Future Generations Commissioner welcomes Welsh Government’s plan for the next five years – but says it lacks detail and timeline
“Welsh Government’s new Programme for Government is a reminder of the severe inequalities and injustices facing current and future generations, exacerbated by key events of the last year."
“The Government has today published its priorities for the next five years alongside a series of well-being objectives, showing how it will maximise its contribution to well-being goals, as required by the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
The Act puts a duty on Welsh Government to protect the interests of future generations as well as meeting the challenges of the present day, by using more joined-up thinking to prevent problems like climate change and inequality in the long-term.
This Senedd term is an ultimatum on some of our greatest societal, environmental, cultural and economic challenges – we cannot fail. It requires a bold, progressive and decisive Programme for Government – one that’s delivered in partnership with public services, communities and individuals across Wales in accordance with the Act.
I am pleased to see real attempts here to try different things, to embrace what worked during the pandemic and to reimagine our communities. But the programme lacks some of the detail on the timeline, specific actions and allocation of short, medium and long-term resources needed and the commitment to maximising the well-being value of every policy and programme, as called for in my Future Fit Programme for Government.
I am, however, glad to see this is a recovery-focused Programme for Government that seeks to tackle the climate and nature emergencies, improve the quality of Welsh homes, provide skills and job opportunities for young people, improve digital connectivity and access to nature, regenerate our towns and cities and tackle mental health.
Seeking a 30% target for working remotely, advancing the target of 45% of journeys by sustainable modes by 2040, a basic income pilot and creating more community green spaces in town centers will contribute towards the Wales we want.
The focus on supporting green industries for the future is essential but further detail on how Government will ensure these jobs are available to all, with the necessary investment in place to support this, must be published.
I look forward to seeing how the new 10-year Wales infrastructure investment plan for a zero carbon economy takes action to make fairer an industry that currently employs a lack of people of non-white ethnicity, for example.
I also look forward to advancing discussions with Government and others on how a National Nature Service to tackle cross-cutting issues and embed green skills across Wales could support the delivery of the new programme’s commitments.
The key to the success of this plan will be in its implementation. Government must prepare Wales for current crises and long-term challenges in ways that work beyond departmental budgets and siloes, building on the good work already started in collaborating with others and ensuring they bring new voices to the table to create bold, whole-government solutions.”