PRIME Minister David Cameron today declared the Conservatives “the party of Wales” at the Welsh Conservatives conference, hours after announcing more devolved powers to the country.
With nearly two months to go until polling day, the Prime Minister chose the event at the SWALEC Stadium to speak about the St David’s Day agreement.
He told members at the conference: “We’re the party that is bringing real devolution to Wales. This is real power for Wales – just as we delivered for Scotland. We said we’d have those powers ready by Burns Night – and we did. Here we are, two days from St David’s Day, with powers for Wales on the table.
“And by real power I mean real responsibility – an Assembly not just responsible for spending money but actually having to raise it too.
Under the plans for further devolved powers, the Welsh Assembly will be able to:
- lower the voting age to 16 for assembly elections.
- set its own speed limits.
- control over fracking, sewerage, ports and taxi and bus regulation.
Wales would move from a conferred model of devolution to a reserved powers model – the same as the model planned to be in place in Scotland.”
Mr Cameron also added: “Out of the ashes of the Great Recession, a new Wales is being born. One that is growing faster than any other UK nation – and faster than France and Germany too.
“It’s not Carwyn Jones who’s the driving force behind electrifying the mainline to Swansea and the Valley lines – it’s us. They didn’t secure the future of S4C – we did.”
Outlining his party’s key election policies ahead of the General Election, the Prime Minister added that security is of paramount concern.
“When we’re fighting Islamist extremism, we’re not just dealing with something that is wrecking countries from Iraq to Syria, from Yemen to Nigeria.
“We’re dealing with something causing people in our own country – men from Cardiff, girls from outstanding schools in London – to be taken in by this poisonous ideology to turn against the country where they were brought up.
“I will do whatever it takes – whether it’s making sure we have strong defences, renewing our nuclear deterrent, equipping our Armed Forces with the things they need, ensuring intelligence services can intercept and stop terrorist plots, passing laws in Parliament to make us more secure or whether it’s putting the obligation on every public body to fight extremism because this is a battle we’re all in.”
He went on to say the Conservative led coalition had cut the deficit, created jobs, cut people’s taxes, capped benefits and were the best party to take Wales forward.
Drawing his speech to an end, Mr Cameron said: “It’s St David’s Day in two days – and Wales can rightly be proud. The nation of song is back in full voice. The Welsh dragon is roaring again – and it’s not red, it’s blue.”