Future Generations Commissioner for Wales Response to Welsh Government’s Well-being of Wales Report
"The Well-being of Wales Report is Welsh Government’s assessment of whether they are making progress against the seven national well-being goals set in law by the Well-being of Future Generations Act."
“I urge government to put energy into addressing the repeated areas of concern that this report highlights – including child poverty, life-limiting air pollution, loneliness, equality including life expectancy in our most deprived areas, and protecting our vital eco systems and green spaces that have helped keep many of us well at a challenging time.
I’m pleased to see the gender and ethnicity pay gaps have decreased – but while women and employees from ethnic minority groups still earn less per hour than white British employee, there’s work to be done.
On the long-term mental health impacts of the pandemic, it’s important that Welsh Government better understands what progress looks like for our nation’s well-being and to recognise the long term failure to address health inequalities which the pandemic has exposed. This alongside the needs of an aging population will be issues for the Government, the NHS and all public services to address urgently if we are to avoid increasingly impossible pressures on the NHS in the future.
The positives of the report show some progress and highlight the power of people to lift and transform communities. Welsh Government and public bodies should now support and scale up the thousands of examples of communities working together during the pandemic.
Covid-19 has forced public services to do things differently and we have to work hard to keep hold of the positives and learn from them – for example, National Museum/Amgueddfa Cymru employing young people as agents of change to challenge and transform museum practice, while co-producing exhibitions and reframing policies. In Bridgend, 446 volunteers were trained to offer pandemic-related support, including as telephone befrienders, pen pals and dog walkers.
I also expect government and public bodies to take the findings of the report into consideration as they develop their policies and funding decisions.”