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Isherwood: Labour's litany of broken promises

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"Business is about getting things done, but this bunch of high-spending bureaucrats justify their existence as an end in itself. They claim that the driving force of the Labour Party is social justice, yet the gap between reality and rhetoric grows ever wider.

We have heard about failed promises on free homecare, dentistry and free school breakfasts and we heard references to education. We know that there has been a magnificent increase in expenditure, as we are repeatedly told.

Why, therefore, has the number of young people not in education, training or employment risen? Why is it that schools in the most deprived areas of England, measured by free school meals, outperform equivalent schools in Wales at GCSE level three times over?

Why have further education colleges faced zero growth in their budgets, therefore net reductions in real terms, over three years? That will affect the most vulnerable: those with the lowest results when they leave school.

On the economy, we had 'A Winning Wales' according to which we were going to achieve 85 per cent of UK prosperity by 2005. The reality was that we barely got to 79 per cent.

So, what did we do? We moved to WAVE—'Wales: A Vibrant Economy'. A wave away to the reality of giving Wales an economic chance, despite £1.3 billion of European money.

We talk about job creation, yet the number of working-age households with no-one in employment has now risen to one in five. We talk about investment, yet when Labour came to power, Wales received the highest amount of inward investment of any nation or region in the United Kingdom, but it has now slipped to ninth position.

We are now lower prosperity than any other nation or region in the United Kingdom.

The Labour Government talks about delivering care closer to people's homes, so why are we seeing the same pattern of cuts, closures and centralisation in care homes, nursing homes, community hospitals, and hostels, where the gap between that provision and what may or may not happen in the future is absolutely terrifying?

Why did we hear in Audit Committee last week that 'Agenda for Change', combined with mandatory and universal so-called 'efficiency savings' regardless of the efficiency levels currently being achieved, and politically driven waiting time targets, mean that many of our hospitals are facing cuts and redundancies? They are already facing a freeze on recruitment.

On social justice, why are one in four Welsh people functionally illiterate or innumerate? We heard that one in five of Welsh working-age households have no-one in employment and one in six children in Wales live in a house where no-one has a job.

One in seven people live in fuel poverty—you promised to get rid of fuel poverty by 2010, yet the number of excess winter deaths has gone up. In housing, you have cut new affordable housing by three quarters, homelessness has doubled, and there are now 100,000 people on housing waiting lists. You should hang your heads in shame.

In 1945, Winston Churchill, commenting on his defeat by Labour, said that it could not manage a whelk stall. With respect to the great man, in the context of the Labour Welsh Assembly Government, that would be an insult to whelks."

"Mae busnes yn ymwneud â gwneud pethau, ond mae'r criw hwn o fiwrocratiaid sy'n gwario'n ddychrynllyd yn cyfiawnhau eu bodolaeth fel diben ynddo'i hun.

Maent yn honni mai prif nod y Blaid Lafur yw cyfiawnder cymdeithasol, ond mae'r bwlch rhwng realiti a rhethreg yn mynd yn cynyddu. Clywsom am addewidion a dorrwyd yng nghyswllt gofal cartref di-dâl, deintyddiaeth a brecwast am ddim mewn ysgolion a chlywsom gyfeiriadau at addysg. Gwyddom fod cynnydd aruthrol mewn gwariant, fel y dywedir wrthym dro ar ôl tro.

Pam, felly, bod nifer y bobl ifanc nad ydynt mewn addysg, hyfforddiant neu gyflogaeth wedi codi? Pam bod ysgolion yn ardaloedd mwyaf difreintiedig Lloegr, a fesurir ar sail prydau ysgol am ddim, yn perfformio deirgwaith yn well nag ysgolion cyfatebol yng Nghymru ar lefel TGAU?

Pam bod colegau addysg bellach wedi gweld cynnydd sero yn eu cyllidebau, sef gostyngiad net mewn gwir dermau, dros gyfnod o dair blynedd? Bydd hyn yn effeithio ar y bobl hawddaf i'w niweidio: y rhai hynny sydd â'r canlyniadau isaf pan fônt yn gadael yr ysgol.

Ar yr economi, cawsom 'Cymru'n Ennill' a oedd yn dweud y byddem yn cyrraedd 85 y cant o ffyniant y DU erbyn 2005. Y gwir amdani oedd ein bod prin wedi cyrraedd 79 y cant. Felly, beth a wnaethom? Symud ymlaen i 'Cymru: Economi yn Ffynnu'.

Codi llaw ar y realiti o roi cyfle economaidd i Gymru, er gwaethaf £1.3 biliwn o arian Ewropeaidd. Siaradwn am greu swyddi, ond mae nifer yr aelwydydd oed gweithio lle nad oes unrhyw un mewn gwaith bellach wedi codi i un o bob pump. Siaradwn am fuddsoddi, ond pan ddaeth Llafur i rym, derbyniodd Cymru fwy o fewnfuddsoddiad nag unrhyw genedl neu ranbarth arall yn y Deyrnas Unedig, ond mae wedi llithro erbyn hyn i'r nawfed safle.

Mae gennym ffyniant is yn awr nag unrhyw genedl neu ranbarth arall yn y Deyrnas Unedig.

Mae Llywodraeth Lafur yn siarad am ddarparu gofal yn agosach at gartrefi pobl, felly pam yr ydym yn gweld yr un patrwm o doriadau, cau a chanoli mewn cartrefi gofal, cartrefi nyrsio, ysbytai cymuned, a hosteli, lle mae'r bwlch rhwng y ddarpariaeth honno a'r hyn a allai neu na allai ddigwydd yn y dyfodol yn gwbl frawychus?

Pam y clywsom yn y Pwyllgor Archwilio yr wythnos diwethaf fod yr 'Agenda ar gyfer Newid', ynghyd â'r 'arbedion effeithlonrwydd' bondigrybwyll, sy'n rhai gorfodol a chyffredinol, ni waeth pa mor effeithlon yw'r gwasanaethau ar hyn o bryd, a thargedau ar gyfer amseroedd aros sy'n seiliedig ar wleidyddiaeth, yn golygu bod llawer o'n hysbytai yn wynebu toriadau a diswyddiadau? Maent eisoes yn wynebu penderfyniad i beidio â recriwtio.

Ar gyfiawnder cymdeithasol, pam bod un o bob pedwar person yng Nghymru yn anllythrennog neu anrhifog yn ymarferol?

Clywsom fod un o bob pum aelwyd oed gweithio yng Nghymru heb unrhyw un mewn gwaith ac mae un o bob chwe phlentyn yng Nghymru yn byw mewn ty lle nad oes gan unrhyw un swydd.

Mae un o bob saith person yn byw mewn tlodi tanwydd—addawsoch y byddech yn dileu tlodi tanwydd erbyn 2010, ond mae nifer y marwolaethau gaeaf gormodol wedi codi. O ran tai, gwelwyd gostyngiad o dri chwarter yn nifer y tai newydd rhesymol eu pris, mae digartrefedd wedi dyblu, ac mae 100,000 o bobl ar restri yn aros am dai erbyn hyn. Dylech ostwng eich pennau mewn cywilydd.

Ym 1945, dywedodd Winston Churchill am Lafur, a oedd newydd ei drechu, na allai'r blaid reoli stondin wichiaid. Gyda pharch i'r dyn mawr, yng nghyd-destun Llywodraeth Lafur y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol, byddai hynny'n sarhad ar wichiaid."

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