The Welsh Government has voted down a second Private Members Bill in a week, leading to a furious reaction from the Welsh Conservative Party.
Welsh Conservative AM – Darren Millar – slammed the Welsh Governments ‘tribalism’ as a key contributor to its failings in Wales, and described its rigid approach to politics as ‘comparative of an authoritarian regime’.
Last week the Welsh Government voted against Assembly Member Paul Davies’ private bill which aimed to ensure increased support for autistic people of all ages, by addressing issues such as health and social services, educational outcomes, access to housing, and employment. This week’s Bill was proposed by Mr Millar, and was designed to ensure that older people in Wales were protected, promoted and respected by public sector decision makers. The Bill was backed by the Older People’s Commissioner, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, Age Cymru, Age Connects, and the Cymru Older People’s Alliance, amongst others.
Proposals for Mr Millar’s Bill had previously received cross-party support, and the Welsh Government supported a motion which was agreed by the National Assembly for Wales on 12th January 2016 to bring forward legislation to protect and promote the rights of older people.
Speaking after the vote, Mr Millar said:
“This is not the way politics should be handled in this country, and it’s not the footing that the First Minister should start on with his new Government. It’s a tribal attitude and it is holding Wales back.
“The Welsh Government does not have a monopoly on good ideas. Both this Bill - and last week’s Autism Bill - are non-contentious proposals which had widespread cross party and stakeholder support.
“We are supposed to be a democracy where the ideas of all elected representatives, regardless of their party politics, can be treated with respect, but in Wales, under this regime, that clearly isn’t the case.”