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  1. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with an Emergency Question on border arrangements for Northern Ireland
  2. Questions to the First Minister
  3. Statement: Public Good and a Prosperous Wales - Consultation Response
  4. Debate: Stage 4 of the Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights (Wales) Bill
  5. Debate: The Draft Budget 2018-19
  6. Debate: Air Quality

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK


That brings today's proceedings in the Siambr to a close.

Senedd Live returns tomorrow for the Children, Young People and Education Committee.


Abolition of the Right to Buy Bill passes stage 4

That completes Stage 4 of the Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights (Wales) Bill.

The bill, promised by Labour at the 2016 assembly election, is expected to come into effect before the next election, in 2021.

the vote

Guide to Public Bills and Acts

Next, the AMs will vote on Stage 4 of the Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights (Wales) Bill.

There is generally a four-stage process for the consideration of a Public Bill involving:

  • Stage 1 – consideration of the general principles of the Bill by a committee, and the agreement of those general principles by the Assembly;
  • Stage 2 – detailed consideration by a committee of the Bill and any amendments tabled to that Bill;
  • Stage 3 – detailed consideration, by the Assembly, of the Bill and any amendments tabled to that Bill;
  • Stage 4 – a vote by the Assembly to pass the final text of the Bill.

Active travel 'a major opportunity'

Former environment minister John Griffiths says towns and cities face big challenges in terms of air quality and that active travel is a major opportunity for Wales to reduce vehicle use.

John Griffiths

'Innovative measures promoted by the UK Government'

Conservative David Melding commends the "innovative measures promoted by the UK Government, such as phasing out all diesel and petrol engines by 2040 – and calls for greater partnership links between the Welsh and UK Government on this policy, to ensure the transition to zero-emission road transport in the UK and bringing forward the associated public health outcomes."

'Air pollution a public health issue'

Plaid Cymru calls upon the Welsh Government to

  • treat air pollution as a public health issue.
  • publish a national air pollution strategy.
  • issue guidance to local health boards on alerting residents of air pollution levels.
  • issue guidance to local authorities on how they should monitor air quality outside schools and on active travel routes.
  • recognise the need to decarbonise the transport sector and welcomes the provision of £2 million towards electric vehicle charging as a result of Plaid Cymru’s budget agreement with the Welsh Government.

'A clean air plan for Wales'

Minister for Environment Hannah Blythyn says the Welsh Government is developing "a clean air plan for Wales to deliver improvements over and above legal compliance for all our citizens, including through:

a) a clean air zone framework to ensure the consistent and effective implementation of clean air zones by local authorities, wherever they are needed;

b) improvements to local authority reporting on air quality issues in their areas and their plans to deal with them;

c) the establishment of a national air quality assessment and monitoring centre for Wales, to advise local and national government on the extent of poor air quality and the effectiveness of current and future actions;

d) the delivery of an on-going air quality campaign and other interventions to raise public awareness of poor air quality and to change behaviour."

Hannah Blythyn

'Urgent need for action'

The final debate of the day is on air quality.

Nitrogen dioxide limits were introduced in EU law in 1999, with the aim of achieving them by 2010.

AMs discuss "the urgent need for action, including work across all parts of the Welsh Government, to tackle poor air quality affecting human health and the natural environment in Wales".

Air pollution
Getty Images

'Delivering prosperity for all during these difficult times'

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford that the "spending plans before the assembly today, together with our progressive tax plans, demonstrate our commitment to Taking Wales Forward and delivering prosperity for all during these difficult times".

'Always money for Labour's friends in the bay'

"There's always money for Labour's friends in the bay," says Neil McEvoy, adding "I'm tired of the dependency culture in Wales".

He says although "Plaid Cymru has been involved in the budget... 99% of it is all Labour and it really shows".

Mr McEvoy was suspended from the Plaid Cymru group in the assembly in March.

'Transformative change' needed

The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s chair Dai Lloyd presents its report on the Welsh Government’s draft budget 2018-19.

He says "it is disappointing that four of the seven local health boards reported a deficit in at least one of the preceding three years.

"In particular, it is of concern that Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda both reported a deficit in each of the years 2014-15 to 2016-17."

One of the conclusions is that "finding further efficiencies and reforming current health services are vital if these challenges are to be met.

"Urgent attention is needed to ensure that the Welsh Government’s allocations for NHS Wales expenditure is used in a way which will deliver transformative change".

Dai Lloyd

What would the £500m otherwise be spent on?

Referring to Steffan Lewis' claim that Plaid Cymru has secured £500m for its manifesto commitments since last May's assembly election, UKIP leader Neil Hamilton says he would like to know what the £500m would otherwise be spent on.

He also compares that figure unfavourably with the £1 billion deal agreed between the Conservatives and the DUP.

Spending plans

The agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru, announced in October, includes £30m for a power plant at the Port Talbot steelworks and £2m to scrap the Cleddau Bridge tolls - which are 75p for cars - by 2020.

Other commitments include:

  • £14m to develop north Wales undergraduate medical training
  • £15m for improvements to sections of the A487 and the A470 from 2019
  • £3m for the design and development of the third Menai bridge crossing
  • £2m for electric charging points
  • £5m from 2019 for a national art museum and north Wales football museum
  • £10m investment in the Welsh language
  • No cuts to the supporting people grant, which helps vulnerable people live independently

Plaid Cymru said it had also secured the re-establishment of perinatal mental health support service in Wales, as well as 80 new district nurses.

Some of the cash - about £50m per year - is allocated to pay for commitmentsthat were made previously in the 2017-18 budget deal with Plaid Cymru.

Budget 'fails to adequately meet the needs of the Welsh people'

Conservative Nick Ramsay says the Welsh Government's draft budget 2018-2019 "fails to adequately meet the needs of the Welsh people".

He criticizes "cuts to rural affairs, local government and the economy".

Nick Ramsay

'Lack of transparency in the impact on overall local government funding'

Finance Committee chair Simon Thomas presents its report, which has nine recommendations and in which taxation is an important consideration.

The report also states that "the lack of transparency in terms of the impact on overall local government funding was a concern until the publication of the settlement.

"In future years, the Committee would like to see the Strategic Integrated Impact Assessment explain more in terms of how decisions had been prioritised and reached."

'Less than satisfactory nature of unavoidably disjointed way'

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford says "I do appreciate the less than satisfactory nature of providing information in this unavoidably disjointed way.

"It is a consequence of the interaction between our budget timetable and that of the UK government".

Chancellor Philip Hammond's stamp duty cut for first time buyers means more money for Mr Drakeford and he tells AMs that he'll make an announcement on spending it before end of term, so within a fortnight.

Mark Drakeford

Welsh Government accused of 'press release' politics

BBC journalist tweets

Labour and Plaid Cymru have agreed two-year budget deal

We move on to a debate on the draft budget 2018-19.

Plaid Cymru has agreed to back the Labour-led Welsh Government's budget for the next two years.

The deal, said to be worth £210m, includes £40m to boost mental health funding and £40m for higher and further education between 2018 and 2020.

Labour and Plaid Cymru

'Plaid Cymru policy for decades'

Sian Gwenllian says "abolition of the Right to Buy has been Plaid Cymru policy for decades".

Right to Buy has already been suspended in Anglesey, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Swansea under existing powers.

Sian Gwenllian

'Narrow left-wing ideology'

Conservative housing spokesman David Melding describes Right to Buy as "a remarkably successful and popular policy".

He expresses regret that Conservative attempts last week to delay the scrapping of tenants' right to buy council homes in Wales failed.

Tory AMs have argued tenants should have at least two years to apply to buy their homes after the new law takes effect, not the year ministers have planned.

But all amendments to the bill proposed were rejected in the Senedd last week.

He says this bill only serves a "narrow left-wing ideology".

David Melding

Stage 4 debate

We now reach the Stage 4 debate of the Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights (Wales) Bill.

Right to Buy was introduced in 1980 but has led to pressures on the Welsh social housing stock, which has reduced by 45% in that time.

Some 139,000 council and housing association homes have been sold since Right to Buy was introduced in 1980.

The Welsh Government hopes ending the policy will reduce pressure on social housing but the Conservatives say Labour ministers have caused the shortages by not increasing the supply of housing.

Margaret Thatcher and the first tenants to buy their own home
Margaret Thatcher and the first tenants to buy their own home

'I don't see any sign of you tackling the problem'

UKIP's Michelle Brown says that "widening access for under-represented groups and lack of opportunity for part-time study was an issue for the respondents, but I'm sorry cabinet secretary I don't see any sign of you tackling the problem".

Michelle Brown

Hope for a 'coherent, comprehensive reform of the sector'

Plaid Cymru's Llyr Gruffydd describes the reform as "a journey going in the right direction".

He hopes for a "coherent, comprehensive reform of the sector" but warns "there is a danger if we start hiving bits off that it becomes piecemeal".

Llyr Gruffydd
Brexit falsehood being stirred up, David Davis claims
Brexit Secretary David Davis rejects as a "foolish mistake" claims by Carwyn Jones and others that any part of the UK will be "left behind" in the customs union or single market.

'Crucial opportunity'

Conservative Darren Millar says "these reforms give us a crucial opportunity to create the flexible and agile education and training system that we all want to see".

Darren Millar

'Public Good and a Prosperous Wales'

The first statement of the day is by the Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams: "Public Good and a Prosperous Wales - Consultation Response".

The Welsh Government has received 92 written responses to its consultation on proposals to reform post-compulsory education and training (PCET).

View more on twitter

'It's not true, it's not true'

When Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas raises ex-minister Leighton Andrews' claim that he told the first minister "face-to-face" in 2014 that he believed the special advisers' code had been broken, and that Mr Jones had told him an investigation would be held, Mr Jones can be heard to say: "It's not true, it's not true".

That response is unlikely to appear in the Record of Proceedings as it was off-mic.

Simon Thomas
Simon Thomas

Business Statement and Announcement

The next item is the Business Statement and Announcement.

Leader of the House Julie James outlines the Assembly's future business and responds to requests from AMs.

Julie James

'Many people know who the complainants are against Carl Sargeant'

Neil McEvoy says it "seems that there are many people here who know who the complainants are against Carl Sargeant and the nature of the complaints".

Neil McEvoy

Who is telling the truth?

Mr Davies asks: "Can you clear up, who is telling the truth, Leighton Andrews or yourself?"

The first minister replies: "I've just answered your question. There were no allegations of bullying".

Asked to give more detail on what the issues were that he said had been dealt with in the past, Mr Jones suggests there had been conflicts over the "title of bills".

Leighton Andrews
Leighton Andrews

Allegations of bullying

Challenged by Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies whether ex-Welsh Government minister Leighton Andrews made "a complaint of any nature in 2014 about the conduct or behaviour of members of staff in the Welsh Government, or your office?" the first minister replies, "no".

Andrew RT Davies
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Irish Government 'share our concerns'

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood asks what influence the first minister has "to protect the port of Holyhead from a new hard border".

The first minister says the Irish Government "share our concerns", adding "the last thing they want to see is a border between Wales and Ireland as a maritime border".

She says there is no clarity on what the Labour position is, and calls on Labour MPs to back a distinct Brexit deal for Wales.

The first minister replies it would be easier to see a good deal for "the whole UK".

Leanne Wood

First minister 'responsible for conduct of special advisers'

In response to UKIP leader Neil Hamilton, the first minister says he is responsible for the appointment and conduct of special advisers but not their pay and conditions.

Neil Hamilton

Adherence to the ministerial code

The first of the tabled questions to the first minister is by Darren Millar: Will the First Minister confirm the process for addressing complaints regarding the First Minister's adherence to the ministerial code?

Mr Jones replies any complaints regarding adherence to the ministerial code should be submitted to him as first minister.

All AMs can provide evidence that they think they have, he adds.

'Very serious implications for Holyhead port'

Rhun ap Iorwerth, AM for Ynys Môn, says there would be "very serious implications for Holyhead port of a hard border there.

Might there be greater customs checks at Holyhead after Brexit?
Might there be greater customs checks at Holyhead after Brexit?

'We fully expect to be made the same offer'

First Minister Carwyn Jones says, "we cannot allow parts of the UK to be more favorably treated than others.

"If one part of the UK is granted continued participation in the single market and customs union then we fully expect to be made the same offer."

Carwyn Jones