Friday, December 28, 2012

Draft model motion for Welsh Labour conference 2013

Below is a model contemporary motion for Welsh Labour conference, which calls on the Welsh party leadership to take a lead in building opposition to the UK government's attacks on working people and the poor. The idea behind the motion is that the damage being done by Con-Dem policies is such that we cannot afford to wait for a possible Labour victory in 2015. Given that a recent poll shows that a majority of voters want an early general election, our party has a real opportunity to take the fight to the Tories and their Lib-Dem hangers-on - demanding that they either change course or face the people - and to ensure that Labour administrations do everything they can to deflect or mitigate the cuts. If we can get this motion onto the conference a genda, we can start a real debate about a response to Tory austerity that goes beyond gritting our teeth and hoping for the best.

The Welsh party conference is due to take place in Llandudno from 22nd to 24th March 2013 and the deadline for receipt of contemporary motions by Welsh Labour is 12.00 noon on 8th February, so this motion will need to go through January branch and GC (or affiliate) meetings. Please try to have this motion (or some version of it) discussed and adopted by your local party - and please let us know how you get on.
Draft model contemporary motion for Welsh Labour conference 2013

Conference notes that

·        Wales’ economy and public services have been put under intolerable pressure by the UK government’s  spending cuts, which have slashed the  Welsh Government budget cut by £2 billion in real terms over three years;

·        Wales was the only part of the UK to have seen no growth in median wages in 2011/12, and was left with the lowest median wage in Britain;

·        The anti-poverty coalition, ‘Cuts Watch Cymru’, has estimated that one in four people in Wales will be adversely affected by welfare ‘reforms’, a threat now exacerbated by the announcement of a real-terms benefit cut in the Chancellor’s December 2012 autumn statement;

·        The devolution to Wales, with insufficient funding, of responsibility for a replacement for Council Tax Benefit highlights the danger of the Welsh Government and Welsh councils being left to wield the Con-Dems’ axe. 

Conference acknowledges that, while the Welsh Labour Government has little power to soften the blow being inflicted on the Welsh people, due to its financial dependence on Westminster, it can and should give political leadership to the campaign against the Con-Dem cuts, reiterating the arguments made convincingly by the TUC and others that the cuts are a political choice, not an economic necessity, and should be replaced by a policy of investment to stimulate sustainable growth and job creation, as well as robust crackdown on tax evasion and avoidance  by the rich.

Conference therefore believes that the Welsh Labour leadership should do everything it can to co-ordinate the efforts of Welsh Labour councils, affiliated trade unions and local parties to defend the people of Wales and, specifically, that it should:

·        maintain the clear position that no privatisation/outsourcing or compulsory redundancies should be carried out by Welsh Labour councils or by the Welsh Government, and that major changes to service provision or staffing should be introduced only by agreement with recognised unions, under the established employee relations arrangements;

·        encourage Welsh Labour councils to pursue other options – such as borrowing, spending their reserves and/or raising council tax – rather than cut vital services;

·        seek to ensure that all Labour councils implement the Living Wage, in line with Welsh Labour policy, both for core staff and for any contractors who may be engaged;

·        organise a special conference, as soon as practicable, to co-ordinate the party's response to austerity; and

·        support industrial action by trade unions against any aspect of the UK government’s austerity agenda, as well as community campaigns to defend local services, and work with the Wales TUC to deliver the latter’s conference commitment to organise an anti-cuts demonstration in Wales at the earliest opportunity, with full Labour support.


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