Our vision for the future

What is Plaid's vision for the future of our nation?

In March 2011, the people of Wales will be asked to take the crucially important step of voting 'yes' in a referendum in order to give the National Assembly of Wales the ability to pass our own laws.

Plaid Cymru has long supported the right of the National Assembly to have law-making powers in the areas that are already devolved. Independent opinion polls tell us that the people of Wales support stronger legislative powers for the Assembly and an end to the current expensive, complicated and bureaucratic LCO system as a further step towards improved Welsh democracy. It's now time for our nation to take that next step.

Plaid Cymru is unique in Welsh politics as the only party that will always put Wales first. Although it is vital that we concentrate on the problems facing Wales at the moment, it is also our responsibility to discuss our longer term vision for Wales – and of course our long term aim remains independence.

Could Wales flourish as an independent nation? We think that Wales can. We have recently celebrated the first ten years of devolution – but we believe that the next ten years will be the real decade of change. Wales and her people are ready and willing to ask the difficult questions – and also to come up with the solutions.

However, in the short term, the Welsh government needs the financial tools to do the job properly. Our public services in Wales are losing out by at least £300 million a year and £8.5 billion a decade due to the unfair funding formula, now condemned as out-of-date by four separate independent reports, including the Holtham Independent Commission on Funding and Finance, which advocates funding for Wales based on relative need. We will continue to call for the adoption of Holtham recommendations.

Following years of Labour mismanagement of the UK economy, the new Westminster coalition government has also condemned us to massive public spending cuts – cuts described by the Welsh government as a "hammer blow for the people of Wales, the worst since devolution and the lowest settlement of all the devolved nations." Here in Wales, we are set to lose almost £2 billion over the next four years. That's £2 billion taken from our NHS, our schools, our communities, our public transport, our carers, and much more.

This is why, now, more than ever, is the time Wales needs strong and ambitious leadership, and Plaid Cymru is ready to lead us into a new decade of change for Wales.