First minister's questions


Benefits and education were the main focus of the opposition leaders whilst questioning First Minister Carwyn Jones on 13 March 2013.

Both Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood raised concerns with regard to benefits.

Mr Davies concentrated on changes to council tax.

In January 2013, the government announced £22m to close a funding gap, after the UK government transferred council tax benefit to devolved administrations and local councils while also cutting the funding.

The Welsh government had previously said it could not afford to do so.

Mr Davies asked the first minister why more than 100,000 households had received letters informing them they would be liable for council tax for the first time but not been notified of the change of heart.

"In your own council around 15,000 homeowners are under the impression they are liable," Mr Davies said to the first minister who represents Bridgend in the assembly.

"Across the whole of Wales, huge expense has been incurred by local authorities because your local government minister couldn't get it right."

Mr Jones insisted that the Welsh government had acted to protect the people of Wales.

"We know in England it's complete chaos.

"Benefits have been slashed for many people.

"It will not happen in Wales."

Ms Wood asked Mr Jones whether Welsh Labour agreed with Labour shadow cabinet member in Westminster, Helen Goodman MP who said that the "bedroom tax" - as changes to housing benefit are called by its critics - should only apply if people have been offered a smaller place to live and refused it.

Mr Jones explained to Ms Wood that he is "not responsible for what happens at Westminster".

Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams raised concerns about the 60,000 children in Wales being taught by a failing local education authority.

Mr Jones gave assurances that the education minister had the matter in hand.

Darllenwch hwn yn Gymraeg

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