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‘Labour’s proudest achievement isn’t even their own’ – Eluned Parrott

July 11, 2012 4:19 PM

Eluned Parrott, Assembly Member for South Wales Central, has derided the Welsh Labour party after it has repeatedly trumpeted a policy that was only implemented on Welsh Liberal Democrat insistence.

Last May the Welsh Liberal Democrats agreed to support the Welsh Labour Government's budget on the basis that increased funding would go towards the most disadvantaged pupils. Since then the Welsh Labour Party has sent out numerous press releases praising the policy and claiming it as one of its own. This afternoon, Vaughan Gething AM welcomed the £180k of new money going towards schools in Penarth & Sully all "thanks to Welsh Labour Government".

Eluned Parrott commented:

"I know there is a by-election coming up, but the gall of the Labour party really is staggering. Only yesterday, Vaughan Gething and his Labour colleagues voted in the chamber against extending the Pupil Deprivation Grant for another year. How did Vaughan think it acceptable to put this story up on his website after doing such a thing?

"It's almost amusing to see Welsh Labour patting themselves on the back over this. After over a decade of Labour Governance in Wales, one of Labour's proudest achievements isn't even their own. Let's be clear, this investment wouldn't have happened were it not for the Welsh Liberal Democrat Pupil Premium.

"The Pupil Deprivation Grant, which is the name the Labour Government rather pettily insisted on renaming it rather than the Pupil Premium, was a key manifesto pledge of the Welsh Liberal Democrats that we have now duly delivered for the people of Wales.

"The Labour party has nothing whatsoever to proud of with regards to education in Wales. For too long Labour has allowed our education system to get increasingly worse, with the amount we spend per pupil less than in England. Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that investment in our education system is the best way to break the cycle of poverty, poor health and a weak economy. By introducing the Welsh Pupil Premium we ensured that education was treated with the respect and priority it deserves."

The Welsh Liberal Democrats' Pupil Premium has meant that since April this year every child in Wales on free schools meals has received an extra £450 of funding. This takes the total spending for the Pupil Premium up £32 million.