Deputy Presiding Officer, can I just say in conclusion that I welcome the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016, which this Government brought before us and enacted? I think it’s really important that we see with the removal of the defence of ignorance of a monument or its location a way of establishing the responsibilities that property owners have when these monuments are discovered or, obviously, when they are looked after. There are so manyówe are so rich in neolithic heritage that we must ensure that we preserve it as fully as possible, because we are reinterpreting, there’ll be new discoveries in future generations, no doubt, and, with aerial photography becoming ever more sophisticated, down to the use of drones, we’re discovering constantly new sites There’s one on the display of the earthwork that you can see from great height, but not from ground level. We also need to improve the awareness and public understanding of neolithic monuments, and I think the Caerau project is really important in this regard Deputy Presiding Officer, can I just conclude by saying that the neolithic should be properly honoured, because it has a most special place in the story of Wales? Thank you Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: Thank you. Can I now call on the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport to reply to the debateóDafydd Elis-Thomas? Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM: Diolch yn fawr am y cyfle, Dirprwy Lywydd, i ymateb i’r ddadl ryfeddol ac annisgwyl hon. Un o fanteision y lle hwn, Senedd Cymru, yw ein bod ni’n gallu trafod, fel y dywedodd y ddeddfwriaeth a’n sefydlodd ni, unrhyw faterion yn effeithio ar Gymru. Ond rwy’n credu mai dyma’r tro cyntaf i mi glywed dadl ac, yn sicr, y tro cyntaf i mi gymryd rhan mewn dadl fer, yn sÙn am y cyfnod neu’r gorffennol y gellir ei alw yn gynhanesyddol. Ond mae hwn yn air rydw i’n cael ychydig o broblem efo fo, oherwydd mi fyddwn i yn dadlau yn athronyddol os ydym ni’n gallu sÙn am y cynhanesyddol, mae’n rhaid ei fod o’n bod, ac felly ei fod, mewn rhyw ystyr, yn hanesyddol, ond fe adawn ni hwnnw i’r athronwyr Mi ges i gyfle mis diwethaf i amlinellu y blaenoriaethau sydd gyda ni yn yr adran ar gyfer amgylchedd hanesyddol Cymru. A’r pwyslais yn y blaenoriaethau yna oedd dadlau a dangos bod Cymru yn codi fel cenedl fodern erbyn heddiw o dreftadaeth ddiwylliannol gydag elfennau cyffredin dros filoedd o flynyddoedd. Ac felly mae’r Aelod yn saff iawn yn dweud ein bod ni yn cychwyn yn nyfnder y cyfnod cynhanesyddol Yn wir, ymhell cyn y cyfnod Neolithig, fel y mae hwnnw’n cael ei ddyddio, a dyfodiad yr hyn a ddisgrifiodd David fel dyfodiad amaeth a chymunedau sefydlog, rydym ni’n gallu mynd ‚ stori’r wlad sydd bellach yn cael ei galw yn Gymru yn Ùl i gyfnod yr Oes I‚ ddiwethaf o leiaf, a’r olion dynol cynharaf a ddarganfuwyd o, mewn dyfnodau, ‘Gymro’ yn Ùl yn ogof Pontnewydd gymaint ‚ 0.25 miliwn o flynyddoedd yn Ùl Felly, maeír cynhanesyddol yn fater sydd o ddiddordeb i Lywodraeth Cymru, ac fe garwn i bwysleisio beth ydy gwahanol elfennau’r etifeddiaeth yr ydym ni wedi bod yn ceisio’i diogelu yn ystod y cyfnod yr ydw i wedi bod yn gyfrifol amdano foóychydig dros flwyddyn Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM: Ein blaenoriaeth ganolog ni ydy gofalu am ein hamgylchedd hanesyddol drwy hyrwyddo ei fwynhad i bobl. Felly, maeín bwysig ein bod niín gallu deall, hyd y gellir, y gorffennol yr ydym niín sÙn amdano fo, er mwyn iddo allu apelio at bobl yn y presennol ac yn y dyfodol Maeír darganfyddiadau sydd wediíu gwneud yn y cyfnodau cynnar yma yng Nghymru yn ddarganfyddiadau sydd o arwyddoc‚d rhyngwladol gwirioneddol, yn ogof Pen-y-fai ar benrhyn Gwyr, er enghraifft

Mae’r hanes o adeiladu beddrodauó. Maeír rhain wediíu creu, fel y dywedodd David, wrth gyfeirio at Tinkinswoodóat Lech-y-filiast, neu beth bynnag yr ydym ni am ei galw hió yn y fan honno, lle rhyfeddol iawn. Maeír rhain yn adeiladau nodedig yn y tirwedd. Maeír Oes Efydd wedi gweld miloedd o domenni claddu wediíu gwasgaru ar draws tirwedd Cymru, gyda nwyddau claddu gwerthfawr ynddyn nhwóclogyn aur y Wyddgrug, efallai, ydyír mwyaf enwog Mae’r Oes Haearn yn gweld newidiadau pellachócymunedau bryngaer a’r cannoedd o olion sy’n bodoli ar draws Cymru, megis yn Nhreír Ceiri I mi, mae sefydliadau sydd wedi dehongli y safleoedd yma, yn arbennig Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru, sydd wedi cofnodi safleoedd newydd dirifedi yn ddiweddar iawn, fel y cyfeiriwyd, yn ystod yr haf sych, lle canfyddwyd olion wedi crino yng nghaeau y tirlun gwledig oír newydd, fel bod y cynhanes yn gallu dod nÙl yn fyw, fel petai, oherwydd y tywydd yr ydym niín ei oddef ar hyn o brydó. Yn y digwyddiadau yna, rydym ni wedi gweld, drwy waith y comisiwn a drwyír darluniau aír ymchwiliadau rhyfeddol sydd wediíu gwneud, y modd y mae yna glystyrau diddorol oír cyfnodau cynhanesyddol ar draws ein gwlad. Un oír rhai mwyaf nodedig, wrth gwrs, ydyír clystyrau yna ar Ynys MÙn, a ni fyddwn i am adael Ynys MÙn allan o unrhyw drafodaeth ar y cyfnod cynhanesyddol. Maeír henebion cynhanesyddol yn Ynys MÙn yn gallu hawlioíu lle gydag Ynysoedd Erch, gyda Dyffryn Boyne yn Iwerddon, gyda ChÙr y Cewri yn Lloegr Mae’r rhain ymhlith y llefydd mwyaf rhyfeddol ar ein holl wledydd Prydain ac Iwerddon. Mae yna safleoedd penodol dan ofal Cadw yn cynnwys beddrodau cyntedd Neolithig Bryn Celli Ddu a Barclodiad y Gawres, sydd ddim yn bell oddi yno Mae Cadw hefyd yn gyfrifol am feddrodau cerrig Neolithig yng ngogledd Penfro, gan gynnwys Pentre Ifan, ac, ym Mro Morgannwgórydw i wedi sÙn, fel y maeír Aelod wedi sÙn, am Tinkinswood ger Sain Nicolas, lleír ydw innau wedi cael cyfle i dreulio tipyn o amser gydaír teuluoedd ifanc syín perthyn i mi yn yr ardal honno, a chael y profiad rhyfedd o fod yn ceisio esbonioír cynhanesyddol i blant ifanc Felly, maeín bwysig pwysleisio ein bod ni, yn y ddarpariaeth gyfoes yng ngwaith Cadw ac yng ngwaith y Llywodraeth, yn gwerthfawrogiír etifeddiaeth yna ac yn ymdrechu iíw diogelu hi Rydw i am dalu teyrnged fan yma iír ymddiriedolaethau archeolegol yng Nghymru sydd wedi ymweld ac asesu pob safle cynhanesyddol yr ydym niín ymwybodol ohonyn nhw. Mae yna 23,000 oír safleoedd yna, ac maeír wybodaeth enfawr sydd wedi deillio o hyn bellach yn gofnodion sydd ag iddyn nhw statws cyfreithiol yn Neddf yr Amgylchedd Hanesyddol (Cymru) 2016. Rydym ni’n gweithredu’r Ddeddf ar hyn o bryd drwy’r gwaith darparu penodol sydd wedi cael ei wneud i roi cyfarwyddiadau am sut y mae gweithredu’r Ddeddf, ac fe fyddwn ni yn parhau i wylio hynny ac yn ei hadolygu hi’n ffurfiol, yn sicr, mewn blynyddoedd i ddod Mae Cadw hefyd yn cynhyrchu mapiau ar-lein, Cof Cymru, sy’n cynnwys lleoliad a disgrifiad pob safle cynhanesyddol sydd wedi’u diogelu yng Nghymru. Wedyn mae’r wybodaeth yma ar gael ac mae’n bosib cael gafael ynddyn nhw, ac mae’r cyngoróy nodyn technegol cynllunio cyntaf erioed ar gyfer yr amgylchedd hanesyddolówedi cael ei chyhoeddi mor ddiweddar ‚’r llynedd Mae’r gwaith yma yn digwydd, ac mae’r gwaith hyrwyddo yn parhau yn bwysig. Ac i’r pwrpas yma, rwyf i wedi dod ag anrheg fach i’r Aelod, sef y disgrifiad dwyieithog diweddaraf ar gyfer disgyblion ifanc o Lyn Cerrig Bach, Barclodiad y Gawres a Bryn Celli Ddu, ac, fel y gall yr Aelodau i gyd ei weld, mae yma ddarluniau hyfryd sydd yn atgynhyrchu’r cyfnodau Neolithig a chyn-Neolithig, ond peidiwch ‚ gofyn i mi eu gwirio nhw, ond maen nhw, yn sicr, yn hanesyddol yn gywir. Rydym ni’n ceisio creu brwdfrydedd ymhlith y genhedlaeth nesaf yn yr hanes hir yr ydym ni’n rhan ohoni, ac fe garwn i nid jest diolch i’r ymddiriedolaethau archeolegol ond hefyd i’r amgueddfa genedlaethol Mae’r datblygiadau aruthrol yn Sain Ffagan yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf sydd wedi dod i sefyllfa lle maen nhw wedi cael eu hail-agor yn swyddogol yn ddiweddar iawn. Mae’r orielau newydd yma’n rhoi statws clir ac amlwg i’r gwrthrychau cynhanesyddol o bob rhan o Gymru Nid ydy hi’n bosib i chi fynd i mewn i unrhyw un o adeiladau’r amgueddfa heb eich bod chi’n

sylweddoli bod hanes Cymru’n hen ac yn hir ac yn rhywbeth i ni i gyd ei barchu heddiw, ac rydw i’n ddiolchgar unwaith eto am y cyfle i drafod y fath bwnc yn ystod dadl yn y Cynulliad Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: Thank you. Item 8 on our agenda this afternoon is voting time. Unless three Members wish for the bell to be rung, I intend to proceed to that voting time. [Interruption.] Can three Members show that they want the bell rung? Okay, we’ll ring the bell. Thank you Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Well, I intend now, Members, to proceed to voting time. And the first vote this afternoon is on the Welsh Conservative debate on Welsh Government performance, and I call for a vote on the motion, tabled in the name of Darren Millar. If the proposal is not agreed to, we vote on the amendment tabled to the motion Open the vote. Close the vote. For the motion 12, five abstentions, 25 against. Therefore, the motion is not agreed Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: And I call for a vote on amendment 1, tabled in the name of Julie James. Open the vote Close the vote. For the amendment 25, five abstentions, 12 against. Therefore, amendment 1 is agreed Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: I call for a vote on the motion as amended Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: Open the vote. Close the vote. For the amended motion 25, five abstentions, 12 against. Therefore, the amended motion is agreed Y Dirprwy Lywydd / The Deputy Presiding Officer: Before we move to the debate on Stage 3 of the the Childcare Funding (Wales) Bill, I intend to suspend proceedings for 10 minutes The bell will be rung five minutes before we reconvene, and I would encourage Members to return to the Chamber promptly. Thank you

Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Galwaf Aelodau i drefn. Dyma ni, felly, yn cyrraedd Cyfnod

3 o Fil Cyllido Gofal Plant (Cymru). Mae’r grwp cyntaf o welliannau yn ymwneud ‚’r dyletswydd i ddarparu gofal plant a gyllidir Gwelliant 4 yw’r prif welliant yn y grwp yma ac rydw i’n galw ar y Gweinidog Plant, Pobl Hyn a Gofal Cymdeithasol i gynnig y prif welliant ac i siarad am y gwelliant hwn a’r gwelliannau eraill yn y grwpóHuw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch, Llywydd. I’m delighted to help open proceedings here on

the Stage 3 committee for this important Bill I’ve responded to calls from scrutiny committeesóthe Children, Young People and Education Committee and the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committeeófor a duty on the face of the Bill, and I’ve duly brought forward amendment 4 To give effect to this duty, the Welsh Ministers will need to state the detail around the number of hours of childcare and the number of weeks of provision in the regulations made under section 1. These regulations will be subject to the affirmative procedure. In practice, Government amendment 4 achieves exactly the same purposes as amendments 4A and 4B, but without the need for primary legislation to be amended by regulations, should it be necessary in future to vary the amount of childcare to be secured under section 1. Amendments 4A and 4B are seeking to nail things down on the face of the Bill I don’t think there’s any doubt out there about how committed this Government is to delivering on this manifesto commitment. We are already discharging our duty in 14 local authorities across Wales. If we can avoid the need to amend primary legislation by regulations and achieve the same purpose, I think that’s what we should do. And, for this reason, we will not be supporting amendments 4A and 4B, and I would urge Members to support instead Government amendment 4, which achieves exactly the same purpose Amendment 20 seeks to define what we mean by ‘childcare’ on the face of the Bill, by reference to other legislation. Now, we had a very useful discussion, which I’m thankful for, during Stage 2 proceedings, and I also met subsequently with colleagues Suzy Davies and Janet Finch-Saunders in early November to discuss this and related issues. What we mean by ‘childcare’ for the purposes of the offer is regulated childcare, which encompasses a wide range of different types of provision, subject to a set of national minimum standards, and which are regulated and inspected by Care Inspectorate Wales or the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills We already have definitions of ‘childcare’ in other pieces of legislation, so it is simply unnecessary to have this level of detail in the Bill itself But I agree that it is important that the link is made so it is clear what we are talking about when we talk of ‘childcare’. Now, the framework administrative scheme, which I have shared with the responsible committee, does make this connection explicit, and in there, we do define what we mean by ‘childcare’ The benefit of having the definition in there is that we can then more easily accommodate any changes should that be necessary in future whilst also ensuring that we are being transparent about the meaning of things. Thank you, Presiding Officer Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Thank you, Presiding Officer, for giving us a chance to speak on these amendments. As Welsh Conservatives, we welcome the introduction of the Bill and the childcare offer, as we always promised Welsh voters that they would have funding for childcare. It is very important, however, that we, as elected Members, ensure that no barrier to employment is present within our society, and helping parents with their childcare is indeed a key part of this pledge. As such, we do support the Minister’s principle behind amendment 4, which binds the Welsh Government to a duty to provide funding for childcare However, it is still disappointing that the Minster has failed to place the childcare offer on the face of this Bill Whilst it is admirable that the Minster wants to ensure future flexibility through regulations, both the explanatory memorandum and the draft administrative scheme place the numbers of 30 hours per week for 48 weeks per year. It is therefore important that the Bill has this amount on its face, which can, of course, then be changed at a later date. We also heard at Stage 2 that the Minister believes placing the offer on the face of the Bill would create more difficulties to change it in the future, but we contend that this allows for proper scrutiny of the offer’s effects. As will become clear throughout the amendments I’ve tabled at Stage 3, we have broader concerns that the Bill is not affording the National Assembly for Wales sufficient process to examine the effects Amendment 4B is a technical change, but it also creates a point that the amount should be specified as hours and weeks. The Welsh Government will fund the offer Finally, amendment 20, which my colleague Suzy Davies AM will speak about in more detail, shows that perhaps the statutory definition of ‘childcare’ extends further than was intended under this Bill, including the additional charges. I’ll speak about those under amendments 13 and 21

Suzy Davies AM: This Bill is called the Childcare (Funding) Wales Bill, and the Minister will be aware from amendments tabled in my name at Stage 2 that we’ve been, well, unhappy about the fact that we have yet another Swiss cheese Bill laid before us. While I’m grateful to you for tabling the amendment in this group, it doesn’t absolutely specifically put your policy from your manifesto, and indeed the policy from our manifesto, explicitly on the face of the Bill. So we are left with a Bill that still contains uncertainties, which I’ll address in later groups as well But a core uncertainty is the meaning of ‘childcare’ The Bill does not define it anywhere, and while you say, Minister, it may mean regulated childcare, it doesn’t say that in so many words in the Bill. I think it would be quite easy, really, for all of us to turn around and say, ‘Well, we know what you mean by “childcare” We don’t need a definition’, but it became very clear at Stage 2 that this wasn’t the case, and it wasn’t clear at all whether it included activity such as providing food, going on visits and so on. There is complete inconsistency at the moment about how or indeed even whether those activities are provided free of charge by childcare providers in Wales Minister, you argued at Stage 2 that there’s no need for a definition of ‘childcare’ as it’s contained in the administrative scheme accompanying the Bill, and you just mentioned that. Furthermore, to put it on the face of the Bill would hinder the ability of Governments to modify or update what we consider to be childcare over time. I’ll start with that second point This legislature is being asked to pass a Bill on what we understand to be the meaning of ‘childcare’ today. If you plan to change the meaning of a concept so fundamental to this Bill that it appears in its very title, then you should come back to this Assembly and ask us to agree to those changes. At the very least you should seek to bring any change to this Chamber through the affirmative procedure, because we are voting to allow you to spend taxpayers’ money in a very specific way, and if you want to change that, you must come back to this place and ask On the first point, about the need for a definition on the face of the Bill, as you say, the administrative scheme refers to childcare being defined as, and I quote, ‘care [or other supervised activity] for a child in respect of which the providers require to be registered under Part 2 of the Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 or under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006’ Section 18 of the latter, as it happens, contains a definition of childcare that includes non-school education and, crucially, and I quote again, ‘any other supervised activity for a child’ An administrative scheme is, of course, just thatósome helpful guidance. It is not statutory, it is not scrutinised. The Assembly has no say on its contents, so it’s not the place for a definition on which the whole purpose of a Bill, made by law in this Assembly, hinges And it’s purpose does hinge on it, and I’ll explain why in a moment The Minister is confident in the definition of ‘childcare’, obviously. It’s included in the administrative scheme because of that And we as a legislature should not be content with it changing without thorough scrutiny It is not appropriate to refuse to put the definition on the face of this Bill on the grounds of the need to be flexible about the definition of ‘childcare’. That’s what this Bill is actually about, so please put it on the face of the Bill if you’re confident in it, or at least define it on the face of the Bill by reference to those two other pieces of legislation. It’s hardly novel, if not in the spirit of the new, what can I call it, consolidation Bill, if the Counsel General will let me characterise it as that So, I’ve tabled this amendment because a definition of ‘childcare’ would undoubtedly improve the quality of the Bill. But in so doing, I recognise that this presents a huge headache for Welsh Government as regards the purpose of this Bill, namely to provide free childcare. If we adopt the definition, as the Minister is currently asking local authorities and providers to do via the administrative scheme, he’s accepting that, quote, ‘supervised activity’óproviding lunch, going on visits, et ceteraóare within the definition of ‘childcare’. And childcare, under this Bill, is intended to be free. There can be no charge for anything that constitutes childcare. But at Stage 2 you made it clear, Minister, that you saw what you thought was childcare and these activities, these supervised activities, as different things. The offer, you said, is not ’30 hours of childcare plus everything else together’, explaining that that could make the scheme unaffordableóand I agreeóbut I’m looking at the 2010 Measure and the 2006 Act, and they say that such activities are part of childcare. And you say that childcare is free So, this Bill needs to distinguish between activities that can be charged for and those that must not be charged for and must be free By referring to these two pieces of legislation in your administrative scheme, you’ve already muddied the waters by permitting charging for supervised activities If this amendment were to be moved and passed,

this definition would not facilitate your policy aim, yet you’re relying on that very definition for your policy to be delivered So, I hope you see my point: firstly, the definition in your administrative scheme needs to be changed so that it doesn’t contain contradictory guidance; and secondly, as this shows, this Bill does nothing to tell us what is free and what will not be freeófailing in one of its primary purposes So, I’m not going to be moving the amendment, because that would embed your mistake into law, but what I hope you will do before Stage 4 is come back to this Chamber and tell us how you will overcome that mistake and make it clear, in law that we can scrutinise, what exactly families can rely upon being free under the law and what not. Thank you Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweinidog i ymateb i’r ddadlóHuw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch, Llywydd. Thank you to Suzy and Janet for those comments and remarks and they rehearse some of the points that we covered in the meetings, but also at an earlier stage of this Bill as well I laid out in my opening remarks why I think what we have in front of us, particularly with amendment 4, gives the right balance between the clarity that we need on the face of the Bill and the duties, and the flexibility to flex the offer in future, which is something, I have to say, that committees have also wanted to see within thisóthe ability not to go back to primary legislation, but, actually, to revisit it in the way that the scheme operates, and that’s an important part in deciding where we put some of the details of this But let me just reiterate: in order to give effect to the duty that we’re proposing, we as Welsh Ministers, me or anybody else, will actually have to state the detail around the number of hours of childcare and the number of weeks of provision in the regulations made under section 1. And there’s no disguising what this offer is: it’s already out there being piloted in the early implementer authorities, in 14 local authorities at the moment, and all of them by time we roll it out. So, it’s pretty clear and the regulations will be subject to the affirmative procedure And on the question of childcare itself, well, as I said beforeóand we’ve covered this in committeeófor the purposes of the offer, this is regulated childcare, regulated and inspected childcare that comes under the inspectoratesówith Care Inspectorate Wales or with Ofstedóand I turn to those definitions that you mention of childcare in other pieces of legislation But in terms of issues such as where there are additional costs, whether it’s transport or other costs, I know we’ll turn to that in other amendments, and we’ve discussed them previously at Stage 2 and actually in committee as well, and we’ll deal with those there But we’re very clear in the guidance that we’ve issued, related to transport and other costs, exactly what is allowed and what isn’t allowed and what childcare is. To actually put a ‘childcare’ definition on the face of this Bill would put us in the situation where, if ‘childcare’ definitions elsewhere were to change, we would, by necessity, have to come back and revisit this in primary legislation Suzy Davies AM: Will you take an intervention? Huw Irranca-Davies AM: I will, indeed, yes Suzy Davies AM: Sorry, just for clarification So, are you saying then that the definition of ‘childcare’ in the 2006 Act is incorrect? Huw Irranca-Davies AM: No, no, the definitions of ‘childcare’ are actually correct, and what flows from this currently-being-piloted childcare offer, that definition is the basis of the ‘childcare’ definition that we use. And it also then has guidance that is supplementary to this, which has been shared with the committee as well, which shows where there are any additional costs, for example, what the guidance says around those. But childcare is childcare, and it’s very clearly understood and we don’t need to redefine it on the front of this Bill So, look, in bringing forward amendment 4, we’ve provided greater clarity and certainty about the Government’s commitment to meet its manifesto commitment, and I welcome the fact that you won’t be pushing the other amendments related to that because we’re trying to achieve the same thing here. And let’s not forget that the Welsh Ministers will be required, as I say, to set out the detail of the offer in detail, in terms of the number of hours, how many weeks, et cetera, in regulation So, amendment 4, alongside the other Government amendment, which builds into the Bill, Suzy and Janet, a requirement to review the effectiveness of the legislation, means that this Government is fully committed not only to the manifesto commitment, but also to transparency about the effectiveness of this offer as well And one important point, Llywydd, just to reflect on at the outset of these Stage 3 proceedings, is that it is important to reflect again on the purpose of this legislation Its purpose is to give the legislative mechanism we need to engage HMRC in administering the application and eligibility-checking process for the offer. It isn’t about the offer per se, although I recognise that Members understandably have focused a great deal on the wider offer more broadly throughout the scrutiny stages, and we’ve been happy to address those issues And as the responsible Minister, I’ve tried in every way possible to address those broader issues But, in respect of this set of amendments, I would urge Members in light of my comments to reject those other amendmentsóalthough if the Member is choosing not to push them, I think that would be excellent because we’re trying to achieve the same aim hereóand to support Government amendment 4 as the amendment that strikes that right balance between providing greater clarity and certainty, and giving

this and future administrations discretion over how that duty is defined in the future Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 4 yw’r prif welliant yng ngrwp 1. Fel gwelliannau i welliant 4, caiff gwelliannau 4A a 4B eu gwaredu yn gyntaf. Janet Finch-Saunders, gwelliant 4A Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 4A? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn felly i bleidlais electronig ar welliant 4A. Agor y bleidlais Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders, gwelliant 4B Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 4B? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais electronig Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 4B Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 4? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? Felly, derbynnir gwelliant 4 yn unol ‚ Rheol Sefydlog 12.36 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Sy’n dod ‚ ni at yr ail grwp. Mae’r grwp yma o welliannau yn ymwneud ‚ chymhwystra rhieni. Gwelliant 6 yw’r prif welliant. Galwaf ar Si‚n Gwenllian i gynnig y prif welliant ac i siarad am y gwelliant yma a’r gwelliannau eraill yn y grwp. Si‚n Gwenllian Si‚n Gwenllian AM: Diolch, Llywydd. Hoffwn ei gwneud yn glir o’r cychwyn cyntaf y bydd Plaid Cymru yn pleidleisio yn erbyn y Bil Cyllido Gofal Plant (Cymru), a hynny ar y sail ein bod ni’n credu yn yr egwyddor o ofal plant am ddim. Mae hyn yn gyson efo’r hyn a wnaethom ni yn ystod Cyfnod 1. Ond yr ydym ni wedi cyflwyno gwelliannau er mwyn ceisio cryfhau y Bil yn y gobaith bod modd iddyn nhw gael eu derbyn, hyd yn oed mor hwyr yn y dydd ‚ hyn Fe gyflwynwyd gwelliant 6 gan Blaid Cymru er mwyn ymestyn yr hawl i rieni mewn addysg neu hyfforddiant i ddod o dan y cynnig gofal plant, ac roedd gwelliannau 5, 9 a 10 yn dilyn o hynny. Mae’n gwelliant 8 ni yn ceisio sicrhau bod hawl i ofal am ddim i rieni sydd ddim yn gweithio hefyd yn dod o dan y Bil gofal plant. Rydym ni yn credu y dylid cynnig 30 awr yr wythnos o addysg gynnar neu ofal am ddim i bob plentyn rhwng tair a phedair oed, ac mi fyddai hynny’n sicrhau bod plant o bob cefndir yn cael y dechrau gorau mewn bywyd Rydym wedi gosod y gwelliannau yma er mwyn creu y newid pellgyrhaeddol sydd ei angen i’r cynllun gofal plant, yn unol ‚’n gweledigaeth ni, ac er mwyn rhoi’r cyfle i ni gyd bleidleisio dros ymestyn cynnwys y Bil yma. Efallai mai’r hyn sydd yn y Bil oedd ym maniffesto Llafur, ond roedd ein maniffesto ni ym Mhlaid Cymru yn mynd yn bellach, oherwydd bod ein ffocws ni ar fuddiannau bob plentyn, ac felly mae’n iawn ein bod ni’n dod ‚’r gwelliannau yma ger bron heddiw er mwyn anrhydeddu ein addewidion maniffesto ni Ond hyd os nad ydych chi’n credu mai gofal plant am ddim i bawb ydy’r ffordd ymlaen, rydym yn cyflwyno gwelliant 6 er mwyn rhoi cyfle i chi fynegi’r farn y dylid cynnwys rhieni mewn addysg neu hyfforddiant yn y Bil Mi fyddwn ni’n cefnogi gwelliant 11, er nad ydy o’n mynd mor bell ag yr hoffem ni, gan ein bod ni’n credu ei fod o’n dal i wella’r Bil Mae’n gwelliant 9 ni yn caniat·u cyfyngu’r Bil i rai sydd angen y ddarpariaeth am ddim, ac yn stopio’r rhai mwyaf cyfoethog rhag manteisio ar wasanaeth am ddim pan fod modd ganddyn nhw i dalu. Nid ydy hiín deg, ac nid ydy hiín gyfiawn, nad ydyír cynnig gofal plant yma yn darparu ar gyfer plentyn lle nad yw ei rieniín gweithio tra ei fod yn cynnig y ddarpariaeth i blentyn lle maeír ddau riant yn gweithio ac yn ennill £100,000 y flwyddyn Yn fy marn i, mae hynnyín wallus, mae yn anghyfiawn, ac mae o jest yn anghywir. Ac mi fyddai cynnig gofal plant Llywodraeth Cymru, fel y maeín sefyll ar hyn o bryd, yn cynydduír bwlch cyrhaeddiad addysgol Yn Ùl Coleg Brenhinol y Therapyddion Lleferydd ac Iaith, ar gyfartaledd, mae plant oír 20 y cant tlotaf ein cymdeithas dros 17 mis ar

Ùl plentyn oír grwp incwm uchaf o ran datblygiad iaith pan yn dair oed. Nid ydyír Bil yma yn mynd iír afael ‚ hynny, ac yn wir, mae perygl iddo waethyguír sefyllfa, gan y bydd plant lle nad yw un neu ddau riant mewn gwaith yn colli allan. Maeír comisiynydd plant yn ateguír farn honno, ac yn dweud, yn hollol glir, fe fydd plant sydd ddim mewn cyflogaeth yn mynd ar eu hÙl hi oíu cymharu ‚íu cyfoedionórheini, hynny yw, plant sydd ddim mewn cyflogaeth Mae hi yn cefnogi polisi gofal am ddim i bob plentyn tair i bedair oed, ac yn dweud ymhellach fod tystiolaeth gref, os ydych yn buddsoddi mewn addysg blynyddoedd cynnar a gofal plant o ansawdd uchel, yna byddwch yn gwneud gwahaniaeth sylweddol i gyfleon bywyd y plant oír cefndiroedd tlotaf. Os ydych chiín cefnogi ein gwelliannau ni heddiw yma, mi fyddwch chiín gwellaír ddeddfwriaeth ac yn creuír newid pellgyrhaeddol i fywydau plant sydd wir angen cefnogaeth Oes, mae yna gynlluniau eraill ar gael, ac rwyín siwr y bydd y Gweinidog yn cyfeirio at Gymruín Gweithio, cronfa ariannol wrth gefn addysg bellach, grant gofal plant addysg uwch, ac yn y blaen, ac yn y blaen. Ond, mae yna ddryswch. Nid ydy pobl yn gwybod eu bod nhwín gymwys ar gyfer y cynlluniau yma. Nid oes yna ddim sicrwydd y bydd y cynlluniau ymaín parhau os yw’r ffynonellau cyllid yn sychu i fyny. Ac i ni, maeín gwneud synnwyr llwyr i ddod ‚ír cyfan at ei gilydd mewn un cynllun syml lle mae pawb sydd yn gymwys, pawb sydd yn ffitioír meini prawf, yn hollol glir beth ydy eu hawliau nhw, yn hytrach na rhyw ddryswch fel sydd yn digwydd ar hyn o bryd. Diolch Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Amendments 11 and 19 have been re-tabled from Stage 2, as we are also disappointed with the Minister’s responses about the exclusion of parents who are taking up training for employment from accessing the offer. During Stage 1 of the Bill, there was strong opposition to the limitation of the Bill to working parents only, including concerns about the lack of an evidence base to limit the offer, as well as the exacerbation of achievement gaps and of it lacking in its potential to help prevent children in poverty from falling behind their peers early Now, although Plaid Cymru have tabled a very similar amendment, we believe that by limiting this offered to parents who are undertaking training for at least 16 hours a week for at least 10 weeks in an academic year means that Chwarae Teg’s concerns about extending it to a universal offer actually run the risk of spreading the offer too thin, and we need to see that addressed. Limiting the hours and weeks would further reduce administrative burdens. The processing of courses that last only several days or weeks would increase the burden of applications. The 10-week rule also allows for courses that run to an academic term to be used. However, we do support Si‚n Gwenllian’s amendment 10, as we would also want to define ‘prescribed’ The Minister’s responses so far have just been to repeat the huge array of projects to help parents back into work. However, we remain of the belief that the Welsh Government’s insistence on limiting some of these existing projects to parents’ postcodes is concerning While the Minister committed to bring a piece of work to committee on these programmes of support, this does not address the significant gap already present in the provision of free childcare. For example, Flying Start has been criticised by the Children, Young People and Education Committee this year because it misses nearly two-thirds of children who do live in poverty. And how many times do we speak up on behalf of our children in poverty here in this institution? But they are outside very limited Flying Start areas. The Parents, Childcare and Employment programme is also set to end in 2020. Therefore, it will not cover parents seeking help with childcare before the national programme for free childcare is in place So, it seems that whilst both the Cabinet Secretary for Education and the Minister have indicated their support for extending the offer, they are not supporting the opportunity to do so through this amendment. Moreover, the early implementer evaluation has noted that 60 per cent of the parents they interviewed said that the offer had provided them with more opportunities for in-work training and learning opportunities. We, therefore, believe

that this aspiration should be extended to parents who are actively looking for work through education and training, and I ask all Members to support this amendment Temporary exemption periodsóamendment 17óagain, we’ve had to retable amendment 17 to highlight our concerns about the reliance of the Minister on the non-statutory administrative scheme to deliver this part of the offer. The amendment covers parents who temporarily drop out of the current eligibility through providing a grace period. We are concerned that despite the calls of the CYPE committee, NASUWT and Chwarae Teg to include this within the Bill, the Minister’s responses during Stages 1 and 2 have not been strong enough. By again relegating this incredibly important area to the non-statutory administrative scheme, the National Assembly for Wales does not have the opportunity to debate and discuss how it can operate smoothly on a national basis Furthermore, in order to ensure that the pilot areas’ provisions are smoothly rolled out on a national basis, parents should be made aware of the Welsh Government’s intentions on the face of the Bill. So, Members, please support this amendment Finally, on amendment 22óthis requires a definition of ‘care’ to be included within regulations made under section 1. As Suzy Davies will provide more detail about, it is concerning that the Welsh Government has left so much detail outside of the Bill’s application, to the extent that some of its sections are rendered actually meaningless Therefore, we recommend that, at the very least, ‘care’ is defined clearly within secondary legislation made under the Bill so we know who will benefit from the offer. Thank you Suzy Davies AM: The Bill, of course, is aimed at getting parents of children of non-specified age into work or keeping them in work by introducing a non-specified period of funded childcare, and, naturally, it needs to be clear what constitutes a ‘parent’, which it does successfully in section 1(7)(a) by reference to parental responsibility as defined in the Children Act 1989, and then less successfully at 1(7)(b) by including, I quote, ‘any individual who has care of the child’ Now, what is ‘care of a child’? I mean, however, in my view, incoherent the Government’s definition of ‘childcare’ might be, ‘care’ clearly means something else here, as parents are the ones who benefit from others supplying childcare Now, it doesn’t include corporate parenting, as it refers to an individual having care of the child. Does it mean a foster parent, official or unofficial? What does an individual have to do to prove that they have care of the child? I think this subsection is pretty meaningless as it is, and this amendment allows the Minister a way to give it meaning, although I still think it should have been clear on the face of the Bill If he intends not to recommend support for this amendment, I just ask you, Minister, to explain how you intend to remedy this weakness, bearing in mind there’s nothing in the Bill at the moment that obliges you to bring forward regulation in order to clarify the position I don’t think your simple assurance will be satisfactory, unless it’s backed by a commitment and a timetable to fix this problem. When will you bring forward a regulation? Because I don’t think an explanation of ‘flexibility’ is going to work on this one either, because we will all want to know who can claim that they exercise care. Thank you Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Galwaf ar y Gweinidog Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch eto, Llywydd Thank you very much First of all, let me just begin by saying this childcare offer is very clear on what it’s doing. I think some of the discussion here is what is set out on the face of the Bill in primary legislation and what is set out in regulations or in schemes of operation and so on. This Bill is actually very narrow Just to repeat it: it’s the mechanism that sets up the operation of the HMRC to discuss eligibility of parents to apply for the childcare offer. However, I would simply sayóand in response to Si‚n’s ambitions for what a childcare offer may look like, what an early years offer might beóthere are always discussions around where we go in the future, but I would simply say: for want of the perfect, do not throw out what is the very good. Because the early implementer responsesóthe year 1 response to thisóshowed how successful this has been and how well it’s been regarded, and the fact that it’s putting £200 to £250 in households, some of whom are on the lowest wages as wellóso this is working, it’s effective. But I understand the aspirations to do more in future and so on, and many of us have articulated those aspirations for what we do in future, but this childcare offer is very clear, the Bill is very narrow. However, some of this discussion

is around what’s on the face of the Bill and so on. Let me just turn to this: the majority of the amendments in this group, particularly amendments 6, 11, 8 and 5 and consequential amendments 19 and 10, relate to the eligibility criteria for the offer and are closely aligned with some of the responsible committeeís recommendations about opening up the scope of the offer to parents in training and education Now, we debated this at quite some length at Stage 2 proceedings, and very recently, in fact, I wrote to the Chair and members of the Children, Young People and Education Committee outlining the various schemes available to parents that are outside of the parameters of this offer So, let me just briefly remind all Members of that. There are a range of other programmes already in place to provide support to other categories of parent. This includes the parents, childcare and employment programmeóPaCEóFlying Start, work-based learning support for non-employed learners, the financial contingency fund for individuals attending further education, and the childcare grant to students in higher education. PaCE is £13.5 million of Welsh Government and European social fund project funding. It targets its services to economically inactive parents right across Wales who consider childcare to be the main barrier for them accessing training or employment opportunities And since July, it’s worked with over 3,400 parents and it’s helped 1,100 of those into work. Five hundred and ninety parents have received financial support through PaCE for their children to access registered childcare This has enabled those parents to undertake training, work experience, volunteering, and to increase confidence and employability skills, which have improved their chances of moving into employmentó[Interruption.]. I will in a moment, Si‚n. It has also paid over £400,000 in childcare costs, not only supporting parents to prepare for work, but helping them make the transition into employment for the first few weeks, and, as I outlined in the letter, discussions are ongoing with the Welsh European Funding Office regarding extending the PaCE project beyond 2020. And the evaluation findings we have as part of this childcare offer will form part of that consideration. Si‚n Si‚n Gwenllian AM: Rydw i jest eisiau gwybod faint o’r cynlluniau yma sydd yn rhai statudol a faint sy’n ddibynnol ar ffynonellau ariannol tymor byr? Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Well, I just mentioned in terms of PaCE, we’ve gone actually beyond where we might be reasonably expected to go, because we’re actually looking at extending now beyond 2020, beyond the current tranche of funding, and we’re actively engaged in that. But that, of course, is not the only one. We also have Flying Start, for example, that provides quality childcare to parents of eligible two and three-year-olds for two and a half hours a day, five days a week for 39 weeks. And there is work ongoing within Government to look at, beyond the 10 per cent that we actually modified this year to extend on the flexibility with Flying Start, what we can do beyond that as well. So, those discussions are ongoing The financial contingency fund provides help to students in further education who need help with childcare costs. In 2016-17, 901 awards were made to student parents in FE to help with childcare costs, amounting to £2.7 million, and there are others that I laid out in the letter as well. But we will need to keep this provision firmly in our sights to make sure that it is in place alongside this offer, not as part of this offer So, whilst I’m very sympathetic to all the challenges that all parents, whatever their circumstances, face in accessing affordable childcare when they need it, I have said all along that this offeróthis offeróis specifically targeted at the working parents of three and four-year-old children Now, the purpose of amendment 9 is to ensure the inclusion of the upper earnings cap within the regulations, detailing the conditions parents must meet to be considered eligible for the offer. I shall not be supporting this amendment, because this amendment makes no difference in terms of practical effect from what we have in the Bill already, and I don’t, therefore, consider it necessary. The upper earnings threshold is a fundamental part of the eligibility criteria and, as such, details of the cap will have to be specified in regulations under section 1óthis is rehearsing the same debate we had beforeóin order for the eligibility checks to be made. And in response to the actual cap, we can in future, Si‚n, actually amend the cap if we wanted to, but there are genuine questions here on the commitment to roll this offer out by 2020 in full across Wales, and the demand that there is to do that, I have to say, as well Aligning this with the current HMRC offer that is currently there makes us able to deliver it with less risk on time, in cost, and to get it up and running. In future, we can indeed, based on the evaluation findings, come back and look at this again, and if we decide as Assembly Members that we want to drop it to 80 or 60óand by the way, we’ve done some of this initial analysis and scoping and there are issues of cost-benefit analysis, how much it would cost to do that, and how much you save by doing itólet me just remind you, as I’ve said before in committee, over 60 per cent of those who are receiving this childcare

in its early implementer phases are below the median wage. This is not leading to the sort of abuse that we’ve heard talked about of the system, where people are living in their swimming pool mansions and so on and are using this. It is people who are on low earnings who are accessing this, and it’s helping them actually extend their hours in work and so on Now, the purpose of amendment 17 is to ensure the inclusion of details regarding temporary exemption periods within the regulations under section 1(2). A temporary exemption period is that period of time a person would continue to benefit from the offer despite falling out of eligibility. Now, I provided a note and I’ve spoken with the committee on this before as well. I provided a note to the responsible committee during Stage 1. I’ve had further discussions with Suzy and Janet on this, and I’m disappointed I haven’t been able to assure them, despite the fact that we have that period already in place with the offer that deals with that very issue. I still think that the administrative scheme is the best place for administrative matters such as this. That isn’t to say I don’t want Assembly Members to have any say on these issues, and I’ve actually offered to bring the scheme forward to the CYPE committee in the spring so we can discuss it further. So, on this basis, we will not be supporting amendment 17 Amendment 22 seeks to define what’s meant by ‘care’ in regulations. We’ve just touched on this. We debated this at Stage 2, and, as I said at the time, I don’t see what’s to be gained by defining under regulations under this Bill what’s meant by ‘care’. Subordinate legislation under section 1 will detail very clearly the conditions a parent or a partner of a parent will need to meet in order to qualify for funding under this offeróand this covers parents and guardians who are acting in loco parentis such as kinship carers or foster carers I would urge Assembly Members not to support amendments 6, 11, 8, 19 and 10, which are around widening the scope of this Bill to include parents in training and education It’s absolutely right that we have that in place, but it’s outwith this offer. In addition to writing to the responsible committee about the range of schemes I’ve described already in place to support different categories of parents, I have also asked my officials to look at how best we can draw all of this together and improve the communication around it so that it is clearer to people, whatever their circumstances, what help they can access to support their childcare needs. So, I won’t be supporting amendment 9, as it is, we deem, unnecessary I think that concludes, Llywydd. Diolch yn fawr Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Si‚n Gwenllian i ymateb i’r ddadl Si‚n Gwenllian AM: Jest yn ffurfiol i fynd ar Ùl y pwynt ynglyn ‚’r holl gynlluniau eraill ymaómae’r rhain yn creu’r dryswch rhyfeddaf i bobl, nid ydy pobl yn gwybod amdani nhw, ac, i mi, mi fyddai o’n gwneud synnwyr cyffredin i ddod ‚’r cwbl at ei gilydd fel bod pawb sydd efo plant o oed tair a phedair oed yn gallu cael yr hawl, wedyn, i gael gofal am ddim Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 6? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais electronig Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid wyth, neb yn ymatal, 35 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 6 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 11. Janet Finch-Saundersógwelliant 11? Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn: yw a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 11? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais electronig Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 11 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y grwp nesaf o welliannau yw’r grwp ar ddarpariaeth gofal plant Cymraeg Gwelliant 7 yw’r prif welliant a’r unig welliant yn y grwp. Rydw i’n galw ar Si‚n Gwenllian i gynnig ei gwelliant ac i siarad iddo. Si‚n Gwenllian Si‚n Gwenllian AM: Diolch yn fawr. Mae gwelliant 7 Plaid Cymru yn ymwneud ‚ sicrhau bod y Gweinidog yn rhoi sylw dyledus i’r iaith Gymraeg ym maes gofal plant. Mae cychwyn ar addysg Gymraeg, neu ofal plant cyfrwng Cymraeg, o oedran cynnar, yn hanfodol er mwyn cyrraedd at y miliwn o siaradwyr, ac, yn wir, mae’r Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg, ym mis Gorffennaf eleni, wedi cadarnhau hynny, ac mae argymhelliad 37 gan y pwyllgor yn gofyn i’r strategaeth miliwn o siaradwyr a’r Bil gofal plant gael eu hintegreddio Rydw i yn falch bod y Llywodraeth wedi ystyried y darn yma o waith gan Gomisiynydd y Gymraeg

ar ddarpariaeth gofal plant ac addysg blynyddoedd cynnar cyfrwng Cymraeg, a gafodd ei gyhoeddi flwyddyn yn Ùl, a bod yna ychydig o gynnydd wedi cael ei wneud. Mi wnaeth yr adroddiad yma ganfod mai Saesneg yw prif iaith 77 y cant o ddarparwyr gofal plant, efo 13 y cant yn Gymraeg, a 10 y cant yn ddwyieithog. Mi ddywedodd yr adroddiad yma nad oedd cynlluniau pendant na chadarn ynglyn ‚ sut i integreiddio’r cynllun 30 awr a gweledigaeth 2050. Ac oes, mae yna rywfaint o gynnydd wedi bod, ac oes, mae yna, diolch i bwysau gan Blaid Cymru, arian wedi cael ei glustnodi ar gyfer 40 o brosiectau newydd drwy’r Mudiad Meithrin, ond 40 o brosiectau ar draws Cymruónid yw hynny ddim yn llawer. Ac, yn sicr, nid yw’n mynd i fod yn gwneud y daith tuag at y miliwn o siaradwyr. Rhyw gynnydd bach iawn ydy hynny Felly, rydw i yn gwybod bod gan y Gweinidog gydymdeimlad ‚’r hyn rydw i yn ei ddweud, ac mi fyddaf i’n gwrando’n astud ar ei sylwadau fo rwan, ac yn gweld union beth mae o’n fodlon ei roi ar y record. Diolch Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweinidog i siaradóHuw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch, Llywydd, a diolch, Si‚n, hefyd. Can I just thank you for the constructive discussions that I’ve had with you, and also with Llyr as well, previously on this issue? And we do indeed have a great deal of sympathy with the spirit of the amendments that have been moved and we welcome, actually, the opportunity to put on record some of the things that we can do to achieve exactly that, and Membersóif they’re content to bear with me, because I think it’s important to lay out the scope of where we can go with this The starting point is we absolutely agree that increasing the availability of Welsh-medium childcare in the round is vital if we’re going to achieve our ambition of Cymraeg 2050, and we need to find a way to make this happen Now, the amendment that you have is slightly different in the drafting from the earlier amendment that was tabled at Stage 2, and the focus has moved slightly from placing the duty on the Welsh Ministers to meet the Welsh language needs of children accessing the offer to ensuring that the importance of the Welsh language is considered in the provision of childcare under subsection 1 of the Bill. Now, this is helpful in getting us to debate this now, but, actually, the amendment is, in its drafting, slightly ambiguous in terms of its purpose and its effect, and I’ll come to that in a moment. It’s not ideal as an amendment, but I think you’ve put it there in order to get to this debate and I welcome it I fully support the objective, and that’s why I appreciated the opportunity to discuss these issues with Si‚n and Llyr. Now, I would suggest, however, that the best way of achieving these objectives is to actually bring some additional energy and focus to the mechanisms that we have in place rather than by creating a new duty in this Bill Now, we’ve already got duties on local authorities in terms of the planning and the delivery of provision across the early years. Under the Childcare Act 2006, local authorities mustóand I repeat mustóhave regard to the needs of parents for childcare involving the Welsh language in ensuring the sufficiency of childcare provision in their areas I’m going through some of the things that are in place before I move on. Under the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013, local authorities are required to set out, in their Welsh in education strategic plans, the WESPs, how they’ll improve both the planning of provision for and the standards of Welsh-medium education in their area. But, again, we know the reality is that there isn’t enough Welsh-medium capacity and this is why, as a Government, we are actually now investing, as we speak, in the expansion of the Welsh-medium childcare sector, in Welsh language training for the childcare sector, and, importantly, in greater data collection and analysis around the demand for and the capacity to provide more Welsh-medium childcare Now, through the early implementation of this offer, we are testing further where the gaps exist and, from this, where we can look to work with the sector and with partner and umbrella organisationsónot just one, but all of themóto build the capacity of this market. We will continue to monitor parent intention to access and, actually, take up Welsh-medium provision, and we’ll consider this, by the way, in year 2 of the independent evaluation. Part of this is based on the feedback that we’ve had from committee members and from the discussions that we’ve had Now, in the meantime, back in September, the Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning announced £46 million, allocated from the Welsh-medium capital grant and childcare offer capital grantóthe two of themóto support the growth in Welsh-medium education. Now,

actually pulling those together and encouraging local providers and local authorities to access them in that joined-up way shows that cross-Government approach we need to deliver the objectives that we have for the Welsh language. Now, this grant on its own will support some 41 projects across 16 local authorities. It’ll create just short of 3,000 school and childcare places for Welsh-medium learners, and that’s what we wantóthat smooth pathway all the way through there Now, back in the summer, I also announced, in light of discussions we were having, a £60 million capital grant programme across the years of 2018 to 2021. A key aim of this programme is to support the expansion of Welsh-medium provision in line with the Cymraeg 2050 strategy As a Governmentóyou mentioned, Si‚n, Mudiad Meithrinówe’ve also awarded Mudiad Meithrin an extra £1 million a year over the next two years to help establish new settings in areas where there is a lack of Welsh-medium provision, to fill in some of those gaps The first group of the new settings are due to open during this academic year, and we’ve committed to increasing the number of Welsh-medium nursery groups by 150 over the next decade And as we discussed, by the way, at our recent meeting, it is really encouraging to see increasing numbers of local authorities bringing together, now, different strands of funding and doing some joined-up thinking of their own on how they actually enhance and expand early years childcare and education in a joined-up way We would encourage that as a Government in the way that we put our funding together, and put our incentives together But, in addition, there is an advisory board currently looking at WESPs, and it’s been considering how to strengthen the links between the planning of Welsh-medium childcare provision and statutory education, using the data derived from the childcare sufficiency assessments Iíll be keen to see to what effect this data can be used to strengthen Welsh-medium provision Specifically, we believe there is scope to do more to establish a clear link between a local authorityís childcare sufficiency assessment and how that information is used to plan for Welsh-medium early education It is importantóI put on recordóthat local authorities view the growth of the Welsh language through a long-term lens, starting with the very youngest children. I will explore further with the Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning how we can encourage local authorities to more actively respond to what their assessments are telling them about gaps and supply issues in their area in respect of the Welsh language Now, amendment 7, if passedóand this is where the ambiguity and the narrowness of it causes problemsówould only relate to childcare provision under this offer: that is, childcare for the qualifying children of working parents, as described by the offer. It wouldn’t be relevant to childcare provision more broadly, and that’s a flaw in the amendment. I know it’s not an intentional flaw, but it actually narrows what we should be aiming to do with Welsh-medium childcare. I would argue that looking at the connections that can be made between existing assessments of sufficiency and plans for the future provides a much more strategic way forward that is broader but also deeper as well And, on that basis, with those remarks, I would urge Si‚n and fellow Assembly Members to work with us in identifying and using the most powerful levers I’ve described, not only to support the spirit behind this amendment, which has an element of ambiguity around it, but actually deliver our shared ambition for the Welsh language as we go forward. I hope those remarks are reassuring to you, Si‚n, in our openness to continue to work on this, to look at what we are evaluating from the roll-out, and to use all the levers at our disposal in the way that we look at the join-up between Welsh-medium education and childcare, and the way that we use WESPs and the way that we use funding streams to actually drive local partners and local authorities to enhance and expand Welsh-medium childcare Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Si‚n Gwenllian i ymateb Si‚n Gwenllian AM: Dim diolch Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 7? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Torri ar draws.] Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Object. I think, if I understood that speech correctly, you were objecting Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Yes. [Laughter.] Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Symudwn felly i bleidlais electronig. Agor y bleidlais. Cauír bleidlais O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 7 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Grwp 4 ywír grwp nesaf o welliannau, syín ymwneud ‚ chludo rhwng darparwyr. Gwelliant 12 ywír prif welliant, yr unig welliant. Rydw iín galw ar Janet Finch-Saunders i gynnig y gwelliantóJanet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Diolch, Presiding Officer. Amendment 12 has been re-tabled from Stage 2. It is imperative that Ministers are

under an obligation to deliver the childcare offer free from potential barriers. During Stage 1, the Children, Young People and Education Committee was made aware of concerns by a number of organisations about moving children between sites that provide the offer and sites that provide early years education. Both Estyn and the Welsh Local Government Association have realised that it is important to investigate the transportation of children, with some partnership working being undertaken in parts of Wales. Yet Estyn have admitted that they were not observing the movement of children from one site to another, and the Minister’s evidence at Stage 1 clearly showed a patchy picture of transport for children across Wales Either parents were organising their own handovers or some childcare providers were simply finding ways to link up with different settings The Minister himself also noted that there should be a focus in future on increasing co-location and collaboration in maintained and non-maintained settings. At Stage 2, he confirmed this position by maintaining that he wanted to increase significantly the proportion of childcare delivered in co-located premises, yet refused the amendment on the basis that placing a duty on Welsh Ministers was not necessary to tackle the issue. It is welcome that the Minister has confirmed additional research questions on the evaluation of year 2 of the pilot schemes to further examine the matter, as well as promised to consider transportation with the evaluation of national roll-out of the offer. However, we believe that this does not go far enough, especially due to the recommendation outlined in the first year’s evaluationóspecifically, the evaluation of year 1 recommends that further consideration needs to be given to the alignment between the provision of childcare and the delivery of foundation phase nurseries. This could include transport to and from settings It is further recommended that closer working relationships may be required between foundation phase nurseries and childcare providers who are delivering the offer As such, it is important that Welsh Ministers are under a duty to oversee these recommendations so as to prevent further barriers for parents to access the childcare offer. Therefore, we ask the Assembly to support this motion Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweinidog, Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch, Llywydd. Just in opening, I think it is important to remind ourselves that this isn’t something new; it’s not arising as a result of the offer. It’s not uncommon nowóand I, as a parentóto receive education and childcare in different places and to make arrangements in terms of transport The need to transport children is not something that arises in every setting, however, or in every part of Wales. But it is a feature of the services provided in some locations, and, in part, it’s arisen as a result of the history of the sector and market pressure Childcare providers are sometimes responding to what parents are asking for. It’s important to remember that sometimes parents may want or need to use more than one provider for different parts of the offer or different parts of childcare. Think of parents who work, for example, late or early shifts, or even on weekends. So, it is important that we are committed to ensuring that there is still sufficient flexibility within both the sector and in the offer to accommodate their needs as well But look, let me make it clear that I’ve said all along that I will take steps wherever I can to ensure that this offer is as seamless as possibleóI repeat that todayófor the benefit of parents and for children. Now, as I said during Stage 2, I don’t think that placing a duty on the Welsh Ministers to minimise the impact of transporting children between providers on the face of the Bill is the way to tackle this issue. It often arises as a result of those local or specific family circumstances, which are outside the remit and the power of Government. But, at the request of Members, I’ve asked my officials to add research questions that cover specifically the issue of transportation to the independent evaluation of year 2, and I hopeó. Janet, I can see you nodding there I hope you’ll welcome that. And I’ll consider this again as part of the review of the national roll-out as well The evaluation of year 2 of early implementation will include in-depth interviews and an online census survey of parents and providers, and we’ll ask parents whether they have issues accessing the offer that relate to either transport or wraparound care, and we’ll ask parents whether they perceive any transport or wraparound care their child receives to be having a positive or negative effect, and I would sayóbecause I’ve visited a lot of these settings, some of them where they’re co-located, some where they are moving betweenóand, for some of the parents, it is exactly what

they want. So, we shouldn’t be trying to stamp out diversity. But I think having more co-location provides a much more seamless offer. Now, providers in the survey will also be asked about demand for provision, including transport and wraparound care, any challenges they might have in providing this, and their perception of whether this has a positive or negative impact on the children in their care Now, as I said, I fully appreciate this situation has arisen not out of the blue. It’s been there for years. It’s, in part, because of the way we historically approach education and childcare, and because, in some parts of Wales, early education can only be accessed in specific settings. Now, this is something that I and the Cabinet Secretary for Education have discussed and we’re keen to address So, we issued revised guidance to local authorities in September, making it clear that we want to see more flexibility in the delivery arrangements for early education. If we allow more childcare providers to offer this, this should increase the options for single-site provision, which is exactly, I think, what you’re trying to achieve here, as I am. And, alongside this, in July, I announced a £60 million capital grant programme spread over the three years until 2021, and one of the primary purposes of this funding is to facilitate and support the co-location of early education and childcare provision wherever possible. This is in line with our ‘Prosperity for All’ commitment to introduce a new model of community learning centres, providing extended services with childcare, parenting support, family learning, community access to facilities built around the school day. It’s where we’re heading And I’ll be able to share more information with the committee about the outcome of that grant programme early in the new year Through guidance, the sharing of good practice, and using the financial levers we have at our disposal with things like the capital fund, we’re encouraging local authorities and providers to think innovatively about how they might be able to deliver the offer There are many good models out there. In fact, I’ve offered to members of the committee to identify those for them and even to arrange for them to go out and see them. Now, in light of those comments that I’ve made to monitor the impact of transporting children as part of the evaluation of year 2, of a more strategic approach to reducing the need for transportation between settings, to greater co-location, more innovative solutions, we will not be supporting amendment 12, and I would ask other Members to do the same Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders to respond Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Diolch, Llywydd I seriously do welcome the fact that you are warming to the idea that co-location and, sort of, better transportation are the way forward, but if I could just ask, as part of the research you say you’re going to be carrying out, for you to look at the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee evidence that was taken from a number of mothers returning to work after maternity. They were very loud and clear that they were finding it a struggle nowóthose who could actually take up the childcare schemeóthey were finding it very difficult to move between providers So, I think there is a problem that exists there, and I would just, again, reiterate the concerns we’ve raised and ask that you do, in fact, show some willingness on your part and support us now on this amendment Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 12. A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symud i bleidlais electronig, felly. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais O blaid 17, neb yn ymatal, 26 yn erbyn. Felly, gwrthodwyd gwelliant 12 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y grwp nesaf yw grwp 5. Mae’r grwp yma o welliannau’n ymwneud ‚ ffioedd ychwanegol a chyfraddau talu. Gwelliant 13 yw’r prif welliant yn y grwp yma. Rydw i’n galw ar Janet Finch-Saunders i gynnig y prif welliant ac i siarad iddo ac i’r gwelliannau eraill yn y grwp. Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Diolch, Llywydd During Stage 2 of the Bill’s proceedings, we highlighted the inconsistencies between the Welsh Government’s aim for the Bill to reduce barriers to employment through the childcare offer and the technical nature of the Bill. Nowhere is this more evident than the additional charges for snacks and consumables, which we believe will still present an added barrier for parents, particularly those on low incomes, to fully access the offer. Ultimately, this actually contradicts the primary aims of the Bill, as outlined within the explanatory memorandum, so we have re-tabled amendments 13 and 21. I again note that the Welsh Government guidelines within the pilot areas allow childcare providers to charge fees to parents of up

to £37.50 per week, amounting to £7.50 per day, based on the cost of three meals a day So, for parents who take up the full offer, this would mean finding an extra £1,800 a year. Not only do Welsh employees have the lowest take-home pay in the UK, but those in receipt of benefits eligible for free school meals do have extremely low incomes, meaning this is simply unaffordable Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Despite the Minister’s assurance at Stage 3 that, in reality, parents who take up the offer would, weekly, receive 15 to 20 hours of childcare, meaning a maximum additional charge of £13.25 per week, this still adds up to £636 per year. Therefore, we still support the position of Care Inspectorate Wales, which noted that additional charges could make the offer unaffordable for some families who are on low incomes We’ve also heard emerging evidence that, in one pilot area, some childcare providers had started to charge parents when they had not done so previously. The Welsh Government’s own evaluation of the offer has shown that 15 per cent of childcare providers interviewed had introduced additional charges as a result of this offer. Worse still is that some childcare providers whose fee was higher than the £4.50 per hour provided by the offer have even introduced additional charges to make up for a shortfall in revenue Now, obviously, we welcome the Minister’s responses at Stages 2 and 3, which stated that guidance on additional charges would be revised to strengthen the Welsh Government’s position ahead of national roll-out. It is also significant that the draft administrative scheme includes references to new guidelines for local authorities on additional charges, and we note the Welsh Government’s efforts in warning providers not to charge top-up fees for three to four-year-olds, with the threat of removal from the offer if this is breached. However, we still remain concerned that the definition of ‘childcare’ so heavily relied upon by the Minister within the draft administrative scheme, which has been ably described in more detail by my colleague Suzy Davies AM, actually includes supervised activities Charges for these, we argue, should therefore be paid for under the offer. Furthermore, the first evaluation for early implementers has clearly shown that providers who have introduced additional fees are actually unaware that applying charges in this way is not part of the Welsh Government guidance. The evaluation also notes that, in some cases, the additional charges actually replace some of the affordability barriers that the offer aims to remove Whilst the draft administrative scheme mentions that additional charges may not be imposed for the provision of funded childcare, the ancillary charges are still present, meaning that there is a way for childcare providers to make up the difference. Nor are the guidelines provided, meaning that the National Assembly for Wales is currently unable to assess whether this could be prevented from happening. Therefore, I urge all Members here today to vote in favour of this amendment. Not only would you be being fair to parents on low incomes who are striving to cover childcare costs, but it would help to eliminate some of the barriers to employment that have, sadly, been incidentally caused by the offer Now, amendment 33 requests that the Welsh Government publish and monitor information relating to additional fees, including snacks As explained under amendment 13, charges for extra provisions can prevent some parents from taking up the offer and having to find up to £1,800 a year should they be charged full price for 30 hours a week, 48 weeks per year. Howeveróand this will be a running theme throughout the majority of these amendments I have tabledóall of the Minister’s assurances here are unable to be scrutinised or debated upon at a later stage by the National Assembly for Wales due to the fact that they are being left out of this Bill. We are re-tabling this amendment, as, by refusing it at Stage 2 on the basis of creating additional burdens on providers and local authorities, the Minister contradicted his own assertions at Stage 1 Moreover, the inclusion of guidelines on additional charges within the draft administrative scheme, as well as the fact that the Minister has said that he would take action if top-up fees are charged for three to four-year-olds by removing childcare providers from delivering the offer, suggests that monitoring of potential barriers will take place. Therefore, data

collection has to be used to underpin this The early indications from the Welsh Government’s own evaluation is that some childcare providers have admitted to charging additional fees since the offer was introduced, and we believe firmly that, as such, a duty to publish information is very necessary to ensure that a robust review is undertaken. Therefore, the Minister must provide this institution with the opportunity to see the data the Welsh Government will inevitably collect on additional charges, rather than simply relegating it to a possibility under the administrative scheme’s operation And I urge Members, again, to vote with your conscience and vote accordingly Amendment 32 requires the Welsh Government to publish and monitor the hourly rates paid for childcare and the foundation phase elements of the offer. As currently enacted, the Welsh Government’s 30-hour-a-week childcare offer is maintained on a dual streamóthe foundation phase nursery early years education and the childcare offerówith at least 10 hours a week to be funded by early years provision through local government revenue support grants Now, we heard during Stage 1 that a dual setting can create unintended consequences, such as transportation between the provider offering childcare and early years education However, of particular concern is that there is a huge difference between the hourly rates paid for non-maintained early years education and the rates the Welsh Government is intending to pay for the childcare offer, with the offer providing substantially more than what is paid to early years education and foundation phase nurseries. The offer grants providers with £4.50 per hour for childcare, which is much higher than the £1.49 to £3.50 per hour estimated by Cwlwm and the WLGA to be offered to early years providers. Therefore, it is clear that these variations could have a negative impact on early years education by crowding out providers. This has been borne out in the pilot stages by the evaluation Such variations could have a negative impact on early years educationósomething that was actually admitted to by the Minister at Stage 1. So, through such disparity in payment, the WLGA also stated to the Children, Young People and Education Committee that concerns had already been raised in pilot areas that early years education could become crowded out because of the childcare element of this offer I have re-tabled this amendment as the Minister’s assertion that it would be too onerous on Welsh Ministers does not outweigh the importance of scrutinising the impact of the offer on early years and foundation phase provision We are also aware of the Cabinet Secretary for Education’s promise at Stage 1, but we are looking closely at the possible impact on foundation phase provision, including structural and financial issues that might impact on effective delivery and the quality of provision The publishing of hourly rates, we still contend, is an important part of this evaluation. Thank you Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweinidog i gyfrannuóHuw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch, Llywydd. Let me say some important things at the outset First of all, in terms of the £4.50 an hour rate, the majority of providers considered when we got to this rate that that would be an appropriate and adequate hourly rate. In fact, the first year has actually shown that that is considered by providers an appropriate rate to provide childcare and as commercially viable Now, we have looked at the option of funding providers at a higher rate to cover some of the additional charges, but let’s be frank here, we immediately run into problems and questions about, within the funding envelope, either limiting the offer the to fewer parents or to less timeóthere is a choice to be made It’s been our intention, in designing the offer, to create a childcare offer that offers as much childcare as possible to as many parents as possible within the funding envelope available, and if I could shake that money tree and get the £800 million that we were short over the last decade, then maybe we’d have more to spend on this, and we could do even more again, and we could deal with the earlier suggestions by Si‚n Gwenllian, and so on We could do all those things, but we haven’t got it Huw Irranca-Davies AM: So, we note that a number of these amendments, or similar ones, were tabled during Stage 2. Amendment 13 and consequential amendment 21 relate to excluding

the parents of children who could potentially be eligible for free school meals from paying additional charges. I think we already have sufficient measures in place to safeguard parents against being unreasonably charged, and I would say this is very different from what is happening within the England offer So, we’ve issued very clear guidance to providers about additional charges, which Janet referred to. We’ve published guidance to local authorities as well on what the upper charging limit should be. This will help ensure that any charges being made are within a reasonable range, and it’s very different to that position in England, where there’s no upper limit We will published revised guidance to strengthen our position, learning from the early implementing period on additional charges ahead of national roll-out of the offer. So, we will learn, we will discuss it with the committee, with the Assembly, learning from the findings of the evaluation. Here, in our offers, providers must take accountómust take accountóof our guidelines on additional charges. We’ve said, for example, that parents must have the option of providing a packed meal rather than pay for a meal provided by the provider, and bear in mind some providers do not provide food or do not cook food on their premises, and so on. It varies from provider to provider Parents should also be able to opt their child out of paid-for off-site activities and participation in such activities. They cannot be compelled to take part and charged for it. Providers have also been told very clearly that they are not to charge parents any hourly top-up fees for three and four-year-olds who are accessing the services under the terms of offer. This is very different and much clearer in the guidance than in England. If a provider is found to be in breach of this agreement and is charging hourly top-up rates, we will take action. They could ultimately be removed from delivering the childcare offer. And we’ve also said to providers, Janet, that they should not be treating parents who are receiving childcare under this offer any differently from other parents accessing their services Providers should not charge parents who access this offer more for any additional elements than they charge parents who are not accessing the offer Now, I should say as well we should be careful now not to jump to conclusions at this very early stage in the offer’s implementation In reality, the number of hours of childcare from which a child will be benefiting under the offer is likely to range between 15 and 20 hours per week. In the worst-case scenario, where a child is benefiting from the full 20 hours of childcare per week, a parent should not be required to pay more than £15 per week in additional charges if providers are operating in line with the guidance from Welsh Government. It’s likely to be much less, actually, and that’s what we’re hearing. That’s what the first-year evaluation suggestedóthe majority of providers are not making charges at all there. Now, bear in mind this stands against parents who are telling us first hand, face to face, that they are saving because of the government-funded nature of this childcareó£200 to £250 a week they are better off because of the government-funded childcare Now, we will of course keep the issue of additional charges under reviewóregular review. But, from an evaluation of the early implementation, we know it’s only a small percentage of providers who are charging for extras. If we listen to the sector itselfófor example, what Cwlwm said in the response to the Stage 1 recommendationówe should not be telling providers what they can and cannot do in terms of additional charges So, there is a fine balance to be struck here Our guidance is very strong and explicit, but saying to them ‘no charges’, well, that has implications, and they wouldn’t go with that Now, in response to amendment 32, I can give assurances we will be publishing the hourly rate paid to providers in the administrative scheme, so we have every intention of being open and transparent about that. Amendment 33 would require the Welsh Ministers to publish an annual report on the additional fees charged to parents under the offer. Now, look, I’ve said I’m keen to monitor additional charges as we move forward, and I think this is something we can test sufficiently through our evaluation exercises. In this regard, I’d be very reluctant to support an amendment that places onerous, bureaucratic requirements on the Welsh Ministers where there is no benefit to the people that we serve within this offer. To produce annual reports on additional charges, for example, would be heavily reliant on third sector and third parties to provide the information to inform the reports, putting the bureaucracy on them as well as us, and we’d have no way of guaranteeing the accuracy or the reliability of the data So, I’m not prepared to support this group of amendments, on the basis that we are already taking all necessary actionóvery different from the England offeróto manage and monitor the issue of additional charges. We’re already planning to publish the hourly rate in the administrative scheme. The evaluation of the first year of implementation has recommended further guidance to providers to ensure a

consistent approach to charging for additional hours across all childcare settings, and this is something we’ll do. And we’ll also be reviewing our charging structure for the offer before full roll-out in 2020. So, on that basis, we may have a point of disagreement here, but I would urge Members therefore to resist this group of amendments Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders to respond Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Diolch, Llywydd Move to the vote, please Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 13? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais electronig Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Felly, gwrthodwyd gwelliant 13 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Si‚n Gwenllian, gwelliant 8, yn ffurfiol? Si‚n Gwenllian AM: Ie, yn ffurfiol Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 8? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Agorwn y bleidlais, felly Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 8 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y grwp nesaf o welliannau yw grwp 6, ac mae’r grwp yma yn ymwneud ‚ phlant cymhwysol. Gwelliant 14 yw’r prif welliant Rwy’n galw ar Janet Finch-Saunders i gynnig y prif welliant, i siarad iddo, ac i’r gwelliannau eraill yn y grwp. Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Diolch, Llywydd Amendments 14 and 18, brought forward from Stage 2, place the age of the qualifying child on the face of the Bill, and allows Ministers to change that age at a later date through regulation. While the explanatory memorandum and the draft administrative scheme clearly outline that three and four-year-old children would be entitled to free childcare, the Bill declines to place the age of the child clearly within its provisions, instead leaving it to secondary legislation While we understand the Minister’s point of view on flexibility, we believe it is still necessary for the Bill itself to be open and transparent about its application. We recognise that the Minister tabled an amendment at Stage 2 to say that funding will only be available to those under compulsory school age, and has clearly included the age within the draft administrative scheme. However, this brings us no further forward to a transparent piece of legislation, as it is again left to secondary legislation or non-statutory guidance Therefore, amendment 18 is somewhat of a compromise to the Minister’s wishes for future flexibility, allowing Welsh Ministers to change the age should evidence show that younger children need to access the offer. For example, evidence from the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee inquiry into parenting and employment highlights the need for the childcare offer to be extended to nought to two-year-olds, to ensure higher employment rates. They also found that the biggest barriers to employment were to parents who are seeking work soon after their first child is born. Although there are concerns about Henry VIII powers, this places the current aim clearly on the face of the Bill, while providing Welsh Ministers some flexibility to change the age at a later date, should evidence show further extension of the offer is needed Turning to amendment 15, my colleague Suzy Davies AM has ably outlined why we had to table these at Stage 2, and this sets out the reasoning why we will do so again at Stage 3. Essentially, this is about what actions the Welsh Government must take so that the Bill can even function, and, if they are not, would simply the Bill as an empty vessel There are duties here that Welsh Ministers must undertake to make the Bill work. As a result, we call on the Welsh Government to accept this amendment in the true spirit in which this was intended As to amendment 16, this is intended to ensure that whatever the eligibility requirements asked for by Welsh Government to apply for the offer are underpinned by giving parents information. Essentially, it’s about helping eligible parents for the offer to understand themselves what a qualifying child is. It is concerning that the Welsh Government is intending to set out regulations informing groups of people about their eligibility for a certain offer or grant without providing clear information as to what they need to bring along to evidence their claim. Thank you Suzy Davies AM: Members, amendment 15 simply introduces a duty on Ministers to introduce those regulations to define the age of children whose parents can then rely on this legislation

Despite the very welcome duty embodied in amendment 4, which actually commits Ministers to funding the childcare offer, the likely fall of our amendment 22 means that we are no nearer certainty on which parents will be eligible because we don’t know what ‘care’ means, and now, because we don’t know what qualifying children’ actually are. So, Welsh Government, of course, we know they can introduce the regulations to make this clear, but there is no obligation on them to do so. And for this Bill to be actually operable, functional, we need to have that age range, and so, we must have those regulations. So, if we don’t have the regulations, the Bill remains inchoate and unforcebale Amendment 16 also improves the subsection that helps us understand what a ‘qualifying child’ means. Section 1(7)(d) refers to a child who is the subject of a declaration made by virtue of, as yet, non-existent regulations And I think it could be possible on a generous interpretation actually for that subsection to function without regulations, but I really wouldn’t want to put money on it. So, if they are to be made, I think that they must includeó If they are to be made, the Bill already says they ‘may’ include a range of requirements to be met by a person making such a declaration The amendment here simply says that if regulations are introduced, placing such conditions on a person making a declaration, then they must also set out what that person needs to produce or prove, or say, to show that they have actually met those conditions. I don’t suggest what you might want to introduce by way of evidence, but, basically, I don’t think you should be placing legal requirements on people unless you’re clear how they can comply with those requirements. That’s all this says. The amendment protects parents or others from potential uncertainty about how this Bill affects them Thank you Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweinidog i gyfrannu Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch, Llywydd. Can I welcome the welcome we’ve just had for my Stage 2 amendment, even though it doesn’t appear to go quite far enough? Can I also welcome the fact that we got to group 6, before Henry VIII powers were mentioned within this Chamber. [Laughter.] Now, Government amendments were passed at Stage 2, placing more details about eligible children on the face of the Bill. These made it clear that eligible children must be below statutory school age, but provided the Welsh Ministers with the flexibility to set that specific age range within regulations Now, the Children, Young People and Education Committee made it very clear in our discussions that it doesn’t wish to close down the debate about the age of qualifying children. The Bill, I would argue, as drafted, gives us that flexibility to vary the age of qualifying children in future, should the evidence tell us that that is what we need to do, making amendments 14, 15 and 18 unnecessary and, in that way, unhelpful. But, furthermore, I’d argue that the Bill as drafted provides Welsh Ministers with the power to specify in regulations the type of information a person making a declaration may need to provide There is, therefore, no need to pass amendment 16 to allow for this to happen Now, the Stage 2 amendment was passed and the Bill, asó Suzy Davies AM: Will you give way? Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Indeed. I will give way Suzy Davies AM: Sorry, before we move onóthank you, Ministeróthe whole point is that if these regulations need to be introduced, the power isn’t strong enough; you should have a duty. That’s all that my amendments 15 and 16 were about Huw Irranca-Davies AM: I fully understand, but my argument, Suzy, is that they’re not actually necessary, because we’ve made clear the commitment to actually bring this forward, and there’s no doubt about that. But if I can just briefly turn to the amendment that we passed at Stage 2 deliberations, and the Bill as drafted, both now require that an eligible child be below statutory school age It allows the Welsh Ministers, provides the ability for Welsh Ministers, to set by regulations that age range. It allows us also to specify by regulations the type of information that parents should supply when making a declaration about a child’s eligibility. Now, I accept this is not the same as specifying exactly what information a person must supply, but being very specific about the nature of information to be supplied in regulations could indeed fetter HMRC in terms of what they can accept as proof of eligibility. And HMRCóit isn’t an accident that we’re using them, because they’re delivering the very similar offer across the border. So, saying to HMRC, ‘Well, if things change, we’re going to have to come back to our legislation and change it’, that seems the wrong balance Now, I don’t see what is added by these amendments, which seek to both specify a child must be three years of age to access the offer but provide the Welsh Ministers with the power to change that age, and require Welsh Ministers to include details of the information to be provided in support of a declaration in regulations So, I just don’t see that they are necessary beyond what we’re already doing and what we’ve committed to do. And on that basis, although I welcome the welcome you had for the amendment that we brought forward in Stage 2, I would urge Members to reject these amendmentsó14, 15, 16 and 18 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders

to respond Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Let’s move to the vote Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 14? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais, felly Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 13, neb yn ymatal, yn erbyn 30. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 14 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders, gwelliant 15 Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 15? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais electronig Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 13, neb yn ymatal, 30 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 15 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 9, Si‚n Gwenllian Si‚n Gwenllian AM: Yn ffurfiol Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 9? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais electronig Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid wyth, neb yn ymatal, 35 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 9 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 16, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 16? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais electronig Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 13, neb yn ymatal, 30 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 17, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 17? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 17 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 18, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 18? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais felly Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 13, neb yn ymatal, 30 yn erbyn. Ac felly gwrthodwyd gwelliant 18 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 19 sydd nesaf. Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Not moved Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Not moved Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 19 heb ei gynnig. Felly, rydym yn cyrraedd gwelliant 20. Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Not moved Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Also not moved Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 21, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: No? Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Moved? Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Yes, sorryómoved [Laughter.] Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Amendment 21 is moved Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 21? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 21 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Si‚n Gwenllian, gwelliant 10 Si‚n Gwenllian AM: Yn ffurfiol Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 10? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 17, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y grwp nesaf o welliannau yw grwp 7, ac mae’r grwp yma yn ymwneud ‚ rheoliadau a wneir gan Weinidogion Cymru. Gwelliant 1 yw’r prif welliant, ac rwy’n galw ar y Gweinidog i gynnig y prif welliant, ac i siarad i’r gwelliant hwnnw a’r gwelliant arall yn y grwp Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch, Llywydd. Famous last words, but I hope these amendments will be uncontroversial. They are two technical amendments. Their purpose is simply to make it clear that regulations under section 1 and section 10 of the Bill are regulations made by the Welsh Ministers Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Nid oes neb i siarad ar y gwelliannau yma. Rwy’n cymryd bod y Gweinidog ddim eisiau ymateb. Felly, y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 1? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? Nac oes. Felly derbynnir gwelliant

1 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 22 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Amendment 22, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Following on fromó Thank you, Presiding Officer Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Is it moved? You’ve already spoken to the amendment Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: It is moved Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 22? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid, 17, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 22 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y grwp nesaf o welliannau yw grwp 8 ac y mae’r grwp yma yn ymwneud ag offerynnau statudol a newidiadau i weithdrefnau Gwelliant 23 yw’r brif welliant a’r unig welliant, ac rwy’n galw ar Janet Finch-Saunders i gynnig y gwelliant Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Thank you, Presiding Officer. Following on from Llyr Gruffydd’s amendment in Stage 2 of the Bill, we believe that the superaffirmative procedure for the Bill should still be followed, hence the reason why amendment 23 has been tabled During the investigations of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee at Stage 1, it was clear that there are serious concerns about the nature of the Bill and the reliance of the Minister on future regulations to provide flexibility. We find that these concerns have been carried forward to both Stage 2 and Stage 3 of the Bill. Quite clearly, the Minister does not intend to routinely consult on the draft regulations, which include important policy directions, such as the offer itself and where it will be directed. Due to the dependence of the Bill on subordinate legislation, through regulations, it is critical that the National Assembly for Wales, and associated stakeholders, are provided with an opportunity to properly scrutinise legislation in this place Both the Children, Young People and Education Committee and CLA committee were in favour of superaffirmative regulations, should less detail be published on the face of the Bill Therefore, we believe that this should be an inherent part of regulation-making powers, at least from the very beginning of the Bill’s application. Thank you Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweinidog, Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch, Llywydd, a diolch, Janet Huw Irranca-Davies AM: From the very start, we’ve been entirely open about the eligibility criteria for this offer. They’ve been shared with the committee as part of the explanatory memorandum for the Bill. They are out there now and they provide the basis for, indeed, the live, early implementation of the offer They’re not hiddenóthey’re very transparent The detailed eligibility criteria for the offer will be set out in subordinate legislation, under the powers in section 1 of the Bill, and will be subject to the affirmative procedure, which I think is proportionate, given the engagement that we have already undertaken and which is ongoing So, how have we been open and engaging? I’ll list some of the ways. The Welsh Government has made significant efforts to engage with parents and providers and local authorities about the offer. We’re continually evaluating and ensuring that lessons learnt from early implementation pilot areas continue to influence and shape and inform aspects of the longer term policy. Indeed, the findings of the first year of implementation was published on 22 November. We’ve also heard directly from thousands of parents since we launched our #TalkChildcare campaign. And parents are telling us that finding affordable, available and accessible childcare is one of the biggest challenges facing families in Wales. They’re also telling us that juggling work and the logistics of early education and childcare is far from easy, as we’ve heard We’ve also undertaken an extensive engagement process with childcare providers and the umbrella organisations that represent the sector. We are also in the early years of phase 2 of our #TalkChildcare campaign, which will focus on engaging with providers. We are also working with our early implementer local authorities, as they begin to deliver the offer, and they’re fully engaged with local authorities who are yet to come on board So, I’m not convinced that we need to consult on subordinate legislation under section 1, given that we’ve placed more detail on the face of the Bill about what we mean by an ‘eligible child’, addressing one of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee’s fundamental concerns We are already into early implementation of the live offer. This is, in effect, a national consultation on, and a test of, the offer We aren’t embarking on something completely new and unknown here. We are taking reasonable steps to evaluate the offer, there is ongoing and constructive engagement with key stakeholders through our stakeholder reference groups, and we have also listened to what Members have been saying about the need for a review clause in the Bill Government amendment 2, which will be debated as part of a later group, group 12, proposes we build into the Bill a requirement to pause and review the effectiveness of the legislation

But can I remind Members again that this is a narrow technical Bill to facilitate the application and eligibility checking process?The regulations that will be made under section 1 of the Bill will detail the eligibility criteria, which will then form the basis for the eligibility checking system So, the procedure we are proposing for making these regulations, we would argue, is entirely proportionate, and I would urge fellow Members to join me in not supporting these amendments if they are pushedóthis amendment, sorry Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders to respond Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I will therefore move to the vote Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 23? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Felly, gwrthodwyd gwelliant 23 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y grwp nesaf o welliannau yw grwp 9. Mae’r grwp yma o welliannau yn ymwneud ‚ chategorÔau o ddarparwyr gofal plant a gyllidir. Gwelliant 24 yw’r prif welliant Rwy’n galw ar Janet Finch-Saunders i gynnig y gwelliant ac i siarad am y gwelliant arall yn y grwp. Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Diolch, Llywydd We have re-tabled amendments 24 and 25 from Stage 2 because, while we recognise that the Minister has listened to the committee and stakeholders and included relatives registered as childminders within both regulations and the draft administrative scheme, this is again left to secondary legislation and a non-statutory scheme to determine. As has been made clear within Stage 2, this is not just about the types of provider listed but the registration process We agree that childminders should be subject to registration, and we have heard the Minister’s reassurance about both schools and grandparents, yet this misses the fundamental point about the current registration process for being a childcare provider. Grandparents are still unable to register with Care Inspectorate Wales if they only look after their own relatives I have to say, Minister, that when we’ve met with you, you yourself have said that the ones not taking up the offer have sometimes been those where grandparents look after their children. As PACEY Cymru, the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years, noted at Stage 1, this leaves out a vast swathe of people who also care for their relatives, leading to concerns about the sustainability of the childcare sector, especially within our rural areas This ties in somewhat with our continued concerns about workforce planning, which will be dealt with under amendment 34. The Minister pointed out at Stage 2 that there is no stipulation for relatives to care for other children under the offer. However, this isn’t made clear either on the face of the Bill or within the draft administrative scheme. Likewise, the exemption for schools under the Child Minding and Day Care Exceptions (Wales) Order 2010 has the side-effect of preventing the Minister’s aim of wraparound care, as schools would have to work in partnership with a registered childminder to provide the childcare element or create a separate legal entity for representatives to register. While we received assurances at Stage 2 and Stage 3 that these will be reviewed, this needs to be made clear during the legislative process. That’s why we’re here today. The Children, Young People and Education Committee is also still waiting for the results of the call for evidence to review the Child Minding and Day Care Exceptions (Wales) Order 2010, which could ease the registration of both relatives and schools as childcare providers It is deeply disappointing that the Minister has issued a call for evidence during the latter stages of the Bill’s progress, meaning that we as Assembly Members do not have the ability to scrutinise this evidence before the Bill is passed. This is surely where the processes of the Bill are lacking. We are debating a framework Bill, which the Minister claims is merely technical, but essentially it’s delivering part of the childcare offer through HMRC. The Bill was at Stage 1 six months into testing the pilot areas; at Stage 2 before a call for evidence on childcare registration; and at Stage 3 before the first evaluation of early implementers of the offer was published. It does very much feel as though we are going back to this Bill in a year’s time when the next evaluation report is published, and the year after, when the national roll-out has begun. That, surely, is not just putting the cart before the horse, but a whole caravan Pró. Right. Thank you. I nearly said ‘Presiding

Officer’ then. [Laughter.] Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweinidog i gyfrannu i’r ddadlóHuw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch Llywydd. I understood what you meantóI got it One of the benefits of doing a piloted roll-out, where we’ve moved from seven to 14 and we’ll move upwards in terms of local authorities, is that we learn as we go and we evolve and we modify the scheme. But the question here is what is put on the face of primary legislation I understand, because it’s a running challenge with this, but this is a narrow technical Bill to allow HMRC to deliver the childcare offer, and the rest will be described in regulations or in the operational scheme and so on and the administrative scheme. The administrative scheme, as I’ve said, I’ve made clear I will bring in front of the committee and I will be happy to have it reviewed and to discuss and analyse it. But, look, we’ve been very, very clear from the start about who can provide childcare under the terms of this offer. Only registered providers can deliver this childcare offer. These providers are regulated and they’re inspectedóthat, for us, is important as a measure of quality and standards. It provides us with the assurance that the funding used for the childcare offer is being spent on childcare that meets a number of requirements Now, providers who sign up to things such as voluntary approval schemes, which are very, very welcome, such as the one run for nannies by Care Inspectorate Walesóthey’re very useful schemes, they really are, but they’re not registered, they’re not inspected, and therefore they cannot deliver this offer. We have, howeveróto clarifyóalready flexed the rules, learnt from the first year of early implementer, to ensure that childminders can be funded through the offer to care for children who are also relatives. We heard from the committee, we had direct face-to-face conversations with grandparents out there who were saying, ‘Well, I am actually a registered childminder, I’d like to do this.’ We talked about this internally, we came in front of the committee and discussed it, and we changed what we’re doing on the basis of learning live on the ground But we do realise that the existing legislation has some prohibitions around this arrangement in the wider context, and it’s for this reason that I’ve already committed to reviewing that aspect of existing legislation, so that we can look at who can provide. But the benefit of pilots is that I will keep coming back to the Assembly and saying, ‘We’ve now learnt thisódo you think it’s a good idea that we flex it again before the full roll-out?’ Now, it’s important to keep that in mind. Childminding and day care are already defined in other pieces of legislation. Replicating this within this context is unnecessaryóI’ve said that already. It raises the risk that those definitions could actually fall out of sync in the future, resulting in confusion or having to revisit primary legislation Just to be clear, as well, we really do appreciate as a GovernmentóI do, crikey, as a parent as well who has had three childrenóthe contribution that many grandparents make in caring for their grandchildren. But my nonno and nonna would not have been able to access this childcare offer as providers, because they weren’t registered with CIW; they were not inspected. I love them dearly, and they provided brilliant childcare, but they wouldn’t have been able to access the scheme and it’s the right thing. So, that’s where the clarity lies Now, I can’t see what would be gained from these regulation-making powers in amendments 24 and 25, which would only, in effect, be stating and defining categories of providers already stated and defined in other legislation So, on that basis, whilst I understand where you’re coming from on this, we can’t support these amendments Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders to respond Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Thank you. I am particularly disappointed in this one and I’ll tell you why. Within my own constituency, and I’m sure it’s replicated across Wales, we have many living in our rural, isolated communities who actually have Welsh grandparents who teach their children and provide childcare now, today, through the medium of Welsh. I know for a fact that they will not be able to access that and I see the aims for the Welsh language of the Welsh Government, and I really, really just cannot comprehend how you cannot support this amendment Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 24? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn at bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid, 18, neb yn ymatal, 24 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 24 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y gwelliant nesaf yw gwelliant 25. Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 25? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 25 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y grwp nesaf o welliannau yw grwp 10. Mae’r grwp yma yn ymwneud ‚ threfniadau gweinyddol ar gyfer darparu gofal plant a

gyllidir. Gwelliant 26 yw’r prif welliant Rydw i’n galw ar Janet Finch-Saunders i gynnig y prif welliant ac i siarad i’r gwelliant yma a’r gwelliannau eraill. Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Diolch, Llywydd We have retabled amendment 26 as this is to help clarify who will be responsible for delivering the childcare offer at the point of national roll-out. The Bill is currently silent on whether it will be the Welsh Government at a central level or our local authorities While the Bill’s regulatory impact assessment mentions that, without the need for legislation, the implementation model delivered by local authorities at the pilot stage could be rolled out nationally. The explanatory memorandum states legislation is needed to create one national application and an eligibility checking system avoiding any differences. Furthermore, the Welsh Government has indicated that its preferred option is to use HMRC as a vehicle to receive and check applications. At Stage 2, I felt that the Minister’s response slightly missed the point of this amendment. The Minister noted that there was no gain in restating a duty that local authorities already have, and stated that this existing duty was broader, as it included duties for disabled children and the Welsh language. Whilst I do recognise that, the Bill is still silent about who is responsible for delivering the offer at the national roll-out stage. As a result, the Minister must provide clarity on this matter, as the Bill is meant to be the mechanism by which applications to the childcare offer will be assessed. Currently, HMRC will be responsible for that side of delivering the offer. Therefore, the Minister must confirm whether the Welsh Government or local authorities are to be held ultimately responsible for the administration of this offer I also cannot stress enough how concerned we are that the vast majority of the childcare offer will be left to the administrative scheme and is not on the face of the Bill. To do so excludes key details, including ages, hours of the offer, how parents can access the childcare offer, and conditions that providers need to meet. Of grave concern is that the administrative scheme outlined by the Minister will have no legal status and no scrutiny procedure for the National Assembly for Wales Both retabled amendments, 27 and 28, cover conditions providers must meetóamendment 28óand how they are to be fundedóamendment 27ówhich are currently left to be determined under the administrative scheme. Some stakeholders who gave evidence to the CYPE committee expressed concern about who would be able to provide the childcare, how payments will be made, and at what hourly rate. The Welsh Local Government Association stated it was necessary to ensure that the roles of local authorities and HMRC are clearly defined in determining post-eligibility arrangements for childcare, so the practical applications of the Bill and the childcare offer are not affected specifically. It was raised that, in England, inconsistencies actually arose after HMRC had checked the eligibility criteria Contradictory evidence has been given by the Minister and his officials during Stage 1 While the Minister has asserted that the payment system would be developed separately to the eligibility checking system in the Bill, his own officials stated that Welsh Government would have to work out when local authorities need to know information about eligibility to make their decisions on place allocation for early years education. This suggests that eligibility and post-eligibility arrangements are already being linked. During every stage of this Bill the Minister has repeatedly said that he wants flexibility. However, this need for flexibility, by putting much of the offer’s eligibility criteria under the administrative scheme, comes at the cost of fundamental scrutiny powers of the National Assembly for Wales Therefore, it is again welcome that some concessions have been made, but placing the administrative scheme before the CYPE committee in the spring does not mean the same scrutiny processes will be undertaken as it would if it was placed on the face of the Bill. Therefore, more clarity is needed for post-eligibility arrangements to ensure that the new childcare system will operate smoothly. It is clear from the evidence the CYPE committee heard that arranging to pay childcare providers is just as important as ensuring that the application system for

the offer is correctly administered. So, I therefore ask Members to support this amendment Diolch Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweinidog i gyfrannuóHuw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Thank you, Llywydd I think that helps explain something for me I think we genuinely have a misunderstanding What this Bill is about is the checking of eligibility and the application, through the mechanism of HMRC, of eligibility for parents to access the childcare offer. What you were talking about, Janet, then was the aspect of actually delivering the offer. I will be back in front of Assembly Membersówell, if I’m still in this postósome time in the future when we come to the full roll out to do what local authorities have asked us to do, which is then to put in place the structure of how we actually co-ordinate delivery across the whole of Wales. It’s separate So, let me just turn to the amendments here You rightly restate what I’ve said previously in terms of amendment 26óI don’t see what’s to be gained by restating a duty that local authorities already have in respect of ensuring sufficient childcare is available within their areas. The existing duty, as you said, is also broader than what is proposed, as it requires local authorities to have regard to the need for childcare suitable for disabled children, and for childcare using the Welsh language Amendment 27 seems to be seeking to bring within the scope of subordinate legislation much of the operational detail we’re planning to include in the administrative scheme. We’re going to learn, we’re going to continue to learn, from experience with this offer, and the administrative scheme is exactly the mechanism that gives us the important flexibility to adjust and review those administrative, operational, front-end arrangements as we go. The administrative scheme is not some excuse to hide issues from Assembly Members. I’ve already brought it forward in framework form to share with Members, and I would genuinely welcome further scrutiny of the scheme in the spring In terms of amendment 28, I’d like to reiterate what I’ve said previously about the need for providers to be registered and inspected to take part in the offer. We’ve always been clear about that and our reasons for this And simply to refer to the remarks you made in closing a moment ago on the previous bunch of amendments: if there are relatives, grandparents and others out there who want to actually make use of this schemeóincluding in provision for their own children as well as others, because I’ve seen some very good provision of people operating in houses with six children, two of which are maybe their own grandchildren and so onóthey can do that. They just need to register as well. And there are grandparents who do that, I have to say Now, I think we should also keep in mind that there are already a suite of standards that childcare providers are required to comply with. They’re fully detailed in our national minimum standards, and they were only revised, in fact, in April 2016 So, on this basis, with those explanations, I hope that’s explained why we can’t support amendments 26, 27 or 28 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders to respond Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I’ll therefore move to the vote, please Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 26? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 26 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 27óJanet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 27? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 27 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 28óJanet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 28? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 28 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y grwp nesaf o welliannau yw grwp 11, ac mae’r grwp yma yn ymwneud ag adolygu penderfyniadau ac apelau i’r tribiwnlys haen gyntaf. Gwelliant 29 yw’r prif a’r unig welliant yn y grwp, ac rydw i’n galw ar Janet Finch-Saunders i gynnig y gwelliant ac i siarad iddo. Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Diolch, Llywydd As with amendment 15, amendment 29 highlights the actions that Welsh Government must take in order to prevent the Bill from causing unintended consequencesóthis time providing a duty to provide reviews of determinations and appeals to the first-tier tribunal. Again, my colleague Suzy Davies AM will highlight what importance this has from a constitutional

perspective and the differences between ‘must’ and ‘may’. We can all agree that Welsh Ministers should and would be bound by their duties if this amendment is passed. Therefore, Ministers must allow the right of appeal from the very beginning of the Bill, as this amendment would allow, rather than potentially kick this decision into the long grass. Thank you Suzy Davies AM: Yes, thank you, Janet. Subsection 1 of section 6 of the Bill gives Ministers the power to make provision for reviews or for appeals to the first-tier tribunal against determinations as to eligibility for funding under the Bill. And I would say that this Bill needs to include a right of appeal, not merely permit Ministers to consider some time, when they have a moment, to include one. As a legislature, I don’t think we’ve always thought about what our constituents might do when faced with a wrong decisionóa miscarriage of justice, if you like, however minor. Too often, we leave them with something like judicial review as their only meaningful recourse for remedy, and that’s not satisfactory. And in the absence of a thought-out appeals process on the face of this Bill, I really think we must oblige Welsh Government to bring forward the regulations to fill in that hole. Minister, you may think that there’s not a significant difference between powers and duties in some cases, but actually placing a duty on you to bring forward an appeals process through regulation is a huge message to our constituents that you really worry about what happens to them if something goes wrong as a result of this Bill. And for that reasonóit’s one of the reasons I put my own backbench Bill into the ballot; I know it didn’t get drawn, butó What happens to our constituents when things go wrong really matters, and I would really like you to consider this amendment seriously, because I think it does add value to the Bill Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweindog i gyfrannu Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch, Llywydd. I can assure Members and constituents that there will be a process for reviewing decisions made in respect of a person’s eligibility for the offer, and that we will be seeking to be open and transparent on how a person can challenge a decision made about their eligibility. In fact, there is a proceeding that already exists in respect of the offer in England, and if HMRC, if we take this Bill through, becomes the delivery agent for the application and eligibility checking system for the Welsh offer, we will seek to ensure that people here in Wales can follow exactly the same route, including the appeal to the first-tier tribunal Suzy Davies AM: Thank you for taking the intervention there, Minister. I’m grateful for that assurance If you can give us some kind of steeró. Oh, can I ask you for another reassurance, then, that this would be one of the first sets of regulations you bring forward, provided HMRC are happy with what you intend to do? Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Yes, and we’d be keen to do that. And those discussions with HMRC have already been ongoing, that we would mirror these mechanisms that they have with the appeal to the first-tier tribunal. And I’m happy to go back to officials and seek to ensure that this is amongst the first tranche that we bring forward, if that is of some assurance Now, the intention of the amendment that’s been put forward by Janet would appear to me to restrict somewhat the flexibility by which the Welsh Ministers would have to use their regulation-making powers in the Bill Now, I’m not convinced that this wise. By inserting the word ‘must’ here in the Bill, we’re binding Welsh Ministers to having to make provision in regulation for an appeals process to the first-tier tribunal, despite what I just outlined, that, if we take this Bill through, it will be there in the HMRC mechanism. So, I’m content with the current drafting, which means the Welsh Ministers will have these regulation-making powers, but their options in how these appeals are handled in future are kept more open. So, for the reasons I’ve stated, we can’t support amendment 29, and I’d hope that other Members are also persuaded of the benefits of proceeding the way we suggest with this Bill, and not inserting what is such a restrictive amendment onto the face of the Bill Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders to respond Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I believe that my colleague Suzy Davies has made the relevant points, and I therefore ask that we move to the vote Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 29? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais, felly Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 29 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y grwp nesaf o welliannau yw grwp 12, ac mae’r grwp yma o welliannau yn ymwneud ‚’r adolygiad ac adroddiadau ar effaith y Ddeddf a darpariaeth fachlud Gwelliant 30 yw’r prif welliant yn y grwp, ac rydw i’n galw ar Janet Finch-Saunders i gynnig y prif welliant, i siarad iddo ac i’r gwelliannau eraill yn y grwp. Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Diolch, Llywydd I speak to amendments 30, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D,

2E and 35. Although these seem a bit like diving into a pick-and-mix of review amendments, all of them are very important, and the main point we wish to raise is that nowhere in the Minister’s amendment 2 does it say ‘independent’, or ‘to lay before the National Assembly for Wales’. At the very least, we would have expected that any report should be both independent and available for the National Assembly, as the legislature, to scrutinise Turning to amendment 30, this is a complete alternative to the Minister’s amendment. As I outlined in Stage 2, the split between the Minister’s claims of the technicality of the Bill, as opposed to the very broad policy position within the explanatory memorandum and the draft administration scheme, is stark By agreeing to scant detail on the face of this Bill, the National Assembly for Wales would be allowing the powers of the Executive to increase, whilst at the same time, indeed, limiting its own. The Minister throughout Stages 1 and 2 emphasised that the detail of the offer should be left to secondary legislation to allow for flexibility. However, subordinate legislation could change both the offer and the policy intent completely without the National Assembly for Wales using its function as a legislature to scrutinise it in depth. The first evaluation of the offer was also published less than two weeks ago, more than seven months after this Bill was introduced by the Welsh Government. It therefore seems to support the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee’s observations that the Welsh Government is legislating for the childcare offer before the conclusion of the pilot programmes and the appraisal of the policy’s effectiveness As to amendments 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D and 2E, these amendments seek to improve upon the Minister’s own ideas about reviewing the Bill. The concerns we have around the transparency of the Bill and previous Welsh Government legislation are borne out through the seven powers provided to Welsh Government to make secondary legislation, contained within just 13 sections of the Bill The National Assembly for Wales cannot have just 40 days to vote through unamendable subordinate legislation without meaningful consultation Throughout Stages 1 and 2, the Minister has sought to assure the Children, Young People and Education Committee that key concerns surrounding transportation between childcare settings, workforce planning, and the charging of additional fees, would be investigated, and the draft administrative scheme also makes some concessions on the details of the offer We therefore welcome some of the concessions and assurances the Minister has made in these areas. For example, we are pleased that the Minister has committed to add research questions to the evaluation of year 2 of early implementation of the offer on transportation, as well as adding both the offer and additional charges to the draft administrative scheme. Yet there is still no inclusion of the National Assembly for Wales within the process of evaluating the offer and its effects. Listed before us within amendment 2C are just a few of the areas the Minister has refused to consider placing on the face of this Bill, and has instead either dropped, made promises about, or relegated to the non-statutory administrative scheme. It is also of note that the Welsh Government’s own evaluation of early implementation of the childcare offer, published just two weeks ago, recommended that further research is needed, over a longer period of time, in order to provide conclusive evidence on impact We therefore contend that this amendment provides a framework for the National Assembly for Wales to also scrutinise the impact of both the Bill and the childcare offer. As a result, while the list within this amendment is not exhaustive, it serves to show that the wishes of the Assembly are respected, rather than downgraded, when the Welsh Government undertakes its review of the Bill. Moreover, the fact that the Minister has only promised to bring a copy of the draft administrative scheme before the CYPE committee in spring, but nothing else, should be a warning that this will not be laid before the Assembly. Moreover, we do not agree with the Minister’s assertion that a five-year period will give the Assembly enough time to review the offer. The national roll-out will begin in 2020, therefore the Assembly should have been able to assess its adequacy from the start. Therefore, we hope that amendments 2A, 2D and 2E will be passed

Finally, as Suzy Davies will also attest, under amendment 35, there is an option for the Bill to sunset, by allowing the Assembly to determine whether it has carried out its main duty as a mechanism to provide the childcare offer. As my colleague has noted in Stage 2 of the Bill, review clauses don’t include the option of concluding whether a piece of legislation has failed to deliver on policy intention. First, a sunset clause will allow for the Act to be stopped if regulations on its functions are not introduced, and, secondly, it allows for the Act to be sunset if it does not achieve its policy intentions. Given the necessity of both, it is clear that such an amendment should be accepted in the case of a skeleton Bill, as that is what we have here Thank you Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweinidog, Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch, Llywydd, and can I just beginó Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Oh, I’m sorry, Minister I should have called Suzy Davies Suzy Davies AM: Thank you very much, Llywydd Amendment 35, we haven’t covered it, so diolch i chi’ch dau. Can I just begin by saying that I was very grateful to you, Minister, for engaging with us on the question of the review? I think this was really, really important I think core to the confidence in any review is this Parliament’s ability, though, to help design itóto get answers to the questions that we think will satisfy our constituents’ interests as well as providing better legislation, if you like I think Janet Finch-Saunders’s amendments contain, as she said, an inexhaustive list of sensible and very relevant criteria, which is what I’d expect all Members here to think of as relevant and would expect to be included in any review. Of course, that list can be expanded, but simply reinforces that point that we, as Assembly Members, need to be satisfied that the review is robust enough, rather than just the Welsh Government. So, I hope you’ll be open to extensions to, or inclusions in, that list as we go forward Now, amendment 35óJanet, very kindly, referred to this Bill as a skeleton Bill. You know my view: that it’s got more holes in it than Steptoe’s vests, and it’s going to need really, really patching up with a list of regulations, which, of course, may or may not be effective for this to function as a statute. I was pleased to see in the Draft Legislation (Wales) Bill that the Counsel General acknowledges the merits of sunset clauses in subordinate legislation, and you, in fact, Minister, as previous Chair of CLAC, acknowledged the merit of sunset clauses in primary legislation, and I agree with you both. So, this duty to reviewóI think you said, Minister, ‘pause and review’ónewly introduced to the Bill doesn’t include an option to conclude that it’s failed on policy intention. And the inclusion of the sunset clause now simply allows for this legislation to be scrapped, if regulations either prove insufficient to perfect the functionality of the Bill or allows it to be scrapped if a review reveals that it’s failing to achieve any of its policy intentions and would continue to fail to do so Now, I know you’ve been worried about HMRC, but the easy way to solve that problem is to bring forward the regulations to fill in the holes, because we don’t want ineffective law hanging around in our due-to-be-codified system. So, this amendment simply gives this Parliament the right to get rid of it without waiting for Government to make that decision It is very muchóam I allowed to say the word ‘backstop’, Llywydd, in this Chamber? It’s been a great worry at the moment. But that’s what I’m looking at it as. [Interruption.] Yes. It’s kind of somebody standing behind the wicket to make sure that you do bring forward these regulations, particularly as you’re not very keen on the superaffirmative procedure, by which we are to do that. So, I recommend this to Assembly Members Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweinidog Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch. Suzy, thank you very much. I’m happy to be tested on this and put some remarks on record as well, and thanks for your engagement in trying to take some of this forward in my own amendment here as well Can I just acknowledge the welcome that you gave to the way we’ve already learnt and flexed some aspects of the administrative scheme very openlyósaid what we’re doing, why we’re doing it? We have brought, as I said, the framework forward already. I repeat it again, as the Chair is sitting right next to meóreally happy to come in front of the committee in the spring and be tested on that administrative scheme, what more we are learning, and to do that on a regular basis, quite frankly But, look, we set out clearly in the regulatory impact assessment for the Bill our intention to review the extent to which the legislation will have achieved its objectives a few years down the line, and we will, of course, be doing that in line with good practice, and I’ll give you some detail now. But I do think it’s important that we leave sufficient time for the offer and the new system to have become really fully embedded before we conduct that thorough root and branch review. And it is

important that parents and providers in the sector also have that time to adjust so that we’re able to get a real picture of the way things are working across Wales. Now, it’s this balance that my amendment, amendment 2 is attempting to strike. So, it may help Membersóall Membersóif I set out the timetable for review as I see it So, subject to the passing of this legislation, we anticipate these powers being commenced during 2019 to enable the necessary work to build and test the national application and eligibility checking system, with a view to rolling out the new system fully in 2020 We want to ensure that the new application and eligibility checking system is up and running for the full three years to enable that full, comprehensive review, which covers the period then between 2020 and 2023. After the end of that testing period, it is only reasonable that we allow reasonable time for the findings to be properly considered, properly analysed and for a review report to be written in the light of that. So, for a programme of this size, this complexity, this could take some time. So, we’ve allowed up toóup toóa further year, giving us the five-year period that is in our amendment. Now, if we can do it sooner, we will, but this time frame allows for the best possible thorough review of the system. It’s for this reason that I don’t support the other amendments here Members also will be mindful of the fact that we’ve committed to independent evaluation of our programme of early implementation I’ll turn to the wider full review as well The report on the first year of early implementation was published last month. A report on the second year will be available next October So, it’s not a case of there being no evaluation and waiting for that full evaluation As for the detail that Janet would like to see specified on the face of the Bill about what the review will cover, I’ve already conceded, as has been mentioned, on some issues, including the transportation issue. I met with the Assembly Members, and we’ll now be looking at that as part of the evaluation of the second year of early implementation. And on charges, I’ve also said that we’ll keep this under review, and I set out our plans in relation as well to workforce planning. Now, I’d be very cautious about trying, however, to arrive at a definitive list of aims for the review of the full offer right now, because this is still evolvingóthere will be other things that people will want to see in thereóbefore we’ve completed particularly the early implementation and seen the findings on the points that Members have already queried Now, I can also confirm that this review, the major review, will not be undertaken in-house and that we will appoint an external independent evaluation company. I’m keen to give them the broadest remit possible and not to fetter them, and as a consequence I won’t be, I can’t be, supporting their amendments 2B or 2E Now, amendment 35 is the sunset provision, attempting to insert that provision into the Bill. As I said at Stage 2, I’m not convinced of the need for such a provision in the Bill I have concerns that a sunset provision would send the wrong signal to providers, to local authorities and to parents out there about our commitment as a Government to this offer, so I won’t be supporting this amendment. But, I commend the Government’s amendment 2 and urge Members to support this amendment, which puts in place that full and thorough review after a suitable and appropriate period Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders to respond Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move my amendment Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 30? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlas. Cau’r y bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 30 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Fel gwelliannau i welliant 2, bydd gwelliannau 2A i 2E yn cael eu gwaredu yn gyntaf yn unol ‚’r rhestr welliannau. Gweinidog, a ydych chi’n dymuno gwelliant 2? Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Move formally Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders to moveó Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 2A Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 2A? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 2A Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 2B, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 2B? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 2B Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 2C, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move

Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 2C? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 2C Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 2D, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 2D? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 2D Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 2E, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 2E? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 2E Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 2 fel y’i diwygiwyd. Wel, na, ni ddiwygiwyd gwelliant 2. Mae wedi’i symud. Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 2? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 32, neb yn ymatal, 11 yn erbyn. Derbyniwyd gwelliant 2 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y grwp nesaf o welliannau yw grwp 13 ac mae’r grwp yma’n ymwneud ‚’r ddyletswydd i hyrwyddo ymwybyddiaeth. Gwelliant 31 yw’r prif welliant a’r unig welliant ac rwy’n galw ar Janet Finch-Saunders i gynnig y gwelliant. Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Thank you. Diolch, Llywydd. Amendment 31 places a duty on Welsh Government to promote awareness of the childcare offer and eligibility in Wales. The dual-stream nature of the offer is evident, split into the foundation phase, nursery, early years education, administered by local authorities for at least 10 hours per week, and the childcare offeredó Joyce Watson AM: You’ve got the wrong one Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I’m on the wrong one. I do apologise Next one. Number 13, yes, I was on the right one. Right In evidence to the committee, the WLGA stated that local authorities remained responsible for administering systems for early years education, meaning parents would have to apply separately to their local authority and HMRC to access the full 30 hours. However, it has been noted by childcare providers as well as Estyn that this could cause widespread confusion among parents At a national level, HMRC’s representative confirmed that there was no reason at all why the correspondence couldn’t include what a parent is eligible for, and alluded to the fact that the childcare choices could be updated to include Welsh data We recognise the Minister’s admission that there would be potential for confusing arising as a consequence of the Bill, but had mentioned that the Welsh Government had funded a family information service within each local authority in the pilot areas in order to give clear signposting between the two systems. He further noted that a communications strategy was being tested within the pilot areas to signpost parents on the offer as well as additional support such as tax credits. As such, it is important that Welsh Government continue with their efforts to inform parents of the offer and provide alternatives if they are not fully eligible This amendment covers the Minister’s commitment and will simplify the offer for parents so that no further barriers are placed before them during application. Furthermore, local authorities already have systems in place to signpost parents to the foundation phase childcare offer, enabling a smooth transition towards a national system. Furthermore, the evaluation of early implementers has recommended that promotion and awareness raising should be considered. The evaluation also noted that more and clearer information is needed Janet Finch-Saunders AM: clearer information is needed to help parents of qualifying children to work out the cost of childcare. As a result, we believe that a duty on the Welsh Government to provide information will help to continue funding for local authorities in this respect as well as to co-ordinate information services at the point of national roll-out. Thank you Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gweinidog Huw Irranca-Davies AM: I am indeed aware that there have been a range of communication challenges for local authorities, parents and providers in relation to the offer to date, and I’ve considered carefully the findings of the evaluation report on the first year of early implementation, covering many of these points So, we will be launching a national communications

campaign regarding the offer ahead of it being available nationally in 2020. Alongside this, as Janet has referred to, we’ll continue to work with the family information service to ensure that details about both this offer, and also other, wider childcare support, are available to parents as needed Each local authority has a family information service, which acts as the first point of contact for advice and information on local services for families and carers. It is, of course, also important to make sure parents have access to information about childcare at the point when they make decisions about jobs and careers. So, we’ve been working with the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure that employment advisers have that information, as well as with our own Welsh Government-funded employability programmes. So, given that all of this work is already under way, and that we have a service dedicated to providing families with advice on their childcare choices, I don’t see that we need to add additional duties in this regard by way of this Bill, so we won’t be supporting this amendment Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders to respond Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I would like to proceed to the vote Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 31. A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid, 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 31 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 32, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 32. A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 32 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 33, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 33?.A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd y gwelliant Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y grwp nesaf o welliannau yw grwp 14 ac mae’r gwelliannau yma’n ymwneud ‚ chynllunio’r gweithlu. Gwelliant 34 yw’r prif a’r unig welliant yn y grwp ac rydw i’n galw ar Janet Finch-Saunders i gynnig y gwelliant Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Diolch, Llywydd We are retaining amendment 34, as the Minister’s responses on workforce planning, throughout Stages 1 and 2 have simply not been satisfactory enough. This amendment ensures Ministers are under a duty to examine the capacity of the childcare workforce so enough childcare is available for parents to take up the offer It is essential that capacity is scrutinised as evidence has highlighted that, particularly during pinch-points, during academic years, especially during school holidays, there have been problems. Furthermore, Cwlwmóthe umbrella body for five childcare providers in Walesónoted that there was a lack of qualified staff, difficulties in staff retention due to low wages and insufficient hours, a lack of registrable venues and availability of school and community buildings to hold childcare services Worryingly, there are deficits within certain areas of the childcare sector, including providers who can provide childcare through the medium of Welsh and staff who are trained to provide childcare for children with additional learning needs. National Deaf Children’s Society Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to consider skill sets of the childcare workforce in relation to children with ALN Furthermore, as the recent re-evaluation of the offer’s pilot area showed, low usage rates of the Welsh Government’s special educational need budget for early implementer local authoritiesó Local authorities highlight uncertainty among local authorities about how to allocate this budget and this could be used to train the childcare providers. Social Care Wales also estimates that 21,000 additional full-time equivalent places would be needed to meet demand, if the anticipated number of parents take up the offer, and 2,637 extra workers would be needed nationally by the full roll-out in 2020. As there is not present capacity to provide this, to meet a potential shortfall, a 700 per cent increase would be needed in the number of childcare apprenticeship recruitments and completions over two years. Additionally, the recent evaluation on the early implementers of the childcare offer has noted that, while few providers have concerns about capacity, to accommodate the current demand, many note

that they were already operating at full or near full capacity. And others did not wish to expand as this would adversely affect the character of their childcare setting. It is also concerning to see that one third of childcare providers in the pilot areas now do not have the capacity to expand should demand increase So, there again, not only does this contradict the Minister’s assertions at Stage 2 that early implementer authorities were not showing strains within the system, it makes a review of workforce capacity even more necessary While the Minister is promising more robust reviews of workforce planning in years two and three of implementing the offer, this still leaves out the Assembly’s functions to scrutinise whether the childcare workforce does have capacity to deliver this offer Thank you Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweninidog Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Can I begin by just refreshing Members’ knowledge and recollection of the significant contribution that we’re actually already making as a Government through the ten-year workforce plan published last year in terms of building exactly what the Member has requested, which is that additional capacity and capability across the childcare and play sector? That 10-year plan aims to professionalise the sector, create a highly skilled workforce capable of offering high-quality, flexible, affordable childcare. And in terms of investment in the skills and quality of the workforce, there is indeed a new suite of childcare qualifications being developed, ready for introduction in the later part of 2019, alongside the roll-out of the childcare offer. The apprenticeship programme, which provides part of this, will support providers and their workforce to access these qualifications But we’ve also been working already on new ways to encourage real diversity in the workforce So, in partnership, for example, with the NDNAóthe National Day Nurseries Associationówe’ve run the Childcare Works project. I’ve seen it first-hand myself. It targets those who are currently economically inactive but who have the right skills and personal attributes to work with our young children. It has produced a number of successful outcomes, including job creation, and we’re considering now going ahead with the second phase But I do also recognise the financial challenges the sector faces, and that’s why we’re prioritising investment into the sector. It’s targeted at business support measures as well as skills, and it will help the sector to build its own capacity and capability, and one of the key drivers for this will be indeed the exemption of business rates for all registered day nurseries from next April. This exception will be for a period of three years, alongside the roll-out, supporting existing providers to become more established and to support new start-ups in local areas as we continue to roll out the childcare offer and roll out the expansion of the workforce But we do have to remember that the sector is a mixed economy; it’s made up of private and third sector organisations, as well as some in the public sector. And the job creation, therefore, within the sector is dependent on a number of factors, and not all are within the gift of Welsh Ministers to influence or control But we will continue to monitor how these plans can be improved, to best support the sector to be able to take full advantage of this exciting childcare offer commitment So, in light of the current and the planned activity by this Government to support and develop the workforce across what must be said is a very diverse sector, we will not be supporting the amendment Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders to respond Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I’d like to proceed to the vote, Llywydd Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 34? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 34 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 35, Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: I move Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 35? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 35 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Gwelliant 3, Gweinidog Huw Irranca-Davies AM: I move formally Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 3? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? Derbyniwyd gwelliant 3, felly Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Grwp 15 yw’r grwp nesaf, a’r grwp olaf, ac mae’r gwelliannau yma yn ymwneud ‚ chychwyn. Gwelliant 36 yw’r prif welliant, a’r unig welliant, ac rwy’n galw ar Janet Finch-Saunders is gyflwyno’r gwelliant ac i siarad iddo. Janet Finch-Saunders Janet Finch-Saunders AM: Diolch, Llywydd Amendment 36 has been retabled on a matter of principle. At Stage 2, my colleague Suzy Davies AM was very clear to the Minister that

there should be a power for the Assembly to halt the actions of the Welsh Government momentarily if we believe that it has acted outside of its powers. Section 12(3)(b) of the Bill allows the Welsh Government to make a number of provisions in connection with the Bill’s coming into force, and this amendment gives the Assembly that very same opportunityófor the Welsh Government to explain their actions if questions are asked. Thank you Suzy Davies AM: We’re at the end of the debate here, so I’m not going to keep you long. But this is a perfect time to welcome back old friends, isn’t it? Amendment 42 is one of those old friends. It’s about commencement Orders. We routinely bring this [Interruption.] Yes, we do, and for good reason, Cabinet Secretary, because this is something the Government needs to pay attention to, because it can often forget that this Assembly is the legislature, not them, and if we want the opportunity to scrutinise any Welsh Government actions undertaken by virtue of statute, then we can. If we think that Welsh Ministers may have overstepped the markóI’m not saying they will have, but if we think they may haveóperhaps ultra vires, then we should be able to, as Janet said, halt their actions momentarily just for us to check. That’s what this amendment would allow us to do, because the section allows Welsh Government to make a range of provisions in connection with the Bill’s coming into forceótransitory, transitional or saving provisions; I could sing along if it’s easier These are pretty standard wordings. [Interruption.] No, I’m not Peter Lilley I accept that this is standard wording, but they could actually mean anything, couldn’t they? So, in Stage 2, the Minister said that the making of commencement Orders is not normally subject to any procedure and that the Welsh Government’s position has always been clear that commencement Orders do not need to be subject to any procedure. Well, they’re not normally attached to this because Welsh Government keeps knocking us back with the help of the backbenches. But, actually, it’s not the Government’s view that’s important here; it’s actually the legislature’s viewóa point that we do make repeatedly and is pushed back by Government in a way that I now think is probably inappropriate So, if the Government’s going to keep stopping us introducing this one, I think it’s time for me to ask Labour backbenchers to do something quite radical here. It’s been a week when parliaments have been asserting themselves against governments, so why not take this opportunity to take a tiny stand and join a tiny revolution by supporting this amendment and effecting this tiny defeat on Welsh Government, which just, as a serious point, is reinforcing the role of this Welsh Parliament vis-‡-vis Welsh Government. Thank you Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y Gweinidog Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Diolch, Llywydd. Can I urge colleagues on these benches and across them, ‘Let’s keep those rebellions happening in Westminster and not here’? [Interruption.] Even though it’s late in the day And can I just thank, with this final amendment, those who have moved amendments and applied good scrutiny to this stage of the Bill? This issue, indeed, did come up during Stages 1 and 2. In fact, it was this exact amendment, so my response may be entirely foreseeable The making of commencement Orders is not normally subject to any procedure as they bring into force matters that the National Assembly has already approved. The Welsh Government’s position on this issue has already been clarified I see no reason, therefore, to deviate from the current convention in relation to commencement Orders Suzy Davies AM: Thank you very much, MinisteróI appreciate your kindness on this one. Yes, it is about an Order that’s bringing forward something the Assembly’s agreed, but we need to make sure you’re doing it properly, and that’s the tiny little bit of extra scrutiny that we were asking for here. I’m almost sure that, in 100 per cent of occasions, there will be no problems, but you never know, and that is what we as parliamentarians need to keep an eye on Huw Irranca-Davies AM: Thank you, Suzy. I think we have now jointly exhausted the forbearance of all our colleagues. I shall not be supporting this amendment Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Janet Finch-Saunders is ymateb Janet Finch-Saunders AM: It’s time for my final speech now. We’ll move to the vote, but, before I do so, I’d like to thank you, Llywydd, and the Minister, and all colleagues for your patience and graciousness during our amendments. We’ve tabled these with the best of intentions because we firmly believe that we want our children across Wales to be able to access this offer and, more importantly, we want to see our parents being able to get back into work, to get back into education and to get back into training. So, we have done our best to scrutinise this, and I’d like to obviously thank my colleague Suzy

Davies for her work on this also. Diolch yn fawr Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 36? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i’r bleidlais felly Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 18, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 36 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y gwelliant olaf felly i bleidleisio arno yw gwelliant 5. Si‚n Gwenllian Si‚n Gwenllian AM: Mae’n bleser gen i i symud hwn yn ffurfiol Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Y cwestiwn felly: a ddylid derbyn gwelliant 5? A oes unrhyw wrthwynebiad? [Gwrthwynebiad.] Symudwn i bleidlais ar y gwelliant yma. Agor y bleidlais. Cau’r bleidlais. O blaid 17, neb yn ymatal, 25 yn erbyn. Gwrthodwyd gwelliant 5 Y Llywydd / The Llywydd: Dyna ni, felly, yn dod at ddiwedd ein hystyriaeth o’r Cyfnod 3 o’r Bil Cyllido Gofal Plant (Cymru). Rwy’n datgan y bernir pob adran o’r Bil wedi eu derbyn. Daw hynny ‚ thrafodion heddiw i ben