Welsh Government Programme for government: update
Our government programme has been updated to reflect the Co-operation Agreement reached with Plaid Cymru.
In this page
This refreshed version of the Programme for Government incorporates the Co-operation Agreement. Responsibility for the commitments that directly contribute to our well-being objectives will rest with the First Minister and the full Cabinet as these will require the highest level of co-ordination and integration across the whole of government.
Ministers will take direct responsibility for the remaining commitments. Both sets of commitments will be treated with equal weight – the distinction between the two reflects the allocation of responsibilities and not their relative importance or priority.
In those areas covered by the Co-operation Agreement Ministers will work with Plaid Cymru under the terms of the Agreement.
Programme for government 2021 to 2026
Provide effective, high quality and sustainable healthcare
- Establish a new medical school in North Wales.
- Provide treatments which have been delayed by the pandemic.
- Deliver better access to doctors, nurses, dentists and other health professionals.
- Reform primary care, bringing together GP services with pharmacy, therapy, housing, social care, mental health, community and third sector.
- Prioritise investment in mental health.
- Prioritise service redesign to improve prevention, tackle stigma and promote a nowrong door approach to mental health support.
- Roll out child and adolescent mental health services ‘inreach’ in schools across Wales.
- Introduce an all-Wales framework to roll out social prescribing to tackle isolation.
- Review patient pathway planning and hospice funding.
- Develop an HIV action plan for Wales.
- Introduce an autism statutory code of practice on the delivery of autism services
Protect, re-build and develop our services for vulnerable people
- Pay care workers the real living wage and working with social partners through the Fair Work Forum consider further steps towards parity of recognition and reward for care workers.
- Increase apprenticeships in care and recruit more Welsh speakers.
- Establish an expert group to advise by April 2022 on the practical steps towards delivering a national care service that is free at the point of need.
- Legislate to further integrate health and social care services.
- Support innovative housing development to meet care needs.
- Fund childcare for more families where parents are in education and training or on the edge of work.
- Deliver a phased expansion of early years provision to include all 2 year olds, with a particular emphasis on strengthening Welsh medium provision.
- Continue to support our flagship Flying Start programmes.
- Prevent families breaking up by funding advocacy services for parents whose children are at risk of coming into care.
- Provide additional specialist support for children with complex needs who may be on the edge of care.
- Explore radical reform of current services for children looked after and care leavers.
- Eliminate private profit from the care of children looked after.
- Fund regional residential services for children with complex needs ensuring their needs are met as close to home as possible and in Wales wherever practicable.
- Strengthen public bodies in their role as ‘corporate parent’.
Build an economy based on the principles of fair work, sustainability and the industries and services of the future
- Deliver the Young Persons Guarantee, giving everyone under 25 the offer of work, education, training, or selfemployment.
- Create 125,000 all-age apprenticeships.
- Put social partnership on a statutory footing through the Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Bill.
- Use the new network of Disabled People’s Employment Champions to help close the gap between disabled people and the rest of the working population.
- Strengthen our Economic Contract.
- Support the Wales TUC proposals for union members to become Green Representatives in the workplace.
- Support the creation of a Community Bank for Wales.
- Develop a Tidal Lagoon Challenge and support ideas that can make Wales a world centre of emerging tidal technologies.
- Enable our town centres to become more agile economically by helping businesses to work co-operatively, increase their digital offer and support local supply chains, including local delivery services.
- Seek a 30% target for working remotely.
Build a stronger, greener economy as we make maximum progress towards decarbonisation
- Launch a new 10-year Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for zero-carbon economy.
- Deliver the Digital Strategy for Wales and upgrade our digital and communications infrastructure.
- Create a modern legislative basis for transport in Wales.
- Lift the ban on local authorities setting up new municipal bus companies.
- Legislate to modernise the taxi and private vehicle sector and address the problems of crossbordering.
- Implement our new Wales Transport Strategy.
- Build on the success of our concessionary travel scheme for older people and look at how fair fares can encourage integrated travel.
- Work towards our new target of 45% of journeys by sustainable modes by 2040, setting more stretching goals where possible.
- Take forward the Burns Commission report for Newport.
- Develop a new major routes fund to improve the attractiveness and biodiversity of areas alongside major transport routes in Wales.
- Create a new system of farm support that will maximise the protective power of nature through farming, recognising the particular needs of family farms in Wales and acknowledging ecologically sustainable local food production.
- Introduce a transition period to the new farm support scheme, including continuing stability payments, beyond the current Senedd term.
Embed our response to the climate and nature emergency in everything we do
- Commission independent advice that will examine potential pathways to net zero by 2035.
- Pursue devolution of powers needed to help reach net zero, including management of the Crown Estate in Wales.
- Work towards the establishment of an Environmental Governance Body, a statutory duty and targets to protect and restore biodiversity.
- Legislate to abolish the use of more commonly littered, single use plastics.
- Introduce an extended producer responsibility scheme to incentivise waste reduction by businesses.
- Create a National Forest to extend from the North of Wales to the South.
- Harness the economic, cultural, and recreational potential of the National Forest as part of progress towards a sustainable timber industry.
- Develop a Wales Community Food Strategy to encourage the production and supply of locally-sourced food in Wales.
- Introduce legislation to deal with the legacy of centuries of mining and ensure coal tip safety; strengthening local authority powers to protect the public and the environment.
- Introduce a Clean Air Act for Wales, consistent with World Health Organisation guidance and extend the provision of air quality monitoring.
- Designate a new National Park to cover the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley.
- Support 80 re-use and repair hubs in town centres.
- Uphold our policy of opposing the extraction of fossil fuels in Wales, both on land and in Welsh waters, using the powers available to us.
- Expand arrangements to create or significantly enhance green spaces.
Continue our long-term programme of education reform, and ensure educational inequalities narrow and standards rise
- Fund up to 1800 additional tutoring staff in our schools.
- Build on our School Holiday Enrichment Programme.
- Continue to meet the rise in demand for Free School Meals resulting from the pandemic and review the eligibility criteria, extending entitlement as far as resources allow and at least to all primary school children.
- Invest in the learning environment of community schools, co-locating key services, and securing stronger engagement with parents and carers outside traditional hours.
- Explore reform of the school day and the school year.
- Develop a sustainable model for supply teaching that has fair work at its heart.
- Improve the teaching of Welsh history in all its diversity and complexity as a mandatory part of the new curriculum.
- Take the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill through the Senedd.
- Develop a new mission-based national innovation strategy to be implemented across government and by the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research.
- Increase the opportunities for learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to take part in the Seren Network.
Celebrate diversity and move to eliminate inequality in all of its forms
- Implement and fund the commitments made in our Race Equality Action Plan.
- Explore legislation to address pay gaps based on gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, and other forms of discrimination.
- Ensure public bodies and those receiving public funding address pay disparities.
- Pilot an approach to the Basic Income.
- Ensure the history and culture of our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities are properly represented by investing further in our cultural sector and museum network.
- Make our Welsh public transport system more accessible to disabled people.
- Continue our strong partnership with voluntary organisations across the range of our responsibilities.
- Implement targets around Gender Budgeting.
- Strengthen the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy to include a focus on violence against women in the street and workplace as well as the home.
Push forward towards a million Welsh speakers, and enable our tourism, sports and arts industries to thrive
- Establish a National Music Service.
- Introduce legislation permitting local authorities to raise a tourism levy.
- Legislate to strengthen and increase our Welsh language education provision.
- Streamline the process for implementing Welsh Language standards.
- Implement Welsh Language standards on public transport; regulators in the health sector; newly established public bodies and water companies; and begin work on implementing standards on housing associations.
- Support an increase in Welshspeaking spaces, including workplaces.
- Create a Welsh Language Communities Housing Plan.
- Explore the creation of a shadow Broadcasting and Communications Authority for Wales and provide additional investment to develop enterprises to improve Welsh-based media and journalism.
- Pursue the case for devolution of broadcasting and communication powers.
- Engage with the arts, culture and heritage sectors to develop a new culture strategy.
- Invest in our theatres and museums, including committing to Theatr Clwyd, establishing the Football Museum and the National Contemporary Art Gallery.
- Support the application to identify the slate landscape of North West Wales as a World Heritage Site.
- Develop plans for a Museum of North Wales.
- Promote equal access to sports and support young and talented athletes and grassroots clubs.
Make our cities, towns and villages even better places in which to live and work
- Build 20,000 new low carbon social homes for rent.
- Establish Unnos, a national construction company, to support councils and social landlords to improve the supply of social and affordable housing.
- Reform housing law and implement the Homelessness Action Group’s recommendation to fundamentally reform homelessness services to focus on prevention and rapid rehousing.
- Publish a White Paper to include proposals for a right to adequate housing including fair rents and new approaches to making homes affordable for those on local incomes.
- Take forward actions to cap the number of second homes, bring more homes into common ownership and licence holiday lets.
- Support cooperative housing, community-led initiatives, and community land trusts.
- Create a timber based industrial strategy that can develop and sustain the high value production and processing of Welsh wood.
- Decarbonise more homes through retrofit, delivering quality jobs, training and innovation using local supply chains.
- Explore where services and contracts can sustainably and affordably be brought back into a strengthened public sector.
- Ensure that each region in Wales has effective and democratically accountable means of developing their future economies.
- Keep regional partnership working under review with local partners.
- Make 20mph the default speed limit in residential areas.
- Ban pavement parking wherever possible.
Lead Wales in a national civic conversation about our constitutional future, and give our country the strongest possible presence on the world stage
- Establish an independent, standing commission to consider the constitutional future of Wales.
- Introduce legislation to reform the Senedd, based on 80 to 100 Members; a voting system, which is as proportional – or more – than the current one and introduce gender quotas in law.
- Promote and support the work of the UK-wide Constitutional Commission being established by the UK Labour Party.
- Establish a Peace Academy – Academi Heddwch – in Wales.
- Seek to reform council tax to ensure a fairer and more progressive system.
- Reform local government elections to reduce the democratic deficit.
- Put in place a £65 million international learning exchange programme.
- Reinvigorate our twinning relationships across the EU through a Young People’s Twinning Fund.
Wales is unique in having made a promise that we will protect the interests of future generations as well as meeting the challenges of the present day.
The initial Programme for Government published in June 2021 set out the 10 well-being objectives we are working towards this term, as well as outlining the steps we are taking to deliver these goals. Delivering these objectives will maximise our contribution to the well-being goals.
This revised and extended Programme for Government maintains our commitment to these 10 well-being objectives.
These objectives will allow us to deliver a more prosperous, more equal and greener Wales in line with the sustainable development principle, addressing the extraordinary challenges Wales faces and creating a sustainable foundation for future generations to build on. Our commitment to these objectives is unchanged.
What has changed in this revised Programme for Government is that we have expanded and in some cases refined the steps we are taking to deliver the objectives in practice. The revised steps, as set out in this document, will allow us to drive further progress against the objectives and create better outcomes for people in Wales now and in the future. They take a radical and progressive approach to the pressing challenges ahead of us, ensuring we will make a real difference for people across Wales.
The 10 well-being objectives are:
- Provide effective, high quality and sustainable healthcare.
- Continue our long-term programme of education reform, and ensure educational inequalities narrow and standards rise. Protect, re-build and develop our services for vulnerable people.
- Celebrate diversity and move to eliminate inequality in all of its forms.
- Build an economy based on the principles of fair work, sustainability and the industries and services of the future.
- Push towards a million Welsh speakers, and enable our tourism, sports and arts industries to thrive.
- Build a stronger, greener economy as we make maximum progress towards decarbonisation.
- Make our cities, towns and villages even better places in which to live and work. Embed our response to the climate and nature emergency in everything we do.
- Lead Wales in a national civic conversation about our constitutional future, and give our country the strongest possible presence on the world stage.
This government is also committed to delivering on a range of activity that sits in individual portfolios. Portfolio Ministers will lead on these commitments and work with Plaid Cymru where these areas form part of the Co-operation Agreement.
Health and Social Services
- Continue to fund the NHS bursary.
- Keep prescriptions free in Wales.
- Continue to provide free PPE for health and care staff.
- Fund NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service.
- Establish a NHS National Executive.
- Focus on end of life care.
- Invest in and roll-out new technology that supports fast and effective advice and treatments.
- Explore how the sanctuary model can be expanded, including through piloting specific community-based facilities, to help support young people in crisis including in the evenings or at weekends.
- Introduce e-prescribing and support developments that enable accurate detection of disease through artificial intelligence.
- Invest in a new generation of integrated health and social care centres across Wales.
- Establish 3 new Intensive Learning Academies to improve patient experiences and outcomes.
- Tackle the stigma experienced by those living with HIV.
- Create a Chief Social Care Officer for Wales.
- Cap the costs of non-residential social care at the current £100 maximum per week.
- Maintain the capital limit (for care) at £50,000.
- Launch a National Social Care Framework.
- Strengthen support for carers through a Covid hardship fund in 2021.
- Fund a short-break respite scheme to help carers.
- Develop more than 50 local community hubs to co-locate front-line health and social care and other services.
- Fund a dedicated post in every local authority to champion work to make Wales an age friendly nation.
- Improve the interface between continuing health care and Direct Payments.
- Roll out baby bundles to more families.
- Continue to support and uphold the rights of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people.
- Support our national Fostering Wales scheme.
- Expand the use of shared and degree apprenticeships.
- Progress our Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission for Wales.
- Strengthen Regional Skills Partnerships.
- Expand Personal Learning Accounts.
- Build on the success of the Wales Union Learning Fund.
- Campaign for the under-funded Health and Safety Executive to be devolved to Wales.
- Expand the Development Bank of Wales’ patient capital funds.
- Increase the use of equity stakes in business support.
- Build on our approach to the Foundational Economy and develop a Backing Local Firms Fund to support local businesses.
- Provide greater support for worker buyouts and seek to double the number of employee-owned businesses.
- Deliver on our 10-year £100 million Tech-Valleys programme.
- Work with the OECD and local government on possible longer term institutional structures for Arfor and the Valleys and fund phase 2 of the Arfor programme.
- Help key areas of our economy, such as aerospace and steel, to innovate, grow and reduce their carbon footprint.
- Act to protect Welsh language place names.
- Provide free access to the Urdd Eisteddfod in 2022.
- Ensure that Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic histories are properly reflected throughout our cultural and heritage sectors including in our National Museums.
- Invest in our world-class sports facilities.
- Invest in new facilities such as 4G pitches.
- Establish a Creative Skills Body.
- Consider establishing a Creative Industry Research and Development Fund.
- Help businesses to work co-operatively to support local supply chains, including local delivery and logistics services.
- Insist that Wales gets its fair share of the Shared Prosperity Fund and the so-called Levelling Up Fund from Whitehall.
- Argue for closer economic and research ties with the EU.
- Retain the Welsh Government’s Office in Brussels.
- Implement our new Export Plan.
- Support the development of a register of empty buildings and help small businesses move into vacant shops.
- Develop new remote working hubs in communities.
- Press the UK government for a fair share of vital rail infrastructure and R&D investment for Wales.
- Give Transport for Wales new powers to better integrate rail, bus and active travel.
- Develop new Regional Transport Plans.
- Deliver £800 million of new rolling stock for our railways and ensure that 95% of train journeys are on new trains by 2024.
- Progress plans for a metro in North Wales and Swansea Bay.
- Explore opportunities for multi-modal extensions to our Metro networks, such as an integrated transport system for the North West Corridor and across the South Wales valleys.
- With Transport for Wales (TfW) explore the development of transport links between the north and south of Wales, including how to protect potential travel corridors on the western coast of Wales.
- Press the UK government to electrify the North Wales mainline.
- Develop the Global Centre of Rail Excellence in the Dulais Valley.
- Explore options for workers to take an ownership stake in our national transport assets.
- Invest in bus services and complete major new bus infrastructure projects.
- Expand flexible demand-responsive travel across Wales.
- Explore extensions of the MyTravelPass for reduced-cost travel for young people.
- Work to make the bus and taxi vehicle fleet zero-emission by 2028.
- Work with Transport for Wales and local authorities to strengthen the promotion of walking and cycling.
- Support innovative new social enterprise schemes such as bike maintenance repair cafes and bike recycling schemes.
- Develop new Active Travel Integrated Network Maps.
- Work with schools to promote Active Travel and Road Safety.
- Build a sustainable future for our key air and sea ports.
- Establish a new transport performance board.
- Modernise transport grants.
- Invest in travel options that encourage public transport and support walking and cycling.
- Support innovation in new renewable energy technology.
- Support communities to create 30 new woodlands and connect habitat areas.
- Strengthen the protections for ancient woodlands.
- Fund additional flood protection for at least 45,000 homes.
- Deliver nature-based flood management in all major river catchments to expand wetland and woodland habitats.
- Commission an independent review of the local government section 19 and Natural Resources Wales reports into extreme flooding in winter 2020-21.
- Ask the National Infrastructure Commission to assess how the nationwide likelihood of flooding of homes, businesses and infrastructure can be minimised by 2050.
- Legislate to strengthen the requirements for the use of sustainable drainage systems that provide wildlife habitat.
- Begin to designate Wales’ inland waters for recreation, strengthening water quality monitoring.
- Establish a targeted scheme to support restoration of seagrass and saltmarsh habitats along our coastline.
- Bring together a place-based zero waste challenge network of organisations to support cultural change in businesses and communities.
- Work towards the creation of Ynni Cymru, a publicly-owned energy company for Wales.
- Expand renewable energy generation by public bodies and community groups in Wales by over 100MW by 2026.
- Enforce a moratorium on the consenting of all large incineration facilities.
- Continue to improve existing homes, helping us tackle fuel poverty, create much needed jobs, training opportunities, and supply chains.
- Reform the current system of building safety, including a second phase of the Welsh Building Safety Fund, so that people feel safe and secure in their homes.
- Explore the feasibility of introducing local authority mortgages.
- Legislate to enact the recommendations of the Law Commission in relation to leasehold reform.
- Ensure that estate charges for public open spaces and facilities are paid for in a way that is fair.
- Implement the renting homes Act to give renters greater security and develop a national scheme restricting rent to local housing
- allowance levels for families and young people who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness.
- Ensure Rent Smart Wales landlords respond quickly to complaints of racism and hate crime and offer appropriate support.
- Develop masterplans for towns and high streets.
- Empower communities to have a greater stake in local regeneration.
- Develop community recycling facilities in town centres and promote repair and re-use facilities to encourage zero-waste shopping.
- Create more community green space in town centres.
- Repurpose public space for outdoor events, markets, street vendors, pop-up parks and ‘parklets’.
Education and Welsh Language
- Strengthen the Youth Engagement and Progression Framework.
- Invest more than £1.5 billion in the next phase of the 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme.
- With local authorities, transform learning environments, develop net-zero carbon schools and open up school facilities for local communities.
- Review Adult Education to increase the numbers of adults learning in Wales.
- Provide additional counselling provision throughout the next Senedd term.
- Support schools and teachers to deliver our world-leading Curriculum for Wales.
- Expand the proportion of the education workforce who can teach and work through the Welsh language.
- Incentivise the increase of Welsh medium provision in all education settings.
- Establish and implement a single continuum of Welsh language learning.
- Reduce unnecessary bureaucracy to support school leaders.
- Implement the new Additional Learning Needs Act.
- Expand the teaching of modern foreign languages in our schools.
- Invest in the Pupil Development Grant.
- Protect the Educational Maintenance Allowance for young learners.
- Maintain our commitment to provide free breakfasts for all primary school pupils.
- Appoint a Cabinet level minister to develop and take forward the proposals of the Youth Board for Wales.
- Legislate for a new framework for youth services in Wales.
- Support the democratic role of local authorities in education provision.
- Promote parity of esteem between vocational and academic routes in Welsh education.
- Reform qualifications and expand the range of ‘made in Wales’ vocational qualifications.
- Examine how a greater degree of federation can support education leadership across Wales.
- Explore how to strengthen professional learning communities.
- Expand the role of and increase funding to the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and the National Centre for Learning Welsh.
- Expand the Pupil Immersion Programme.
- Introduce a pilot project which will incentivise young Welsh speakers to return from universities to help teach Welsh in schools.
- Offer summer schools at each Welsh university for Seren foundation learners; expand current partnerships and set up new pilots in other Welsh institutions.
- Address the recommendations from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, Contributions and Cynefin in the New Curriculum Working Group.
Finance and Local Government
- Not take more in Welsh rates of income tax from Welsh families for at least as long as the economic impact of coronavirus lasts.
- Develop further effective tax, planning and housing measures to ensure the interests of local people are protected.
- Strengthen the autonomy and effectiveness of local government to make them more successful in delivering services.
- Reduce the administrative burden on local authorities.
- Change the performance framework for local government to better enable innovation, transparency, and local ownership.
- Explore how to set meaningful targets to increase Welsh-based public sector procurement levels beginning with a detailed analysis of public sector supply chains.
- Promote the purchasing of made-in-Wales products and services.
- Explore how the establishment of a National School for Government might contribute to the principle of a One Wales Public Service.
- Commission evidence to understand the prospects for devolved public finances and the future needs of Welsh public services.
- Consider new ways to address any future funding gaps, grow our tax base and consider the funding implications of any recommendations from the Constitutional Commission.
- Expand the income maximisation work and the Single Advice Fund.
- Explore the necessary infrastructure required to prepare for the devolution of the administration of welfare.
- Progress the Fair Work Commission’s recommendations.
- Expand the ‘Ask and Act’ and ‘Don’t be a Bystander’ training and awareness campaigns.
- Establish an equalities legal service to provide support on unfair or discriminatory employment practices.
- Incorporate the United Nations Convention for the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women and the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People into Welsh law.
- Address fully the recommendations from the Monuments and Street Names Audit.
- Create a Race Disparity Unit alongside an Equality Data Unit to ensure an inclusive evidence base to inform decision making in government.
- Ensure the justice elements of the Race Equality Action Plan are robust and address these matters with the police and the courts.
- Expand our Access to Elected Office programme.
- Implement the recommendations of the Reflecting Wales in Running Wales: Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for Public Appointments in Wales (2020 – 2023).
- Support Prides across Wales by sponsoring Pride Cymru, establishing a Wales-wide Pride Fund and appoint a Wales Pride Coordinator.
- Use all available powers to ban all aspects of LGBTQ+ conversion therapy that are in our powers and seek the devolution of any necessary additional powers.
- Trigger a request to devolve the Gender Recognition Act and support our Trans community.
- Work with the tech companies and media platforms to tackle hate crime and misinformation.
- Embed period dignity in schools.
- Expand our free period provision in communities and the private sector.
- Maintain our funding of 500 Police Community Support Officers and expand their number by 100.
Rural Affairs and North Wales
- Develop a national model for regulation of animal welfare, introducing registration for animal welfare establishments, commercial breeders for pets or for shooting, and animal exhibits.
- Improve the qualifications for animal welfare inspectors to raise their professional status.
- Require CCTV in all slaughterhouses.
- Ban the use of snares.
- Restrict the use of cages for farmed animals.
- Forbid the culling of badgers to control the spread of TB in cattle.
- Support active farmers and landowners based in Wales to encourage woodland creation on less productive land and explore ways of drawing investment for woodland creation that secures local ownership and control.
- Work with the farming community to deploy the Water Resources Regulations 2021 taking an approach targeted at those activities known to cause pollution.
- Work for a new and successful United Kingdom, based on a far-reaching federalism.
- Press the UK government for a more thoroughgoing federal reform of our constitution and inter-governmental relations.
- Challenge the UK Internal Market Act and its attack on devolution and champion the rights of the Senedd to legislate without interference in areas devolved to Wales.
- Strive to prevent the UK Conservative government using the Internal Market Act to fund interventions not supported by the people of Wales.
- Pursue the case for the devolution of policing and justice.
- Develop a set of Codes of Welsh law.
- Make the case for clear and stable tax devolution for Wales.