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Section highlightThe People’s NHS Part of an initiative to engage the public in creating a safe and sustainable health service for the future.
Community Support Officers at work »Action on the ground to provide reassurance and tackle anti-social behaviour.Learn more »
First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
People from across Wales with an interest in the Welsh language are being asked to take action on its future in a national online conversation.
- Local Government Democracy Bill approved
- Minister welcomes report which could change shape and structure of education delivery in Wales for the better
- First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
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Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
The Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-2023 »The 3rd phase focuses on ensuring that older people in Wales have the resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face.Learn more »
- A new vision for a National Youth Work Strategy
- The future delivery of education services in Wales
- Consultation on Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development
- Draft industrial and commercial sector plan
- Waste Prevention Programme
- Building Control system and Approved Document supporting regulation 7
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Section highlightReview of the Planning Enforcement System
The research covers 18 recommendations for the future Welsh enforcement system.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
WIIP Pipeline »
The June 2013 pipeline includes key infrastructure investment data for both the Welsh Government and Local Government schemes.Learn more »
The UK parliamentary ombudsman, Ann Abraham, reported today on her investigation into actions by UK Government bodies relating to the security of final salary occupational pensions. The role of the ombudsman is to consider complaints that individuals have suffered injustice as a consequence of maladministration on the part of UK Government departments and other bodies within her jurisdiction.
The First Minister and I are well aware of the plight of the individuals and their families affected through our many discussions on behalf of former Allied Steel and Wire workers. Following ASW’s going into receivership, we have made the reinstating of full pension rights to ASW workers a priority, and we continue to work closely with the Community union on behalf of former ASW workers to ensure reinstatement of their pension entitlements.
Pension policy is a reserved function, but the Assembly Government has nevertheless ensured that the plight of former ASW employees continues to be heard. Following ASW’s going into receivership in 2002, as a Government, we brokered a number of meetings with the receivers, the pension trustees and the Department for Work and Pensions, including past and current Secretaries of State, to press the case for the reinstatement of pension entitlements to all those who, like ASW workers, were affected by a pension shortfall. Indeed, it is probable that the well-organised official ASW campaign was instrumental in forming a pension protection fund to ensure that workers get a decent pension if their firm goes bust in the future.
On 14 May 2004, Andrew Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, announced the financial assistance scheme to help those not covered by future legislation. However, it became clear that the financial assistance scheme will not provide blanket support to all members of eligible pension schemes. Indeed, under current legislation, only a small percentage of former ASW workers will benefit. We have continued to press for the inclusion of all affected pension scheme members in the financial assistance scheme, and we raised this matter recently with the Secretary of State at a meeting that was jointly chaired by the First Minister and Mick Leahy, the general secretary of the Community union. I was pleased, therefore, to hear the Prime Minister speaking today about expediting the financial assistance scheme, which is still under review. We would fully endorse that.
The ombudsman’s report makes five recommendations to the UK Government, one of which is that it should consider whether arrangements should be made to restore the core pension and non-core benefits to those categories of scheme members covered by her report. The UK Government has carefully considered the report, but it does not accept that maladministration occurred, or that taxpayers should cover the costs of the pensions promises made by employers, an amount estimated at some £15 billion. The UK Government has said that responsibility must fall on those companies whose schemes were being wound up, and on the trustees who, with the benefit of professional advice, were responsible for protecting members’ interests. There will be much further discussion on this matter, and, as a Government, we will consider the ombudsman’s report fully. We will do our part by continuing to push for all former ASW workers in the financial assistance scheme. As a Government, we continue to represent the best interests of the Community union members and their families.