Labour's Welsh dominance ending, says Clegg
2:43pm Monday 19th April 2010 in Video
LABOUR'S dominance of Welsh politics is coming to an end, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg declared today.
At a press conference in Cardiff, Mr Clegg said Lib Dem plans to create green jobs would add more than £125 million to Wales's devolved budget.
The Lib Dems are defending four of Wales's 40 seats and their status as Wales's second-biggest party in Westminster.
Mr Clegg's second visit to Wales during the General Election campaign comes after a surge in the opinion polls following his performance on last week's televised leaders' debate.
He said: "The General Election campaign is starting to come to life for the simple reason that a growing number of people are starting to believe, starting to hope that we can do something different this time.’’ His party was offering "real fairness, real change to Wales, a country which has been shamefully let down by Labour’’.
Average weekly earnings were lower in Wales than the UK average despite three terms of a Labour government, he said.
"This is in Wales, which was supposed to be the country that Labour was going to represent and help,’’ he said.
"The message to the people of Wales is, don't let Labour let you down for a fourth time.
"I believe the age of Labour dominance in Wales is now starting to come to an end.’’ Describing the economy as the "dominant issue’’ of the election, the Lib Dems said their stimulus for green jobs could create work for thousands of people in Wales.
The party does not agree with proposals to build a huge barrage across the Severn estuary to harness its tidal power. It would prefer to see smaller lagoons it says can be built quicker and would have less impact on the local environment.
Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams, who yesterday took part in a Sky News debate between Welsh party leaders, said: "There seems to be a lot of interest here this morning.
"I can only assume that's because of the interest in the televised debate. I really enjoyed the experience - and Nick was not bad on Thursday either.
"People want something different and they are beginning to tune back into politics.’’ Half of unemployed people in Wales were aged under 25, she said.
"We believe that government can play a decisive role in creating jobs, not only as a way of tackling climate change but as a way of tackling unemployment too.’’