Skip to main content

Exclusive ‘I believe very much in bringing in-house everything that we can’

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth tells the Star he supports bringing all contracted services back into public control

WELSH nationalist leader Rhun ap Iorwerth told the Morning Star in an exclusive interview today that he supports bringing back into public control all services contracted out.

The Plaid Cymru leader was adamant that the vast expenditure from the public sector on agency nurses and teachers was a drain on the public purse.

“I believe very much in bringing in-house everything that we can,” he said.

“The best example I guess that I've been closest to is our work around agency workers in the NHS. 

“It makes no sense to me that hundreds of millions of pounds are being allowed to leave the NHS as part of the agency bill at a time when money is so tight.

“We’re allowing agencies to make profit out of spending within the NHS. We need to take whatever action it takes to make sure that that agency bill comes down.”

The Plaid leader was talking against the backdrop of £900 million of cuts from Welsh government spending being debated in Wales.

Mr ap Iorwerth also made it clear that he recognised that agency numbers were high because of wages hit by austerity and the cost-of-living crisis.

He said: “We’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with the RCN throughout their dispute. It’s not just about money, of course, there were different elements to it. 

“But I have no doubt that a fair wage is at the heart of creating the conditions through which we are able to retain the talents that we have in professions such as nursing.

“We also need to make it an attractive proposition for people to come in too.”

He also said that some people would want the flexibility of agency work but wanted it to be publicly controlled.

“People who want to work in an agency, we’ll have that as a publicly owned agency,” he said.

Mr Iorwerth also made it clear that he supported renationalisation and was speaking with RMT leader Mick Lynch earlier in the week.

He said: “I believe that the railways shouldn’t be making profits for companies when that money should be reinvested in the railways. 

“This is a principle, and I realise that on some things it may be difficult, but at every opportunity, government should be looking to run services themselves.”


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.



Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 12,481
We need:£ 5,519
7 Days remaining
Donate today