Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood calls for 'green New Deal for Wales'


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Indy Politics

Leanne Wood, the leader of the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru, will today promise a green New Deal to address the economic crisis in Wales.

Ms Wood, who will address Plaid members in Brecon, will say the party will offer "new solutions and new thinking" and a "radically different way of working" to improve the Welsh economy.

Wood, a former probation officer, was elected six months ago and succeeded Ieuan Wyn Jones following the nationalists' "disappointing" Assembly election results.

Despite her party trailing in third place - its poorest showing since devolution in Wales - the Plaid chief is happy with the progress the party is making and says she is hopeful of electoral success in 2016.

In her speech later today the new party leader, who describes herself as a socialist, feminist and republican, will say her party would implement a Roosevelt-style New Deal to address the problems with the Welsh economy: “Wales needs jobs. It's as simple as that. And there's plenty of work that needs doing. Like Roosevelt and his economic plans in the United States of the '30s , Wales needs a new New Deal,” she will say.

“A green New Deal - aiming to provide skills, work, hope and opportunity for a new generation who have a right to believe that life can be better.

She will also use the speech to attack the UK government austerity cuts saying: "So let's be clear. Austerity has nothing to do with economics; it has everything to do with politics. The recession has given this Government a golden opportunity to attack the Welfare State and those who rely on it…and attack they have."

Despite putting Welsh independence front and centre during her campaign to be elected leader, it's thought Wood is unlikely to mention the issue in today's speech, although some reference to constitutional issues is expected.

She will say the first days of a Plaid Cymru government in Wales would feature proposals to increase the capital available to Wales and plans to increase Wales' ability to draw investment from home and abroad, she will say: “Wherever people live in Wales, their main concern is the economy. One of things that businesses have been telling us that there is big problem in terms of accessing finance and capital. Another one of things I will be outlining is ways in which we can make more finance available for businesses.”