Thursday, March 28, 2013

Anti-austerity composite resolution - agreed by Welsh Labour 2013

Here is the resolution as it was agreed at the Welsh Labour conference in March 2013. You may wish to compare it to our WLG model motion that was circulated around the Welsh Labour and affiliated organisations a few months ago and can be accessed as a post on this blog:!/2012/12/draft-model-motion-for-welsh-labour.html

You will see that one of the major changes is the commitment to joint action at the end of the motion. The resolution as agreed still provides the basis of joint action as a way of taking forward the fightback through local branches, trade unions and community organisations. The agreed conference to coordinate Welsh Labour's response to austerity should be held as soon as possible and again will provide the basis of discussion joint action.

Composite Motion on Anti-Austerity Action

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 the 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.

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:

·        maintain the clear position that no privatisation 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 arrangement;

·        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 conference, as soon as practicable, to co-ordinate the party's response to austerity.


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