Welsh election: Boost Senedd to fight capitalism, say Communists

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The Communist Party is standing candidates in all five Senedd regions

The Communist Party is calling for more powers and resources for the Welsh Parliament to challenge "big business market capitalism" in Britain.

Launching its manifesto for the Senedd election, party general secretary Robert Griffiths said it would fight to win back post-Brexit powers transferred from Wales to UK ministers.

"This power grab must be reversed if we are to save the Welsh steel industry," he said.

Polling day is Thursday 6 May.

The 18-page Welsh Communist manifesto, "Real Power for the People of Wales", says the party wants to use powers available now the UK has left the EU to improve the environment and public transport, promote renewable energy, boost local businesses and build more social and council housing.

Mr Griffiths said Communist Party Senedd members would seek powers for Wales that the prime minister had acquired from Brussels using the UK Internal Market Act.

"Boris Johnson has used Brexit and the Covid crisis to centralise power in the hands of the British state, having been helped into office by the all-party effort to sabotage the democratic result of the EU referendum," he said.

"This power grab must be reversed if we are to save the Welsh steel industry through public ownership and build a planned, technologically advanced and sustainable green economy."

In the past week the Welsh government was refused permission for a High Court legal challenge against the UK government over the Internal Market Act.

Ministers in Cardiff claim the legislation could stop them making laws in devolved areas, while the UK government says nothing in the post-Brexit trade rules "alters the devolved competence of the Senedd".

The High Court ruled that the bid for a judicial review was "premature".

WALES ELECTION: THE BASICS

What's happening? On 6 May, people will vote to elect 60 Members of the Senedd (MSs). The party that can command the support of a majority of MSs will form the Welsh government. Find out more here.

What powers does the Senedd have? MSs pass laws on aspects of life in Wales such as health, education and transport - and have some tax powers.

The manifesto, launched two weeks before the election, also calls for Wales to have greater freedom to borrow, both at Senedd/Welsh government and local authority level.

Council tax, it says, should be replaced by a local income tax "based on the ability to pay".

Communist health policies include changing the way GP surgeries are commissioned and run by introducing in local areas a "primary health service that has responsibility for that whole community's long-term health".

"Primary health partnerships should bring together GPs, the local council and residents, housing associations, schools and public health professionals to tackle generations of ill-health," the document states.

The Communist Party is standing candidates on lists in all five Senedd regions, which elect 20 of the Welsh Parliament's 60 members using a system of proportional representation.

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Note: This lookup covers national elections in Scotland and Wales, the Hartlepool by-election, as well as council and mayoral elections in England and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections in England and Wales. There may be parish council elections or council by-elections where you are. Check your local council website for full details. Last updated: May 11, 2021, 12:35 GMT