Wales

Welsh Liberal Democrats conference: 'positive story' for voters at election

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have a "really positive news story" to tell voters at this year's local elections, says the party's leader in Wales.

Kirsty Williams said the party at every level used its influence "to make a difference for Welsh people".

The Welsh Lib Dems are gathering in Cardiff for their spring conference.

Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will tell delegates that Lib Dems in the UK coalition government are giving real help to workers in Wales.

The party faithful are preparing themselves to fight local elections on 3 May.

Ms Williams told BBC Wales: "Liberal Democrats always fight every set of elections very hard indeed and the Welsh Liberal Democrats have a really positive news to tell Welsh voters in May.

"Where Welsh Liberal Democrats have influence, they use that influence to make a difference for Welsh people.

'Tough decisions'

"Be that for the assembly group ensuring there's more money going into schools for our poorest pupils, or whether it's in councils where we lead them like Cardiff, Wrexham and Swansea where we're transforming local services and offering really good value for money, or whether there are individual Liberal Democrat councillors who are the real champions of their communities and county halls the length and breadth of the country."

Ms Williams said that at Westminster, Lib Dems in the UK coalition government were helping people, but also having to make "some very tough decisions to get the country's finances back on track".

"I think the Welsh public understands that and that's why they need Welsh Liberal Democrats doing all they can in their councils to keep council tax rises low - zero rise this year in Swansea - and delivering really good public services that are seeing improvements in education at good value for money for local people," she added.

Mr Clegg will tell the conference that the country is "coming coming out of a crisis, an economic heart attack, and there is no magic wand that will make everything better overnight".

"But as we build a new economy from the rubble of the old, Liberal Democrats in the coalition government are giving you real, practical help in tough times," he will say.

"That's why we have cut your taxes. Thanks to Liberal Democrats, we put £200 a year back in your pockets last year and another £130 from next month."

"And we want to go further and faster, lifting millions of the poorest workers out of paying tax altogether and putting £60 back in your pockets every month.

"That means 200,000 Welsh workers will pay no tax whatsoever and 800,000 Welsh workers will see £60 more in their wages every month."

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