The Welsh Government has today released its new legislative programme aimed to help shape the Wales of the future as it recovers from the pandemic.
Counsel General for Wales, Mick Antoniw, announced the new laws which will help transform Wales into a ‘stronger, greener and fairer’ country.
The last year has been incredibly busy in terms of Welsh Government legislation, with a large increase in the regulations made in the Senedd due to the Coronavirus pandemic and Brexit, as well as the passing of major Acts to make changes to education and local government.
The Welsh Government will now bring forward five new Bills in the first year of this Senedd and a wide array regulations, as well as any other legislation needed to manage the pandemic.
The first year Bills, which will be introduced from the autumn:
- A new system will be put in place for post-16 education and training in Wales. The long-term programme of education reform will make sure nobody is left behind after the pandemic.
- A new agriculture Bill will create a new system of farm payments in Wales. The new payments system will reward farmers for their response to the climate and nature emergencies as well as supporting them to produce Welsh food in a sustainable way.
- The fair work rights of workers will be ensured by the Social Partnership and Public Procurement Bill. The Bill will also lead to more socially responsible public procurement.
- There will be a Bill to enable changes to devolved taxes to respond quickly to unexpected events which could have a significant impact on Welsh revenues.
- And the Government will introduce its first consolidation Bill, to make the law in Wales more accessible. It will bring together a mass of very old, complicated legislation relating to listed buildings and the historic environment, to create a single and fully bilingual law which is easy to understand.
The Welsh Government will also bring forward new regulations – sometimes called subordinate legislation – to support schools and teachers to deliver radical changes to Wales’ school curriculum.
Regulations will also be introduced to make 20mph the default speed limit in residential areas and ban pavement parking wherever possible. This will make our streets more accessible for disabled people and parents with prams and pushchairs.
The Renting Homes (Wales) Act will be implemented, which will improve the rights of people who rent their home, prevent retaliatory eviction, ensure homes are better places to live, and require that tenants are given written contracts.
Legislation will also be introduced to give more support to learners up to the age of 25 with additional learning needs.
The new scheme, which was envisaged by the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act, will ensure children and young people, families and services work better together to focus on learners’ individual needs.
The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said:
“Our ambitious programme is only the start of the legislative journey in this Senedd.
“Our Programme for Government, with its focus on a stronger, greener and fairer Wales, sets out our longer term ambitions that require legislation. These include abolishing the use of commonly littered, single use plastics; bringing forward our Clean Air Act and addressing building safety to ensure another Grenfell never happens.”
Mick Antoniw added:
“Our focus will be on delivering our legislative programme that is founded on our distinctively Welsh values.
“We will ensure that the new laws work to benefit the people of Wales in their daily lives. In terms of their rights at work, their ability to rent a home and making our streets safer for everyone.”