Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: Labour promises Wales 'hope' not 'despair'

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Media captionOwen Smith says Labour UK ministers would give Wales more cash than they would take away in cuts

Voters have a choice between hope and despair, Labour has said, as it launched its Welsh manifesto.

Wales will get an extra £375m a year from a so-called "mansion tax" and a 50p tax rate on incomes above £150,000.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said it was a plan that would make a difference to communities up and down Wales.

The party also confirmed for the first time that it would devolve control of Severn Bridge tolls to Wales when the crossings pass into public ownership.

'Message of despair'

Launching the manifesto in Llandudno, Mr Jones said it showed the worth of "two Labour governments working for Wales".

He said he wanted to put the last five years of coalition government "in the history books".

"We have a Labour party sounding like a government and a Conservative party looking like an opposition," he said.

"The rise of the small parties is a distraction. This election is a choice between a Labour prime minister and a Tory prime minister.

"The message of hope from Labour and a message of despair from the Tories."

Key points

Image copyright Labour Party
  • A budget responsibility lock - no policy needs additional borrowing
  • An economy that works for working people
  • World class health and education services
  • Help families and communities thrive through housing and social policies
  • Further devolution and reform of government to give more power to people
  • Stand up for Wales and Britain's interests in Europe and the world

'Sharing rewards'

Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith promised growth would be shared fairly.

"That is the Labour Party. Sharing rewards, pooling risk, solidarity," he said.

"At the heart of this manifesto is a promise to make Britain work once again for working families."

He added: "I believe we are going to win this election campaign. I think we are going to win it well."

Labour also said it would guarantee a minimum level for the Welsh government budget - although there is no figure placed on this "floor".

The plan is to stop Wales being short-changed by the population-based Barnett formula used by the UK Treasury.

Labour currently holds 26 of Wales' 40 seats, and its targets include Conservative-held Cardiff North, Lib Dem-held Cardiff Central and Plaid Cymru-held Arfon.

Image caption Carwyn Jones (left) launches Labour's Welsh manifesto in Llandudno

However, Plaid Cymru is challenging Labour politicians to drop what it calls their "commitment to Tory cuts".

The call came as Plaid leader Leanne Wood prepared to take part in a live televised debate in London involving five of Westminster's opposition party leaders.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives say housing association tenants should gain the right to buy their homes in Wales.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced the policy for England when he launched the Tory UK manifesto on Tuesday.

The Welsh Conservatives say they oppose plans by Labour ministers in Wales to scrap the "right to buy" for people renting their council homes if Labour is in power after next year's assembly election.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats warned that a "BLUKIP" alliance of "right wing Tories and UKIP" could hold the balance of power after polling day, urging voters to back Lib Dem candidates, to keep the next UK government "anchored in the centre ground".

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