Amelia Womack pledges “vibrant future” for Wales in conference speech
Green Party of England and Wales deputy leader Amelia Womack has today promised the Greens would a deliver “vibrant future” for Wales. She made the comments in her speech to the Green Party’s spring conference, held virtually due to Covid restrictions.
Womack is the Greens’ lead candidate for the South Wales East region in 2021’s Senedd elections and is seeking to become the first Green ever elected to the Welsh Parliament.
Speaking to conference attendees, Womack said:
We are still working hard and we’re not just building to win our first seat in the Senedd, but we’re building to win in the 2022 council elections too. We know the power of Green voices and scrutiny here in Wales and across the UK and we are campaigning to secure a vibrant future for everyone.
She continued by spelling out just what that “vibrant future” would look like in Wales. Womack said this would entail:
Investment in our health and social care services, including more funding for the NHS, as well as investment in education and the economy. Having solutions for equality for BAME communities, who have been massively disproportionately affected by Covid-19. We want to transform the woeful public transport services that fail to get people out of their cars and onto buses and trains.
The Covid crisis
Elsewhere in her speech, Womack hit out at the government’s approach to the Covid crisis. She criticised the decision to privatise the Covid test and trace system, and said that the Greens prioritise people over “private profits”.
The reality of the situation is that the NHS is understaffed and underfunded to be able to deal with referrals alone, as all personnel were drafted onto the frontline to deal with the pandemic.
While this is happening our government handed out £12bn to private companies for a test and trace system built on excel rather than investing in things like mental health.
Womack continued by arguing that money spent on the privatised test and trace system could have been better spent, suggesting funds could have been used to deliver:
A pay rise for all NHS staff. Running a UBI trial in a major city. Plugging the funding black hole for rough sleepers. Keeping Universal Credit at its higher rate. Paying councils what they were promised for walking and cycling. Creating a new – rewilded national park. And they would still have money left to run a track and trace app that worked, like the app in Germany which cost just £62million.
Because – as Greens – our priorities as a party are clear, and we prioritise our front line workers and those struggling over private profits.
Womack’s speech can be watched in full here.
The Green Party’s conference is set to conclude on Sunday. Members will be debating a series of motions on topics including ensuring workers are placed at the forefront of the party’s policies on climate change, a wealth tax as a means of delivering post-Covid economic recovery, and the rights for trans people to be able to legally determine their own gender.
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