Wales politics

Labour's Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn make funding promises


The two Labour leadership candidates have laid out their promises for funding to Wales at a heated and fractious debate in Cardiff.

Owen Smith promised an extra £10bn for infrastructure in Wales and to allow spending on the NHS to increase by 4% each year in the next parliament.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn vowed to help keep Port Talbot steelworks open.

Thursday's debate, at Cardiff All Nations Centre, was the first of a series before a leadership vote.

Mr Corbyn said he would re-engage voters in Wales "by investing in public services, by investment in housing, by investment in health.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJeremy Corbyn vowed to keep Port Talbot steelworks open

He added: "But above all, investment in job opportunities."

He said he would not "punish the people of Wales by underfunding the Welsh Government", adding there would be "recognition of the levels of poverty that exist in many of the valley towns".

Transport was also prominent, with Mr Corbyn saying he would like to see the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway line reopened and South Wales Metro project go ahead.

It is "utterly ridiculous that it's very difficult to travel other than by car from north to south Wales", he added.

In response, Mr Smith, the Pontypridd MP, said he would increase the budget to the Welsh Assembly and added: "Let's invest in the NHS in Wales."

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionOwen Smith promised £10bn Welsh investment

He said he would invest an "extra £10bn in infrastructure" in Wales over a parliament - part of his plan for £200bn in infrastructure spending.

Mr Smith also vowed to invest an extra £1bn a year in resource funding, saying the Welsh Government could increase spending on the NHS by 4% every year in the next parliament.

"To do all of that we've got to be a Labour government," he said.

There are six head-to-heads planned, with the next in Gateshead on 11 August.

The result of the two-way contest is due to be announced at a special Labour conference on 24 September.

More on this story