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Summary

  1. Health, Social Care and Sport Committee
  2. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs
  3. Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services
  4. Debate on the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee report: Apprenticeships in Wales
  5. Welsh Conservatives debate: Land transaction tax on commercial land
  6. United Kingdom Independence Party debate – A minimum price for alcohol
  7. Short Debate: Valleys housing: A heritage worth investing in.

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

  1. Valleys housing

    The topic chosen by David Melding (South Wales Central) for the Short Debate is "Valleys housing: A heritage worth investing in".

    Houses in the Valleys
  2. UKIP motion defeated

    The UKIP call for the Welsh Government to abandon the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill is rejected.

  3. 'Harmful and hazardous alcohol use'

    Health Secretary Vaughan Gething says that a proposed minimum unit price for alcohol is "only one of the Welsh Government’s measures to tackle the harms associated with harmful and hazardous alcohol use in Wales".

    He draws attention to a "£50m package of support for people with alcohol and substance use problems in Wales every year".

    Vaughan Gething
  4. AMs who 'do drink too much'

    Independent AM Neil McEvoy, opposing the minimum pricing of booze, says there are AMs who "do drink too much".

    Rhun ap Iorwerth intervenes, saying he doesn't drink when he's in the assembly.

    Neil McEvoy
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  5. 'Avoid disproportionately affecting moderate drinkers on lower incomes'

    Plaid Cymru's Rhun ap Iorwerth (Ynys Môn) notes that "public health measures require the support of the public to be successful and that, to achieve this, the minimum price needs to be a set a level that is underpinned by robust research that can demonstrate the public health impacts, and recognises the need to avoid disproportionately affecting moderate drinkers on lower incomes."

    Plaid Cymru call on the Welsh Government to "accompany the legislation with an extensive communications campaign that explains the aims and purpose of the legislation, including steps moderate drinkers can take to minimise the financial impact on themselves, for example through reducing consumption overall or choosing drinks with lower alcohol content; both of which would bring health benefits".

    The part also recognises the "potential benefits of minimum unit alcohol pricing for pubs".

    Alcohol
  6. 'May lead to the substitution of alcohol for illicit substances'

    Conservative Suzy Davies points out that AMs have already decided, on 13 March, that the Welsh Government's Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill should pass its first stage and go on to detailed consideration by assembly committees.

    If passed by the assembly later in 2018, the measure should take effect 12 months after the bill's royal assent.

    The Conservative amendment "regrets the adverse impact that the Bill may have on the budgets of households on low incomes and that it may lead to the substitution of alcohol for illicit substances".

    The Conservatives also call on AMs to "support amending the Bill, as recommended by the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, in order to produce an evaluation report that makes reference to the impacts of minimum pricing by reference to age group, gender and socio-economic status, substitution behaviour, domestic violence, impact on support services and the impact on alcohol retailers".

    Suzy Davies
  7. United Kingdom Independence Party debate

    The topic chosen for the United Kingdom Independence Party debate is a minimum price for alcohol.

    UKIP is calling on the Welsh Government to abandon the Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Bill and "do more to tackle alcohol misuse without resorting to minimum unit pricing".

    UKIP leader Neil Hamilton says "this proposal is introduced at a time when drinking is being moderated by the overwhelming majority of people".

    He adds the proposal is a "sledgehammer to miss a nut"

    Welsh Government graphic
  8. 'No Assembly Members voted against' rates and bands

    Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford notes that the rates and bands for land transaction tax were approved by the National Assembly on 30 January 2018, with no Assembly Members voting against, and that the rates and bands came into effect on 1 April 2018.

    Regarding the purchase of Cardiff bus station, he says it was not liable for any stamp duty land tax and would have been exempt from land transaction tax if the sale was completed under that regime.

    Mark Drakeford
  9. 'Finance secretary has produced better overall system than England'

    UKIP leader Neil Hamilton says "I do support the Welsh Government over the land transaction tax rates generally because what the finance secretary has produced is a better overall system than we have across the border in England".

    Money
  10. 'Expedite work to review all property-related taxes'

    The Plaid Cymru amendments, which the Conservatives are supporting, call on AMs to welcome the Assembly's new powers to vary tax rates "according to Wales's economic, social and environmental needs" and call on the Welsh Government to expedite its work to review all property-related taxes.

  11. 'Labour's super tax'

    On behalf of the Conservatives, Mark Reckless describes the six per cent rate of land transaction tax as "Labour's super tax".

    He claims that the Welsh Labour Government’s first use of new tax powers could undermine the viability of development and investment in Wales, including foreign direct investment.

    Mark Reckless
  12. Welsh Conservatives debate

    The topic chosen by the Welsh Conservatives for their debate is land transaction tax on commercial land.

    The motion calls for a reduction of the tax on commercial land transactions above £1 million – which is currently set at 6% - to encourage economic development and inward investment into Wales.

    The party points out that the rate is "significantly higher" than the equivalent rates for such transactions in England (five per cent) and Scotland (4.5 per cent).

  13. Welsh Government rejects four recommendations

    Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning, Eluned Morgan sets out the Welsh Government's response, which can be seen in detail here.

    Four recommendations are rejected, including that the Welsh Government should "provide more support to employers in raising awareness among a wider range of young people of the benefits of apprenticeships".

    The Welsh Government says it "already provides extensive information on the benefits and opportunities that apprenticeships provide to young people".

    Eluned Morgan
  14. Video content

    Video caption: Welsh Government under pressure over disabled grant cut

    Labour politicians want the Welsh Government to reverse a decision to cut a grant for the most disabled.

  15. 'Tackling the wider prejudices and conventions'

    Committee chair Russell George (Montgomeryshire) presents the report, which has 14 recommendations.

    The first recommendation is that "the Welsh Government should ensure there is no let up in support to tackling the wider prejudices and conventions regarding gender and careers so that the widest opportunity is available to all".

    Russell George
  16. Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee report

    The first debate of the day is on the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee report Apprenticeships in Wales.

    Apprenticeships
  17. 'Serious concerns' about DWP's proposal

    Minister for Housing and Regeneration Rebecca Evans says the Welsh Government has "serious concerns" about the DWP's proposal.

    Hefin David says the closure of the DWP office in Caerphilly, where 225 staff currently work, will have "a detrimental impact on the town centre".

    He says the decision "flies in the face" of the Welsh Government's Our Valleys Our Future strategy.

    Hefin David
  18. Topical Question 2: centralisation of Department of Work and Pensions jobs

    Hefin David (Caerphilly):What discussions has the Welsh Government had with the UK Government regarding the proposed centralisation of existing Department of Work and Pensions jobs at Treforest industrial estate?

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said its new base at Treforest, near Pontypridd, would be more cost-effective.

    Offices will close in Cardiff, Newport, Merthyr Tydfil, Cwmbran and Caerphilly.

    The new base will be more cost-effective than the existing smaller offices, the DWP says
    Image caption: The new base will be more cost-effective than the existing smaller offices, the DWP says