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Mark Drakeford announces plan to end period poverty

by David Nicholson In Llandudno

FIRST Minister Mark Drakeford announced a raft of new measures on Saturday, including £2.3 million to provide sanitary products to all learners in Wales to end period poverty.

The Welsh government will provide the sum to offer period products to all learners in schools and colleges who need them.

The newly elected First Minister was giving his first speech to the Welsh Labour Party conference as leader.

He announced abolishing unfair letting agents’ fees in the private rented sector and declared that the Welsh government will also end the demeaning and degrading practice of “no-fault” evictions for people in that sector.

The trade union movement in Wales has been campaigning for a bigger say in how companies operate in Wales and Mr Drakeford explained that he had given a commitment in his leadership manifesto to develop a Social Partnership Act: “A commitment to legislation that will consolidate that partnership within a new legal framework. One based on equality and respect with the representatives of business and the trade union movement,” he said.

He said he is planning legislation to ensure that companies receiving public money show that they are ethical and socially responsible operations.

And in a piece of political knockabout, he poured scorn on Theresa May. “We are led by a Prime Minister who has rewritten ‘back me or sack me:’ It’s now: ‘back me or I’ll sack myself’ — the first prime minister in history to fall on her own sword and then to miss.”

But Mr Drakeford warned that the Tories were planning to use Brexit to take back powers and funding that belong to Wales and take them back to Whitehall.

“So let me issue this very clear warning to Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns,” he said. “If he continues to persist in using the so-called UK shared prosperity fund as a means of bypassing the National Assembly, he is heading for a fight.

“We were told that an ‘absolute guarantee’ was built into Brexit that all the funds would continue to flow to Wales after our membership of the EU ends.”


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