Y Cyfarfod Llawn

Plenary

15/02/2023

Yn y fersiwn ddwyieithog, mae’r golofn chwith yn cynnwys yr iaith a lefarwyd yn y cyfarfod. Mae’r golofn dde yn cynnwys cyfieithiad o’r areithiau hynny.

In the bilingual version, the left-hand column includes the language used during the meeting. The right-hand column includes a translation of those speeches.

Cyfarfu'r Senedd yn y Siambr a thrwy gynhadledd fideo am 13:30 gyda'r Llywydd (Elin Jones) yn y Gadair.

The Senedd met in the Chamber and by video-conference at 13:30 with the Llywydd (Elin Jones) in the Chair.

1. Cwestiynau i’r Gweinidog Cyllid a Llywodraeth Leol
1. Questions to the Minister for Finance and Local Government

Prynhawn da. Croeso i'r Cyfarfod Llawn. Yr eitem gyntaf ar ein hagenda ni'r prynhawn yma yw'r cwestiynau i’r Gweinidog Cyllid a Llywodraeth Leol. Mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf heddiw gan Hefin David.

Good afternoon. Welcome to this Plenary meeting. The first item on our agenda this afternoon is questions to the Minister for Finance and Local Government. The first question today is from Hefin David.

Treth Incwm
Income Tax

1. Pa asesiad mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud o'r effaith posib o gynyddu'r gyfradd sylfaenol o dreth incwm yng Nghymru? OQ59146

1. What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the potential impact of increasing the basic rate of income tax in Wales? OQ59146

Raising the basic rate would add additional costs on those less able to afford it at a time when the UK Government has frozen income tax thresholds, dragging lower earners into the income tax system.

Byddai codi’r gyfradd sylfaenol yn golygu costau ychwanegol i'r rheini sy’n llai abl i’w fforddio ar adeg pan fo Llywodraeth y DU wedi rhewi trothwyon treth incwm, gan lusgo pobl sy’n ennill llai i mewn i'r system treth incwm.

I think the key point made by the Minister there is that, at the time, I think income tax is something that should be revisited in the future, but she's absolutely right to say that this is not the time for it. Last week, we saw an amendment to the Welsh Government's budget by Plaid Cymru that would have cost people on the basic rate £2.47 a week extra, during a cost-of-living crisis. Personally, my view is that the co-operation agreement should not have allowed that amendment to be put, given that it covers the budget, and it was disappointing to see that that happened outside the co-operation agreement. We should see Plaid Cymru taking responsibility for the power they have in the Senedd Chamber. Would the Minister be willing, though, to review this position in the future, should economic circumstances allow at some point?

Credaf mai'r pwynt allweddol a wnaed gan y Gweinidog yno yw fy mod, ar y pryd, yn credu bod treth incwm yn rhywbeth y dylid ei ailystyried yn y dyfodol, ond mae'n llygad ei lle i ddweud nad nawr yw'r adeg i wneud hynny. Yr wythnos diwethaf, gwelsom welliant i gyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru gan Blaid Cymru a fyddai wedi costio £2.47 yr wythnos yn ychwanegol i bobl ar y gyfradd sylfaenol, yn ystod argyfwng costau byw. Yn bersonol, fy marn i yw na ddylai’r cytundeb cydweithio fod wedi caniatáu i’r gwelliant hwnnw gael ei gynnig, o ystyried ei fod yn berthnasol i'r gyllideb, ac roedd yn siomedig gweld hynny’n digwydd y tu allan i’r cytundeb cydweithio. Dylem weld Plaid Cymru yn cymryd cyfrifoldeb am y grym sydd ganddynt yn Siambr y Senedd. A fyddai’r Gweinidog, serch hynny, yn fodlon adolygu’r sefyllfa hon yn y dyfodol, os yw'r amgylchiadau economaidd yn caniatáu ar ryw adeg?

I'm very grateful to Hefin David for the question, and for raising Welsh rates of income tax this afternoon. And I completely agree with his assessment that it is not the right time, in a cost-of-living crisis, to be asking those who are on the absolute lowest incomes, and indeed those who have been drawn into the income tax system for the very first time, to be paying more. And I think it's well established that, to raise any serious amount of money in order to boost the resources that we have, we would be required to raise the basic rate of income tax. I do think that it has to be done in a considered and strategic way. That said, every single year, we do assess our options, in terms of how we use the Welsh rates of income tax, and we would expect to look afresh again at this issue next year, both in terms of people's overall tax burden and contribution, depending on where things are with the UK Government, and, of course, the wider economic situation that people find themselves in. But, absolutely, it's something that we consider afresh for every budget.

Rwy’n ddiolchgar iawn i Hefin David am ei gwestiwn, ac am godi cyfraddau treth incwm Cymru y prynhawn yma. Ac rwy’n cytuno’n llwyr â’i asesiad nad nawr yw'r adeg gywir, mewn argyfwng costau byw, i ofyn i’r rheini ar yr incwm isaf un, ac yn wir, y rheini sydd wedi cael eu tynnu i mewn i’r system dreth incwm am y tro cyntaf erioed, fod yn talu mwy. A chredaf ei bod yn dra hysbys, er mwyn codi unrhyw swm sylweddol o arian i gynyddu'r adnoddau sydd gennym, y byddai’n ofynnol inni godi'r gyfradd sylfaenol o dreth incwm. Credaf fod yn rhaid gwneud hynny mewn ffordd ystyriol a strategol. Wedi dweud hynny, bob blwyddyn, rydym yn asesu ein hopsiynau, o ran sut rydym yn defnyddio cyfraddau treth incwm Cymru, a byddem yn disgwyl edrych eto o’r newydd ar y mater hwn y flwyddyn nesaf, o ran baich treth cyffredinol a chyfraniad pobl, yn dibynnu ar y sefyllfa gyda Llywodraeth y DU, ac wrth gwrs, sefyllfa economaidd ehangach pobl. Ond yn sicr, mae'n rhywbeth rydym yn ei ystyried o'r newydd ar gyfer pob cyllideb.

As we heard from Hefin David there, one of the perils of increasing income tax at a time of financial trouble is the fact that it would be something built on the back of working people across Wales. And it's quite apt, I think, on the day that Nicola Sturgeon resigned as leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland, to remember exactly where Plaid Cymru got this idea from, because they devolve a lot of their thinking out to a party from another part of the United Kingdom—the SNP. Because, in Scotland, they're proposing to add 1p onto the higher and top rates of tax, alongside reducing the top rate threshold, from £150,000 to just over £125,000. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that that will spark an exodus of high earners across the border. Scottish business leaders have branded it a disadvantage for Scotland and made clear that it would make competing with the UK for talent much harder. On top of those increases, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities has not ruled out a 10 per cent hike in council taxes there. In a survey, half of all Scots wanted the current system of council tax to end. Another survey showed that one in five Scottish households are currently living in serious financial difficulty, equivalent to 1.2 million people; in the UK overall, it's 17 per cent. That's Plaid's vision for Wales, Minister, and it's a vision that's built on the back of taxing working people. Do you agree with me that that's a totally wrong priority, at the wrong time, from a party that is increasingly out of touch with the people of Wales?

Fel y clywsom gan Hefin David, un o beryglon cynyddu treth incwm mewn cyfnod o drafferthion ariannol yw’r ffaith y byddai’n rhywbeth a fyddai wedi’i adeiladu ar draul pobl sy’n gweithio ledled Cymru. Ac mae'n gwbl briodol, yn fy marn i, ar y diwrnod yr ymddiswyddodd Nicola Sturgeon fel arweinydd yr SNP a Phrif Weinidog yr Alban, i gofio o ble yn union y cafodd Plaid Cymru y syniad hwn, gan eu bod yn etifeddu llawer o'u syniadau gan blaid o ran arall o’r Deyrnas Unedig—yr SNP. Oherwydd yn yr Alban, maent yn cynnig ychwanegu 1g at y cyfraddau treth uwch ac uchaf, ochr yn ochr â lleihau'r trothwy ar gyfer y gyfradd uchaf, o £150,000 i ychydig dros £125,000. Mae’r Sefydliad Astudiaethau Cyllid wedi rhybuddio y bydd hynny’n arwain at ecsodus o enillwyr uchel dros y ffin. Mae arweinwyr busnes yr Alban wedi dweud y byddai’n anfantais i’r Alban ac wedi dweud yn glir y byddai’n gwneud cystadlu â’r DU am dalent yn llawer anos. Ar ben y codiadau hynny, nid yw Confensiwn Awdurdodau Lleol yr Alban wedi diystyru cynnydd o 10 y cant mewn trethi cyngor yno. Mewn arolwg, roedd hanner yr Albanwyr am i system bresennol y dreth gyngor ddod i ben. Dangosodd arolwg arall fod un o bob pum cartref yn yr Alban ar hyn o bryd yn byw mewn trafferthion ariannol difrifol, sy’n cyfateb i 1.2 miliwn o bobl; yn y DU gyfan, mae'n 17 y cant. Dyna weledigaeth Plaid Cymru ar gyfer Cymru, Weinidog, ac mae’n weledigaeth sydd wedi’i hadeiladu ar drethu pobl sy’n gweithio. A ydych yn cytuno â mi fod honno'n flaenoriaeth gwbl anghywir, ar yr adeg anghywir, gan blaid sydd fwyfwy allan o gysylltiad â phobl Cymru?

Well, I would gently remind the Member that, under the UK Conservative Government, the tax burden on people in Wales, and across the UK, is now at a 70-year high as a result of the decisions that that Government has made. But I do think that Scottish rates of income tax are very much a matter for the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament, but that doesn't mean that we can't learn from their experiences, which is why we're very interested in the work that HMRC is progressing in terms of developing a longitudinal data set. Now, that hopefully will allow us to have some more detailed analysis of the behavioural impacts of tax changes, including migration responses, and my officials are in frequent contact with HMRC to better understand the possibilities that that work might release.

Wel, byddwn yn atgoffa’r Aelod, o dan Lywodraeth Geidwadol y DU, fod y baich treth ar bobl yng Nghymru, a ledled y DU, bellach ar ei uchaf ers 70 mlynedd, o ganlyniad i’r penderfyniadau y mae’r Llywodraeth honno wedi’u gwneud. Ond credaf mai mater i Lywodraeth yr Alban a Senedd yr Alban yw cyfraddau treth incwm yr Alban, ond nid yw hynny’n golygu na allwn ddysgu o’u profiadau, a dyna pam fod gennym gryn ddiddordeb yn y gwaith y mae CThEF yn ei wneud ar ddatblygu set ddata hydredol. Nawr, gobeithiaf y bydd hynny’n caniatáu inni gael dadansoddiad manylach o effeithiau ymddygiadol newidiadau i drethi, gan gynnwys ymatebion ynghylch mudo, ac mae fy swyddogion mewn cysylltiad rheolaidd â CThEF i ddeall yn well y posibiliadau y gallai’r gwaith hwnnw eu rhyddhau.

Gwasanaethau Bysiau
Bus Services

2. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd a'r Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol ynglŷn â chymorth Llywodraeth Cymru i leihau'r pwysau ariannol ar wasanaethau bysiau rheolaidd? OQ59129

2. What discussions has the Minister had with the Minister for Climate Change and the Minister for Social Justice regarding Welsh Government support to ease the financial pressures on scheduled bus services? OQ59129

I regularly engage with my Cabinet colleagues on funding issues. In this financial year, we have made available over £110 million of funding to protect and grow bus services right across Wales. The bus emergency scheme has also been extended into the next financial year. 

Rwy’n ymgysylltu’n rheolaidd â fy nghyd-Weinidogion Cabinet ar faterion cyllido. Yn y flwyddyn ariannol hon, rydym wedi darparu dros £110 miliwn o gyllid i ddiogelu a thyfu gwasanaethau bysiau ledled Cymru. Mae'r cynllun brys ar gyfer y sector bysiau hefyd wedi'i ymestyn i'r flwyddyn ariannol nesaf.

13:35

It's undoubtedly the case, Minister, that cross-Government working, finding the money to put in place the emergency bus support and also extending it now for the next few months has been critical to ensuring the survival of the bus industry in Wales, including independent operators, small family operators and so on that run their businesses. But we know the pressures that your budget is under, but we also do know that this is genuinely a climate justice issue, and it's also a social justice issue, as we keep being told, quite rightly. And we can repeat this endlessly until it gets into people's minds that 80 per cent of those people who use buses have no other alternative. So, can I simply urge—this is not asking for magic money—but can I genuinely urge her, in her discussions with the Minister for Climate Change, and the Minister for Social Justice and Cabinet colleagues, to do all she possibly can to try and find that way that we can keep these bus services going in all our communities—rural and urban Wales. It's vital, going forward, particularly after the announcement yesterday about turning a corner a different way to deal with shifting people to more sustainable travel. 

Yn ddiamau, Weinidog, mae gweithio trawslywodraethol, dod o hyd i’r arian ar gyfer cymorth brys i'r sector bysiau, a'i ymestyn nawr am yr ychydig fisoedd nesaf, wedi bod yn hollbwysig i sicrhau bod y diwydiant bysiau yng Nghymru yn goroesi, gan gynnwys gweithredwyr annibynnol, gweithredwyr teuluol bach ac ati sy'n rhedeg eu busnesau. Ond rydym yn ymwybodol o'r pwysau sydd ar eich cyllideb, ond gwyddom hefyd fod hwn yn bendant yn fater cyfiawnder hinsawdd, a hefyd yn fater cyfiawnder cymdeithasol, fel y dywedir wrthym o hyd, yn gwbl briodol. A gallwn ailadrodd hyn yn dragwyddol hyd nes y bydd pobl yn sylweddoli nad oes gan 80 y cant o'r bobl sy'n defnyddio bysiau unrhyw ddewis arall. Felly, a gaf fi annog—nid gofyn am swyno arian mohono—ond a gaf fi ei hannog o ddifrif, yn ei thrafodaethau â'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd, a'r Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol a chyd-Weinidogion Cabinet, i wneud popeth yn ei gallu i geisio dod o hyd i ffordd y gallwn gadw'r gwasanaethau bysiau hyn yn ein holl gymunedau—yn y Gymru wledig a'r Gymru drefol. Mae hynny'n hanfodol wrth symud ymlaen, yn enwedig ar ôl y cyhoeddiad ddoe am droi cornel i ffordd wahanol o geisio annog pobl i ddefnyddio dulliau teithio mwy cynaliadwy.

I'm grateful for the question and completely agree with the points that are made about bus services being a critical part of our approach to delivering social justice here in Wales, and, of course, an important part of our environmental aspirations as well. I think that our support for the bus industry through the pandemic and now at the other side of the pandemic has been absolutely crucial in terms of maintaining the services that we do have in Wales. But it was a bus emergency scheme, and I think that this level of subsidy is just not sustainable in the long term, which is really why we are looking at reviewing the bus services support grant, to move the industry away from that kind of reliance on the emergency funding to something that is much more stable in the future. And colleagues will be aware of our ambitious plans, in terms of the bus Bill that we aim to bring forward, to bring more control back to local authorities in terms of the services that are provided. So, I think that, really, is the longer term answer, but, in the meantime, our support is really important for the industry. 

Rwy’n ddiolchgar am y cwestiwn, ac yn cytuno’n llwyr â’r pwyntiau a wnaed am wasanaethau bysiau fel rhan hollbwysig o’n dull o sicrhau cyfiawnder cymdeithasol yma yng Nghymru, ac wrth gwrs, maent yn rhan bwysig o’n dyheadau amgylcheddol hefyd. Credaf fod ein cymorth i’r diwydiant bysiau drwy gydol y pandemig a bellach ar yr ochr draw i’r pandemig wedi bod yn gwbl hanfodol i gynnal y gwasanaethau sydd gennym yng Nghymru. Ond cynllun brys ydoedd ar gyfer y sector bysiau, ac ni chredaf fod y lefel hon o gymhorthdal yn gynaliadwy yn hirdymor, a dyna pam ein bod yn edrych ar adolygu’r grant cynnal gwasanaethau bysiau, er mwyn symud y diwydiant oddi wrth y fath ddibyniaeth ar gyllid brys i rywbeth sy'n llawer mwy sefydlog yn y dyfodol. A bydd fy nghyd-Aelodau’n ymwybodol o’r cynlluniau uchelgeisiol y bwriadwn eu rhoi ar waith, o ran y Bil bysiau, er mwyn rhoi mwy o reolaeth yn ôl i awdurdodau lleol, a'r gwasanaethau a ddarperir. Felly, credaf mai dyna’r ateb mwy hirdymor, ond yn y cyfamser, mae ein cymorth yn wirioneddol bwysig i’r diwydiant.

Minister, I have raised on a number of occasions the plight of residents across my region who have suffered as the result of cuts to scheduled bus services. The most recent issue brought to my attention is a proposal by First Cymru to cut services to Resolven in my region. Many people in Resolven, particularly the elderly, are dependent upon the X7 service, as their nearest post office or bank is over seven miles away. Any reduction in service will have a bad impact on a community like Resolven. I have also been contacted by Neath Port Talbot Council, who are concerned that the Welsh Government’s decision to axe bus emergency scheme 3 funding is leading to the acceleration in cuts to these bus services. If BES3 funding goes, companies operating services within Port Talbot and Neath will deregister most routes within the county borough. Minister, will you reconsider the decision to end BES3 funding and look at other ways to support a struggling bus industry that is so vital to many of our constituents?

Weinidog, ar sawl achlysur, rwyf wedi codi sefyllfa trigolion ar draws fy rhanbarth sydd wedi dioddef o ganlyniad i doriadau i wasanaethau bysiau rheolaidd. Y mater diweddaraf a ddygwyd i’m sylw yw cynnig gan First Cymru i dorri gwasanaethau i Resolfen yn fy rhanbarth. Mae llawer o bobl yn Resolfen, yn enwedig yr henoed, yn ddibynnol ar wasanaeth X7, gan fod eu swyddfa bost neu fanc agosaf dros saith milltir i ffwrdd. Bydd unrhyw ostyngiad mewn gwasanaeth yn cael effaith wael ar gymuned fel Resolfen. Mae Cyngor Castell-nedd Port Talbot hefyd wedi cysylltu â mi i fynegi pryderon fod penderfyniad Llywodraeth Cymru i gael gwared ar gyllid y cynllun brys ar gyfer y sector bysiau 3, BES3, yn arwain at gyflymu’r toriadau i’r gwasanaethau bysiau hyn. Os bydd arian BES3 yn diflannu, bydd cwmnïau sy'n gweithredu gwasanaethau ym Mhort Talbot a Chastell-nedd yn datgofrestru'r rhan fwyaf o'u llwybrau teithio yn y fwrdeistref sirol. Weinidog, a wnewch chi ailystyried y penderfyniad i ddod â chyllid BES3 i ben ac edrych ar ffyrdd eraill o gefnogi diwydiant bysiau sy’n ei chael hi’n anodd ac sydd mor hanfodol i lawer o’n hetholwyr?

I would refer the Member to the joint statement on the bus emergency scheme that was issued by the Welsh Government, the Welsh Local Government Association, the Confederation of Passenger Transport and the Coach and Bus Association Cymru last week, which set out that there is now an initial extension of three months, which gives the industry some short-term stability, which it needs while we continue to work with the industry together on planning bus networks that better suit the new travel patterns that we've seen since the end of the pandemic.

Then, I refer back to the point that I made in terms of the bus Bill being the most far-reaching plan across the UK and an absolutely vital step in terms of reversing the damage that we've seen in terms of the deregulation of the bus industry. We want to make sure that people have a service that they can rely on, which is easy to use and which puts people before profit, and that absolutely will be at the heart of our work, going forward. But, of course, legislation doesn't happen overnight, so, in the meantime, we are working, as I say, with the industry to explore what quick improvements can be made to bus passengers' experiences of our buses, and, of course, we have published the Bws Cymru bus plan, which sets out some of these immediate steps.

Carwn gyfeirio’r Aelod at y datganiad ar y cynllun brys ar gyfer y sector bysiau a wnaed ar y cyd gan Lywodraeth Cymru, Cymdeithas Llywodraeth Leol Cymru, Conffederasiwn Cludiant Teithwyr a Chymdeithas Bysiau Cymru yr wythnos diwethaf, a nododd fod estyniad cychwynnol o dri mis bellach ar waith sy’n rhoi sefydlogrwydd tymor byr i’r diwydiant, rhywbeth sydd ei angen arno wrth inni barhau i weithio gyda’r diwydiant gyda’n gilydd ar gynllunio rhwydweithiau bysiau sy’n gweddu’n well i’r patrymau teithio newydd a welsom ers y diwedd y pandemig.

Yna, cyfeiriaf yn ôl at y pwynt a wneuthum mai’r Bil bysiau yw’r cynllun mwyaf pellgyrhaeddol ar draws y DU, a'i fod yn gam cwbl hanfodol i wrthdroi’r difrod a welsom yn sgil dadreoleiddio'r diwydiant bysiau. Rydym yn awyddus i sicrhau bod gan bobl wasanaeth y gallant ddibynnu arno, un sy’n hawdd ei ddefnyddio ac sy’n rhoi pobl cyn elw, a bydd hynny’n gwbl ganolog i’n gwaith wrth symud ymlaen. Ond wrth gwrs, nid yw deddfwriaeth yn digwydd dros nos, felly, yn y cyfamser, rydym yn gweithio, fel y dywedaf, gyda'r diwydiant i archwilio pa welliannau cyflym y gellir eu gwneud i brofiadau teithwyr o'n bysiau, ac wrth gwrs, rydym wedi cyhoeddi cynllun bysiau Bws Cymru, sy’n nodi rhai o’r camau uniongyrchol hyn.

13:40

Minister, the disappointing announcement late on Friday night that the emergency funding scheme for operators is only to be extended for three months has not brought the certainty that the industry needs. Alongside rising costs—fuel, maintenance and wages, et cetera—fare-paying patronage levels across Wales have only returned to about 65 per cent of what they were before COVID. I've heard from companies in west Wales who provide these vital scheduled bus services that are concerned that they may no longer be able to operate these vital services, which allow people to attend hospital or GP appointments, to go shopping and interact with the wider world, or even travel to school. A lack of public transport, in rural areas in particular, is damaging to social cohesion and the ability to access public services, so the importance of these services in rural communities in particular cannot be understated. So, what discussions have you had, Minister, with the Deputy Minister for Climate Change regarding the end of the BES and what assessment have you undertaken regarding the impact that ceasing this will have on local authorities and bus companies?

Weinidog, nid yw’r cyhoeddiad siomedig yn hwyr nos Wener fod y cynllun cyllid brys ar gyfer gweithredwyr i’w ymestyn am dri mis yn unig wedi darparu'r sicrwydd sydd ei angen ar y diwydiant. Ochr yn ochr â chostau cynyddol—tanwydd, cynnal a chadw a chyflogau, ac ati—nid yw lefelau defnydd lle telir am docyn ond wedi dychwelyd i oddeutu 65 y cant o’r hyn oeddent cyn COVID-19 ledled Cymru. Clywais gan gwmnïau yng ngorllewin Cymru sy’n darparu’r gwasanaethau bws rheolaidd hanfodol hyn ac sy’n pryderu efallai na fyddant bellach yn gallu gweithredu gwasanaethau hanfodol sy’n caniatáu i bobl fynd i apwyntiadau ysbyty neu at eu meddyg teulu, i fynd i siopa ac i ryngweithio â’r byd ehangach, neu hyd yn oed i deithio i'r ysgol. Mae diffyg trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus, mewn ardaloedd gwledig yn arbennig, yn niweidiol i gydlyniant cymdeithasol a’r gallu i gael mynediad at wasanaethau cyhoeddus, felly ni ellir gorbwysleisio pwysigrwydd y gwasanaethau hyn mewn cymunedau gwledig yn arbennig. Felly, Weinidog, pa drafodaethau rydych wedi’u cael gyda’r Dirprwy Weinidog Newid Hinsawdd ynghylch diwedd cynllun BES, a pha asesiad a wnaethoch o'r effaith y bydd dod â'r cynllun i ben yn ei chael ar awdurdodau lleol a chwmnïau bysiau?

I had a meeting just last week with the Deputy Minister for Climate Change and the Minister for Climate Change to discuss this issue and other issues in relation to pressures within the overall transport system. I was pleased that there were some conversations with the traffic commissioner to give the result that the deregistration window has now been temporarily reduced to 28 days. I think the extension to the funding, albeit short term, alongside that 28-day window, now means that there's no need for operators to be making immediate decisions on their future network. However, we will work together closely with the bus industry and other partners, including Transport for Wales, to bring around the strong and sustainable bus network for Wales that we need. But, as you appreciate from the question, I think, it is the Deputy Minister for Climate Change who's leading on those discussions, and I support him in my role as Minister for Finance and Local Government.

Cefais gyfarfod yr wythnos diwethaf gyda’r Dirprwy Weinidog Newid Hinsawdd a’r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd i drafod y mater hwn a materion eraill sy'n ymwneud â phwysau yn y system drafnidiaeth yn gyffredinol. Roeddwn yn falch fod rhai sgyrsiau wedi'u cael gyda’r comisiynydd traffig i sicrhau bod y cyfnod datgofrestru bellach wedi’i gyfyngu dros dro i 28 diwrnod. Credaf fod yr estyniad i'r cyllid, er ei fod ar gyfer y tymor byr, ochr yn ochr â'r cyfnod hwnnw o 28 diwrnod, bellach yn golygu nad oes angen i weithredwyr wneud penderfyniadau ar unwaith ar ddyfodol eu rhwydwaith. Fodd bynnag, byddwn yn cydweithio’n agos â’r diwydiant bysiau a phartneriaid eraill, gan gynnwys Trafnidiaeth Cymru, i sicrhau’r rhwydwaith bysiau cryf a chynaliadwy sydd ei angen arnom yng Nghymru. Ond fel y credaf eich bod yn ei ddeall o’r cwestiwn, y Dirprwy Weinidog Newid Hinsawdd sy’n arwain ar y trafodaethau hynny, ac rwy’n ei gefnogi yn fy rôl fel Gweinidog Cyllid a Llywodraeth Leol.

Good afternoon, Minister. To continue the bus theme, particularly in rural areas, it feels to me like this is one area where investing now and thinking long term can benefit us in Wales, particularly those in rural areas. So, just some buses in Ceredigion that are being affected: the Tregaron circular service, the Penrhyn-coch to Pen-bont Rhydybeddau, and Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge routes. Three other routes: buses now run less often from Aberystwyth to Ponterwyd, to Penrhyn-coch and to Lampeter via Tregaron. And Mid Wales Travel have just announced the halving of services on three routes from Aberystwyth town centre to the university campus, to Borth and Ynyslas, and the Penparcau circular route as well. These are really affecting communities within our rural areas. It is just another appeal that we look at the budget issues. From the roads review yesterday, I hope we have an opportunity to look at the money saved from cutting road construction to our public transport, particularly bus services. I wonder, with you having the responsibility for the budget, whether you're able to give us any information on next year's budget in terms of supporting and funding our bus services. Thank you. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Prynhawn da, Weinidog. Gan barhau â’r thema bysiau, yn enwedig mewn ardaloedd gwledig, mae’n teimlo i mi fel pe bai hwn yn un maes lle gall buddsoddi nawr a meddwl yn hirdymor fod o fudd i ni yng Nghymru, yn enwedig i'r rheini mewn ardaloedd gwledig. Felly, rhai bysiau yng Ngheredigion yr effeithir arnynt: gwasanaeth cylchol Tregaron, y llwybr o Benrhyn-coch i Ben-bont Rhydybeddau, a llwybrau Aberystwyth i Bontarfynach. Tri llwybr arall: mae bysus bellach yn rhedeg yn llai aml o Aberystwyth i Bonterwyd, i Benrhyn-coch ac i Lanbedr Pont Steffan drwy Dregaron. Ac mae Mid Wales Travel newydd gyhoeddi y bydd gwasanaethau ar dri llwybr o ganol tref Aberystwyth i gampws y brifysgol, i Borth ac Ynyslas, a llwybr cylchol Penparcau hefyd, yn cael eu haneru. Mae’r rhain yn effeithio'n fawr ar gymunedau yn ein hardaloedd gwledig. Mae'n apêl arall arnom i edrych ar y materion cyllidebol. O’r adolygiad ffyrdd ddoe, rwy'n gobeithio y cawn gyfle i edrych ar yr arian a arbedwyd o dorri’r gwaith o adeiladu ffyrdd i’n trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus, yn enwedig gwasanaethau bysiau. Gan mai chi sy'n gyfrifol am y gyllideb, tybed a allwch roi unrhyw wybodaeth i ni am gyllideb y flwyddyn nesaf o safbwynt cefnogi ac ariannu ein gwasanaethau bysiau. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

I'm very grateful for the question and also, as Cefin Campbell has done, for recognising the important role that buses play in terms of serving our rural communities in particular. I will ask the Deputy Minister to provide a greater update as those discussions continue because, as I say, he is leading on those discussions, but I think that one thing he would probably want to highlight is the importance of our Fflecsi pilot scheme. Particularly, it's been an important innovation in some rural areas, including schemes in the Conwy valley and in Pembrokeshire, but also in some urban areas, including Newport and smaller towns such as Denbigh and Ruthin. I think there's a lot to learn from those, but, again, that's not something that will be developing at pace overnight, but certainly something I think that has a really important part to play in the longer term.

Rwy’n ddiolchgar iawn am y cwestiwn a hefyd, fel y mae Cefin Campbell wedi’i wneud, am gydnabod y rôl bwysig y mae bysiau yn ei chwarae'n gwasanaethu ein cymunedau gwledig yn arbennig. Fe ofynnaf i’r Dirprwy Weinidog roi mwy o ddiweddariadau wrth i’r trafodaethau hynny barhau oherwydd, fel y dywedaf, ef sy'n arwain ar y trafodaethau hynny, ond credaf mai un peth y byddai’n debygol o fod yn awyddus i dynnu sylw ato yw pwysigrwydd ein cynllun peilot Fflecsi. Bu'n gyfleuster hynod bwysig mewn rhai ardaloedd gwledig, gan gynnwys cynlluniau yn nyffryn Conwy ac yn sir Benfro, ond hefyd mewn rhai ardaloedd trefol, gan gynnwys Casnewydd a threfi llai fel Dinbych a Rhuthun. Credaf fod llawer i'w ddysgu o'r rheini, ond eto, nid yw hynny'n rhywbeth a fydd yn datblygu'n gyflym dros nos, ond yn sicr, mae'n rhywbeth y credaf fod ganddo ran bwysig iawn i'w chwarae yn y tymor hwy.

Cwestiynau Heb Rybudd gan Lefarwyr y Pleidiau
Questions Without Notice from Party Spokespeople

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr, Peter Fox.

Questions now from party spokespeople. The Conservative spokesperson, Peter Fox.

Diolch, Llywydd. Minister, I'm sure all in this Chamber are relieved that negotiations with our teachers and our NHS unions over revised pay offers are looking promising and have averted further strikes by teachers and any NHS staff for the time being. Let's all hope that the offers will be accepted. But, for weeks, Minister, the Welsh Government had claimed that there's no money, meaning that any proposed pay rise would have been unachievable. So, given the u-turn that the Government has made, Minister, can you share the total amount that these increased pay offers will cost, and where this additional money is going to come from? And can you indicate which service areas will bear the costs and what things are likely to be put on hold as a result?

Diolch, Lywydd. Weinidog, rwy’n siŵr fod pawb yn y Siambr hon yn falch fod trafodaethau gyda’n hathrawon ac undebau ein GIG ynghylch cynigion cyflog diwygiedig yn edrych yn addawol ac wedi atal streiciau pellach gan athrawon ac unrhyw staff GIG am y tro. Gadewch inni obeithio y bydd y cynigion yn cael eu derbyn. Ond ers wythnosau, Weinidog, roedd Llywodraeth Cymru wedi honni nad oes arian ar gael, sy’n golygu y byddai unrhyw godiad cyflog arfaethedig wedi bod yn amhosibl. Felly, o ystyried y tro pedol a wnaed gan y Llywodraeth, Weinidog, a allwch rannu’r cyfanswm y bydd y cynigion cyflog uwch hyn yn ei gostio, ac o ble y daw'r arian ychwanegol? Ac a wnewch chi nodi pa feysydd gwasanaeth a fydd yn ysgwyddo'r costau a pha bethau sy'n debygol o gael eu gohirio o ganlyniad?

13:45

Well, I share your hope that the members of the unions will now accept the enhanced offer that has been made, which, just to be clear, is over and above the offer that was previously made when we accepted the recommendations of the independent pay review bodies. Our offer is, of course, an additional 3 per cent in this year and 1.5 per cent of that will be consolidated into next year. So, in terms of where we've been able to find the money, I refer colleagues to the second supplementary budget, which we published yesterday. And that sets out that we've allocated £130 million to the health main expenditure group and £35 million to the education MEG in order to cover that payment, should it be accepted within this financial year.

You'll also see from the supplementary budget that we've now drawn down everything that we can within this financial year from the Wales reserve, which is £125 million of revenue. That is not a comfortable position to be in at all—it's certainly not something that I'd intended to do at the start of the year. You'll remember that, when we set our budget for this financial year, it was less than £40 million that we intended to draw down and that was in recognition of the difficult two years that we face, which follow us in terms of the three-year spending review period. So, it's a very difficult situation, I think, now, budgetary wise, but absolutely, it was the right thing to do. So, just to assure you that, when colleagues vote on the supplementary budget, they'll be given cover then for the Welsh Government to spend the money that has been allocated. And also, there might be the underspends, which, obviously, we'll be driving now across different departments between now and the financial year so that we can make sure that we cover the whole of that award.

Wel, rwy’n rhannu eich gobaith y bydd aelodau’r undebau nawr yn derbyn y cynnig gwell a wnaed, sydd, i fod yn glir, yn uwch na'r cynnig a wnaed yn flaenorol pan wnaethom dderbyn argymhellion y cyrff adolygu cyflog annibynnol. Ein cynnig, wrth gwrs, yw 3 y cant ychwanegol yn y flwyddyn hon, a bydd 1.5 y cant o hynny’n cael ei gyfuno i mewn i'r flwyddyn nesaf. Felly, o ran ble rydym wedi gallu dod o hyd i'r arian, cyfeiriaf fy nghyd-Aelodau at yr ail gyllideb atodol, a gyhoeddwyd gennym ddoe. Ac mae honno'n nodi ein bod wedi dyrannu £130 miliwn i'r prif grŵp gwariant iechyd a £35 miliwn i'r prif grŵp gwariant addysg er mwyn talu am hynny, pe bai'n cael ei dderbyn o fewn y flwyddyn ariannol hon.

Fe welwch hefyd o'r gyllideb atodol ein bod bellach wedi tynnu popeth a allwn yn y flwyddyn ariannol hon i lawr o gronfa wrth gefn Cymru, sef £125 miliwn o refeniw. Nid yw honno’n sefyllfa gyfforddus i fod ynddi o gwbl—yn sicr, nid yw’n rhywbeth roeddwn i wedi bwriadu ei wneud ar ddechrau’r flwyddyn. Fe gofiwch, pan wnaethom osod ein cyllideb ar gyfer y flwyddyn ariannol hon, ein bod wedi bwriadu tynnu llai na £40 miliwn i lawr, ac roedd hynny i gydnabod y ddwy flynedd anodd sy’n ein hwynebu, sy’n ein dilyn o ran y cyfnod adolygu gwariant tair blynedd. Felly, credaf ei bod yn sefyllfa anodd iawn nawr, o ran y gyllideb, ond yn sicr, dyna oedd y peth iawn i'w wneud. Felly, i dawelu eich meddwl, pan fydd cyd-Aelodau'n pleidleisio ar y gyllideb atodol, byddant yn cael sicrwydd bryd hynny i Lywodraeth Cymru wario'r arian sydd wedi'i ddyrannu. A hefyd, efallai y bydd tanwariant, y byddwn, yn amlwg, yn ei hybu nawr mewn gwahanol adrannau rhwng nawr a'r flwyddyn ariannol fel y gallwn sicrhau ein bod yn gallu talu am y dyfarniad cyfan hwnnw.

Thank you, Minister—thank you for that clarity. I think it's really important that the Senedd understands the detail. I know that it'll be in the supplementary budget and we look forward to discussing that earlier. There are always opportunity costs when things have to be adjusted like that. So, it's important that we do understand the implications of those decisions.

But, Minister, in a similar vein of understanding the implications of Welsh Government's decisions, you'll be aware that this year marks the entire decade since your Government unilaterally took control of Cardiff Airport. In that time, literally hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money has been poured into the site, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that it's well over £200 million that has been pumped into the airport, both in revenue and capital. This begs the question of what the wasted sums of money could have alternatively been used on over the years—the opportunity costs are colossal. Minister, do you regret the sums of money that your Government have poured into the airport over the last 10 years, and with hindsight, Minister, do you agree with me that it was a poor and costly decision?

Diolch, Weinidog—diolch am yr eglurhad. Credaf ei bod yn bwysig iawn fod y Senedd yn deall y manylion. Gwn y bydd hynny wedi'i gynnwys yn y gyllideb atodol, ac edrychwn ymlaen at drafod hynny’n gynharach. Mae costau cyfle bob amser pan fydd yn rhaid addasu pethau fel hynny. Felly, mae'n bwysig ein bod yn deall goblygiadau'r penderfyniadau hynny.

Ond Weinidog, yn yr un modd o ran deall goblygiadau penderfyniadau Llywodraeth Cymru, fe fyddwch yn ymwybodol ei bod yn ddegawd cyfan eleni ers i'ch Llywodraeth gymryd rheolaeth gyfan ar Faes Awyr Caerdydd. Yn y cyfnod hwnnw, mae cannoedd o filiynau, yn llythrennol, o arian trethdalwyr wedi'i wario ar y safle, a chywirwch fi os wyf yn anghywir, ond credaf fod ymhell dros £200 miliwn wedi'i bwmpio i mewn i'r maes awyr, a hynny mewn refeniw a chyfalaf. Mae hyn yn codi'r cwestiwn ar gyfer beth arall y gellid bod wedi defnyddio’r symiau o arian a wastraffwyd dros y blynyddoedd—mae’r costau cyfle yn enfawr. Weinidog, a ydych yn gresynu at y symiau o arian y mae eich Llywodraeth wedi’u gwario ar y maes awyr dros y 10 mlynedd diwethaf, ac wrth edrych yn ôl, Weinidog, a ydych yn cytuno â mi ei fod yn benderfyniad gwael a chostus?

Well, if my colleague, the economy Minister—sorry, the transport Minister—within whose portfolio this sits was answering the question, I'm sure he would refer you to the fact that the airport does have a particular plan to put itself on a sustainable footing for the future. I think it is important that the airport does have a sustainable plan in terms of becoming profitable, but I think it is important that we do have an airport here in Wales in order to service people who live in Wales. What we do have, I think, is a problematic situation where the UK Government seems very much interested, really, in supporting Bristol Airport at the expense of Cardiff Airport. We saw that in the debates that we had in terms of devolving air passenger duty in recent years as well. So, I think that that is of particular concern. But I think it is important that Wales has an airport; it's important that our airport becomes sustainable in the long term.

Wel, pe bai fy nghyd-Aelod, Gweinidog yr Economi—mae'n ddrwg gennyf, y Gweinidog trafnidiaeth—yn ateb y cwestiwn hwn, gan mai rhan o'i bortffolio ef yw hyn, rwy’n siŵr y byddai’n eich cyfeirio at y ffaith bod gan y maes awyr gynllun penodol i sicrhau ei fod ar sylfaen gynaliadwy ar gyfer y dyfodol. Credaf ei bod yn bwysig fod gan y maes awyr gynllun cynaliadwy i ddod yn broffidiol, ond credaf ei bod yn bwysig fod gennym faes awyr yma yng Nghymru i wasanaethu pobl sy’n byw yng Nghymru. Yr hyn sydd gennym yn fy marn i yw sefyllfa broblemus lle mae'n ymddangos bod gan Lywodraeth y DU gryn ddiddordeb mewn cefnogi Maes Awyr Bryste ar draul Maes Awyr Caerdydd. Gwelsom hynny yn y dadleuon a gawsom ar ddatganoli’r doll teithwyr awyr yn y blynyddoedd diwethaf hefyd. Felly, credaf fod hynny’n peri pryder arbennig. Ond rwy'n credu ei bod yn bwysig fod gan Gymru faes awyr; mae'n bwysig fod ein maes awyr yn dod yn gynaliadwy yn y tymor hir.

Well, thank you, again, Minister. I take it from that that you don't regret the investment over the 10 years, albeit that it's a huge amount of money, and I know that many Members in here would have liked to have seen that money spent in many other areas, such as health and education, and we might not have found ourselves in the poor situation we're currently in, but that's where we are. Unfortunately, Minister, examples of lost opportunities under the Government just keep coming up.

And now I turn my attention, finally, to Gilestone Farm, where Audit Wales have raised serious concerns over your Government's decision to spend £4.25 million of taxpayers' money on buying that farm. But only last week in this Chamber, Members of your own back benches openly raised serious concerns over the purchase. Do you agree with them that, in hindsight, once again, the decision to buy the farm was another example of your Government's poor judgment and a financial mistake?

Wel, diolch, unwaith eto, Weinidog. Cymeraf o hynny nad ydych yn difaru’r buddsoddiad dros y 10 mlynedd, er ei fod yn swm enfawr o arian, a gwn y byddai llawer o Aelodau yma wedi hoffi gweld yr arian hwnnw’n cael ei wario mewn llawer o feysydd eraill, megis iechyd ac addysg, ac efallai wedyn na fyddem yn y sefyllfa wael rydym ynddi, ond dyna ble rydym. Yn anffodus, Weinidog, mae enghreifftiau o gyfleoedd a gollwyd o dan y Llywodraeth yn codi o hyd.

A nawr, rwy'n troi fy sylw, yn olaf, at Fferm Gilestone, lle mae Archwilio Cymru wedi mynegi pryderon difrifol ynghylch penderfyniad eich Llywodraeth i wario £4.25 miliwn o arian trethdalwyr ar brynu'r fferm honno. Ond yr wythnos diwethaf yn y Siambr hon, mynegodd Aelodau eich meinciau cefn eich hun bryderon difrifol ynghylch y pryniant. A ydych yn cytuno â hwy, wrth edrych yn ôl unwaith eto, fod y penderfyniad i brynu’r fferm yn enghraifft arall o grebwyll gwael eich Llywodraeth a chamgymeriad ariannol?

13:50

Well, I think what's really clear from the auditor general’s report is that our acquisition of Gilestone Farm, to allow Green Man to develop its plans, was value for money, properly aligned to our economic ambitions, and followed the appropriate processes and approvals. And, to be clear, the report by Audit Wales underscores that the procedural integrity of the acquisition of the farm is not in doubt. The Welsh Government has the legal powers to acquire properties or assets like Gilestone Farm, and professional independent advice was sought as part of the purchase process. And also, the auditor general makes it clear that the advice to Ministers was set in the context of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and our policies to support and further tourism and social and economic regeneration. I think the report also added that the advice sent to Ministers was well rounded, providing six options for Ministers to consider, including the option of not progressing with the policy proposal.

But, of course, no final decision on the future of Gilestone Farm will be made until there is an extensive due diligence process completed and, in the event that the detailed business plan does not meet our Welsh Government requirements or that Green Man does not enter into a prospective commercial lease, the Welsh Government will, of course, still have the farm asset and will be able to consider other options for it.

Wel, credaf mai’r hyn sy’n wirioneddol glir o adroddiad yr archwilydd cyffredinol yw bod prynu Fferm Gilestone, er mwyn caniatáu i Ŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd ddatblygu eu cynlluniau, yn dangos gwerth am arian, yn cyd-fynd yn briodol â’n huchelgeisiau economaidd, ac wedi dilyn y prosesau a’r cymeradwyaethau priodol. Ac i fod yn glir, mae adroddiad Archwilio Cymru yn tanlinellu nad oes amheuaeth ynghylch cywirdeb gweithdrefnol y broses o gaffael y fferm. Mae gan Lywodraeth Cymru bwerau cyfreithiol i gaffael eiddo neu asedau fel Fferm Gilestone, a gofynnwyd am gyngor annibynnol proffesiynol yn rhan o’r broses gaffael. A hefyd, mae’r archwilydd cyffredinol yn nodi'n glir fod y cyngor i Weinidogion wedi’i roi yng nghyd-destun Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol (Cymru) 2015 a’n polisïau i gefnogi a hybu twristiaeth ac adfywio cymdeithasol ac economaidd. Credaf fod yr adroddiad hefyd wedi ychwanegu bod y cyngor a roddwyd i Weinidogion yn eang, ac yn darparu chwe opsiwn i Weinidogion eu hystyried, gan gynnwys yr opsiwn o beidio â bwrw ymlaen â’r cynnig polisi.

Ond wrth gwrs, ni fydd unrhyw benderfyniad terfynol yn cael ei wneud ar ddyfodol Fferm Gilestone hyd nes y bydd proses ddiwydrwydd dyladwy helaeth wedi’i chwblhau, ac os na fydd y cynllun busnes manwl yn bodloni gofynion Llywodraeth Cymru, neu os na fydd Gŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd yn ymrwymo i les fasnachol arfaethedig, bydd gan Lywodraeth Cymru y fferm fel ased o hyd wrth gwrs, a bydd yn gallu ystyried opsiynau eraill ar ei chyfer.

Llefarydd Plaid Cymru, Llyr Gruffydd.

Plaid Cymru spokesperson, Llyr Gruffydd.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Llywydd. Last week, Minister, you recall, I'm sure, Plaid Cymru making our case for the further devolution of tax powers, in that instance providing Wales with the ability to set our own income tax bands in line with powers already being exercised in Scotland, of course. Now, unfortunately, you and your colleagues voted down our motion, despite mounting evidence that the current income tax bands, which are, let's not forget, set by the UK Government for Wales, despite them being an exceedingly poor fit for the Welsh tax base. Now, a recent Institute of Welsh Affairs report stated that if you were designing an efficient system of income taxation for Wales, then the bands wouldn't look like they look now.

However, what's also apparent, of course, is that the Welsh Government's current agenda for the further devolution of tax powers, which includes an ambition to establish a vacant land tax is being undermined by a consistent lack of engagement and co-operation from the UK Government. You've described the agreed process for devolution of tax competence to Wales as 'not fit for purpose', so can you tell us, therefore, what recent discussions you've had with the UK Government regarding the review and reform of the process by which new tax powers are devolved? And what recommendations has the Welsh Government made to the UK Government in this regard?

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Lywydd. Yr wythnos diwethaf, Weinidog, rwy’n siŵr y gallwch gofio Plaid Cymru yn dadlau ein hachos dros ddatganoli pwerau trethu ymhellach, gan roi’r gallu, yn yr achos hwnnw, i Gymru osod ein bandiau treth incwm ein hunain yn unol â’r pwerau sydd eisoes yn cael eu harfer yn yr Alban, wrth gwrs. Yn anffodus, fe wnaethoch chi a’ch cyd-Aelodau bleidleisio yn erbyn ein cynnig, er gwaethaf tystiolaeth gynyddol fod y bandiau treth incwm presennol, sy'n cael eu gosod, gadewch inni gofio, gan Lywodraeth y DU ar gyfer Cymru, er gwaethaf y ffaith eu bod yn anaddas iawn ar gyfer sylfaen drethu Cymru. Nawr, yn ôl adroddiad diweddar gan y Sefydliad Materion Cymreig, pe baech yn dylunio system effeithlon o drethi incwm i Gymru, ni fyddai’r bandiau’n edrych fel y maent yn edrych nawr.

Fodd bynnag, yr hyn sydd hefyd yn amlwg, wrth gwrs, yw bod agenda bresennol Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer datganoli pwerau trethu ymhellach, sy’n cynnwys uchelgais i sefydlu treth ar dir gwag, yn cael ei thanseilio gan ddiffyg ymgysylltu a chydweithredu cyson gan Lywodraeth y DU. Rydych wedi disgrifio’r broses y cytunwyd arni ar gyfer datganoli cymhwysedd trethu i Gymru fel un ‘nad yw'n addas i'r diben’, felly a allwch ddweud wrthym pa drafodaethau diweddar a gawsoch gyda Llywodraeth y DU ynghylch adolygu a diwygio’r broses o ddatganoli pwerau trethu newydd? A pha argymhellion y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi’u gwneud i Lywodraeth y DU yn hyn o beth?

So, I was surprised by the response of the leader of Plaid Cymru to my response to his debate last week, because I thought that I was very fair and measured in setting out that it is important for the Welsh Government to understand the proper implications of any particular policy before we hitch our horse to that particular cart. And I did say that the constitutional commission is going to be doing important work that looks at the future role that taxes might play in Wales. I also set out that there are some significant negative impacts that we potentially would have to consider as well. The situation in Scotland being that the tax system that they have and the choices that they've made mean that there will be a £100 million negative net impact on the Scottish budget, despite the fact that Scottish taxpayers are making £85 million greater tax effort. So, I think all of those things are important for us to consider.

But, in rejecting the proposals last week, I think what I was doing was setting out that we can't take a particular policy choice before we properly understand the implications. And, in response to one of the previous questions this afternoon, I said that we're working alongside HM Revenue & Customs to better understand that longitudinal data, which is coming forth now in respect of Scotland, to understand the behavioural impacts of different choices in respect of rates of income tax. What I was trying to set out last week was that we want to take a considered, evidence-based approach, which I think is the right thing to do.

In terms of the devolution of further tax powers, I agree with what I said previously and with what you've quoted today, which is that the system that we have isn't fit for purpose. But, I am seeking a meeting with the new Financial Secretary to the Treasury to discuss the issue further, and I hope to have that meeting shortly, and I'm more than happy to update colleagues following that meeting.

Felly, cefais fy synnu gan ymateb arweinydd Plaid Cymru i fy ymateb i’w ddadl yr wythnos diwethaf, gan fy mod yn credu imi fod yn deg ac yn bwyllog iawn wrth nodi ei bod yn bwysig i Lywodraeth Cymru ddeall goblygiadau priodol unrhyw bolisi penodol cyn inni ymrwymo iddo. A dywedais y bydd y comisiwn cyfansoddiadol yn gwneud gwaith pwysig sy'n edrych ar y rôl y gallai trethi ei chwarae yng Nghymru yn y dyfodol. Nodais hefyd fod rhai effeithiau negyddol sylweddol y byddai’n rhaid i ni eu hystyried hefyd, o bosibl. Y sefyllfa yn yr Alban yw bod y system dreth sydd ganddynt a’r dewisiadau y maent wedi’u gwneud yn golygu y bydd effaith negyddol net o £100 miliwn ar gyllideb yr Alban, er gwaethaf y ffaith bod trethdalwyr yr Alban yn talu £85 miliwn yn fwy o drethi. Felly, credaf fod yr holl bethau hynny’n bwysig i ni eu hystyried.

Ond drwy wrthod y cynigion yr wythnos diwethaf, credaf mai’r hyn roeddwn yn ei wneud oedd nodi na allwn wneud dewis polisi penodol cyn ein bod yn deall y goblygiadau’n iawn. Ac mewn ymateb i un o'r cwestiynau blaenorol y prynhawn yma, dywedais ein bod yn gweithio ochr yn ochr â Chyllid a Thollau EF i ddeall y data hydredol hwnnw'n well, sy'n dod i'r amlwg nawr mewn perthynas â'r Alban, i ddeall effeithiau ymddygiadol gwahanol ddewisiadau mewn perthynas â chyfraddau treth incwm. Yr hyn roeddwn yn ceisio’i nodi yr wythnos diwethaf oedd ein bod am arfer ymagwedd ystyriol sy’n seiliedig ar dystiolaeth, sef y peth iawn i’w wneud yn fy marn i.

O ran datganoli pwerau trethu pellach, cytunaf â’r hyn a ddywedais eisoes a’r hyn rydych wedi’i ddyfynnu heddiw, sef nad yw’r system sydd gennym yn addas i'r diben. Ond rwy’n ceisio cyfarfod ag Ysgrifennydd Ariannol newydd y Trysorlys i drafod y mater ymhellach, a gobeithiaf gael y cyfarfod hwnnw cyn bo hir, ac rwy’n fwy na pharod i roi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf i gyd-Aelodau yn dilyn y cyfarfod hwnnw.

13:55

It would be really good to have that update, as an when it's available, although your answer feels a little bit like a previous answer you gave me a while ago.

The first part of your response takes me on to my next question, really, because I was going to refer to the fact that you, in your response to our debate last week, said you needed a better understanding of the behavioural changes and that that would be key to developing and maturing the Welsh tax policy agenda, and I clearly agree with that; it's an important factor. But it's also true that the evidence base isn't there—it's lacking. Indeed, last week's report from the Finance Committee on the draft budget expressed disappointment that the Welsh Government hasn't undertaken a comprehensive analysis of what behavioural impact the raising, or indeed the lowering, of the Welsh rates of income tax would have, and I would certainly echo the committee's view. Because if you suggest that you can't vary Welsh rates of income tax without understanding any subsequent behavioural changes, then without getting that work done, your hands will forever be tied. So, I presume that you do acknowledge, first of all, that there is a glaring need, as the Finance Committee report emphasised and as you suggested in your previous answer, for that work to be done. You mentioned the work by the HMRC, maybe you could just explain whether that is in a specific Welsh context, because there are other pieces of work out there that relate to other jurisdictions but may not, obviously, transfer directly over to our experience here in Wales. It really is important that we address that evidence gap, because otherwise the risk is that I'll be coming back here next year and the year after, listening to you giving me the same answers over and over again.

Byddai'n dda iawn cael y diweddariad hwnnw pan fydd ar gael, er bod eich ateb yn teimlo ychydig fel ateb blaenorol a roesoch i mi beth amser yn ôl.

Mae rhan gyntaf eich ymateb yn fy arwain at fy nghwestiwn nesaf, a dweud y gwir, gan fy mod yn mynd i gyfeirio at y ffaith i chi, yn eich ymateb i’n dadl yr wythnos diwethaf, ddweud bod angen ichi ddeall y newidiadau ymddygiadol yn well, ac y byddai hynny’n allweddol i ddatblygu ac aeddfedu agenda polisi treth Cymru, ac rwy’n amlwg yn cytuno â hynny; mae'n ffactor pwysig. Ond mae hefyd yn wir nad yw'r sylfaen dystiolaeth yno—mae'n ddiffygiol. Yn wir, roedd adroddiad yr wythnos diwethaf gan y Pwyllgor Cyllid ar y gyllideb ddrafft yn mynegi siom nad yw Llywodraeth Cymru wedi cynnal dadansoddiad cynhwysfawr o ba effaith ymddygiadol y byddai codi, neu yn wir gostwng, cyfraddau treth incwm Cymru yn ei chael, a byddwn innau'n sicr yn adleisio barn y pwyllgor. Oherwydd os ydych yn awgrymu na allwch amrywio cyfraddau treth incwm Cymru heb ddeall unrhyw newidiadau ymddygiadol dilynol, yna heb wneud y gwaith hwnnw, bydd eich dwylo wedi'u clymu am byth. Felly, rwy’n cymryd eich bod yn cydnabod, yn gyntaf oll, fod angen amlwg i'r gwaith hwnnw gael ei wneud, fel y pwysleisiodd adroddiad y Pwyllgor Cyllid ac fel yr awgrymwyd gennych yn eich ateb blaenorol. Fe sonioch am y gwaith gan Gyllid a Thollau EF, efallai y gallech egluro a yw hynny mewn cyd-destun Cymreig penodol, gan fod darnau eraill o waith sy'n berthnasol i awdurdodaethau eraill ond efallai nad ydynt, yn amlwg, yn trosglwyddo'n uniongyrchol i'n profiad ni yma yng Nghymru. Mae'n wirioneddol bwysig ein bod yn mynd i'r afael â'r bwlch hwnnw yn y dystiolaeth, oherwydd fel arall, y risg yw y byddaf yn ôl yma y flwyddyn nesaf a'r flwyddyn wedyn, yn gwrando arnoch yn rhoi'r un atebion i mi dro ar ôl tro.

So, in respect of the evidence base that we currently use, we already take into account behavioural impacts in our Welsh rates of income tax ready reckoner, which you'll find on the Welsh Government's website. That shows that, for example, were we to raise the additional rate of Welsh rates of income tax, we would probably bring in around £7 million, but actually, the net impact would only be around £3 million, as a result of behavioural changes. We understand that from the basis of a Swiss study—officials advised that that's the closest proxy that we can use in the current circumstances in the absence of any more detailed information that we have. But again, this is an important piece of work for the constitutional commission. 

But then, I'd also point colleagues to the independent body that advises the Scottish Government on its budget and its tax choices—so, their version, if you like, of the Office for Budget Responsibility, in terms of presenting detailed information. I think that if you look at that latest report, you'll see that if the Scottish Government were to raise the very highest rate by 1p it would bring in £30 million, but the net impact would only be around £3 million as a result of behavioural changes and out-migration and so on. All of that information is there. We're considering it all the time. But we do need to build up a proper evidence base so that we can take well-informed decisions.

Felly, o ran y sylfaen dystiolaeth rydym yn ei defnyddio ar hyn o bryd, rydym eisoes yn ystyried effeithiau ymddygiadol yn ein canllaw cyflym cyfraddau treth incwm Cymru, sydd ar gael ar wefan Llywodraeth Cymru. Mae hwnnw'n dangos, er enghraifft, pe baem yn cynyddu'r gyfradd ychwanegol o gyfraddau treth incwm Cymru, mae’n debyg y byddem yn codi oddeutu £7 miliwn, ond mewn gwirionedd, dim ond oddeutu £3 miliwn fyddai’r effaith net, o ganlyniad i newidiadau ymddygiadol. Deallwn hynny ar sail astudiaeth yn y Swistir—cynghorodd swyddogion mai dyna'r procsi agosaf y gallwn ei ddefnyddio o dan yr amgylchiadau presennol yn absenoldeb unrhyw wybodaeth fanylach sydd gennym. Ond eto, mae hwn yn waith pwysig i’r comisiwn cyfansoddiadol.

Ond wedyn, byddwn hefyd yn cyfeirio cyd-Aelodau at y corff annibynnol sy'n cynghori Llywodraeth yr Alban ar ei chyllideb a'i dewisiadau treth—felly, eu fersiwn hwy, os mynnwch, o'r Swyddfa Cyfrifoldeb Cyllidebol, sy'n cyflwyno gwybodaeth fanwl. Credaf y gwelwch, os edrychwch ar yr adroddiad diweddaraf hwnnw, pe bai Llywodraeth yr Alban yn cynyddu’r gyfradd uchaf 1g, y byddai hynny'n codi £30 miliwn, ond dim ond oddeutu £3 miliwn fyddai’r effaith net o ganlyniad i newidiadau ymddygiadol ac allfudo ac ati. Mae'r holl wybodaeth honno yno. Rydym yn ei hystyried drwy'r amser. Ond mae angen inni adeiladu sylfaen dystiolaeth briodol fel y gallwn wneud penderfyniadau gwybodus.

Parciau Cenedlaethol
National Parks

3. Pa drafodaethau mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd ynglŷn ag effaith cyllideb ddrafft y Llywodraeth ar ddyfodol parciau cenedlaethol? OQ59135

3. What discussions has the Minister had with the Minister for Climate Change regarding the impact of the Government's draft budget on the future of national parks? OQ59135

As part of the 2022-25 spending review, an additional £9 million revenue and close to £90 million capital has been allocated to enhance green spaces. This includes funding for a new national park. Spending decisions in relation to national parks are, of course, a matter for the Minister for Climate Change.

Fel rhan o adolygiad gwariant 2022-25, dyrannwyd £9 miliwn o refeniw ychwanegol ac yn agos at £90 miliwn o gyfalaf i wella mannau gwyrdd. Mae hyn yn cynnwys cyllid ar gyfer parc cenedlaethol newydd. Mater i'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd wrth gwrs yw penderfyniadau gwariant mewn perthynas â pharciau cenedlaethol.

Diolch am yr ateb yna. Roedd hi'n eironig iawn darllen datganiad y Dirprwy Weinidog Newid Hinsawdd ynghylch trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus yn y Gymru wledig ac yntau yn sôn am y gwasanaeth Sherpa i'r Wyddfa fel enghraifft dda o'r math o system y dylid ei ledaenu ar draws Cymru. Yr eironi ydy, wrth gwrs, fel y saif pethau, gall y gwasanaeth yma fod o dan fygythiad oherwydd methiant y Llywodraeth i ariannu Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri yn iawn. Yn wir, mae’n debyg y bydd pob parc cenedlaethol yn gorfod edrych i dorri yn ôl ar wasanaethau, ac felly, ni chaiff llwybrau cerdded eu cynnal a'u cadw, bydd toiledau cyhoeddus yn cau, a llawer iawn mwy. Roedd y gyllideb ddrafft wreiddiol yn sôn am roi £0.5 miliwn yn ychwanegol i barciau cenedlaethol Cymru, ond mae'r arian yma wedi diflannu ac mae'r setliad fflat yn golygu bod y gyllideb heb godi dim mewn termau go iawn ers tua 10 mlynedd. Felly, a wnaiff y Gweinidog ymrwymo i o leiaf ailgyflwyno'r £0.5 miliwn yna i'r parciau cenedlaethol er mwyn iddyn nhw fedru cyflawni eu dyletswyddau yn llawn?

Thank you for that response. It was very ironic to read the statement by the Deputy Minister for Climate Change on public transport in rural Wales when he was talking about the Sherpa service to Yr Wyddfa as a good example of the kind of system that should be used across Wales. The irony is, of course, that, as things stand, this service could be under threat because of the Government's failure to fund Eryri National Park properly. Indeed, it's likely that every national park will have to look to cut back services, and therefore walking routes won't be maintained, public toilets will close and far more. The original draft budget talked about giving an additional £0.5 million to national parks in Wales, but this funding has disappeared, and the flat settlement means that the budget hasn't increased at all in real terms for some 10 years. So, will the Minister commit to at least reintroducing that £0.5 million to the national parks so that they can deliver their objectives fully?

14:00

Well, there was a 10 per cent uplift to the national park authorities' core grants, taking it to just over £10 million in 2021-22, and that has been maintained into 2022-23. And the aim of that was to provide greater resilience following the pandemic and also increase the impact of their activities around biodiversity, decarbonisation and sustainable tourism. Now, I do understand the pressures that national parks are under, and the Minister for Climate Change, again, whose portfolio in which this sits, has met with the chief executives to discuss these concerns, and officials are continuing to liaise with the national parks. As you say, the parks are currently conducting their exercises to develop saving plans, and I know that the Minister and her officials will be looking at those very closely in terms of determining the future. 

Wel, roedd cynnydd o 10 y cant i grantiau craidd awdurdodau'r parciau cenedlaethol, gan fynd ag ef i ychydig dros £10 miliwn yn 2021-22, ac mae hynny wedi'i gynnal yn 2022-23. A nod hynny oedd darparu mwy o wytnwch yn dilyn y pandemig a chynyddu effaith eu gweithgareddau'n ymwneud â bioamrywiaeth, datgarboneiddio a thwristiaeth gynaliadwy. Nawr, rwy'n deall y pwysau sydd ar barciau cenedlaethol, ac unwaith eto mae'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd sydd â hyn yn ei bortffolio wedi cyfarfod â'r prif weithredwyr i drafod y pryderon hyn, ac mae swyddogion yn parhau i gysylltu â'r parciau cenedlaethol. Fel y dywedwch, mae'r parciau'n cynnal eu hymarferion ar hyn o bryd i ddatblygu cynlluniau arbed arian, ac rwy'n gwybod y bydd y Gweinidog a'i swyddogion yn edrych ar y rheini'n agos iawn er mwyn gwneud penderfyniadau ar gyfer y dyfodol. 

Snowdonia national park goes beyond and above to deliver on its statutory purposes, and I'd like to place on record my thanks for how they do manage all the functions they do have, their statutory functions, with the resources they have. However, the effect of inflation on the authority's flat budget until the end of 2024-25 is worryingly approximately £1.1 million, equivalent to a 20 per cent cut in grant levy. Now, we know that inflation is rocketing and their costs are going up, yet you want to provide a flat budget of just over £5.4 million. Now, this is despite the fact that park authorities have no mechanism in terms of funding to increase revenue funding like other public bodies. SNP raises an additional £2.8 million annually in order to deliver. Now, the national park is doing everything possible to raise what money it can, but its work is being completely undermined by continued real-term cuts from the Welsh Government. Now, bearing in mind that Snowdonia national park, potentially, could be facing job and service losses—and we know that this park plays a key role in tackling the climate and nature crisis—will you prove that you are committed to the future of the national park by increasing the grant? It isn't the first time I've raised these concerns, but you cannot keep asking these organisations to do more with less resources. Thank you.

Mae parc cenedlaethol Eryri yn mynd y tu hwnt i'r galw i gyflawni ei ddibenion statudol, a hoffwn gofnodi fy niolch am y ffordd y maent yn rheoli'r holl swyddogaethau sydd ganddynt, eu swyddogaethau statudol, gyda'r adnoddau sydd ganddynt. Fodd bynnag, mae'n peri pryder fod effaith chwyddiant ar gyllideb sylfaenol yr awdurdod tan ddiwedd 2024-25 oddeutu £1.1 miliwn, sy'n golygu toriad o 20 y cant yn y grantiau. Nawr, fe wyddom fod chwyddiant yn cynyddu i'r entrychion a bod eu costau'n codi, ond eto rydych chi eisiau darparu cyllideb sylfaenol o ychydig dros £5.4 miliwn. Nawr, mae hyn er gwaethaf y ffaith nad oes gan awdurdodau'r parciau fecanwaith cyllidol i gynyddu cyllid refeniw fel sydd gan gyrff cyhoeddus eraill. Mae parc cenedlaethol Eryri yn codi £2.8 miliwn ychwanegol bob blwyddyn er mwyn gallu cyflawni ei waith. Nawr, mae'r parc cenedlaethol yn gwneud popeth posibl i godi unrhyw arian y gall, ond mae ei waith yn cael ei danseilio'n llwyr gan doriadau parhaus mewn termau real gan Lywodraeth Cymru. Nawr, gan gofio y gallai parc cenedlaethol Eryri wynebu colli swyddi a gwasanaethau—ac fe wyddom fod y parc hwn yn chwarae rhan allweddol yn mynd i'r afael â'r argyfwng hinsawdd a'r argyfwng natur—a wnewch chi brofi eich bod wedi ymrwymo i ddyfodol y parc cenedlaethol drwy gynyddu'r grant? Nid dyma'r tro cyntaf i mi godi'r pryderon hyn, ond ni allwch barhau i ofyn i'r sefydliadau hyn wneud mwy gyda llai o adnoddau. Diolch.

Well, it is frustrating to have these questions from the Conservative benches when our own budget hasn't been uplifted in line with inflation but yet we're asked to uplift the budgets of other organisations in line with inflation, which is just impossible, really, for us to do across the board. We only had £1.2 billion additional funding over the next two financial years; that doesn't even begin to meet the impact of inflation on our budget. So, unfortunately, we haven't been able to provide other organisations with the kind of uplift that we would want to give them under normal circumstances. And that holds true right across the board in terms of the things that Welsh Government supports. So, unfortunately, we are constrained by the budgets that we have. I will say, though, in terms of maintaining a flat budget, it does mean, when you see that, that those budgets were protected from the cuts exercise that we had to undertake to reprioritise funding from across Government towards local government and the NHS as part of our budget process.

Wel, mae'n rhwystredig cael y cwestiynau hyn oddi ar y meinciau Ceidwadol pan nad yw ein cyllideb ein hunain wedi cael ei chodi yn unol â chwyddiant ond eto gofynnir i ni godi cyllidebau sefydliadau eraill yn unol â chwyddiant, sy'n amhosibl i ni ei wneud i bawb. Dim ond £1.2 biliwn o gyllid ychwanegol a oedd gennym dros y ddwy flynedd ariannol nesaf; nid yw hynny hyd yn oed yn dechrau lleddfu effaith chwyddiant ar ein cyllideb. Felly, yn anffodus, nid ydym wedi gallu darparu'r math o gynnydd y byddem eisiau ei roi i sefydliadau eraill o dan amgylchiadau arferol. Ac mae hynny'n wir yn gyffredinol am y pethau mae Llywodraeth Cymru'n eu cefnogi. Felly, yn anffodus, mae'r cyllidebau sydd gennym yn cyfyngu arnom. Er hynny, o ran cynnal cyllideb sylfaenol, mae'n golygu, pan welwch chi hynny, fod y cyllidebau hynny wedi cael eu diogelu rhag y toriadau y bu'n rhaid inni eu gweithredu i ailflaenoriaethu cyllid o bob rhan o'r Llywodraeth tuag at lywodraeth leol a'r GIG fel rhan o'n proses gyllidebol.

Llyfrgelloedd Cyhoeddus
Public Libraries

The Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 makes it a duty for the Welsh Government—

Mae Deddf Llyfrgelloedd Cyhoeddus ac Amgueddfeydd 1964 yn ei gwneud yn ddyletswydd ar Lywodraeth Cymru—

You'll need to ask the question on the order paper first. 

Bydd angen ichi ofyn y cwestiwn ar y papur trefn yn gyntaf. 

I will. Thank you. And I'll come to that secondarily. 

Fe wnaf. Diolch. Ac fe ddof at hynny yn y man. 

4. Sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru'n cefnogi dyfodol llyfrgelloedd cyhoeddus yn Islwyn? OQ59143

4. How is the Welsh Government supporting the future of public libraries in Islwyn? OQ59143

Local authorities are responsible for the provision of a library service. The Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 requires authorities to provide a comprehensive and efficient service. The Welsh Government supports local library provision through a capital grant fund and by investing in developing innovative services for local communities. 

Awdurdodau lleol sy'n gyfrifol am ddarparu gwasanaeth llyfrgell. Mae Deddf Llyfrgelloedd Cyhoeddus ac Amgueddfeydd 1964 yn ei gwneud yn ofynnol i awdurdodau ddarparu gwasanaeth cynhwysfawr ac effeithlon. Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn cefnogi darpariaeth llyfrgelloedd lleol drwy gronfa grant cyfalaf a thrwy fuddsoddi mewn datblygu gwasanaethau arloesol ar gyfer cymunedau lleol. 

Thank you, and I'll turn to my supplementary question. The Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 makes it a duty for the Welsh Government

'to superintend, and promote the improvement of, the public library service provided by local authorities...and to secure the proper discharge...of the functions in relation to libraries conferred on them as library authorities'

under the Act. Minister, in Islwyn in 2023, libraries continue to play a significant role at the heart of communities in Wales. This week, Newbridge library, on Monday, held an innovative session where a toddlers group was joined by individuals from Memory Lane, thanks to the Royal Voluntary Service, Dementia UK and Dementia Friends. Inter-generations joined together in one space, where community ties are built and strengthened, and throughout the Caerphilly County Borough Council area libraries are being utilised as welcoming spaces, warm hubs and places of cultural community. Minister, how can the Welsh Government continue to support, promote and encourage adults and children to make full use of the library services throughout the communities of Islwyn?

Diolch, ac rwyf am droi at fy nghwestiwn atodol. Mae Deddf Llyfrgelloedd Cyhoeddus ac Amgueddfeydd 1964 yn ei gwneud yn ddyletswydd i Lywodraeth Cymru

'oruchwylio a hybu gwelliant y gwasanaeth llyfrgell cyhoeddus a ddarperir gan yr awdurdodau lleol... a sicrhau y cyflawnir mewn modd priodol... y swyddogaethau a roddwyd iddynt fel awdurdodau llyfrgell mewn perthynas â llyfrgelloedd'

o dan y Ddeddf. Weinidog, yn Islwyn yn 2023, mae llyfrgelloedd yn parhau i chwarae rhan bwysig wrth galon cymunedau Cymru. Yr wythnos hon, ddydd Llun, cynhaliodd llyfrgell Trecelyn sesiwn arloesol lle ymunodd unigolion o Memory Lane â grŵp plant bach, diolch i'r Gwasanaeth Gwirfoddol Brenhinol, Dementia UK a Cyfeillion Dementia. Ymunodd rhyng-genedlaethau â'i gilydd mewn un gofod, lle mae cysylltiadau cymunedol yn cael eu meithrin a'u cryfhau, a thrwy ardal Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Caerffili mae llyfrgelloedd yn cael eu defnyddio fel mannau croesawus, hybiau cynnes a lleoedd ar gyfer cymunedau diwylliannol. Weinidog, sut y gall Llywodraeth Cymru barhau i gefnogi, hybu ac annog oedolion a phlant i wneud defnydd llawn o wasanaethau llyfrgell drwy holl gymunedau Islwyn?

14:05

It was lovely to hear those examples of the ways in which libraries in Islwyn are innovating, and I’m aware of some other examples as well locally in your area, including a knit and natter group, toddler time, a Lego club, and Blind Date With A Book, in celebration of Valentine’s Day, and they have that in my own library as well, and I thought that was a particularly lovely idea.

Obviously, libraries in Islwyn are really playing an important part in being those warm hubs for communities as well, and they will take part in the nationally recognised Bookstart, an early years scheme, which provides free material and information for parents and toddlers at the nine- and 18-month health check. So, libraries are playing an absolutely critical role in our lives across all of the generations. So, thank you to those libraries in Islwyn, which are doing such a fantastic job there.

I think it’s important as well for us to all be evangelical about libraries, because, if people haven’t been to a library lately, they’re going to go in and be very surprised. They’re nothing like perhaps we remember from younger days, so there’s a lot going on, and I think they are absolutely hubs of the community now, so I completely want to celebrate libraries at every opportunity we get.

Roedd yn hyfryd clywed yr enghreifftiau hynny o'r ffyrdd y mae llyfrgelloedd yn Islwyn yn arloesi, ac rwy'n ymwybodol o rai enghreifftiau eraill hefyd yn lleol yn eich ardal chi, gan gynnwys grŵp gweu a sgwrsio, grŵp plant bach, clwb Lego, a Blind Date with a Book, i ddathlu Dydd San Ffolant, ac mae ganddynt hynny yn fy llyfrgell fy hun hefyd, ac roeddwn i'n meddwl bod hwnnw'n syniad arbennig o hyfryd.

Yn amlwg, mae llyfrgelloedd yn Islwyn yn chwarae rhan bwysig wrth fod yn hybiau cynnes i gymunedau hefyd, a byddant yn cymryd rhan yn yr ymgyrch Dechrau Da a gydnabyddir yn genedlaethol, cynllun blynyddoedd cynnar sy'n darparu deunydd am ddim a gwybodaeth i rieni a phlant bach yn yr archwiliad iechyd naw a 18 mis. Felly, mae llyfrgelloedd yn chwarae rhan gwbl hanfodol yn ein bywydau ar draws y cenedlaethau i gyd. Felly, diolch i'r llyfrgelloedd yn Islwyn sy'n gwneud gwaith mor wych yno.

Rwy'n meddwl ei bod hi'n bwysig hefyd i bawb ohonom genhadu ar ran llyfrgelloedd, oherwydd, os nad yw pobl wedi bod mewn llyfrgell yn ddiweddar, maent yn mynd i fynd i mewn a chael eu synnu'n fawr. Nid ydynt yn debyg o gwbl i'r hyn a gofiwn o'r dyddiau a fu, felly mae llawer yn digwydd, ac rwy'n meddwl eu bod yn hybiau gwych i'r gymuned nawr, felly rwyf am fachu ar bob cyfle a gawn i ddathlu llyfrgelloedd.

Thank you. I find myself in complete agreement with the Member from Islwyn and the Minister on this one. Public libraries provide positive outcomes for people and communities in a variety of ways, beyond simply providing access to books, as you’ve already outlined. They contribute to the formation of human capital and maintenance of mental and physical well-being, social inclusivity and community cohesion as well, of course, as educating and providing books for those who can’t afford them—particularly important when we see that a massive 44 per cent of pupils rarely or never read books, which is far higher than in other parts of the UK. Yet Caerphilly council are cutting library funding by 20 per cent; Monmouthshire County Council are cutting funding for new library books by 50 per cent. So, what action are you taking and financial help are you giving our local authorities to ensure that these vital libraries are kept open and well used?

Diolch. Rwy'n cytuno'n llwyr â'r Aelod o Islwyn a'r Gweinidog ar hyn. Mae llyfrgelloedd cyhoeddus yn rhoi canlyniadau cadarnhaol i bobl a chymunedau mewn amrywiaeth o ffyrdd, y tu hwnt i ddarparu mynediad at lyfrau yn unig, fel rydych chi eisoes wedi'i nodi. Maent yn cyfrannu at ffurfio cyfalaf dynol a chynnal lles meddyliol a chorfforol, cynwysoldeb cymdeithasol a chydlyniant cymunedol yn ogystal ag addysgu a darparu llyfrau i'r rhai na allant eu fforddio—sy'n arbennig o bwysig pan welwn fod 44 y cant o ddisgyblion yn anaml neu byth yn darllen llyfrau, sy'n llawer uwch nag mewn rhannau eraill o'r DU. Ac eto, mae cyngor Caerffili yn torri cyllid llyfrgelloedd 20 y cant; mae Cyngor Sir Fynwy yn torri cyllid ar gyfer llyfrau llyfrgell newydd 50 y cant. Felly, pa gamau rydych chi'n eu cymryd a pha gymorth ariannol rydych chi'n ei roi i'n hawdurdodau lleol i sicrhau bod y llyfrgelloedd hanfodol hyn yn cael eu cadw ar agor ac y gwneir defnydd da ohonynt?

So, the majority of the Welsh Government’s financial support for public libraries is distributed through the local government core settlement, which colleagues will remember is uplifted by 7.9 per cent in our budget for next year. No authority will see an increase of less than 6.5 per cent. There are other sources of funding that are important, however, including the capital transformation fund for museums, archives and libraries, and the funding that we’re providing for the digital library service, which is also an important investment in terms of making sure that our libraries are fit for the future.

Any potential budget cuts to library services will need to be monitored by officials in the culture division in Dawn Bowden’s portfolio to ensure that public libraries meet statutory requirements. Local authorities must demonstrate that any service reductions will not impair their ability to comply with their statutory responsibilities and those discussions are ongoing between culture division officials and the library sector to develop a seventh Welsh public library standards framework, but, in the meantime, services are continuing to operate under framework 6.

Felly, mae'r rhan fwyaf o gefnogaeth ariannol Llywodraeth Cymru i lyfrgelloedd cyhoeddus yn cael ei ddosbarthu drwy'r setliad craidd i lywodraeth leol, y bydd cyd-Aelodau'n cofio iddo gael ei godi 7.9 y cant yn ein cyllideb ar gyfer y flwyddyn nesaf. Ni fydd unrhyw awdurdod yn gweld cynnydd o lai na 6.5 y cant. Mae yna ffynonellau eraill o arian sy'n bwysig, fodd bynnag, gan gynnwys y gronfa cyfalaf trawsnewid i amgueddfeydd, archifau a llyfrgelloedd, a'r cyllid rydym yn ei ddarparu ar gyfer y gwasanaethau llyfrgell digidol, sydd hefyd yn fuddsoddiad pwysig er mwyn gwneud yn siŵr bod ein llyfrgelloedd yn addas i'r dyfodol.

Bydd angen i unrhyw doriadau posibl yn y gyllideb i wasanaethau llyfrgell gael eu monitro gan swyddogion yn yr adran ddiwylliant ym mhortffolio Dawn Bowden er mwyn sicrhau bod llyfrgelloedd cyhoeddus yn diwallu gofynion statudol. Rhaid i awdurdodau lleol ddangos na fydd unrhyw leihau ar wasanaethau yn amharu ar eu gallu i gydymffurfio â'u cyfrifoldebau statudol ac mae'r trafodaethau hynny'n parhau rhwng swyddogion yr is-adran ddiwylliant a'r sector llyfrgelloedd i ddatblygu seithfed fframwaith safonau ar gyfer llyfrgelloedd cyhoeddus Cymru, ond yn y cyfamser, mae gwasanaethau'n parhau i weithredu o dan fframwaith 6.

Parhad Cydwasanaethau
Shared Services

5. Sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn gweithio gydag awdurdodau lleol i gefnogi ac ariannu parhad cydwasanaethau? OQ59139

5. How is the Welsh Government working with local authorities to support and fund the continuation of shared services? OQ59139

The Welsh Government is supportive of local authorities working in collaboration to improve services and provide value for money, including via shared services. Corporate joint committees provide an important new vehicle to support strategic regional collaboration between authorities.

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn gefnogol i awdurdodau lleol sy'n gweithio ar y cyd i wella gwasanaethau a darparu gwerth am arian, gan gynnwys drwy gydwasanaethau. Mae cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig yn cynnig cyfrwng newydd pwysig i gefnogi cydweithio rhanbarthol strategol rhwng awdurdodau.

Thank you, Minister. Minister, I know you will recognise the important role that shared services between local authorities play in affording valuable services to many thousands of children, enhancing their learning experiences. The amounts of support are often fundamental to the viability and existence of extremely important services. So, it was with dismay that I learned that the new Labour-run Monmouthshire County Council are planning to withdraw their £100,000 grant support to Gwent Music, a truly fantastic shared service that works with over 8,000 children across Gwent and has done for over 50 years. This withdrawal of support could be the last nail in the wonderful service's coffin. Minister, recognising the increased settlement you are making available to councils this year, and further recognising the increased levels of reserves many councils have accrued, would you share my concerns that removing crucial resources and cutting the lifelines to shared services like Gwent Music is short sighted and detrimental to the learning and life experiences of our young people?

Diolch. Weinidog, rwy'n gwybod y byddwch yn cydnabod y rôl bwysig y mae cydwasanaethau rhwng awdurdodau lleol yn ei chwarae er mwyn gallu fforddio gwasanaethau gwerthfawr i filoedd lawer o blant, gan wella eu profiadau dysgu. Mae faint o gymorth a roddir yn aml yn allweddol i hyfywedd a bodolaeth gwasanaethau hynod bwysig. Gyda siom y dysgais felly fod cyngor newydd sir Fynwy dan arweiniad Llafur yn bwriadu dileu eu cymorth grant o £100,000 i Gerdd Gwent, cydwasanaeth gwirioneddol wych sy'n gweithio gyda dros 8,000 o blant ar draws Gwent ac sydd wedi gwneud hynny ers dros 50 mlynedd. Gallai tynnu'r cymorth hwn yn ôl fod yn hoelen olaf yn arch y gwasanaeth gwych hwn. Weinidog, gan gydnabod y setliad cynyddol rydych chi'n ei ddarparu i gynghorau eleni, a chan gydnabod ymhellach y lefelau uwch o gronfeydd wrth gefn mae llawer o gynghorau wedi'u cronni, a ydych chi'n rhannu fy mhryderon fod cael gwared ar adnoddau hanfodol a thorri'r llinellau achub i gydwasanaethau fel Cerdd Gwent yn gam gwag ac yn niweidiol i brofiadau dysgu a bywyd ein pobl ifanc?

14:10

In prioritising public services, including local government, in our budget settlement, we've always been clear at every step that it still will mean a difficult set of decisions for local government to take. I know that local government leaders have been consulting on a whole range of things that they wouldn't normally want to be consulting their local areas on in terms of service provision for the future. But, at the end of the day, we have provided the best possible settlement to local government. It doesn't match inflation; it doesn't meet all of the needs that local government is going to have to meet in terms of their local communities. So, we continue to press the UK Government to provide greater funding for public services and we maintain that call to them to use the spring statement on 15 March to provide the much-needed additional uplift for public services.

Wrth flaenoriaethu gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, gan gynnwys llywodraeth leol, yn ein setliad cyllideb, rydym bob amser wedi bod yn glir ar bob cam y bydd yn dal i olygu cyfres anodd o benderfyniadau i lywodraeth leol eu gwneud. Rwy'n gwybod bod arweinwyr llywodraeth leol wedi bod yn ymgynghori ar ystod gyfan o bethau na fyddent fel arfer eisiau bod yn ymgynghori â'u hardaloedd lleol yn eu cylch o ran darparu gwasanaethau i'r dyfodol. Ond yn y pen draw, rydym wedi darparu'r setliad gorau posibl i lywodraeth leol. Nid yw'n cyd-fynd â chwyddiant; nid yw'n diwallu'r holl anghenion y bydd yn rhaid i lywodraeth leol eu diwallu yn eu cymunedau lleol. Felly, rydym yn parhau i bwyso ar Lywodraeth y DU i ddarparu mwy o gyllid ar gyfer gwasanaethau cyhoeddus ac rydym yn parhau'r alwad arnynt i ddefnyddio datganiad y gwanwyn ar 15 Mawrth i ddarparu'r cynnydd ychwanegol mawr ei angen i wasanaethau cyhoeddus.

Cyllideb Ddrafft 2023-24
Draft Budget for 2023-24

6. Pa asesiad mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud o effaith ei chyllideb ddrafft ar gyfer 2023-24 ar awdurdodau lleol? OQ59141

6. What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the impact of its draft budget for 2023-24 on local authorities? OQ59141

The Government is providing unhypothecated revenue funding of over £5.5 billion and £180 million of capital funding in 2023-24 in support of local authority services. While this is a significantly better settlement than authorities had anticipated, authorities will need to take some difficult decisions given the high levels of inflation.

Mae'r Llywodraeth yn darparu cyllid refeniw heb ei neilltuo o dros £5.5 biliwn a £180 miliwn o gyllid cyfalaf yn 2023-24 i gefnogi gwasanaethau awdurdodau lleol. Er bod hwn yn setliad sylweddol well nag a ragwelwyd gan yr awdurdodau, bydd angen i awdurdodau wneud rhai penderfyniadau anodd o ystyried y lefelau uchel o chwyddiant.

I'm grateful to the Minister for that answer. I was very engaged and taken by the answer the Minister also gave to Peter Fox in an earlier question. The answer could have been given by a different Minister a decade ago, in reality. Local authorities are suffering from a squeeze in funding, and the people who suffer most are the poorest and the most vulnerable people. And the local authorities that suffer the most are those local authorities least able to sustain additional income through fee income and other commercial income, and those tend to be the poorest parts of the country as well, places like Blaenau Gwent, which I represent. The Welsh Government has a responsibility to those people, and if I'm quite clear, Minister, it's not good enough simply to say, 'It's the fault of the UK Government, we're not doing anything.' Those days are gone. What I want to see from the Welsh Government is real action to ensure that, perhaps, shared services as you've just debated, take a hit, but, more potentially, a reorganisation of local government to put people first, to ensure that we have local authorities capable of delivering the services we ask them to deliver, and partners in ensuring that we can address the real social issues we're facing—social and economic issues we're facing—across Wales. Blaming the Tories was yesterday's game. I believe the Welsh Government's got a responsibility to those people today.

Rwy'n ddiolchgar i'r Gweinidog am yr ateb hwnnw. Roedd gennyf ddiddordeb mawr yn yr ateb a roddodd y Gweinidog i Peter Fox mewn cwestiwn cynharach hefyd. Fe allai'r ateb fod wedi cael ei roi gan Weinidog gwahanol ddegawd yn ôl, mewn gwirionedd. Mae awdurdodau lleol yn dioddef yn sgil pwysau ar gyllid, a'r bobl sy'n dioddef fwyaf yw'r bobl dlotaf a'r bobl fwyaf bregus. A'r awdurdodau lleol sy'n dioddef fwyaf yw'r awdurdodau lleol sydd leiaf abl i gael incwm ychwanegol drwy incwm ffioedd ac incwm masnachol arall, a rhannau tlotaf y wlad yw'r rheini'n tueddu i fod hefyd, llefydd fel Blaenau Gwent, a gynrychiolir gennyf. Mae gan Lywodraeth Cymru gyfrifoldeb i'r bobl hynny, ac os wyf fi'n hollol glir, Weinidog, nid yw dweud, 'Bai Llywodraeth y DU ydyw, nid ydym ni'n gwneud unrhyw beth' yn ddigon da. Mae'r dyddiau hynny wedi mynd. Yr hyn rwyf eisiau ei weld gan Lywodraeth Cymru yw gweithredu go iawn i sicrhau, efallai, fod cydwasanaethau fel rydych chi newydd eu trafod, yn cael eu taro, ond yn fwy posibl, aildrefnu llywodraeth leol i roi pobl yn gyntaf, i sicrhau bod gennym awdurdodau lleol sy'n gallu darparu'r gwasanaethau y gofynnwn iddynt eu cyflawni, a phartneriaid i sicrhau y gallwn fynd i'r afael â'r problemau cymdeithasol go iawn a wynebwn—problemau cymdeithasol ac economaidd a wynebwn—ar draws Cymru. Gêm ddoe oedd beio'r Torïaid. Rwy'n credu bod cyfrifoldeb gan Lywodraeth Cymru i bobl heddiw.

I think the Welsh Government has a responsibility to be honest to people in Wales that it is a fact that our budget is not rising in line with inflation, and I think that's a fact. Nonetheless, Welsh Government is doing absolutely everything that it can in order to prioritise and protect public services, which is why we undertook a very painful exercise across Government to try and reprioritise funding towards local government and towards health services. And it's why we have provided at least the amount of consequential funding that we received in respect of NHS services and local government services to those particular sectors, bearing in mind that we have had to take really tough decisions ourselves. The financial situation we find ourselves in is a fact, it's not an excuse, but I would agree with the point that the Member made that the people who suffer the most in these difficult times are those who are the poorest, and also we have to make sure that our funding settlement to local government and the formula that drives it is one that demonstrates fairness in terms of deprivation and also in terms of sparsity, and I think that those things are important parts of our settlement.

Rwy'n meddwl bod gan Lywodraeth Cymru gyfrifoldeb i fod yn onest wrth bobl Cymru ei bod hi'n ffaith nad yw ein cyllideb yn codi yn unol â chwyddiant, ac rwy'n meddwl bod hynny'n ffaith. Er hynny, mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn gwneud popeth yn ei gallu i flaenoriaethu a diogelu gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, a dyna pam y cynhaliwyd ymarfer poenus iawn ar draws y Llywodraeth i geisio ailflaenoriaethu cyllid tuag at lywodraeth leol a thuag at wasanaethau iechyd. A dyna pam ein bod wedi darparu o leiaf y swm o gyllid canlyniadol a gawsom mewn perthynas â gwasanaethau'r GIG a gwasanaethau llywodraeth leol i'r sectorau penodol hynny, gan gofio ein bod wedi gorfod gwneud penderfyniadau anodd iawn ein hunain. Mae'r sefyllfa ariannol rydym ynddi yn ffaith, nid esgus, ond byddwn yn cytuno gyda'r pwynt a wnaeth yr Aelod mai'r bobl sy'n dioddef fwyaf yn y cyfnod anodd hwn yw'r rhai tlotaf, a hefyd mae'n rhaid inni wneud yn siŵr fod ein setliad cyllido i lywodraeth leol a'r fformiwla sy'n ei yrru yn un sy'n dangos tegwch o safbwynt amddifadedd a hefyd o safbwynt teneurwydd poblogaeth, ac rwy'n meddwl bod y pethau hynny'n rhannau pwysig o'n setliad.

Cyllideb Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn
Isle of Anglesey County Council's Budget

7. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad ar gyllideb Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn? OQ59132

7. Will the Minister make a statement on the Isle of Anglesey County Council's budget? OQ59132

14:15

In 2023-24, the council will receive £123.7 million through the local government settlement—an increase of 7.9 per cent. While the council will still have to make some difficult decisions in the face of the current rates of inflation, this is a better settlement than authorities had expected. 

Yn 2023-24, bydd y Cyngor yn derbyn £123.7 miliwn drwy'r setliad llywodraeth leol—cynnydd o 7.9 y cant. Er y bydd yn rhaid i'r cyngor wneud rhai penderfyniadau anodd o hyd yn wyneb y cyfraddau chwyddiant presennol, mae hwn yn setliad gwell nag yr oedd yr awdurdodau wedi'i ddisgwyl. 

Diolch am yr ymateb yna. Mae cyllidebau yn dynn ar bob awdurdod, wrth gwrs, ond weithiau mae yna bethau’n codi sy’n rhoi straen aruthrol ar gyllidebau. Mae cyngor Môn yn wynebu hynny rŵan yn sgil cyhoeddiad cwmni 2 Sisters Food Group eu bod nhw’n ymgynghori ar gau gwaith yn Llangefni, lle mae dros 700 yn gweithio. Y flaenoriaeth, wrth gwrs, ar hyn o bryd yw gweld a oes modd newid meddwl y cwmni, ond does dim rhaid imi ddweud faint o arian y byddai ei angen ar gyngor i ymateb i golli swyddi o’r math yna ar raddfa o’r math yna, mewn ardal fel Ynys Môn. Mae nifer yr unigolion a’r teuluoedd a fydd angen cymorth yn fawr—angen cymorth ar wasanaethau tai, gwasanaethau plant, ac yn y blaen.

A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi sicrwydd y bydd hi’n barod i edrych ar roi cymorth ychwanegol i gyngor Môn, ar ben eu cyllid sylfaenol, er mwyn gallu ymateb i’r sefyllfa a’i galluogi nhw i roi cefnogaeth angenrheidiol i’r gweithwyr a’u teuluoedd?

Thank you for that response. Budgets are tight in all authorities, of course, but sometimes issues arise that put huge strains on budgets. Anglesey council is facing that, given the announcement of the 2 Sisters Food Group company that they are consulting on closing the works in Llangefni, where over 700 are employed. The priority at the moment, of course, is to see whether we can change the company's mind, but I don't need to tell you how much money would be required by a council to respond to job losses at that scale in an area such as Anglesey. The number of individuals and families that would need support is great. We would need support for housing, children's services, and so on and so forth.

So, will the Minister give us an assurance that she will be willing to look at providing additional support to Anglesey council, on top of their basic budget, in order to respond to the situation and to enable them to provide the necessary support to the workers and their families?

Well, I can confirm that officials have met with the chief executive officer of 2 Sisters and are continuing the dialogue to pull all possible levers to offer support to people affected by the recent developments. And, of course, our officials are working very closely with the local authority. I know that the Minister for Economy has been speaking to the leader as well.

Obviously, it is devastating news for the rural community, and we shouldn’t underestimate the impact on public services in terms of responding to it. We have mobilised now the taskforce that the economy Minister previously referred to, to try to offer our full support to the affected employees, and also working with the trade union at the plant. I know that the taskforce is now meeting weekly to find a way forward, and to understand the implications, and to offer support to the workforce that has been impacted by this announcement. So, I think that the stage that we are at at the moment really is mapping out what the impact might be.

Wel, gallaf gadarnhau bod swyddogion wedi cyfarfod â phrif swyddog gweithredol 2 Sisters ac yn parhau â'r ddeialog i wneud popeth sy'n bosibl i gynnig cymorth i bobl yr effeithir arnynt gan y datblygiadau diweddar. Ac wrth gwrs, mae ein swyddogion yn gweithio'n agos iawn gyda'r awdurdod lleol. Rwy'n gwybod bod Gweinidog yr Economi wedi bod yn siarad â'r arweinydd hefyd.

Yn amlwg, mae'n newyddion trychinebus i'r gymuned wledig, ac ni ddylem fychanu'r effaith ar wasanaethau cyhoeddus wrth ymateb iddo. Rydym bellach wedi cynnull y tasglu y cyfeiriodd Gweinidog yr Economi ato'n flaenorol, i geisio cynnig ein cefnogaeth lawn i'r gweithwyr yr effeithir arnynt, ac rydym hefyd yn gweithio gyda'r undeb llafur yn y ffatri. Rwy'n gwybod bod y tasglu bellach yn cyfarfod yn wythnosol i ganfod ffordd ymlaen, ac i ddeall y goblygiadau, ac i gynnig cymorth i'r gweithlu yr effeithir arno gan y cyhoeddiad yma. Felly, rwy'n credu mai'r cam rydym arno ar hyn o bryd mewn gwirionedd yw mapio beth y gallai'r effaith fod.

Ac yn olaf, cwestiwn 8, Luke Fletcher.

And finally, question 8, Luke Fletcher.

Cyfleoedd Prentisiaethau
Apprenticeship Opportunities

8. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael gyda Gweinidog yr Economi ynghylch cyllid i awdurdodau lleol i hyrwyddo cyfleoedd prentisiaethau i ddysgwyr ifanc? OQ59131

8. What discussions has the Minister had with the Minister for Economy regarding funding for local authorities to promote apprenticeship opportunities for young learners? OQ59131

The Welsh Government has committed an extra £36 million over the next two years, with the goal of delivering 125,000 apprenticeships by 2027. Apprenticeship policy is the responsibility of the Minister for Economy.

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi ymrwymo £36 miliwn ychwanegol dros y ddwy flynedd nesaf, gyda'r nod o ddarparu 125,000 o brentisiaethau erbyn 2027. Cyfrifoldeb Gweinidog yr Economi yw'r polisi prentisiaethau.

Diolch am yr ateb, Weinidog.

Thank you for that response, Minister.

Last week, I asked the education Minister about the skills agenda, and how he intends to address the skills gap from his end. The key point that I raised in my question is that we are struggling to retain young learners, particularly from low-income households. In Wales, we also have a lack of learner destination data in FE and apprenticeships—data that, alongside bolstered financial support, could help us recognise and reduce the number of people leaving FE and apprenticeships.

Does the Minister agree that creating opportunity is one half of this, but retention is the other? And is there more that the Government could be doing on this front in relation to gathering that data and targeting that financial support?

Yr wythnos diwethaf, gofynnais i'r Gweinidog addysg am yr agenda sgiliau, a sut mae'n bwriadu mynd i'r afael â'r bwlch sgiliau o'i ben ef. Y pwynt allweddol a godais yn fy nghwestiwn yw ein bod yn ei chael hi'n anodd cadw dysgwyr ifanc, yn enwedig o aelwydydd incwm isel. Yng Nghymru, ceir diffyg data hefyd ynghylch cyrchfannau dysgwyr mewn addysg bellach a phrentisiaethau—data a allai, ochr yn ochr â chefnogaeth ariannol well, ein helpu i gydnabod a lleihau nifer y bobl sy'n gadael addysg bellach a phrentisiaethau.

A yw'r Gweinidog yn cytuno mai un hanner o hyn yw creu cyfle ond yr hanner arall yw cadw dysgwyr? Ac a oes mwy y gallai'r Llywodraeth ei wneud yn hyn o beth mewn perthynas â chasglu'r data a thargedu'r gefnogaeth ariannol?

Yes, I'm very grateful for the question. I think that, perhaps, it would be better directed at the Minister with responsibility for this area, but I will do my best and point the Member towards the important work that we have been doing through the young person's guarantee, which you will have seen from the recent announcement has helped thousands of young people into work or training or further education in the last year, which I think is really successful. I know that my colleagues work very closely with the four regional skills partnerships to make sure that young people do have the kinds of skills that local businesses need.

Ie, rwy'n ddiolchgar iawn am y cwestiwn. Rwy'n credu, efallai, y byddai'n well ei gyfeirio at y Gweinidog sydd â chyfrifoldeb am y maes hwn, ond fe wnaf fy ngorau a chyfeirio'r Aelod tuag at y gwaith pwysig rydym wedi bod yn ei wneud drwy'r warant i bobl ifanc, a byddwch wedi gweld o'r cyhoeddiad diweddar ei fod wedi helpu miloedd o bobl ifanc i mewn i waith neu hyfforddiant neu addysg bellach yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, sy'n llwyddiannus iawn yn fy marn i. Rwy'n gwybod bod fy nghyd-Weinidogion yn gweithio'n agos iawn gyda'r pedair partneriaeth sgiliau ranbarthol i wneud yn siŵr fod gan bobl ifanc y mathau o sgiliau sydd eu hangen ar fusnesau lleol.

2. Cwestiynau i’r Gweinidog Materion Gwledig a Gogledd Cymru, a’r Trefnydd
2. Questions to the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd

Yr eitem nesaf, felly, yw'r cwestiynau i'r Gweinidog Materion Gwledig a'r Gogledd, ac mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf heddiw gan Heledd Fychan.

The next item is questions to the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and the first question today is from Heledd Fychan.

Gofodau Gwyrdd
Green Spaces

1. Sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn cefnogi cymunedau ledled Canol De Cymru i gael mynediad at ofodau gwyrdd cymunedol? OQ59118

1. How is the Welsh Government supporting communities across South Wales Central to access community green spaces? OQ59118

Member
Lesley Griffiths MS 14:19:29
Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd

High-quality green spaces and parks provide opportunities for healthy recreation, support biodiversity and reduce air pollution. The Welsh Government’s Local Places for Nature programme, and the enabling natural resources and well-being grant, have funded the creation of hundreds of local spaces, and our green flags award scheme also drives up quality. 

Mae mannau gwyrdd a pharciau o ansawdd uchel yn cynnig cyfleoedd ar gyfer gweithgareddau hamdden iach, cefnogi bioamrywiaeth a lleihau llygredd aer. Mae rhaglen Lleoedd Lleol ar gyfer Natur Llywodraeth Cymru, a'r grant galluogi adnoddau naturiol a lles, wedi ariannu'r gwaith o greu cannoedd o fannau lleol, ac mae cynllun gwobr y faner werdd hefyd yn hybu ansawdd. 

Diolch, Weinidog. Yn sicr, rydym ni i gyd yn gwybod, fel y gwnaethoch chi eu rhestru, y manteision mawr sydd yna o ran iechyd a lles, bioamrywiaeth, ansawdd aer, ac ati. Ond eto i gyd, mae nifer o ofodau gwyrdd yn diflannu, gan gynnwys mewn ardaloedd ledled ein prifddinas, oherwydd datblygiadau amrywiol. Fel y byddwch yn ymwybodol o gwestiynau blaenorol gan Aelodau eraill, mae nifer o ymgyrchwyr eisiau gweld buddsoddiad mewn parciau newydd i gydfynd â datblygiadau o'r fath, ynghyd â gofodau cymunedol i dyfu bwyd.

Felly, sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn gweithio gydag awdurdodau lleol i sicrhau bod cynlluniau o'r fath yn rhan o'u cynlluniau datblygu lleol, ynghyd â'u hymrywmiad i weithredu o ran yr argyfwng hinsawdd?

Thank you, Minister. Certainly, we are all aware, as you just listed, of the major benefits of community green spaces, in terms of health and well-being, biodiversity, air quality, and so on. Despite this, a number of green spaces are being lost, including in areas across our capital city, due to various developments. As you will know from previous questions from other Members, a number of campaigners want to see investment in new parks to accompany such developments, as well as community spaces for growing food.

So, how is the Welsh Government working with local authorities to ensure that such schemes are part of their local development plans, and align with their commitment to act on the climate crisis?

14:20

Thank you. You do raise a very important point, and obviously my colleague the Minister for Finance and Local Government does have these discussions with local authorities, and I know the Minister for Climate Change also does, with her planning hat on, in relation to LDPs. I go back to what I was saying about Local Places for Nature; it just shows how people do really appreciate the ability to be able to access green space from their doorstep, if you like, and obviously in somewhere like Cardiff, in a capital city, it's really important to preserve the green spaces that we have, but also to look at whether there are any opportunities for new ones.

Diolch. Rydych yn codi pwynt pwysig iawn, ac yn amlwg mae fy nghyd-Aelod y Gweinidog Cyllid a Llywodraeth Leol yn cael y trafodaethau hyn gydag awdurdodau lleol, ac rwy'n gwybod bod y Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd hefyd yn gwneud hynny, gan wisgo'i het gynllunio, mewn perthynas â chynlluniau datblygu lleol. Rwy'n mynd yn ôl at yr hyn roeddwn yn ei ddweud am Leoedd Lleol ar gyfer Natur; mae'n dangos sut mae pobl yn gwerthfawrogi'r gallu i gael mynediad at fannau gwyrdd o garreg eu drws, os mynnwch, ac yn amlwg yn rhywle fel Caerdydd, mewn prifddinas, mae'n bwysig iawn cadw'r mannau gwyrdd sydd gennym, ac edrych hefyd a oes unrhyw gyfleoedd i gael rhai newydd.

Minister, research has shown that, during the pandemic, those with disabilities spent even less time out in green spaces and accessing nature than before. Whilst the vulnerability to COVID was a key factor, it has also been found that cognitive load had a detrimental impact, not to mention confusion of social arrangements, such as how many people could meet at one time, and whether or not physical contact like hugging was allowed. All of this led to an overall drop in confidence for some when accessing green spaces. Whilst physical accessibility is an important barrier that we must continue to address, we need to be ever mindful that barriers to access can be much more nuanced and subjective. Therefore, Minister, what assessment has the Welsh Government made of how it can rebuild the confidence of those with disabilities to re-engage with nature and our green spaces? Thank you.

Weinidog, yn ystod y pandemig, dangosodd gwaith ymchwil fod pobl ag anableddau wedi treulio llai o amser nag o'r blaen hyd yn oed allan mewn mannau gwyrdd ac yn mwynhau byd natur. Er bod gwarchod rhag COVID yn ffactor allweddol, canfuwyd hefyd fod llwyth gwybodaeth wedi cael effaith niweidiol, heb sôn am ddryswch ynghylch trefniadau cymdeithasol, megis faint o bobl a gâi gyfarfod ar un adeg, ac a oedd cyswllt corfforol fel cofleidio wedi'i ganiatáu ai peidio. Arweiniodd hyn i gyd at leihad cyffredinol yn hyder rhai pobl i fynd i fannau gwyrdd. Er bod hygyrchedd corfforol yn rhwystr pwysig y mae'n rhaid inni barhau i fynd i'r afael ag ef, mae angen inni fod mor ymwybodol ag erioed y gall rhwystrau i fynediad fod yn llawer mwy cymhleth a goddrychol. Felly, Weinidog, pa asesiad y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud o sut y gall ailadeiladu hyder pobl ag anableddau i ailgysylltu â byd natur a'n mannau gwyrdd? Diolch.

Thank you. The Member raises the very important point, I think, that the COVID pandemic had a lot of harms apart from COVID itself, and clearly, as you say, people with some disabilities may not have been able to recognise the limits and the limitations that were put on people even outside, with how many people could get together to go for a walk, for instance. I'm not aware of any specific research that the Welsh Government is undertaking—I'm not sure who the Minister would be, in fact—but I will certainly look into it, and if there has been some analysis done, I will ask that particular Member to write to you.

Diolch. Mae'r Aelod yn codi'r pwynt pwysig iawn, rwy'n credu, fod y pandemig COVID wedi arwain at lawer o niwed ar wahân i COVID ei hun, ac yn amlwg, fel y dywedwch, efallai nad oedd rhai pobl ag anableddau wedi gallu adnabod y terfynau a'r cyfyngiadau a gafodd eu rhoi ar bobl, yn yr awyr agored hyd yn oed, gyda faint o bobl a gâi ddod at ei gilydd i fynd am dro, er enghraifft. Nid wyf yn ymwybodol o unrhyw ymchwil penodol y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei wneud—nid wyf yn siŵr pwy fyddai'r Gweinidog, mewn gwirionedd—ond yn sicr fe edrychaf ar hyn, ac os gwnaethpwyd dadansoddiad, fe ofynnaf i'r cyfryw Aelod ysgrifennu atoch.

Datblygu Gwledig
Rural Development

2. Sut fydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn parhau i gefnogi datblygu gwledig yng Nghanolbarth a Gorllewin Cymru wrth i gyllid yr UE ddod i ben? OQ59133

2. How will the Welsh Government continue to support rural development in Mid and West Wales as EU funding comes to an end? OQ59133

Our approach to supporting the rural economy is focused on delivering programme for government commitments. I have announced over £200 million of funding for rural investment schemes to support the resilience of the rural economy and our natural environment.

Mae ein dull o gefnogi'r economi wledig yn canolbwyntio ar gyflawni ymrwymiadau'r rhaglen lywodraethu. Rwyf wedi cyhoeddi dros £200 miliwn o gyllid ar gyfer cynlluniau buddsoddi gwledig i gefnogi gwytnwch yr economi wledig a'n hamgylchedd naturiol.

Diolch yn fawr i chi am yr ateb. Dros Gymru, fel rŷch chi'n gwybod, mae dros ryw 1,200 o brojectau sosioeconomaidd wedi cael eu cyllido dan y cynllun datblygu gwledig presennol, ac mae'r projectau hyn wedi cynnwys ystod amrywiol o weithgareddau, gan gynnwys hwyluso mynediad at wasanaethau cymunedol hanfodol mewn ardaloedd gwledig. Mae sefydliadau yn fy rhanbarth i, wrth gwrs, wedi mynegi pryderon am eu dyfodol pan ddaw'r cyllid yma i ben. Er enghraifft, mae Planed yn sir Benfro yn edrych ar ddod â'i raglen hybiau bwyd cymunedol i ben, sy'n cefnogi rhyw 15 o hybiau bwyd lleol ar draws tair sir. Ym Mhowys, mae Ecodyfi yn wynebu'r posibilrwydd o ddiweddu dau broject mawr, sef Tyfu Dyfi a Thrywydd Iach, gyda sgil-effeithiau posibl i swyddi a lles cymunedol.

Nawr, rwy'n derbyn ein bod ni wedi cael llai o gyllid gan Lywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig na'r hyn a gafodd ei addo. Rŷn ni'n cofio, wrth gwrs, 'dim ceiniog yn llai'. Ond rwy'n pryderu nad oes digon o gyllid datblygu gwledig newydd wedi cael ei gyhoeddi gan y Llywodraeth. Felly, ydych chi, Weinidog, yn gallu esbonio sut mae'r Llywodraeth yn bwriadu parhau i gyllido'r math yma o fentrau pwysig yng nghefn gwlad Cymru?

Thank you for that response. Across Wales, as you know, some 1,200 socioeconomic projects have been funded under the current rural development plan, and these projects have included a range of activities, including facilitating access to crucial community services in rural areas. Organisations in my region, of course, have expressed concerns about their future when this funding comes to an end. For example, Planed in Pembrokeshire is looking at drawing its community food hubs programme to an end, which supports around 15 local food hubs across three counties. In Powys, Ecodyfi is facing the possibility of bringing two major projects to an end, Tyfu Dyfi and Outdoor Health, with possible effects on community well-being and employment.

Now, I accept that we've received less funding from the UK Government than was originally pledged. We recall 'not a penny less' being mentioned, of course. But I am concerned that there hasn't been sufficient new rural development funding announced by the Government. So, Minister, can you explain how the Government intends to continue to fund these kinds of important initiatives in rural Wales?

Thank you. As you said, we were promised not a penny less, but unfortunately, we know, as a result of the UK Government not honouring its commitment to replace EU funding to Wales, we are actually £1.1 billion worse off. And clearly it's not possible to find that significant sum of money from within our own budget, so we do know that, certainly in my portfolio, our farming sector, our rural economies, will lose out on around £243 million of replacement EU funding over the last two spending periods.

It's really important that we do continue to fund as many projects as we can, and have as many new schemes for the agricultural sector and for our rural economy. So, you'll be aware of the announcement I made around the rural investment schemes, for instance, to support our farmers, our foresters, our land managers and our food businesses across the rural economy. So, there is a significant number of projects within that. I'm unaware if the specific project you mentioned is able to access further funding, but, obviously, we will continue to invest in our rural economies.

Diolch. Fel y dywedoch chi, cawsom addewid na chaem geiniog yn llai, ond yn anffodus, o ganlyniad i fethiant Llywodraeth y DU i anrhydeddu ei hymrwymiad i roi cyllid llawn i Gymru yn lle cyllid yr UE, fe wyddom ein bod £1.1 biliwn yn waeth ein byd mewn gwirionedd. Ac yn amlwg, nid yw'n bosibl dod o hyd i'r swm sylweddol hwnnw o arian o fewn ein cyllideb ein hunain, felly rydym yn gwybod, yn sicr yn fy mhortffolio i, y bydd ein sector ffermio, ein heconomïau gwledig, oddeutu £243 miliwn yn brin o gyllid newydd yn lle cyllid yr UE dros y ddau gyfnod gwariant diwethaf.

Mae'n bwysig iawn ein bod yn parhau i ariannu cymaint o brosiectau ag y gallwn, a chael cymaint o gynlluniau newydd ar gyfer y sector amaethyddol ac i'n heconomi wledig. Felly, fe fyddwch yn ymwybodol o'r cyhoeddiad a wneuthum ynghylch y cynlluniau buddsoddi gwledig, er enghraifft, i gefnogi ein ffermwyr, ein coedwigwyr, ein rheolwyr tir a'n busnesau bwyd ar draws yr economi wledig. Felly, ceir nifer sylweddol o brosiectau o fewn hynny. Nid wyf yn gwybod a yw'r prosiect penodol y gwnaethoch chi sôn amdano yn gallu cael cyllid pellach, ond yn amlwg, byddwn yn parhau i fuddsoddi yn ein heconomïau gwledig.

14:25

Part of rural development, Minister, is also the Glastir scheme, and I recently met with NFU Cymru in my constituency and the deputy chairman of NFU Cymru in Brecon and Radnorshire, Rob Blaenbwch, who wanted me to put a question to you directly about Glastir funding. We're seeing the Glastir funding being rolled on a yearly basis, with contracts being renewed. What my local NFU would like to see is those contracts being rolled forward right the way up to the start of the sustainable farming scheme, to give those farmers some assurance of long-term stability and funding. Is that something that the Government is looking to do to make sure that our farmers have some stability in very uncertain times?

Rhan o ddatblygu gwledig hefyd, Weinidog, yw'r cynllun Glastir, ac yn ddiweddar fe gyfarfûm ag NFU Cymru yn fy etholaeth a dirprwy gadeirydd NFU Cymru ym Mrycheiniog a Sir Faesyfed, Rob Blaenbwch, a oedd am imi ofyn cwestiwn i chi'n uniongyrchol am gyllid Glastir. Rydym yn gweld yr arian Glastir yn cael ei gyflwyno bob blwyddyn, gyda chontractau'n cael eu hadnewyddu. Yr hyn yr hoffai fy NFU lleol ei weld yw'r contractau hynny'n cael eu cyflwyno hyd at ddechrau'r cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy, er mwyn rhoi rhywfaint o sicrwydd i'r ffermwyr hynny o sefydlogrwydd a chyllid hirdymor. A yw hynny'n rhywbeth y mae'r Llywodraeth yn ceisio ei wneud i sicrhau bod ein ffermwyr yn cael rhywfaint o sefydlogrwydd mewn cyfnod ansicr iawn?

I'm very aware of what the NFU would like me to do around the Glastir schemes. You'll be aware that I announced that they would continue to the end of 2023. Unfortunately, because of the uncertainty in our budgets and in the way that I've just described in my answer to Cefin Campbell, I'm not able to do what you would like me to do. And it is very uncertain times, made not much easier by leaving the European Union and by the very challenging financial situation that we're in. What I have asked officials to do is to give me some advice around Glastir as to whether I can provide any assurance beyond 2023, and that will come to me in the next couple of months. 

Rwy'n ymwybodol iawn o beth hoffai'r NFU i mi wneud mewn perthynas â'r cynlluniau Glastir. Fe fyddwch yn gwybod fy mod wedi cyhoeddi y byddant yn parhau hyd at ddiwedd 2023. Yn anffodus, oherwydd yr ansicrwydd yn ein cyllidebau ac yn y ffordd rwyf newydd ei ddisgrifio yn fy ateb i Cefin Campbell, nid wyf yn gallu gwneud yr hyn y byddech yn hoffi imi ei wneud. Ac mae'n gyfnod ansicr iawn, nad yw wedi ei wneud yn llawer haws drwy adael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd a chan y sefyllfa ariannol heriol iawn rydym ynddi. Gofynnais i swyddogion roi cyngor i mi ynghylch Glastir i weld a allaf roi unrhyw sicrwydd y tu hwnt i 2023, ac fe gaf hwnnw yn ystod y misoedd nesaf. 

Good afternoon, Minister. Just to continue that theme around rural development, we know that the lion's share of RDP actually came from the EU, so Brexit coupled with the Australian and New Zealand trade deal is further evidence, if we needed it, that the Tories are indeed bad news for farmers and for Wales. [Interruption.] And I do wish that they would take some responsibility for their role in taking us out of the EU, and the effect on our farming communities.

The Agriculture (Wales) Bill is an opportunity to reset the dial and to produce solutions for Wales made in Wales. That same approach needs to be applied to the rural development programme. Unions have raised concerns about the governance and implementation of the RDP, and indeed their concerns were justified following an Audit Wales report in summer 2020. We hopefully can't afford to make those mistakes again, particularly at a time when money is so tight. So, I wonder if I could ask you what plans you have to ensure that the RDP programme going forward is robust, and what your vision is for developing our rural communities. Thank you. Diolch yn fawr iawn. 

Prynhawn da, Weinidog. I barhau â thema datblygu gwledig, gwyddom fod y gyfran fwyaf o'r rhaglen datblygu gwledig wedi dod o'r UE mewn gwirionedd, felly mae Brexit ynghyd â chytundeb masnach Awstralia a Seland Newydd yn dystiolaeth bellach, os oedd ei hangen arnom, fod y Torïaid yn newyddion drwg go iawn i ffermwyr ac i Gymru. [Torri ar draws.] A hoffwn pe baent yn ysgwyddo rhywfaint o gyfrifoldeb am eu rôl yn ein tynnu allan o'r UE, a'r effaith ar ein cymunedau ffermio.

Mae'r Bil Amaethyddiaeth (Cymru) yn gyfle i newid pethau a chreu atebion ar gyfer Cymru a wnaed yng Nghymru. Mae angen cymhwyso'r un dull gyda'r rhaglen datblygu gwledig. Mae undebau wedi mynegi pryderon ynghylch llywodraethiant a gweithrediad y cynllun datblygu gwledig, ac yn wir, roedd eu pryderon yn rhai y gellid eu cyfiawnhau yn dilyn adroddiad Archwilio Cymru yn haf 2020. Ni allwn fforddio gwneud y camgymeriadau hynny eto, yn enwedig ar adeg pan fo arian mor brin. Felly, tybed a gaf fi ofyn i chi pa gynlluniau sydd gennych i sicrhau bod y rhaglen datblygu gwledig yn gadarn ar gyfer y dyfodol, a beth yw eich gweledigaeth ar gyfer datblygu ein cymunedau gwledig. Diolch yn fawr iawn. 

Thank you very much. I can assure the Member that, obviously, lessons were learned. Lessons always have to be learned when you have the reports that we did. You'll agree that there is a significant amount of monitoring that does go on into our rural development programme, and there were calls at the time for me to have an independent review, for instance, but I really didn't think that was necessary. What I think is really important is that we use all the RDP funding we can. I'm making every endeavour to ensure that every penny is spent before the RDP comes to an end. 

I mentioned in an earlier answer about the significant funding we've put into the rural investment schemes, because I think what is really important is that we don't throw the baby away with the bath water. Whilst we haven't got the funding to be able to replace like for like, it is really important that we keep the benefits that we've gained over the years of the rural development programme going forward.

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Gallaf sicrhau'r Aelod fod gwersi wedi'u dysgu, yn amlwg. Mae'n rhaid dysgu gwersi bob amser pan fo gennych chi'r adroddiadau a wnaethom. Fe fyddwch yn cytuno bod cryn dipyn o fonitro'n digwydd ar ein rhaglen datblygu gwledig, ac roedd galwadau ar y pryd i mi gael adolygiad annibynnol, er enghraifft, ond nid oeddwn yn credu bod hynny'n angenrheidiol. Yr hyn rwy'n credu sy'n bwysig iawn yw ein bod yn defnyddio'r holl gyllid rhaglen datblygu gwledig y gallwn ei ddefnyddio. Rwy'n gwneud pob ymdrech i sicrhau bod pob ceiniog yn cael ei gwario cyn y daw'r cynllun datblygu gwledig i ben. 

Soniais mewn ateb cynharach am yr arian sylweddol rydym wedi'i roi tuag at y cynlluniau buddsoddi gwledig, oherwydd rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n bwysig iawn nad ydym yn cael gwared ar y babi gyda dŵr y bath. Er nad oes gennym gyllid i allu cael yr un pethau ag a oedd gennym o'r blaen, mae'n bwysig iawn ein bod yn cadw'r buddion a enillwyd gennym dros flynyddoedd y rhaglen datblygu gwledig wrth inni symud ymlaen.

Cwestiynau Heb Rybudd gan Lefarwyr y Pleidiau
Questions Without Notice from Party Spokespeople

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr, Samuel Kurtz. 

Questions now from party spokespeople. Conservative spokesperson, Samuel Kurtz. 

Diolch, Llywydd. Every year for the last five years, over 10,000 cattle have been slaughtered. Over 50,000 dead due to bovine TB in Wales, and this includes pregnant cows slaughtered due to testing TB positive. A farmer recounted to me the time they watched their heavily pregnant cow slaughtered on farm, using a 12-bore shotgun between the poor animal's eyes, the trigger was pulled. Post death, the pregnant cow uncontrollably spasmed, destroying a heavy gate, the unborn calf writhing inside its dead mother's womb as it suffocated to death. It's something akin to watching someone die from poison, they said. It was horrendous to see, and clearing up all the blood and smashed gate afterwards was just as punishing. That's how the farmer described it—no compassion for the cow, the calf, and certainly not for the farmer. 'Better I get more distressed than my cow', they add, 'I get to walk away from it, she doesn't; it's the least I can do.' This heavy mental burden is being put on our farmers, especially when it happens more than once. That farmer told me how three pregnant cows were shot, one after another. 'It just about killed me; I will never forget what I saw'—that's how they described it. In-womb TB transmission is rare, so why are these traumatic events allowed to happen? Will the Welsh Government show that compassion and change its policy to allow bovine TB-positive in-calf cows and heifers to isolate and give birth to healthy calves before being humanely slaughtered?

Diolch, Lywydd. Bob blwyddyn ers pum mlynedd, mae dros 10,000 o wartheg wedi cael eu difa, a dros 50,000 wedi marw oherwydd TB Gwartheg yng Nghymru, ac mae hyn yn cynnwys gwartheg cyflo a laddwyd oherwydd prawf TB positif. Fe wnaeth ffermwr sôn wrthyf am yr adeg y gwyliodd eu buwch a oedd bron â dod â llo yn cael ei lladd ar y fferm gan ddefnyddio dryll 12 bôr i saethu rhwng llygaid yr anifail truan. Ar ôl marw, cafodd y fuwch gyflo sbasmau afreolus, gan beri i giât drom gael ei dinistrio, tra oedd y llo'n gwingo tu mewn i groth ei fam farw wrth iddo fygu i farwolaeth. Mae'n rhywbeth tebyg i wylio rhywun wedi'i wenwyno'n marw, meddent. Roedd yn erchyll i'w weld, ac roedd clirio'r holl waed a'r giât racs wedyn yr un mor boenus. Dyna sut y disgrifiwyd y peth gan y ffermwr—dim tosturi tuag at y fuwch, y llo, a dim at y ffermwr yn sicr. 'Gwell fy mod i'n cael mwy o ofid na fy muwch', ychwanegodd, 'rwy'n gallu cerdded oddi yno, yn wahanol iddi hi; dyna'r peth lleiaf y gallaf ei wneud.' Mae'r baich meddyliol trwm hwn yn cael ei roi ar ein ffermwyr, yn enwedig pan fo'n digwydd fwy nag unwaith. Dywedodd y ffermwr wrthyf sut y cafodd tair buwch gyflo eu saethu, un ar ôl y llall. 'Fe fu bron â fy lladd; ni wnaf byth anghofio beth a welais'—dyna sut y gwnaethant ei ddisgrifio. Mae trosglwyddiad TB yn y groth yn brin, felly pam y caniateir i'r digwyddiadau trawmatig hyn ddigwydd? A wnaiff Llywodraeth Cymru ddangos tosturi a newid ei pholisi i ganiatáu i wartheg cyflo sydd wedi cael prawf TB positif ynysu a geni lloi iach cyn cael eu lladd mewn modd trugarog?

14:30

You clearly outlined a very distressing situation, and I'm very sorry to hear that you and the farmer felt there was no compassion. This was actually a piece of work that we undertook, probably four years ago, where I asked the then chief veterinary officer and her team to work with farmers to see how we could avoid situations like you describe. At the time, it was deemed to be the best way to carry on with that on-farm slaughter. In terms of whether we could look at it again, I would be very happy to do so. As you know, we are looking at the TB eradication programme, and I'd certainly be very happy to take advice from farmers to see if there is a way that we can avoid those distressing situations.

Yn amlwg, fe wnaethoch amlinellu sefyllfa ofidus iawn, ac mae'n ddrwg iawn gennyf glywed eich bod chi a'r ffermwr yn teimlo nad oedd tosturi. Mae hwn yn waith a wnaethom, bedair blynedd yn ôl mae'n debyg, lle gofynnais i'r prif swyddog milfeddygol ar y pryd a'i thîm weithio gyda ffermwyr i weld sut y gallem osgoi sefyllfaoedd fel yr un a  ddisgrifiwch. Ar y pryd, barnwyd mai'r ffordd orau oedd parhau i ladd ar y fferm. O ran a allem edrych arno eto, byddwn yn hapus iawn i wneud hynny. Fel y gwyddoch, rydym yn edrych ar y rhaglen i ddileu TB, a byddwn yn sicr yn hapus iawn i gael cyngor gan ffermwyr i weld a oes ffordd y gallwn osgoi'r sefyllfaoedd gofidus hynny.

Thank you, Minister. I don't think what I described would be the best way forward, so I really do urge you to have a look at this again. I know a new CVO is starting in March, and I would urge you to work with him to make sure that this inhumane practice is brought to an end and those cows can calve with a little bit of dignity.

At last year's Pembrokeshire County Show, you helped launched what was being called at the time a Pembrokeshire TB pilot, where local farmers were going to take ownership, using data and methods already available, to form a new approach to tackling TB, removing the residual disease from the herd. Since then, the project has seen hundreds of hours of hard work from volunteers, who are desperate to see improvements. The interim chief veterinary officer even made reference to this pilot at committee, stressing how the Welsh Government could be agile with funding to support local TB projects such as the Pembrokeshire pilot. This project and its progress has now been stonewalled by the Government and its procurement process, with a minimum of a six-month delay. I can't tell you the disappointment that has been felt by those involved.

You've talked about farmers needing to take ownership of bovine TB, and I agree. But when it comes to a committed group of farmers and vets working together to take control of the situation, to do the right thing, the Welsh Government aren't even on the same pitch. We're no longer in the European Union, so we shouldn't have to abide by EU procurement rules, and the funding for this project already exists within TB funding. Please tell me what has gone wrong here to mean that this project, which you were at the launch of, has been delayed such as this. 

Diolch. Nid wyf yn credu mai'r hyn a ddisgrifiais fyddai'r ffordd orau ymlaen, felly rwy'n eich annog yn gryf i gael golwg ar hyn eto. Rwy'n gwybod bod prif swyddog milfeddygol newydd yn dechrau ym mis Mawrth, ac rwy'n eich annog i weithio gydag ef i wneud yn siŵr fod yr arfer annynol hwn yn cael ei ddwyn i ben ac y gall y gwartheg hyn loia gydag ychydig o urddas.

Yn Sioe Sir Benfro y llynedd, fe helpoch chi i lansio'r hyn a oedd yn cael ei alw ar y pryd yn gynllun peilot TB sir Benfro, lle'r oedd ffermwyr lleol yn mynd i gymryd perchnogaeth, gan ddefnyddio data a dulliau a oedd ar gael eisoes, i ffurfio dull newydd o fynd i'r afael â TB, gan ddiddymu'r clefyd gweddilliol o'r fuches. Ers hynny, mae gwirfoddolwyr wedi cyfrannu cannoedd o oriau o waith caled at y prosiect, ac maent yn ysu i weld gwelliannau. Fe wnaeth y prif swyddog milfeddygol dros dro gyfeirio at y cynllun peilot hwn yn y pwyllgor hyd yn oed, gan bwysleisio sut y gallai Llywodraeth Cymru fod yn ystwyth gyda chyllid i gefnogi prosiectau TB lleol fel cynllun peilot sir Benfro. Mae'r prosiect hwn a'i gynnydd bellach wedi cael ei rwystro gan y Llywodraeth a'i phroses gaffael, gydag oedi o chwe mis fan lleiaf. Ni allaf fynegi wrthych y siom a deimlwyd gan y rhai a oedd ynghlwm wrtho.

Rydych wedi siarad am yr angen i ffermwyr gymryd perchnogaeth ar TB buchol, ac rwy'n cytuno. Ond pan ddaw'n fater o grŵp ymroddedig o ffermwyr a milfeddygon yn cydweithio i gymryd rheolaeth ar y sefyllfa, i wneud y peth iawn, nid yw Llywodraeth Cymru hyd yn oed yn yr un cae. Nid ydym yn yr Undeb Ewropeaidd mwyach, felly ni ddylem orfod cadw at reolau caffael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, ac mae'r cyllid ar gyfer y prosiect hwn eisoes yn bodoli o fewn y cyllid TB. Dywedwch wrthyf beth sydd wedi mynd o'i le yma i olygu bod y fath oedi gyda'r prosiect hwn yr oeddech chi yno yn ei lansiad. 

Nothing has gone wrong. As the Member states, my officials are currently holding significant internal discussions to agree the parameters of the project to allow for a full procurement exercise. You'd be the first to complain if I didn't follow the appropriate rules. I am very committed to the TB Pembrokeshire project. I know you have been part of it; as you say, many volunteers have, and I'm very grateful for that work. If we are going to tackle deep-seated levels of infection in parts of Pembrokeshire, I absolutely think that this is required. But it's not a matter of being stonewalled—I think that that's completely the wrong word. You and I had a meeting to discuss what we could do about it, but I have to follow a full procurement process.

Nid oes unrhyw beth wedi mynd o'i le. Fel y dywed yr Aelod, mae fy swyddogion yn cynnal trafodaethau mewnol sylweddol ar hyn o bryd i gytuno ar baramedrau'r prosiect i ganiatáu ar gyfer ymarfer caffael llawn. Chi fyddai'r cyntaf i gwyno pe na bawn yn dilyn y rheolau priodol. Rwy'n ymroddedig iawn i brosiect TB sir Benfro. Rwy'n gwybod eich bod wedi bod yn rhan ohono; fel y dywedwch, mae llawer o wirfoddolwyr wedi bod yn rhan ohono, ac rwy'n ddiolchgar iawn am y gwaith hwnnw. Os ydym yn mynd i ymladd y lefelau heintio dwfn mewn rhannau o sir Benfro, rwy'n sicr yn meddwl bod angen gwneud hyn. Ond nid mater o rwystro yw hyn—nid dyna'r gair cywir o gwbl. Fe gawsoch chi a fi gyfarfod i drafod beth y gallem ei wneud am y peth, ond mae'n rhaid imi ddilyn proses gaffael lawn.

It's a shame that those full procurement rules weren't followed when Gilestone Farm was purchased. It seems it's one rule for one and one rule for another.

Another example of the Welsh Government not being on the same pitch as farmers is that not one Welsh farm took part in the Animal and Plant Health Agency's CattleBCG vaccine trial. Surely if Welsh Government were serious about eradicating TB then they would have worked with the industry to identify farms to take part. And now, with phase 2 of the trial under way, still no Welsh farms are participating. What I'm trying to get at, Minister, is where is the hope for farmers in Wales? This disease has ripped through Welsh farming for long enough, and our farmers have lost hope that this Government is serious about solving it.

I'll happily declare an interest here, Llywydd, because next week I'll be out TB testing, helping my father. We as a family will be going through the worry and the stress of hoping, praying for a clear TB test. This isn't just policy for me, Minister, this is so much more. So, I invite you to join my father and me, to come out and see what happens on farm during our TB tests. Because what the industry wants is hope—not to see their animals slaughtered in front of their eyes, not to be held back by bureaucracy when they want to get on and do the right thing, and certainly not to be told that they are at fault for the spread of bovine TB. Please, Minister, give the industry some hope. 

Mae'n drueni na chafodd y rheolau caffael llawn hynny eu dilyn pan brynwyd Fferm Gilestone. Mae'n ymddangos fel pe bai'n un rheol i un a rheol arall i'r llall.

Enghraifft arall sy'n dangos nad yw Llywodraeth Cymru yn yr un cae â ffermwyr yw nad oedd un fferm o Gymru wedi cymryd rhan yn nhreial brechlyn CattleBCG yr Asiantaeth Iechyd Anifeiliaid a Phlanhigion. Pe bai Llywodraeth Cymru o ddifrif ynglŷn â dileu TB, byddent wedi gweithio gyda'r diwydiant i nodi ffermydd i gymryd rhan. A nawr, gyda chyfnod 2 y treial ar y gweill, nid oes unrhyw fferm o Gymru'n cymryd rhan o hyd. Yr hyn rwy'n ceisio cyrraedd ato, Weinidog, yw ble mae'r gobaith i ffermwyr yng Nghymru? Mae'r afiechyd yma wedi rhwygo drwy ffermio yng Nghymru ers yn ddigon hir, ac mae ein ffermwyr wedi colli gobaith fod y Llywodraeth yma o ddifrif ynglŷn â'i ddatrys.

Rwy'n hapus iawn i ddatgan diddordeb yma, Lywydd, oherwydd yr wythnos nesaf, byddaf allan yn helpu fy nhad i gynnal profion TB. Fel teulu byddwn yn mynd drwy'r pryder a'r straen o obeithio, gweddïo am brawf TB clir. Nid polisi i mi yn unig yw hwn, Weinidog, mae hyn yn gymaint mwy. Felly, rwy'n eich gwahodd i ymuno â fy nhad a minnau, i ddod allan i weld beth sy'n digwydd ar y fferm yn ystod ein profion TB. Oherwydd yr hyn y mae'r diwydiant ei eisiau yw gobaith—nid gweld eu hanifeiliaid yn cael eu lladd o flaen eu llygaid, nid cael eu dal yn ôl gan fiwrocratiaeth pan fyddant eisiau bwrw ymlaen i wneud y peth iawn, ac yn sicr nid cael clywed eu bod ar fai am ledaeniad TB buchol. Os gwelwch yn dda, Weinidog, rhowch rywfaint o obaith i'r diwydiant. 

14:35

I'm not quite sure how you expect me to make a farm be part of a pilot project. Please believe me when I say that APHA tried very, very hard to—[Interruption.] APHA tried very, very hard to get farms to be part of the first phase of the pilot project, and unfortunately we've had no takers for the second part. But to say that we haven't tried is ridiculous. The Animal and Plant Health Agency have done a great deal of work to try and get some of the farms to be part of the pilot project.

I have attended farms when TB testing is being undertaken—of course I have. I absolutely see that very much as part of my role. Unfortunately I won't be able to attend your farm next week, but, of course, that is something that I have undertaken. I absolutely understand the distress in the lead-up to testing—I can imagine the concerns—and, of course, while you're waiting for the results. That's why we are committed to eradicating TB. But we all really need to work together. Just to blame Welsh Government is not acceptable. I would never just blame farmers. 

Nid wyf yn hollol siŵr sut rydych chi'n disgwyl i mi wneud i fferm fod yn rhan o brosiect peilot. Credwch fi pan ddywedaf fod yr Asiantaeth Iechyd Anifeiliaid a Phlanhigion wedi ceisio'n galed iawn—[Torri ar draws.] Fe geisiodd yr asiantaeth yn galed iawn i gael ffermydd i fod yn rhan o gyfnod cyntaf y prosiect peilot, ac yn anffodus nid ydym wedi cael unrhyw un i gymryd rhan yn yr ail ran. Ond mae dweud nad ydym wedi ceisio yn hurt. Mae'r Asiantaeth Iechyd Anifeiliaid a Phlanhigion wedi gwneud llawer iawn o waith i geisio cael rhai o'r ffermydd i fod yn rhan o'r prosiect peilot.

Rwyf wedi mynychu ffermydd pan fo profion TB yn cael eu cynnal—wrth gwrs fy mod. Rwy'n gweld hynny'n rhan bendant o fy rôl. Yn anffodus, ni fyddaf yn gallu mynychu eich fferm yr wythnos nesaf, ond wrth gwrs, mae hynny'n rhywbeth rwyf wedi'i wneud. Rwy'n deall y gofid wrth aros am brofion yn llwyr—gallaf ddychmygu'r pryder—ac wrth gwrs, tra byddwch yn aros am y canlyniadau. Dyna pam ein bod wedi ymrwymo i ddileu TB. Ond mae gwir angen inni weithio gyda'n gilydd. Nid yw ond beio Llywodraeth Cymru yn dderbyniol. Ni fyddwn i byth ond yn beio ffermwyr. 

Llefarydd Plaid Cymru, Mabon ap Gwynfor. 

Plaid Cymru spokesperson, Mabon ap Gwynfor. 

Diolch, Llywydd. Rydyn ni bellach ar ddechrau, neu, mewn rhai achosion, yng nghanol, y tymor wyna. Yn naturiol, felly, rydyn ni'n troi ein golygon at sicrhau diogelwch ein stoc rhag ymosodiadau. Mae data diweddaraf NFU Mutual yn dangos bod cŵn allan o reolaeth yn bygwth defaid yng Nghymru, gyda'r data yn dangos bod anifeiliaid gwerth tua £440,000 wedi cael eu niweidio yn ddifrifol neu eu lladd yng Nghymru yn 2022. Roedd hyn yn gynnydd o dros 15 y cant ers y flwyddyn flaenorol. Mae'r adolygiad hefyd yn dangos bod 64 y cant o berchnogion cŵn yn gadael eu cŵn yn rhydd yng nghefn gwlad, a ffermwyr yn dweud bod y perchnogion yma yn canolbwyntio ar eu ffonau symudol yn hytrach nag ar eu cŵn. Mae'r Alban wedi cyflwyno dirwyon llawer iawn mwy llym yno, gyda dirwyon o hyd at £40,000. Pa gamau mae'r Llywodraeth yn eu cymryd i gyflwyno camau ataliol llymach yma yng Nghymru, er mwyn sicrhau nad ydym ni'n gweld mwy o anifeiliaid yn dioddef yng Nghymru eleni? 

Thank you, Llywydd. We are now at the beginning, or, in some cases, in the middle, of the lambing season. Naturally, therefore, we turn our sights towards securing the safety of our stock from attacks. Recent data from NFU Mutual shows that out-of-control dogs threaten sheep in Wales, with the data showing that animals to the value of around £440,000 have been seriously injured or killed in Wales in 2022. This was an increase of over 15 per cent on the previous year. The review also showed that 64 per cent of dog owners allow their dogs to run free in rural areas, and farmers say that these owners are focused on their mobile phones rather than on their dogs. Scotland has introduced far harsher penalties, with fines of up to £40,000. What steps is the Government taking to introduce preventative steps here in Wales in order to ensure that we don't see more animals suffering in Wales this year?

Thank you. You raise a very important point, and it's an issue that we take very seriously. We really would encourage livestock keepers to continue to report all incidents to the police. I think I should say that at the outset. I think it's really important that that information is recorded. But of course, what we want to see is a drop and a complete reduction in those numbers of attacks. I think you just made a really important point about mobile phones, which I hadn't thought about. As you are aware, the wildlife and rural crime commissioner has just released some new videos as part of a campaign, as we approach the lambing season, to warn people about looking after their animals, making sure their dogs don't chase sheep. I know it's a minority of people, but, of course, as is always the case, they spoil it for the majority of us. I will ask him if he has considered that aspect of mobile phone usage as well, because, as you say, people are distracted and then they're not looking at what their dogs are doing.

I think the cost, both financially and emotionally, to those who find injured or dead livestock is just wholly unacceptable, and lots of animal welfare implications come from that as well. You'll probably be aware that the UK Government are proposing the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill. That proposes to repeal and replace the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953. As you can see, it's a very old piece of legislation that clearly needs bringing up to date to be fit for purpose. Within that Bill, there'll be a new set of provisions to address the issue of dog attacks and dog worrying. Unfortunately, the Bill has been stalled. I did have a meeting with the DEFRA Minister to see how quickly that Act can be brought forward, because I think that will help us, looking at what the courts can do, and maybe looking at increasing the fines.  

Diolch. Rydych yn codi pwynt pwysig iawn, ac mae'n fater rydym o ddifrif yn ei gylch. Byddem yn annog ceidwaid da byw yn gryf i barhau i roi gwybod i'r heddlu am bob digwyddiad. Rwy'n credu y dylwn ddweud hynny ar y cychwyn. Rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n bwysig iawn fod yr wybodaeth honno'n cael ei chofnodi. Ond wrth gwrs, rydym am weld cwymp a gostyngiad llwyr yn nifer yr ymosodiadau hynny. Rwy'n credu eich bod wedi gwneud pwynt pwysig iawn am ffonau symudol, nad oeddwn wedi meddwl amdano. Fel y gwyddoch, mae'r comisiynydd troseddau cefn gwlad a bywyd gwyllt newydd ryddhau fideos newydd fel rhan o ymgyrch, wrth inni nesáu at y tymor wyna, i rybuddio pobl i ofalu am eu hanifeiliaid, gan sicrhau nad yw eu cŵn yn rhedeg ar ôl defaid. Rwy'n gwybod mai lleiafrif o bobl ydynt, ond wrth gwrs, fel sy'n digwydd bob amser, maent yn ei ddifetha i'r mwyafrif ohonom. Fe ofynnaf iddo a yw wedi ystyried yr agwedd honno ar y defnydd o ffonau symudol yn ogystal, oherwydd, fel y dywedwch, mae'n tynnu sylw pobl, ac nid ydynt yn edrych i weld beth mae eu cŵn yn ei wneud.

Rwy'n credu bod y gost, yn ariannol ac yn emosiynol, i'r rhai sy'n dod o hyd i dda byw sydd wedi'u hanafu neu wedi marw yn gwbl annerbyniol, ac mae llawer o oblygiadau lles anifeiliaid yn deillio o hynny hefyd. Mae'n debyg y byddwch yn ymwybodol fod Llywodraeth y DU yn cynnig y Bil Lles Anifeiliaid (Anifeiliaid a Gedwir). Mae hwnnw'n argymell diddymu a disodli Deddf Cŵn (Diogelu Da Byw) 1953. Fel y gwelwch, mae'n hen ddarn o ddeddfwriaeth sy'n amlwg angen ei diweddaru iddi fod yn addas i'r diben. O fewn y Bil hwnnw, bydd set newydd o ddarpariaethau i fynd i'r afael ag ymosodiadau gan gŵn ac aflonyddu gan gŵn. Yn anffodus, mae taith y Bil wedi'i oedi. Cefais gyfarfod gyda Gweinidog Adran yr Amgylchedd, Bwyd a Materion Gwledig i weld pa mor gyflym y gellir cyflwyno'r Ddeddf honno, oherwydd rwy'n credu y bydd yn ein helpu, wrth edrych ar yr hyn y gall y llysoedd ei wneud, ac edrych ar gynyddu'r dirwyon efallai.  

Diolch, Weinidog, am yr ateb hwnnw.

Thank you, Minister for that response. 

If I may change to the other sector within your portfolio, from agriculture to aquaculture and fisheries, the most recent data on the fishing industry in Wales shows us that farmed finfish and shellfish saw a massive 82 per cent fall in value between 2019 and 2021. Over the last 10 years, we've seen Welsh fishing fleet landings reduced by 75 per cent in weight and 41 per cent in value. Their profitability is also down significantly. We are seeing the decline of an ancient sector—part of our coastal life and our culture and identity disappearing in front of our eyes. It is no different in the processing sector. By 2021, we only had 28 full-time equivalent jobs in the processing sector here in Wales. In Scotland, by contrast, they employ 7,789 in the processing sector. Minister, is this an acceptable state of affairs, and will you look again at significantly increasing investment and support into fisheries and aquaculture in Wales?

Os gallaf newid i'r sector arall yn eich portffolio, o amaethyddiaeth i ddyframaethu a physgodfeydd, mae'r data diweddaraf ar y diwydiant pysgota yng Nghymru yn dangos i ni fod pysgod asgellog a physgod cregyn a ffermir wedi gweld gostyngiad enfawr o 82 y cant yn eu gwerth rhwng 2019 a 2021. Dros y 10 mlynedd diwethaf, rydym wedi gweld glaniadau fflydoedd pysgota Cymru yn gostwng 75 y cant yn eu pwysau a 41 y cant yn eu gwerth. Mae eu proffidioldeb hefyd wedi gostwng yn sylweddol. Rydym yn gweld dirywiad un o'n sectorau hynafol—rhan o'n bywyd arfordirol a'n diwylliant a'n hunaniaeth yn diflannu o flaen ein llygaid. Nid yw'r darlun yn wahanol yn y sector prosesu. Erbyn 2021, dim ond 28 o swyddi cyfwerth ag amser llawn oedd gyda ni yn y sector prosesu yma yng Nghymru. Yn yr Alban ar y llaw arall, maent yn cyflogi 7,789 yn y sector prosesu. Weinidog, a yw hon yn sefyllfa dderbyniol, ac a wnewch chi edrych eto ar gynyddu'n sylweddol y buddsoddiad a'r cymorth i bysgodfeydd a dyframaethu yng Nghymru?

14:40

I have had discussions with the fisheries sector. I'm very aware of the reported decline. I do recognise they've had some unprecedented pressures due to leaving the European Union, the COVID pandemic, more recently the hyperinflation of fuel that has been caused by the war in Ukraine, and obviously then the cost-of-living crisis. I think a lot of these pressures are at play across all our primary production sectors.

I've asked officials to closely monitor the impact on markets and costs, and they're working with Seafish to better understand the trends and to identify areas where mitigations and interventions could possibly be made to halt the regrettable decline. I've also recently launched the Welsh marine and fisheries scheme. The marketing measures window closed last week, and officials are appraising the projects in the coming weeks. And we've got the second window—actually, I think it might have just closed this month—the energy efficiency and mitigation of climate change window, which I was asked to bring forward. 

On the positive side, we're again having a Welsh pavilion at the Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona in April where we can actually promote our Welsh seafood. It's always been a very successful trade mission for us, so I was keen to support it again this year to try and do what we can for our fishing and aquaculture businesses.

Rwyf wedi cael trafodaethau gyda'r sector pysgodfeydd. Rwy'n ymwybodol iawn o'r dirywiad a gofnodwyd. Rwy'n cydnabod eu bod wedi bod o dan bwysau digynsail yn sgil gadael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, pandemig COVID, gorchwyddiant prisiau tanwydd yn fwy diweddar a achosir gan y rhyfel yn Wcráin, a'r argyfwng costau byw wrth gwrs. Rwy'n credu bod llawer o'r pwysau i'w deimlo ar draws ein holl sectorau cynhyrchu sylfaenol.

Rwyf wedi gofyn i swyddogion fonitro'r effaith ar farchnadoedd a chostau yn drylwyr, ac maent yn gweithio gydag Seafish i ddeall y tueddiadau'n well ac i nodi meysydd lle gellid lliniaru ac ymyrryd o bosibl i atal y dirywiad anffodus. Yn ddiweddar, rwyf hefyd wedi lansio cynllun môr a physgodfeydd Cymru. Daeth y cyfnod ymgeisio am y cynllun mesurau marchnata i ben yr wythnos diwethaf, a bydd swyddogion yn gwerthuso'r prosiectau yn ystod yr wythnosau nesaf. Ac mae gennym ail gyfnod ymgeisio—mewn gwirionedd, rwy'n credu y gallai hwnnw fod wedi newydd gau y mis hwn—y cyfnod ymgeisio ar gyfer y cynllun effeithlonrwydd ynni a lliniaru newid hinsawdd, y gofynnwyd imi ei gyflwyno'n gynharach. 

Ar yr ochr gadarnhaol, mae gennym bafiliwn Cymreig unwaith eto yn y Seafood Expo Global yn Barcelona ym mis Ebrill, lle gallwn hyrwyddo ein bwyd môr Cymreig. Mae bob amser wedi bod yn daith fasnach lwyddiannus iawn inni, felly roeddwn yn awyddus i'w chefnogi eto eleni i geisio gwneud yr hyn a allwn ar ran ein busnesau pysgota a dyframaethu.

Denu Pobl Ifanc i'r Byd Ffermio
Attracting Young People into Farming

3. Beth mae Llywodraeth Cymru'n ei wneud i ddenu pobl ifanc i yrfaoedd ym myd ffermio ac amaeth? OQ59144

3. What is the Welsh Government doing to attract young people into careers in farming and agriculture? OQ59144

The Welsh Government continues to support and encourage young people to enter the agriculture industry through programmes such as Farming Connect and Venture. The proposed sustainable farming scheme will be available to all types of farms in all parts of Wales and will support new entrants to establish sustainable agricultural businesses.

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru'n parhau i gefnogi ac annog pobl ifanc i fentro i'r diwydiant amaeth drwy raglenni fel Cyswllt Ffermio a Mentro. Bydd y cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy arfaethedig ar gael i bob math o ffermydd ym mhob rhan o Gymru ac yn cefnogi newydd-ddyfodiaid i sefydlu busnesau amaethyddol cynaliadwy.

Thank you, Minister. As you know, farming is the foundation upon which the £6 billion Welsh food and drink supply chain is built. They're the guardians of our environment and the sector employs 17 per cent of the Welsh workforce. Recent statistics from Qualifications Wales have shown that there has been a 14 per cent decrease in the vocational qualification certificates awarded in the agriculture, horticulture and animal care sectors compared to 2021. Furthermore, Wales has the largest percentage decrease in the total agricultural workforce from 2015 to 2021 at 13.6 per cent, compared to 2.4 per cent in England and 3.1 per cent in Scotland. How are you working, Minister, with the rest of your Government to reverse this worrying trend and ensure that we support Welsh farming for generations to come?

Diolch, Weinidog. Fel y gwyddoch, ffermio yw'r sylfaen y mae cadwyn gyflenwi bwyd a diod Cymru, sy'n werth £6 biliwn, wedi'i hadeiladu arni. Ffermwyr yw gwarcheidwaid ein hamgylchedd ac mae'r sector yn cyflogi 17 y cant o weithlu Cymru. Mae ystadegau diweddar gan Cymwysterau Cymru yn dangos bod gostyngiad o 14 y cant wedi bod yn y tystysgrifau cymwysterau galwedigaethol a ddyfernir yn y sectorau amaethyddiaeth, garddwriaeth a gofal anifeiliaid o gymharu â 2021. Ar ben hynny, Cymru sydd â'r gostyngiad mwyaf o ran canran yng nghyfanswm y gweithlu amaethyddol o 2015 i 2021, sef 13.6 y cant, o'i gymharu â 2.4 y cant yn Lloegr a 3.1 y cant yn yr Alban. Weinidog, sut rydych chi'n gweithio gyda gweddill eich Llywodraeth i wrthdroi'r duedd bryderus hon a sicrhau ein bod yn cefnogi ffermio Cymru am genedlaethau i ddod?

I've always taken a specific interest in new entrants, working with people to see what the barriers are to them going into agriculture. I have to say, education and skills hasn't been one of the barriers that's ever, I don't think, been raised with me. I've been focusing on—. I mentioned Venture in my original answer to you, which has been very successful in helping to match farmers and landowners who are looking to step back from the industry with new entrants going into farming. We also try and work with our local authorities to ensure that their farms are protected as farms so that they can be used by people, particularly when they first want to get into agriculture. Perhaps they can't afford to buy a farm, but they can lease a farm from the local authority.

Rwyf bob amser wedi bod â diddordeb arbennig mewn newydd-ddyfodiaid, gan weithio gyda phobl i weld beth sy'n eu rhwystro rhag mentro i'r byd amaeth. Mae'n rhaid imi ddweud, nid wyf yn credu bod addysg a sgiliau wedi bod yn un o'r rhwystrau a gafodd eu dwyn i fy sylw erioed. Rwyf wedi bod yn canolbwyntio ar—. Soniais am Mentro yn fy ateb gwreiddiol i chi, a bu'n gynllun llwyddiannus iawn i helpu i baru ffermwyr a thirfeddianwyr sy'n awyddus i gamu nôl o'r diwydiant â newydd-ddyfodiaid sy'n mentro i'r byd amaeth. Rydym hefyd yn ceisio gweithio gyda'n hawdurdodau lleol i sicrhau bod eu ffermydd wedi eu gwarchod fel ffermydd fel bod modd iddynt gael eu defnyddio gan bobl, yn enwedig pan fyddant eisiau dechrau yn y byd amaeth. Efallai nad ydynt yn gallu fforddio prynu fferm, ond gallant rentu fferm ar brydles gan yr awdurdod lleol.

Y Diwydiant Wyau
The Egg Industry

4. Beth mae'r Gweinidog yn ei wneud i gefnogi'r diwydiant wyau yn Nwyrain De Cymru? OQ59130

4. What is the Minister doing to support the egg industry in South Wales East? OQ59130

The Welsh Government provides support to the egg industry in south-east Wales. Funding is available through our capital grant schemes, with direct advice and support made available to farm and food businesses via our Farming Connect and Business Wales teams.

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn rhoi cymorth i'r diwydiant wyau yn ne-ddwyrain Cymru. Mae arian ar gael drwy ein cynlluniau grantiau cyfalaf, gyda chyngor a chymorth uniongyrchol ar gael i fusnesau fferm a bwyd drwy ein timau Cyswllt Ffermio a Busnes Cymru.

Diolch am yr ateb yna.

Thank you for that response.

Most people who have been food shopping in recent months will have noticed a shortage of eggs. Some producers, faced with rising costs and supermarkets that refuse to reflect this in their contracts, are leaving the industry if they can. This was made clear to me by an egg producer in my region during a recent meeting. They told me in no uncertain terms that the egg sector is in deep trouble. Minister, what can be done to get better co-ordination in the supply chain to give our farmers confidence to produce our Welsh eggs? Unless this matter is tackled, we face increased importation of eggs to fill the gap, with no guarantee that they were produced to the same standard and, therefore, free from bacteria like salmonella. It is vital that eggs remain fully traceable as well as affordable, and I would like to know what the Government is doing to address the major problem in the sector.

Bydd y rhan fwyaf o bobl sydd wedi bod yn siopa bwyd yn ystod y misoedd diwethaf wedi sylwi ar brinder wyau. Mae rhai cynhyrchwyr, sy'n wynebu costau cynyddol ac archfarchnadoedd sy'n gwrthod adlewyrchu hyn yn eu cytundebau, yn gadael y diwydiant os ydynt yn gallu. Cafodd hyn ei wneud yn glir i mi gan gynhyrchydd wyau yn fy rhanbarth yn ystod cyfarfod yn ddiweddar. Roeddent yn dweud wrthyf yn blwmp ac yn blaen fod y sector wyau mewn trafferthion mawr. Weinidog, beth y gellir ei wneud i gael cydlynu gwell yn y gadwyn gyflenwi i roi hyder i'n ffermwyr gynhyrchu ein hwyau Cymreig? Oni bai bod y mater hwn yn cael ei ddatrys, rydym yn wynebu mwy o fewnforio wyau i lenwi'r bwlch, heb unrhyw sicrwydd eu bod wedi cael eu cynhyrchu i'r un safon ac felly'n rhydd o facteria fel salmonela. Mae'n hanfodol fod wyau'n parhau i fod yn gwbl olrheiniadwy yn ogystal â fforddiadwy, a hoffwn wybod beth mae'r Llywodraeth yn ei wneud i fynd i'r afael â'r broblem fawr yn y sector.

14:45

Thank you. This is obviously a very challenging time for all our farmers, and I know poultry and egg farmers are particularly reliant on feed and energy, two areas where we have seen significant rises in the costs because of agri-inflation. The egg industry—and I think you were referring to this in the first part of your question—is also calling for contract reform to prevent suppliers being locked into loss-making positions and to provide some stability for the sector, going forward, amidst the ongoing egg shortages. I did write to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs Minister, Mark Spencer, just before Christmas on this matter, because I think it's something that we can look at on a UK-wide basis. I'm awaiting a response from him. But I do think we could do better if we work together across the UK, and, obviously, the Minister I referred to for farming, fisheries and food could use his powers under the Agriculture Act 2020 to consult with the industry, to establish whether a legislative solution is required to support them going forward. We've also had the impact of a very, very sustained avian influenza outbreak over the last 18 months or so, which clearly has had an impact too.

Diolch. Mae hwn yn amlwg yn gyfnod heriol iawn i'n ffermwyr i gyd, ac rwy'n gwybod bod ffermwyr dofednod ac wyau'n arbennig o ddibynnol ar borthiant ac ynni, dau faes lle'r ydym wedi gweld cynnydd sylweddol yn y costau oherwydd chwyddiant amaeth. Mae'r diwydiant wyau—ac rwy'n credu eich bod yn cyfeirio at hyn yn rhan gyntaf eich cwestiwn—hefyd yn galw am ddiwygio contractau i atal cyflenwyr rhag cael eu clymu i sefyllfaoedd lle maent yn gwneud colledion ac i ddarparu rhywfaint o sefydlogrwydd i'r sector wrth symud ymlaen yng nghanol y prinder wyau parhaus. Ysgrifennais at Weinidog Adran yr Amgylchedd, Bwyd a Materion Gwledig, Mark Spencer, ychydig cyn y Nadolig ynglŷn â'r mater hwn, oherwydd rwy'n credu ei fod yn rhywbeth y gallwn edrych arno ar sail y DU gyfan. Rwy'n aros am ymateb ganddo. Ond rwy'n credu y gallem wneud yn well os ydym yn gweithio gyda'n gilydd ar draws y DU, ac yn amlwg, gallai'r Gweinidog ffermio, pysgodfeydd a bwyd y cyfeiriais ato ddefnyddio ei bwerau o dan Ddeddf Amaethyddiaeth 2020 i ymgynghori â'r diwydiant, i sefydlu a oes angen ateb deddfwriaethol i'w cefnogi wrth symud ymlaen. Rydym hefyd wedi gweld effaith achosion cyson iawn o'r ffliw adar dros y 18 mis diwethaf, sy'n amlwg wedi cael effaith hefyd.

I thank the Member for South Wales East for raising this, and I share his concerns and the industry's concerns, and I refer Members to my register of interests as a farmer.

Poultry producers in Wales have been facing the twin pressures that you recognise of avian influenza and surging production costs for some considerable time. Off the back of a meeting of concerned poultry farmers at the end of 2022, I think NFU Cymru wrote to you, Minister, asking if you would consider making use of the powers under Schedule 5, Part 2 of the Agriculture Act 2020, to investigate whether an exceptional market conditions declaration ought to be made. As you'll recall, I've raised this previously in the Chamber, and this was called for in light of the severe market disturbances being experienced by producers and consumers. And, Minister, you've partly answered my question, but could you update the Senedd on what discussions you and your officials are having with the industry and DEFRA since the end of November?

Diolch i'r Aelod dros Ddwyrain De Cymru am godi hyn, ac rwy'n rhannu ei bryderon a phryderon y diwydiant, ac rwy'n cyfeirio'r Aelodau at fy nghofrestr buddiannau fel ffermwr.

Mae cynhyrchwyr dofednod yng Nghymru wedi bod yn wynebu'r pwysau dwbl rydych yn ei gydnabod gyda ffliw adar a chostau cynhyrchu cynyddol ers cryn dipyn o amser. Yn dilyn cyfarfod gyda ffermwyr dofednod pryderus ar ddiwedd 2022, rwy'n credu bod NFU Cymru wedi ysgrifennu atoch, Weinidog, yn gofyn a fyddech yn ystyried defnyddio'r pwerau o dan Atodlen 5, Rhan 2 o Ddeddf Amaethyddiaeth 2020, i ymchwilio i weld a ddylid gwneud datganiad o amodau marchnad eithriadol. Fel y cofiwch, rwyf wedi codi hyn o'r blaen yn y Siambr, a galwyd am hyn yng ngoleuni'r aflonyddwch difrifol yn y farchnad sy'n cael ei brofi gan gynhyrchwyr a defnyddwyr. A Weinidog, rydych wedi ateb fy nghwestiwn yn rhannol, ond a wnewch chi ddweud wrth y Senedd pa drafodaethau a gawsoch chi a'ch swyddogion gyda'r diwydiant ac Adran yr Amgylchedd, Bwyd a Materion Gwledig ers diwedd mis Tachwedd?

Thank you. So, I did raise it at our inter-ministerial group in December and then subsequently wrote to the Minister for farming, fisheries and food. As I say, unfortunately, I haven't had a response to that letter. We have a further inter-ministerial group, I think, in a fortnight, so I will raise it again if I haven't had a response. I do think we need to look at how we use those powers and, as I say, whether a legislative solution would be the best way forward, but, obviously, my officials continue to work across the UK at official level with the agriculture market monitoring group. I've asked them to really stress, because it's such an integrated supply across the UK, a UK-wide solution would be the best way forward.

Diolch. Felly, fe'i crybwyllais yn ein grŵp rhyngweinidogol ym mis Rhagfyr ac yna ysgrifennais at y Gweinidog ffermio, pysgodfeydd a bwyd. Fel y dywedaf, yn anffodus, nid wyf wedi cael ymateb i'r llythyr hwnnw. Mae gennym gyfarfod pellach o'r grŵp rhyngweinidogol, ymhen pythefnos rwy'n credu, felly byddaf yn ei godi eto os nad ydwyf wedi cael ymateb. Rwy'n credu bod angen inni edrych ar sut y defnyddiwn y pwerau hynny ac fel y dywedaf, a gweld ai ateb deddfwriaethol fyddai'r ffordd orau ymlaen, ond yn amlwg, mae fy swyddogion yn parhau i weithio ledled y DU ar lefel swyddogol gyda grŵp monitro'r farchnad amaeth. Oherwydd ei fod yn gyflenwad mor integredig ledled y DU, rwyf wedi gofyn iddynt bwysleisio mai ateb DU gyfan fyddai'r ffordd orau ymlaen.

Y Rhaglen Weithredu Genedlaethol ar Fawndiroedd
National Peatland Action Programme

5. Pa drafodaethau mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd ynglŷn ag effaith Bil Amaethyddiaeth (Cymru) ar y rhaglen weithredu genedlaethol ar fawndiroedd? OQ59136

5. What discussions has the Minister had with the Minister for Climate Change regarding the impact of the Agriculture (Wales) Bill on the national peatland action programme? OQ59136

The Agriculture (Wales) Bill is the result of several years of policy development across ministerial portfolios, which includes discussions with the Minister for Climate Change. Officials have also been in regular discussions with colleagues to understand the impact of the Bill on existing and future programmes, including peatland restoration. 

Mae Bil Amaethyddiaeth (Cymru) yn ganlyniad i sawl blwyddyn o ddatblygu polisi ar draws portffolios gweinidogol, sy'n cynnwys trafodaethau gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd. Mae swyddogion hefyd wedi bod mewn trafodaethau rheolaidd gyda chyd-Weinidogion i ddeall effaith y Bil ar raglenni sy'n bodoli eisoes a rhaglenni'r dyfodol, gan gynnwys adfer mawndiroedd. 

Thank you for the answer. The success of the national peatland action programme is its ability to deliver in the here and now, but it's come to my attention that a lot of works are held up or not progressing due to landowners holding on to see if they will require degraded peat to enter into the new sustainable farming scheme, or that they might be better off undertaking the work through the sustainable farming scheme. So, can the Minister give assurances to land managers across Wales that they will not be penalised either financially or in scheme eligibility for undertaking peatland restoration through presently available mechanisms?

Diolch am yr ateb. Llwyddiant y rhaglen weithredu genedlaethol ar fawndiroedd yw ei gallu i gyflawni ar unwaith, ond mae wedi dod i fy sylw fod llawer o waith yn cael ei ddal yn ôl neu nad yw'n mynd rhagddo oherwydd bod tirfeddianwyr yn aros i weld a fydd hi'n ofynnol cynnwys mawn diraddiedig yn y cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy newydd, neu a fyddai'n well iddynt ymgymryd â'r gwaith drwy'r cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy. Felly, a all y Gweinidog roi sicrwydd i reolwyr tir ledled Cymru na fyddant yn cael eu cosbi naill ai'n ariannol nac o ran cymhwysedd ar gyfer y cynllun am wneud gwaith adfer mawndiroedd drwy'r mecanweithiau sydd ar gael ar hyn o bryd?

Well, as the Member is aware, the sustainable farming scheme is currently being designed. We've gone through a significant amount of co-design with our stakeholders, so I can't give you that assurance as you required, but, obviously, we're really keen that that work is undertaken. I do hear what you're saying about farmers waiting to see, if you like, but we would encourage them to continue to carry out the actions that we really need as part of the national peatland action programme. I think what that programme has really done is provide the leadership that we needed for that sustained peatland restoration, but we'll certainly consider it—well, we are considering it—as a sustainable land management duty. So, I don't see why we wouldn't then reward it. But, I would encourage people to really carry on with the work that they've been doing whilst we, obviously, bring the Agriculture (Wales) Bill through the Senedd and we design the sustainable farming scheme, which will be replacing the basic payment scheme.

Wel, fel y mae'r Aelod yn gwybod, mae'r cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy yn cael ei lunio ar hyn o bryd. Rydym wedi mynd drwy broses sylweddol o gydgynllunio gyda'n rhanddeiliaid, felly ni allaf roi'r sicrwydd hwnnw i chi fel y gofynnoch chi amdano, ond yn amlwg, rydym yn awyddus iawn i'r gwaith hwnnw gael ei wneud. Rwy'n clywed yr hyn a ddywedwch am ffermwyr yn aros i weld, os mynnwch, ond byddem yn eu hannog i barhau i gyflawni'r camau sydd eu hangen arnom yn fawr yn rhan o'r rhaglen weithredu genedlaethol ar fawndiroedd. Rwy'n credu mai'r hyn y mae'r rhaglen honno wedi'i wneud yw darparu'r arweiniad roedd ei angen arnom ar gyfer y gwaith parhaus o adfer mawndiroedd, ond byddwn yn sicr yn ei ystyried—wel, rydym yn ei ystyried—yn ddyletswydd rheoli tir yn gynaliadwy. Felly, nid wyf yn gweld pam na fyddem yn ei wobrwyo. Ond rwy'n annog pobl i barhau o ddifrif gyda'r gwaith y maent wedi bod yn ei wneud wrth inni dywys y Bil Amaethyddiaeth (Cymru) drwy'r Senedd ac wrth inni gynllunio'r cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy, a fydd yn disodli cynllun y taliad sylfaenol.

14:50
Lles Anifeiliaid
Animal Welfare

6. A wnaiff y Gweinidog amlinellu pa effaith y mae costau byw cynyddol wedi'i chael ar les anifeiliaid? OQ59111

6. Will the Minister outline what impact the rising cost of living has had on animal welfare? OQ59111

As the economic situation worsens, pressures on household budgets to maintain good welfare conditions for pets is becoming ever more challenging. My officials have worked closely with the third sector to monitor the situation and are pleased to see animal welfare groups in Wales working together to support our pet owners.

Wrth i'r sefyllfa economaidd waethygu, mae'r pwysau ar gyllidebau aelwydydd i gynnal amodau lles da i anifeiliaid anwes yn dod yn fwyfwy heriol. Mae fy swyddogion wedi gweithio'n agos gyda'r trydydd sector i fonitro'r sefyllfa ac yn falch o weld grwpiau lles anifeiliaid yng Nghymru yn gweithio gyda'i gilydd i gefnogi ein perchnogion anifeiliaid anwes.

The rising cost of living has led to a record number of pets being abandoned. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimate that a pet is cast aside every 15 minutes in the UK. Dogs Trust have reported a record number of calls from owners looking to give up their dogs, citing financial reasons, and a survey by YouGov shows that 48 per cent of respondents confirmed they would find it more difficult to give their dog all they needed. Charities like Friends of Animals Wales, run by volunteers, who have three shops in my constituency, provide a pet foodbank so that pets don't have to go without, or owners don't have to go without to feed their pets. But, not all constituencies are fortunate enough to have this provision and it's difficult to reach all pet owners. What advice would the Minister give to pet owners in Wales who are struggling to provide for their pets, and how can the Welsh Government help charities like Friends of Animals Wales reach those in need of support?

Mae costau byw cynyddol wedi arwain at y nifer uchaf erioed o anifeiliaid anwes yn cael eu gadael. Mae'r Gymdeithas Frenhinol er Atal Creulondeb i Anifeiliaid yn amcangyfrif bod anifail anwes yn cael ei adael bob 15 munud yn y DU. Mae'r Dogs Trust wedi cofnodi'r nifer uchaf erioed o alwadau gan berchnogion sydd am roi'r gorau i'w cŵn, gan nodi rhesymau ariannol, ac mae arolwg gan YouGov yn dangos bod 48 y cant o ymatebwyr wedi cadarnhau y byddent yn ei chael hi'n anos rhoi popeth roedd ei angen ar eu ci. Mae elusennau fel Friends of Animals Wales, sy'n cael ei gweithredu gan wirfoddolwyr ac sydd â thair siop yn fy etholaeth, yn darparu banc bwyd anifeiliaid anwes fel nad oes rhaid i anifeiliaid anwes fynd heb fwyd, neu fel nad oes rhaid i berchnogion fynd heb fwyd er mwyn bwydo eu hanifeiliaid anwes. Ond nid yw pob etholaeth yn ddigon ffodus i gael y ddarpariaeth hon ac mae'n anodd cyrraedd pob perchennog anifail anwes. Pa gyngor y byddai'r Gweinidog yn ei roi i berchnogion anifeiliaid anwes yng Nghymru sy'n ei chael hi'n anodd darparu ar gyfer eu hanifeiliaid anwes, a sut y gall Llywodraeth Cymru helpu elusennau fel Friends of Animals Wales i gyrraedd y rhai sydd angen cefnogaeth?

Well, as I said in my opening answer, my officials have been working very closely with third sector organisations to see what more can be done to help our pet owners who are struggling to feed and look after their pets in the way that they and we would want them to. Unfortunately, we did see pet ownership increase during the COVID-19 pandemic and, obviously, as the economic situation has worsened with those pressures on household budgets it has become much more challenging to maintain good welfare conditions for our pets.

We have the Animal Welfare Network Wales group, and they're in discussion also with the third sector organisations, and that does include the Dogs Trust, that you referred to, the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals and Cats Protection, just to monitor the current situation relating to affordable veterinary care as well, because that's obviously something else that could be causing pet owners concerns.

We're also promoting our social media campaigns still—Paws, Prevent, Protect—and that really reminds prospective purchasers of the need to do their research before they buy a pet, because we know that responsible pet ownership does begin before you purchase an animal.

You referred to the pet foodbank. I know that the foodbank in my own constituency does provide for pets also. So, again I would encourage people to try their local foodbank if they haven't got a specific pet foodbank in the way that you referred to in your constituency.

Wel, fel y dywedais yn fy ateb agoriadol, mae fy swyddogion wedi bod yn gweithio'n agos iawn gyda sefydliadau'r trydydd sector i weld beth arall y gellir ei wneud i helpu ein perchnogion anifeiliaid anwes sy'n ei chael hi'n anodd bwydo a gofalu am eu hanifeiliaid anwes yn y ffordd y byddent hwy a ninnau eisiau iddynt ei wneud. Yn anffodus, gwelsom gynnydd mewn perchnogaeth anifeiliaid anwes yn ystod pandemig COVID-19 ac yn amlwg, wrth i'r sefyllfa economaidd waethygu gyda'r pwysau ar gyllidebau aelwydydd, mae wedi dod yn llawer mwy heriol i gynnal amodau lles da i'n hanifeiliaid anwes.

Mae gennym grŵp Rhwydwaith Lles Anifeiliaid Cymru, ac maent yn trafod hefyd gyda sefydliadau'r trydydd sector, ac mae hynny'n cynnwys y Dogs Trust, fel y nodoch chi, y People's Dispensary for Sick Animals a Cats Protection, i fonitro'r sefyllfa bresennol ynghylch gofal milfeddygol fforddiadwy hefyd, oherwydd mae hynny'n amlwg yn rhywbeth arall a allai fod yn achosi pryderon i berchnogion anifeiliaid anwes.

Rydym hefyd yn dal i hyrwyddo ein hymgyrchoedd cyfryngau cymdeithasol—Aros, Atal, Amddiffyn—ac mae hynny'n atgoffa darpar brynwyr o'r angen i wneud eu hymchwil cyn iddynt brynu anifail anwes, oherwydd rydym yn gwybod bod perchnogaeth gyfrifol ar anifail anwes yn dechrau cyn ichi brynu anifail.

Roeddech yn cyfeirio at y banc bwyd i anifeiliaid anwes. Rwy'n gwybod bod y banc bwyd yn fy etholaeth i'n darparu ar gyfer anifeiliaid anwes hefyd. Felly, byddwn yn annog pobl eto i roi cynnig ar eu banc bwyd lleol os nad oes ganddynt fanc bwyd penodol ar gyfer anifeiliaid anwes yn y ffordd roeddech chi'n nodi yn eich etholaeth.

Natural Resources Wales have recently proposed to increase charges for sheep-dip disposal by 10 times. This, I'm sure you'll be most aware, will cause barriers to eradicating sheep scab. Now, I note in your statement last month you committed £4.5 million of rural investment scheme funding to help tackle the disease, but you didn't mention whether this would be per year or multi-year funding. I also realise you said in your responses to my colleague Sam Kurtz that the increase in fees from Natural Resources Wales will only impact a small percentage of farms, only giving out 37 permits per year. However, as NFU Cymru have noted, these proposals, they say, are ill thought out and short-sighted. They're asking for a full justification from NRW about this increase. So, what other breakdowns have you seen that would indicate that this is a fair decision for farmers who are struggling with the cost of living?

Yn ddiweddar, fe wnaeth Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru argymell cynnydd ddeg gwaith drosodd yn y ffioedd am waredu dip defaid. Bydd hyn, rwy'n siŵr y byddwch yn ymwybodol, yn achosi rhwystrau rhag dileu'r clafr. Nawr, nodaf yn eich datganiad fis diwethaf eich bod wedi ymrwymo £4.5 miliwn o gyllid y cynllun buddsoddi gwledig i helpu i fynd i'r afael â'r clefyd, ond ni wnaethoch sôn a fyddai hyn yn gyllid blynyddol neu'n gyllid amlflwyddyn. Rwyf hefyd yn sylweddoli eich bod wedi dweud yn eich ymatebion i fy nghyd-Aelod Sam Kurtz y bydd y cynnydd yn y ffioedd gan Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru ond yn effeithio ar ganran fechan o ffermydd, am mai 37 trwydded y flwyddyn yn unig a ddyrennir. Ond fel y mae NFU Cymru wedi nodi, mae'r cynigion hyn, meddant, yn ddifeddwl ac yn unllygeidiog. Maent yn gofyn am gyfiawnhad llawn gan CNC dros y cynnydd hwn. Felly, pa ddadansoddiadau eraill a welsoch a fyddai'n dangos bod hwn yn benderfyniad teg i ffermwyr sy'n ei chael hi'n anodd ymdopi gyda chostau byw?

So, obviously, NRW sits within the portfolio of the Minister for Climate Change, and I know she will be having advice from NRW around the rise in the regulatory licences that you referred to. I have done some research into this following being told there were only 37 licences given, and that indeed is correct. I think it's really important to recognise that NRW aren't trying to make profit from this. What they are trying to make sure is that they're costs are covered, and there hasn't been a rise for many, many years, and I appreciate is it a significant rise in one go. But, as I say, the Minister is still awaiting advice on it.

Felly, yn amlwg, mae CNC yn dod o dan bortffolio'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd, ac rwy'n gwybod y bydd hi'n cael cyngor gan CNC ynghylch y cynnydd yn y trwyddedau rheoleiddiol y cyfeirioch chi atynt. Rwyf wedi gwneud ychydig o ymchwil i hyn ar ôl cael gwybod mai dim ond 37 o drwyddedau a roddwyd, ac mae hynny'n gywir. Rwy'n credu ei bod yn bwysig iawn cydnabod nad yw CNC yn ceisio gwneud elw o hyn. Yr hyn y maent yn ceisio ei sicrhau yw bod costau'n cael eu talu, ac nid oes cynnydd wedi bod ers blynyddoedd lawer, ac rwy'n derbyn ei fod yn gynnydd sylweddol ar un tro. Ond fel rwy'n dweud, mae'r Gweinidog yn dal i ddisgwyl cyngor arno.

14:55
Rasio Milgwn
Greyhound Racing

7. Pa ystyriaeth mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi ei rhoi i wahardd rasio milgwn? OQ59110

7. What consideration has the Welsh Government given to banning greyhound racing? OQ59110

I sent my response to the Petitions Committee, which the Member chairs, to the report that came forward on this issue yesterday, and, as detailed in the response, any proposed changes to legislation will be subject to full public consultation.

Anfonais fy ymateb i'r adroddiad a gyflwynwyd ar y mater hwn ddoe at y Pwyllgor Deisebau a gadeirir gan yr Aelod, ac fel y nodwyd yn yr ymateb, bydd unrhyw newidiadau arfaethedig i ddeddfwriaeth yn destun ymgynghoriad cyhoeddus llawn.

I'm grateful to the Minister for that answer and I'm grateful to the Minister for responding positively to the Senedd Petitions Committee on the report that called for a phased ban on greyhound racing. The reason we called for a phased ban on greyhound racing is because the majority of Members felt the evidence that we heard was overwhelmingly in favour of a phased ban. I understand the position of the Welsh Government that they will have to go out to consultation on any ban, and a consultation will include the position on a ban on greyhound racing. I wondered if you could update the Chamber, Minister, on what the next steps are for the Welsh Government in this regard.

Rwy'n ddiolchgar i'r Gweinidog am yr ateb hwnnw ac rwy'n ddiolchgar i'r Gweinidog am ymateb yn gadarnhaol i Bwyllgor Deisebau'r Senedd ar yr adroddiad a alwai am waharddiad graddol ar rasio milgwn. Y rheswm y gwnaethom alw am waharddiad graddol ar rasio milgwn yw oherwydd bod y mwyafrif o'r Aelodau'n teimlo bod y dystiolaeth a glywsom yn llethol o blaid gwaharddiad graddol. Rwy'n deall safbwynt Llywodraeth Cymru y bydd yn rhaid iddynt ymgynghori ar unrhyw waharddiad, ac fe fydd ymgynghoriad yn cynnwys y safbwynt ar wahardd rasio milgwn. Tybed a allech roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf i'r Siambr, Weinidog, ynglŷn â beth yw'r camau nesaf i Lywodraeth Cymru yn hyn o beth.

Thank you, and I was very pleased to be able to accept, or accept in principle, all the recommendations bar one, and I very much look forward to the debate that will be held in this Chamber on 6 March, and I suppose that's the next step. And then we will have a look at what more we need to do to have a look and make sure that our greyhounds are protected as much as possible. I've also met with the owner of Valley stadium, which, as you know, is the only greyhound stadium here in Wales, to discuss the welfare issues that have been raised with me. I'm very keen to see the inspections continue at the stadium. But the next immediate step will be the debate on 6 March.

Diolch, ac roeddwn yn falch iawn o allu derbyn, neu dderbyn mewn egwyddor, yr holl argymhellion heblaw am un, ac edrychaf ymlaen yn fawr at y ddadl a gynhelir yn y Siambr hon ar 6 Mawrth, ac mae'n debyg mai dyna'r cam nesaf. Ac yna cawn olwg ar beth arall sydd angen inni ei wneud i gael golwg a gwneud yn siŵr fod ein milgwn yn cael eu diogelu gymaint â phosibl. Rwyf hefyd wedi cyfarfod â pherchennog stadiwm Valley, sef yr unig stadiwm milgwn yma yng Nghymru, fel y gwyddoch, i drafod y materion lles a gafodd eu dwyn i fy sylw. Rwy'n awyddus iawn i weld yr archwiliadau'n parhau yn y stadiwm. Ond y cam uniongyrchol nesaf fydd y ddadl ar 6 Mawrth.

Thank you, Minister, for your response to my colleague Jack Sargeant's question. As you know, in a few weeks' time, we will shortly be discussing the Petitions Committee's report on greyhound racing and specifically its main recommendation that the sport be banned in Wales. As highlighted in that report, I was the only voice in the committee who believes more could be done to enforce and tighten existing regulation first to improve greyhound welfare. As part of my own evidence gathering, I met with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain, the regulator for licensed greyhound racing in Great Britain, to discuss 'A Good Life for Every Greyhound', their independently assessed welfare strategy, which all GBGB tracks have to adhere to. I'm aware that GBGB tracks do not appear to have the same level of issues surrounding animal welfare that appear at Wales's only track, which does not have GBGB accreditation, and I'd like this Government to do a more thorough investigation into whether or not GBGB regulation could resolve animal welfare issues before legislating for a ban. With this in mind—and I'm conscious I've not seen your response to the committee's recommendations yet—what investigative work has the Welsh Government undertaken to properly understand animal welfare at the Valley track and at GBGB registered tracks? And given that the Petitions Committee's report has also called for a review of other sports in Wales involving animals, I'm curious to know what rationale will be used in deciding which sports are banned and which are not, should this Government support the recommendations of the Petitions Committee's report. Thank you.

Diolch am eich ymateb i gwestiwn fy nghyd-Aelod Jack Sargeant. Fel y gwyddoch, ymhen rhai wythnosau, byddwn yn trafod adroddiad y Pwyllgor Deisebau ar rasio milgwn, ac yn benodol ei brif argymhelliad y dylid gwahardd y gamp yng Nghymru. Fel yr amlygwyd yn yr adroddiad hwnnw, fi oedd yr unig lais yn y pwyllgor sy'n credu y gellid gwneud mwy i orfodi a thynhau'r rheoliadau presennol yn gyntaf er mwyn gwella lles milgwn. Wrth gasglu tystiolaeth fy hun, cyfarfûm â Bwrdd Milgwn Prydain, GBGB, y rheoleiddiwr rasio milgwn trwyddedig ym Mhrydain, i drafod 'A Good Life for Every Greyhound', eu strategaeth les a aseswyd yn annibynnol y mae'n rhaid i bob trac GBGB gydymffurfio â hi. Rwy'n ymwybodol nad yw'n ymddangos bod gan draciau GBGB yr un lefel o broblemau'n ymwneud â lles anifeiliaid ag a welir yn unig drac Cymru, nad oes ganddo achrediad GBGB, a hoffwn i'r Llywodraeth hon wneud ymchwiliad mwy trylwyr i weld a allai rheoliadau GBGB ddatrys problemau lles anifeiliaid cyn deddfu am waharddiad. Gyda hyn mewn golwg—ac rwy'n ymwybodol nad wyf wedi gweld eich ymateb i argymhellion y pwyllgor eto—pa waith ymchwiliol y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud i ddeall lles anifeiliaid yn briodol ar drac Valley ac ar draciau cofrestredig GBGB? Ac o gofio bod adroddiad y Pwyllgor Deisebau hefyd wedi galw am adolygu campau eraill yng Nghymru sy'n ymwneud ag anifeiliaid, rwy'n chwilfrydig i wybod pa resymeg fydd yn cael ei defnyddio i benderfynu pa gampau sy'n cael eu gwahardd a pha rai na chânt eu gwahardd, pe bai'r Llywodraeth hon yn cefnogi argymhellion adroddiad y Pwyllgor Deisebau. Diolch.

So, in answer to your last point—and I appreciate you haven't seen my response as yet—recommendation 5, which was that we should also look at other sports where animals compete, is the recommendation I have rejected, because, obviously, this is a focus on greyhound racing. What our animal welfare plan, which I introduced back in 2021—it's a five-year plan—does is include a framework for the realisation of the four animal welfare programme for government commitments, and that does outline how we will integrate a broad range of ongoing animal welfare policy work.

In relation to your questions around GBGB tracks, you'll be aware that the one track in Wales isn't a GBGB track. I, too, have met with GBGB to see what more could be done, and my officials are having a look. I don't think they've visited any other GBGB tracks, but certainly had discussions with, I think, the chief executive of GBGB, to see what we can learn.

Felly, i ateb eich pwynt olaf—ac rwy'n derbyn nad ydych wedi gweld fy ymateb hyd yma—argymhelliad 5, sef y dylem hefyd edrych ar chwaraeon eraill lle mae anifeiliaid yn cystadlu, yw'r argymhelliad a wrthodais, oherwydd, yn amlwg, ffocws ar rasio milgwn yw hwn. Yr hyn y mae ein cynllun lles anifeiliaid, a gyflwynais yn ôl yn 2021—mae'n gynllun pum mlynedd—yn ei wneud yw cynnwys fframwaith ar gyfer gwireddu pedwar ymrwymiad lles anifeiliaid y rhaglen lywodraethu, ac mae hwnnw'n amlinellu sut y byddwn yn integreiddio ystod eang o waith polisi lles anifeiliaid parhaus.

O ran eich cwestiynau ynghylch traciau GBGB, fe fyddwch yn ymwybodol nad yw'r un trac sydd yng Nghymru yn drac GBGB. Rwyf innau hefyd wedi cyfarfod â GBGB i weld beth arall y gellid ei wneud, ac mae fy swyddogion yn edrych ar hynny. Nid wyf yn credu eu bod wedi ymweld ag unrhyw un o draciau eraill GBGB, ond yn sicr maent wedi cael trafodaethau gyda phrif weithredwr GBGB, rwy'n meddwl, i weld beth y gallwn ei ddysgu.

Greyhound racing is all too often incredibly dangerous for the greyhounds, and there is this statistic that 2,000 greyhounds were euthanised in the UK between 2018 and 2020 simply as a result of being raced. I strongly believe that no animal should suffer in the name of sport, and that goes for all sports that use all forms of animals for human entertainment, so I'm pleased to hear you say that that's under consideration in this consultation. There are 35,000 people who signed this petition, so we're not in the minority, the few voices here; we're representing a huge sector of society who think the same. So, Minister, when you go out to consultation, and it will be right across Wales, will you be feeding that consultation back before decisions are made and progress is taken?

Mae rasio milgwn yn rhy aml yn hynod beryglus i'r milgwn, ac mae yna ystadegyn fod 2,000 o filgwn wedi cael eu hewthaneiddio yn y DU rhwng 2018 a 2020 yn syml o ganlyniad i gael eu rasio. Credaf yn gryf na ddylai unrhyw anifail ddioddef yn enw chwaraeon, ac mae hynny'n wir am bob camp sy'n defnyddio unrhyw fath o anifail ar gyfer adloniant pobl, felly rwy'n falch o'ch clywed yn dweud bod hynny dan ystyriaeth yn yr ymgynghoriad hwn. Mae 35,000 o bobl wedi llofnodi'r ddeiseb hon, felly nid yw'r ychydig leisiau yma'n lleiafrif; rydym yn cynrychioli sector enfawr o'r gymdeithas sy'n meddwl yr un fath. Felly, Weinidog, pan fyddwch yn ymgynghori, a hynny ledled Cymru, a fyddwch yn bwydo'r ymgynghoriad hwnnw yn ôl cyn gwneud unrhyw benderfyniadau a chyn rhoi camau ar waith?

15:00

Thank you. Well, as I said, we've already committed to considering licensing of greyhound racing as part of our animal welfare plan. The next step is now to have the petition. What I have said to the Petitions Committee and to Members in the Chamber is that anything we decide to do would have to go out to public consultation, so let's have the debate on 6 March and then we can decide on the next steps.

Diolch. Wel, fel y dywedais, rydym eisoes wedi ymrwymo i ystyried trwyddedu rasio milgwn fel rhan o'n cynllun lles anifeiliaid. Y cam nesaf nawr yw cael y ddeiseb. Yr hyn rwyf wedi’i ddweud wrth y Pwyllgor Deisebau ac wrth Aelodau yn y Siambr yw y byddai’n rhaid i unrhyw beth y penderfynwn ei wneud fod yn destun ymgynghoriad cyhoeddus, felly gadewch inni gael y ddadl ar 6 Mawrth, ac yna gallwn benderfynu ar y camau nesaf.

Y cwestiwn olaf, cwestiwn 8, Natasha Asghar.

The final question, question 8, Natasha Asghar.

Gwella Rheolaeth Cŵn
Improving the Control of Dogs

8. Pa gynlluniau sydd gan y Gweinidog i wella rheolaeth cŵn? OQ59114

8. What plans does the Minister have to improve the control of dogs? OQ59114

The Welsh Government's code of practice for the welfare of dogs informs owners of their obligations relating to controlling their dogs and the governing pieces of legislation. We are working with the UK Government on introducing further safeguards through the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill.

Mae cod ymarfer Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer lles cŵn yn rhoi gwybod i berchnogion am eu rhwymedigaethau o ran rheoli eu cŵn a’r ddeddfwriaeth sy’n eu llywodraethu. Rydym yn gweithio gyda Llywodraeth y DU i gyflwyno mesurau diogelu pellach drwy’r Bil Lles Anifeiliaid (Anifeiliaid a Gedwir).

Thanks, Minister. I've been contacted by a constituent who says that he was recently attacked by a large dog on a public footpath in Newbridge. He goes on to say that he has been bitten twice by dogs in public places over the last six years, and his son has also been bitten as well. The Member for Caerphilly touched on this topic last week, so I know that you are aware of the two recent tragic cases in Caerphilly, when a 10-year-old boy and an 83-year-old lady were attacked and killed by dogs. I am aware that the previous National Assembly considered introducing a Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill previously, but the idea was dropped since 2013. Do you agree, Minister, that the time has come for Wales to reconsider this issue and introduce measures to ensure the safety of people when leaving their homes? Thank you.

Diolch, Weinidog. Mae etholwr wedi cysylltu â mi i ddweud bod ci mawr wedi ymosod arno’n ddiweddar ar lwybr cyhoeddus yn Nhrecelyn. Mae’n mynd yn ei flaen i ddweud ei fod wedi cael ei gnoi ddwywaith gan gŵn mewn mannau cyhoeddus dros y chwe blynedd diwethaf, a bod ei fab wedi cael ei gnoi hefyd. Crybwyllodd yr Aelod dros Gaerffili y pwnc hwn yr wythnos diwethaf, felly gwn eich bod yn ymwybodol o’r ddau achos trasig diweddar yng Nghaerffili, pan laddwyd bachgen 10 oed a dynes 83 oed ar ôl i gŵn ymosod arnynt. Rwy’n ymwybodol fod y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol blaenorol wedi ystyried cyflwyno Bil Rheoli Cŵn (Cymru), ond rhoddwyd y gorau i'r syniad yn 2013. A ydych yn cytuno, Weinidog, fod yr amser wedi dod i Gymru ailystyried y mater hwn a chyflwyno mesurau i sicrhau diogelwch pobl wrth iddynt adael eu cartrefi? Diolch.

We know that any dog in the wrong hands has the potential to be dangerous, and what we do is promote responsible ownership. I think that has to be a key priority. You will have heard me say in an earlier answer to Mabon ap Gwynfor about the kept animals Bill that the UK Government are taking through that, unfortunately, it's stalled a bit, but I do think there are provisions that we can take there to really help us. Because we know that dog attacks absolutely ruin lives and they're avoidable, if dog owners ensure that their dogs are in control at all times, and that they are responsible owners at all times too.

Gwyddom y gallai unrhyw gi yn y dwylo anghywir fod yn beryglus, a’r hyn rydym yn ei wneud yw hybu perchnogaeth gyfrifol. Credaf fod yn rhaid i hynny fod yn flaenoriaeth allweddol. Byddwch wedi fy nghlywed yn dweud mewn ateb cynharach i Mabon ap Gwynfor am y Bil anifeiliaid a gedwir y mae Llywodraeth y DU yn ei gyflwyno, ac mae hwnnw wedi arafu ychydig, yn anffodus, ond credaf fod darpariaethau y gallwn eu rhoi ar waith yno i'n helpu. Oherwydd gwyddom fod ymosodiadau gan gŵn yn difetha bywydau’n llwyr, a bod modd eu hosgoi os yw perchnogion cŵn yn sicrhau bod eu cŵn dan reolaeth bob amser, a’u bod yn berchnogion cyfrifol bob amser hefyd.

3. Cwestiynau Amserol
3. Topical Questions

Yr eitem nesaf, felly, yw'r cwestiynau amserol. Un cwestiwn heddiw, a hwnnw i'w ateb gan y Dirprwy Weinidog Newid Hinsawdd ac i'w ofyn gan Delyth Jewell.

The next item, therefore, is the topical questions. There is one question today, and that is to be answered by the Deputy Minister for Climate Change and to be asked by Delyth Jewell.

Y Cynllun Brys ar gyfer Bysiau
The Bus Emergency Scheme

1. Pa sicrwydd wnaiff y Gweinidog ei ddarparu na fydd symud i ffwrdd o gyllido’r cynllun brys ar gyfer bysiau yn arwain at gau llwybrau bysiau ac yn golygu bod gwasanaethau bysiau gwledig yn anhyfyw? TQ727

1. What assurances will the Minister provide that the transition away from bus emergency scheme funding will not lead to the closure of bus routes and render rural bus services unviable? TQ727

An initial extension of three months gives the industry the stability it needs in the short term while we continue to work together with them and local government on planning bus networks that better suit the new travel patterns that we've seen since the end of the pandemic.

Mae estyniad cychwynnol o dri mis yn rhoi’r sefydlogrwydd sydd ei angen ar y diwydiant yn y tymor byr tra byddwn yn parhau i weithio gyda hwy a chyda llywodraeth leol ar gynllunio rhwydweithiau bysiau sy’n gweddu’n well i’r patrymau teithio newydd rydym wedi’u gweld ers diwedd y pandemig.

Diolch, Weinidog. I appreciate that the last couple of days have been exceptionally busy for you. The uncertainty that you've touched on about that future funding is causing a great deal of concern, and I welcome the fact that you've extended this transition period for three months. That temporary reprieve, though, is not going to do much to assuage the concern of bus operators. I do appreciate that you're in a difficult position—I know that we touched on this in the Siambr yesterday—but the shift in messaging on this has confused things, I think, and I'd like to get some more information on that. There have been some statements that have been made that this scheme was due to come to an end in March of this year, but that seems to run contrary to the ministerial evidence that was submitted on the draft budget, as well as, as I understand it, the tone of discussions that bus operators have had with the Welsh Government in the months leading up to this change.

I would say, Minister, that you have taken bold steps this week towards realising a net-zero future. The impetus behind that is one I truly welcome; I think that it's incredibly brave. And it's for that reason that I'd urge you that now is surely the most important time for the Welsh Government to be looking at providing certainty of funding for public transport, because if we want to encourage people to use cars less, to make sure that there are viable bus and train networks there available for them, that's the way of making sure that people can get where they need to be—in more ways than one, of course. So, could you please tell us is there any prospect, as you see it at the moment, of a more sustainable footing for a scheme of this nature to continue, or one that replicates it, taking into consideration that it was, of course, one for COVID?

Diolch, Weinidog. Rwy’n derbyn bod yr ychydig ddyddiau diwethaf wedi bod yn eithriadol o brysur i chi. Mae'r ansicrwydd rydych wedi sôn amdano ynghylch y cyllid hwnnw yn y dyfodol yn achosi llawer iawn o bryder, ac rwy'n croesawu'r ffaith eich bod wedi ymestyn y cyfnod pontio hwn am dri mis. Fodd bynnag, nid yw'r gohiriad dros dro'n mynd i wneud llawer i leddfu pryderon gweithredwyr bysiau. Rwy’n derbyn eich bod mewn sefyllfa anodd—gwn inni gyffwrdd ar hyn yn y Siambr ddoe—ond mae’r newid yn y negeseuon ar hyn wedi drysu pethau yn fy marn i, a hoffwn gael rhagor o wybodaeth am hynny. Gwnaed rhai datganiadau fod y cynllun i fod i ddod i ben ym mis Mawrth eleni, ond ymddengys bod hynny’n mynd yn groes i’r dystiolaeth weinidogol a gyflwynwyd ar y gyllideb ddrafft, yn ogystal, yn ôl yr hyn a ddeallaf, â chywair y trafodaethau y mae gweithredwyr bysiau wedi’u cael gyda Llywodraeth Cymru yn y misoedd cyn y newid hwn.

Weinidog, byddwn yn dweud eich bod wedi cymryd camau beiddgar yr wythnos hon tuag at wireddu dyfodol sero net. Mae'r ysgogiad y tu ôl i hynny'n un rwy'n ei groesawu'n fawr; credaf ei fod yn anhygoel o ddewr. Ac am y rheswm hwnnw, byddwn yn eich annog mai nawr yw'r amser pwysicaf i Lywodraeth Cymru fod yn edrych ar ddarparu sicrwydd o gyllid ar gyfer trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus, oherwydd os ydym am annog pobl i ddefnyddio llai ar geir, i sicrhau bod rhwydweithiau bysiau a threnau hyfyw yno ar eu cyfer, dyna'r ffordd o sicrhau bod pobl yn gallu cyrraedd lle mae angen iddynt fod—mewn mwy nag un ffordd, wrth gwrs. Felly, a fyddech cystal â dweud wrthym a oes unrhyw obaith, yn eich barn chi ar hyn o bryd, o sylfaen fwy cynaliadwy i gynllun fel hwn barhau, neu gynllun sy'n ei efelychu, gan gofio, wrth gwrs, mai cynllun ar gyfer COVID ydoedd?

15:05

Well, thank you for raising the question, because it is an issue that is concerning us greatly. Clearly, this is not a happy situation. We have a privatised bus network, which relies on commercial operators being able to make a profit. Clearly, the pandemic has turned that business model on its head and it was our intervention, with £150 million of public investment, that kept the sector from going under. It was always meant to be an emergency scheme; it was meant to be temporary. We do spend, every year, £60 million subsidising concessionary fares for older people, we spend a further £2 million subsidising the mytravelpass scheme for 16 to 21-year-olds, plus we provide £25 million of grant to local authorities for the bus services support grant, plus school transport now accounts for about a quarter of local authority education budgets. So, we're putting a lot of public money in, and on top of that, we've had the bus emergency scheme.

Now, in this year's budget, it was always intended to wind that down. One of the things that the industry themselves say is that we are ossifying—that's the word that they've used—bus networks to run along lines that suited passengers pre pandemic, but passenger behaviour has changed. There are fewer older people travelling, there are more leisure journeys than there are commuting journeys. So, we're probably still running a bus pattern based on pre-pandemic behaviour. So, regardless, there does need to be a reconfiguring of the networks. Clearly, we'd prefer to do that in an orderly way. Now, we have been trying to square a very, very difficult budget settlement with our policy aspirations and, as you know, we do have great ambitions for bus. But, essentially, unless we're prepared to fully subsidise the industry, we're not able to do anything to retain services as they are. And this is a problem right across the UK. A quick internet search will show this right across England and Scotland. They're all facing the same.

We haven't seen any additional money coming from the Treasury and the Department for Transport that would produce any consequentials for us to put further funding in this year. We're also having to meet significant cost pressures in the rail industry. So, we are in a fix here. We did manage, through last week, through some very constructive conversations with the industry and local government, to get a reprieve. So, we've got a guarantee of the BES scheme for a further three months, and we hope to work closely with them during that time to try to work out which routes should be maintained within the declining bus budget envelope to give us the best chance to have a skeleton service that then will take us into the new franchise, which is still a couple of years away. So, we'll have a real bridging problem.

I would desperately like to find the money to be able to do it properly, but our options are limited. We know the cost pressures that the Government is under, and together, Labour and Plaid Cymru have prioritised a whole range of funding for free school meals, for the cost-of-living crisis and for a pay deal for the NHS. Now, that money can't be spent twice. So, there simply isn't money floating around within the Welsh budget that we can move onto this, much as I would dearly like to. So, we've got a real challenge now to try, as best we can, to get a smooth glide path out of BES in a way that causes the least amount of disruption to passengers, whilst keeping a core of bus networks that allows people to use public transport and achieve the modal shift, as we want them to do. But, I can't in all conscience say that we're going to be able to do all the things we want to do, given the money that is available. I desperately hope, and I would make a plea to the UK Government, because they're having these problems as well, to put extra money into the transport budget at the UK level to deal with the crisis there is in England, too, which will produce extra consequentials for us that we can then put into the bus system and work with the industry to create a rational network.   

Wel, diolch am godi’r cwestiwn, gan ei fod yn fater sy’n peri cryn bryder i ni. Yn amlwg, nid yw hon yn sefyllfa hapus. Mae gennym rwydwaith bysiau sydd wedi’i breifateiddio, sy’n dibynnu ar allu gweithredwyr masnachol i wneud elw. Yn amlwg, mae’r pandemig wedi troi’r model busnes hwnnw ar ei ben, a’n hymyrraeth ni, gyda £150 miliwn o fuddsoddiad cyhoeddus, a gadwodd y sector rhag mynd i'r wal. Roedd bob amser i fod yn gynllun brys; y bwriad oedd ei fod yn gynllun dros dro. Bob blwyddyn, rydym yn gwario £60 miliwn ar sybsideiddio tocynnau teithio rhatach i bobl hŷn, rydym yn gwario £2 filiwn arall ar sybsideiddio cynllun fyngherdynteithio ar gyfer pobl ifanc 16 i 21 oed, ac rydym yn darparu £25 miliwn o grant i awdurdodau lleol ar gyfer y grant cynnal gwasanaethau bysiau, ac mae oddeutu chwarter cyllidebau addysg awdurdodau lleol bellach yn mynd ar gludiant i'r ysgol. Felly, rydym yn darparu llawer o arian cyhoeddus, ac ar ben hynny, rydym wedi cael y cynllun brys ar gyfer y sector bysiau.

Nawr, yn y gyllideb eleni, y bwriad bob amser oedd dirwyn hynny i ben. Un o'r pethau y mae'r diwydiant ei hun yn ei ddweud yw ein bod yn ffosileiddio—dyna'r gair y maent wedi'i ddefnyddio—rhwydweithiau bysiau ar lwybrau teithio a oedd yn gweddu i deithwyr cyn y pandemig, ond mae ymddygiad teithwyr wedi newid. Mae llai o bobl hŷn yn teithio, ceir mwy o deithiau hamdden nag a geir o deithiau cymudo. Felly, mae'n debyg ein bod yn dal i redeg patrwm bysiau'n seiliedig ar ymddygiad cyn-bandemig. Felly, doed a ddelo, mae angen ad-drefnu'r rhwydweithiau. Yn amlwg, byddai’n well gennym wneud hynny mewn ffordd drefnus. Nawr, rydym wedi bod yn ceisio cysoni setliad cyllideb anodd tu hwnt â'n dyheadau polisi, ac fel y gwyddoch, mae gennym uchelgeisiau mawr ar gyfer bysiau. Ond yn y bôn, oni bai ein bod yn barod i sybsideiddio'r diwydiant yn llawn, ni allwn wneud unrhyw beth i gadw gwasanaethau fel y maent. Ac mae hon yn broblem ledled y DU. Bydd chwiliad cyflym ar y rhyngrwyd yn dangos hyn ledled Lloegr a'r Alban. Maent oll yn wynebu'r un peth.

Nid ydym wedi gweld unrhyw arian ychwanegol yn dod gan y Trysorlys a’r Adran Drafnidiaeth a fyddai’n cynhyrchu unrhyw gyllid canlyniadol i ni ddarparu rhagor o arian eleni. Rydym hefyd yn gorfod wynebu pwysau sylweddol yn sgil costau yn y diwydiant rheilffyrdd. Felly, rydym mewn cyfyng-gyngor yma. Drwy'r wythnos diwethaf, drwy sgyrsiau adeiladol iawn gyda'r diwydiant a llywodraeth leol, fe wnaethom lwyddo i sicrhau gohiriad. Felly, mae'r cynllun brys ar gyfer y sector bysiau wedi'i warantu am dri mis arall, ac rydym yn gobeithio gweithio'n agos gyda hwy yn ystod y cyfnod hwnnw i geisio nodi pa lwybrau teithio y dylid eu cynnal o fewn yr amlen gyllideb bysiau sy'n lleihau er mwyn rhoi'r cyfle gorau inni gael gwasanaeth sgerbwd a fydd yn ein cynnal hyd at y fasnachfraint newydd, sy'n dal i fod ychydig o flynyddoedd i ffwrdd. Felly, bydd gennym broblem wirioneddol o ran pontio.

Ni fyddai unrhyw beth yn well gennyf na dod o hyd i’r arian i allu gwneud hyn yn iawn, ond mae ein hopsiynau’n gyfyngedig. Rydym yn ymwybodol o'r pwysau costau ar y Llywodraeth, a chyda’i gilydd, mae Llafur a Phlaid Cymru wedi blaenoriaethu ystod gyfan o gyllid ar gyfer prydau ysgol am ddim, ar gyfer yr argyfwng costau byw ac ar gyfer bargen gyflog i’r GIG. Nawr, ni ellir gwario'r arian hwnnw ddwywaith. Felly, yn syml iawn, nid oes arian yn hel llwch yng nghyllideb Cymru y gallwn ei wario ar hyn, er cymaint yr hoffwn wneud hynny. Felly, mae gennym her wirioneddol nawr i geisio sicrhau cyfnod pontio llyfn cystal ag y gallwn allan o'r cynllun brys ar gyfer y sector bysiau mewn ffordd sy'n achosi'r aflonyddwch lleiaf i deithwyr, gan gadw set graidd o rwydweithiau bysiau sy'n caniatáu i bobl ddefnyddio trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus a newid eu dulliau teithio, fel rydym am iddynt ei wneud. Ond ni allaf ddweud yn onest ein bod yn mynd i allu gwneud yr holl bethau rydym am eu gwneud, o ystyried yr arian sydd ar gael. Rwy’n mawr obeithio, a hoffwn apelio ar Lywodraeth y DU, gan eu bod hwythau'n wynebu'r problemau hyn hefyd, i roi arian ychwanegol yn y gyllideb drafnidiaeth ar lefel y DU er mwyn mynd i'r afael â’r argyfwng sydd yn Lloegr hefyd, a fydd yn arwain at gyllid canlyniadol ychwanegol i ni y gallwn ei roi tuag at y system fysiau wedyn a gweithio gyda'r diwydiant i greu rhwydwaith synhwyrol.

I'd like to thank my colleague, Delyth Jewell, for actually raising this as a question today. Now, with all due respect, the end of March was set to be the cut-off point for BES 3, as it was commonly known, and now, we are finding out that it obviously gets pushed back to the end of June, which is fine. So, I'd like to know what exactly is going to happen when we reach June, Deputy Minister? You mentioned previously that criteria have to be met for certain bus routes to run. What are those criteria? What support is going to be put into place to help Wales's bus services, and what actions will you be taking so that our rural communities and members who live there don't feel neglected and isolated going forward? Just 24 hours ago, you unveiled the roads review and transport plan—in a rather rushed manner, which is fine—in which you placed a lot of emphasis on public transport. On 31 March 2022, you published 'One network, one timetable, one ticket: planning buses as a public service for Wales', and in this—and I quote—you said that you wanted to create an

'excellent travel option, wherever people need it, whenever people need it, throughout Wales'.

On the one hand, the Welsh Government wants to have more people use more buses and get out of their cars, but on the other hand, you're stripping away a much-needed cash lifeline. It just doesn't add up to me, Deputy Minister. If funding plans are not put into place by cutting financial help for buses, this Government's going to inflict major problems on countless people in all four corners of Wales. I understand that one big bus operator has warned that it's actually going to preparing to cut a quarter of its current services, due to the funding scheme's impending withdrawal. How on earth can you expect people to use public transport more when this Government's actions will ultimately lead to bus services being cut? It's already a nightmare to catch a bus in Wales, so this decision is only going to make things worse if funding is not provided. I'm sure that you'll make the argument, Deputy Minister, that buses simply aren't being used—as you've mentioned previously—as they were in the past, so my question is: what are you doing to increase the use and availability of public transport? Surely, the more people use public transport, the more financially viable they become, and less Government support will be needed. Do you agree, Deputy Minister, that axing this funding going forward completely flies in the face of your Government's policies? And, what alternative help will your Government be providing to bus operators in Wales from June 2023, going forward?

Hoffwn ddiolch i fy nghyd-Aelod, Delyth Jewell, am godi hwn fel cwestiwn heddiw. Nawr, gyda phob parch, roedd diwedd mis Mawrth i fod yn bwynt terfyn ar gyfer BES 3, fel y’i gelwid yn gyffredin, a bellach, rydym yn darganfod ei fod, yn amlwg, yn cael ei barhau hyd at ddiwedd mis Mehefin, sy’n iawn. Felly, hoffwn wybod beth yn union sy'n mynd i ddigwydd pan fyddwn yn cyrraedd mis Mehefin, Ddirprwy Weinidog? Rydych wedi dweud yn flaenorol fod yn rhaid bodloni meini prawf er mwyn gallu cynnal rhai llwybrau bysiau penodol. Beth yw'r meini prawf hynny? Pa gymorth a fydd yn cael ei roi ar waith i helpu gwasanaethau bysiau Cymru, a pha gamau y byddwch yn eu cymryd fel nad yw ein cymunedau gwledig a’n haelodau sy’n byw yno'n teimlo eu bod yn cael eu hesgeuluso a’u hynysu wrth symud ymlaen? Gwta 24 awr yn ôl, fe gyhoeddoch chi yr adolygiad ffyrdd a’r cynllun trafnidiaeth—mewn modd brysiog braidd, sy’n iawn—lle rhoesoch lawer o bwyslais ar drafnidiaeth gyhoeddus. Ar 31 Mawrth 2022, fe gyhoeddoch chi 'Un rhwydwaith, un amserlen, un tocyn: cynllunio bysiau fel gwasanaeth cyhoeddus i Gymru', ac ynddo—a dyfynnaf—fe ddywedoch chi eich bod am greu

'opsiwn rhagorol ar gyfer teithio, lle a phryd bynnag mae angen hynny ar bobl, ledled Cymru'.

Ar y naill law, mae Llywodraeth Cymru am i fwy o bobl ddefnyddio mwy o fysiau a dod allan o'u ceir, ond ar y llaw arall, rydych yn cael gwared ar achubiaeth ariannol fawr ei hangen. Nid yw'n gwneud synnwyr i mi, Ddirprwy Weinidog. Os na chaiff cynlluniau ariannu eu rhoi ar waith drwy dorri cymorth ariannol ar gyfer bysiau, mae’r Llywodraeth hon yn mynd i achosi problemau mawr i bobl ddirifedi ym mhob cwr o Gymru. Rwy’n deall bod un gweithredwr bysiau mawr wedi rhybuddio y byddant yn paratoi i dorri chwarter eu gwasanaethau presennol, gan fod y cynllun ariannu ar fin dod i ben. Sut ar y ddaear y gallwch ddisgwyl i bobl ddefnyddio mwy ar drafnidiaeth gyhoeddus pan fydd camau gweithredu’r Llywodraeth hon yn arwain yn y pen draw at dorri gwasanaethau bysiau? Mae dal bws yng Nghymru eisoes yn hunllef, felly os na ddarperir cyllid, nid yw’r penderfyniad hwn ond yn mynd i wneud pethau’n waeth. Rwy’n siŵr y byddwch yn dadlau, Ddirprwy Weinidog, nad yw bysiau’n cael eu defnyddio—fel rydych wedi'i ddweud yn flaenorol—fel roeddent yn cael eu defnyddio yn y gorffennol, felly fy nghwestiwn yw: beth rydych chi'n ei wneud i gynyddu argaeledd a defnydd o drafnidiaeth gyhoeddus? Yn sicr, po fwyaf o bobl sy’n defnyddio trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus, y mwyaf ariannol hyfyw y dônt, a bydd angen llai o gymorth gan y Llywodraeth. A ydych yn cytuno, Ddirprwy Weinidog, fod cael gwared ar y cyllid hwn wrth symud ymlaen yn gwbl groes i bolisïau eich Llywodraeth? A pha gymorth amgen y bydd eich Llywodraeth yn ei ddarparu i weithredwyr bysiau yng Nghymru o fis Mehefin 2023 ymlaen?

15:10

Well, I think I've covered all those points in the answer to Delyth Jewell.

Wel, credaf fy mod wedi ateb yr holl bwyntiau hynny yn yr ateb i Delyth Jewell.

No, I don't think you have.

Na, ni chredaf ichi wneud hynny.

We have a privatised bus system, as I've explained on many occasions, which is a legacy of Conservative privatisation in the 1980s, and we are living with the reality of that now, and it has failed; the business model has failed, there is market failure here, and we're going to see cuts and a disappearing of vital public services. None of us want to see that, but we're also living in an age of austerity; again, a political choice by her party's Governments, where public funding has been reduced next year and we simply do not have the funding available to continue to invest in propping up private companies that are not able to run commercially viable services at the rate that we were through the pandemic. We've been able to find some additional funding this year to extend the scheme temporarily, but the money simply is not in the budget to be able to continue that into the future. I wish it was; it is not, I'm afraid. And I just can't get away from that reality, much as I would like to.

So, I fully concede that this is a pretty grim situation that none of us want to see, but our options are limited. The best we've been able to manage is to get a reprieve for the industry, to work closely with them to try and design as smooth a glide path out as we possibly can, but I can't say with any certainty that we're going to be able to manage that, and there's always the danger that commercial companies will simply decide themselves—which they're free to do in a commercial deregulated bus system—to withdraw services, because they're already having trouble recruiting, retaining and training bus drivers, and being able to keep to the advertised schedule as it is.

So, the bus industry is facing a number of different challenges, and the fact that passengers haven't returned to make those commercial services viable is a profound one, but there's a limit to what the Government can do with this budget settlement from her Government.

Mae gennym system fysiau sydd wedi’i phreifateiddio, fel rwyf wedi'i esbonio droeon, sy’n etifeddiaeth o breifateiddio'r Ceidwadwyr yn y 1980au, ac rydym yn byw gyda realiti hynny nawr, ac mae wedi methu; mae’r model busnes wedi methu, mae methiant yn y farchnad yma, ac rydym yn mynd i weld toriadau a gwasanaethau cyhoeddus hanfodol yn diflannu. Nid oes yr un ohonom yn dymuno gweld hynny, ond rydym hefyd yn byw mewn oes o gyni; unwaith eto, dewis gwleidyddol gan Lywodraethau ei phlaid, lle mae cyllid cyhoeddus wedi’i leihau y flwyddyn nesaf, ac yn syml iawn, nid oes cyllid ar gael inni barhau i fuddsoddi mewn cynnal cwmnïau preifat nad ydynt yn gallu rhedeg gwasanaethau masnachol hyfyw ar y gyfradd y bu modd inni ei wneud drwy'r pandemig. Rydym wedi gallu dod o hyd i rywfaint o arian ychwanegol eleni i ymestyn y cynllun dros dro, ond yn syml iawn, nid oes arian yn y gyllideb i allu parhau â hynny i’r dyfodol. Hoffwn pe bai; ond nid oes arian ar gael, mae arnaf ofn. Ac ni allaf ddianc rhag y realiti hwnnw, er cymaint yr hoffwn allu gwneud hynny.

Felly, rwy’n cyfaddef bod hon yn sefyllfa annymunol nad oes yr un ohonom am ei gweld, ond mae ein hopsiynau’n gyfyngedig. Y gorau rydym wedi gallu ei wneud yw sicrhau gohiriad ar gyfer y diwydiant, i weithio'n agos gyda hwy i geisio cynllunio cyfnod pontio mor llyfn ag y gallwn, ond ni allaf ddweud gydag unrhyw sicrwydd y byddwn yn llwyddo, ac mae perygl bob amser y bydd cwmnïau masnachol yn penderfynu eu hunain—ac maent yn rhydd i wneud hynny mewn system fysiau fasnachol sydd wedi'i dadreoleiddio—eu bod yn mynd i ddiddymu gwasanaethau, gan eu bod eisoes yn ei chael hi'n anodd recriwtio, cadw a hyfforddi gyrwyr bysiau, a gallu cadw at yr amserlen fel y mae'n cael ei hysbysebu.

Felly, mae’r diwydiant bysiau'n wynebu nifer o heriau gwahanol, ac mae’r ffaith nad yw teithwyr wedi dychwelyd i wneud y gwasanaethau masnachol hynny’n hyfyw yn her sylweddol, ond mae pen draw ar yr hyn y gall y Llywodraeth ei wneud â’r setliad cyllideb hwn gan ei Llywodraeth hi.

Daeth y Dirprwy Lywydd (David Rees) i’r Gadair.

The Deputy Presiding Officer (David Rees) took the Chair.

I'm grateful to the Minister for his response, and I share his analysis of the problem. But Governments exist, of course, to solve problems, not simply to rehearse them. And for my constituents, in Blaenau Gwent, when they hear a Minister talking about a skeleton service, they think, 'Well, that's a service that's going to serve Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and a few other places, but we know it won't serve Cwm, it won't serve Blaina, it won't serve Abertillery, Tredegar or Ebbw Vale'. And that isn't a service that we can accept. So, what I would like to hear from the Government—and I know it's a difficult situation, and I think the moves this week to extend the programme for three months does buy a breathing space—but what I want to see from Government is a clear action plan to deliver the public services that yesterday, when he stood in this Chamber, he said he wanted people to use. In my constituency, those public services don't exist today, and if they're not going to exist in six months' time, how do people then reach public services? How do they reach shopping? How do they buy their food? How do they move around, go for training and work? We simply cannot allow this situation to continue. We need a plan for buses and we need it now, and, if the Minister brings through emergency legislation, I will certainly vote to enact it as soon as possible.

Rwy’n ddiolchgar i’r Gweinidog am ei ymateb, ac rwy’n rhannu ei ddadansoddiad o’r broblem. Ond mae Llywodraethau yn bodoli i ddatrys problemau, wrth gwrs, nid i'w hailadrodd. Ac i fy etholwyr i, ym Mlaenau Gwent, pan fyddant yn clywed Gweinidog yn sôn am wasanaeth sgerbwd, maent yn meddwl, 'Wel, mae hwnnw'n wasanaeth sy'n mynd i wasanaethu Caerdydd, Casnewydd, Abertawe ac ychydig o leoedd eraill, ond gwyddom na fydd yn gwasanaethu Cwm, ni fydd yn gwasanaethu Blaenau, ni fydd yn gwasanaethu Abertyleri, Tredegar na Glynebwy'. Ac nid yw hwnnw'n wasanaeth y gallwn ei dderbyn. Felly, yr hyn yr hoffwn ei glywed gan y Llywodraeth—a gwn ei bod yn sefyllfa anodd, a chredaf fod y camau yr wythnos hon i ymestyn y rhaglen am dri mis yn darparu rhywfaint o le i anadlu—ond yr hyn rwyf am ei weld gan y Llywodraeth yw cynllun gweithredu clir i ddarparu’r gwasanaethau cyhoeddus y dywedodd, pan safodd yn y Siambr hon ddoe, ei fod am i bobl eu defnyddio. Yn fy etholaeth i, nid yw’r gwasanaethau cyhoeddus hynny’n bodoli heddiw, ac os na fyddant yn bodoli ymhen chwe mis, sut mae pobl yn cyrraedd gwasanaethau cyhoeddus? Sut maent yn cyrraedd siopau? Sut maent yn prynu eu bwyd? Sut maent yn symud o gwmpas, yn mynd i gael hyfforddiant a gwaith? Ni allwn ganiatáu i’r sefyllfa hon barhau. Mae arnom angen cynllun ar gyfer bysiau ac mae ei angen arnom ar unwaith, ac os bydd y Gweinidog yn cyflwyno deddfwriaeth frys, byddaf fi'n sicr yn pleidleisio i’w deddfu cyn gynted â phosibl.

15:15

Well, if only it were that simple, Presiding Officer. We certainly do have a plan for legislation, and we've consulted on that. We're working through the design of that now, and we hope to introduce it in the Senedd later this year, and we are working, alongside that, with Transport for Wales and local authorities on designing optimum bus networks for their communities. So, we will have a strategic, planned integrated bus network with integrated ticketing between rail and bus. We'll have universal service standards. We'll have pay and conditions across the country. We'll have a significantly better framework in order to operate bus services.

But, in the absence of passenger revenue, and this is the problem here, the only way to keep those services running in the meantime is through direct public support, and our budgets have been cut and we have prioritised cost-of-living pressures, pay deals and free school meals and other things, rightly. I'm not resiling from that at all, but I'm just simply pointing out to Members that they've welcomed those announcements of where this money is going to go, and there are consequences financially to what resource is available. He says it's the job of Government to solve problems. I agree with him. I think we have managed to get ourselves some breathing space to work with the industry to see what we can do, and, if he has other suggestions that we haven't thought of, I'd be very grateful to hear them.

O na bai mor syml â hynny, Lywydd. Yn sicr, mae gennym gynllun ar gyfer deddfwriaeth, ac rydym wedi ymgynghori arno. Rydym yn gweithio drwy’r cynllun hwnnw ar hyn o bryd, ac rydym yn gobeithio ei gyflwyno yn y Senedd yn ddiweddarach eleni, ac yn ogystal â hynny, rydym yn gweithio gyda Trafnidiaeth Cymru ac awdurdodau lleol ar gynllunio’r rhwydweithiau bysiau gorau posibl ar gyfer eu cymunedau. Felly, bydd gennym rwydwaith bysiau integredig strategol, wedi'i gynllunio gyda thocynnau integredig rhwng trenau a bysiau. Bydd gennym safonau gwasanaeth cyffredinol. Bydd gennym gyflogau ac amodau ledled y wlad. Bydd gennym fframwaith llawer gwell er mwyn gweithredu gwasanaethau bysiau.

Ond yn absenoldeb refeniw teithwyr, a dyma’r broblem yma, yr unig ffordd i gadw’r gwasanaethau hynny i redeg yn y cyfamser yw drwy gefnogaeth uniongyrchol y cyhoedd, ac mae ein cyllidebau wedi’u torri ac rydym wedi blaenoriaethu pwysau costau byw, dyfarniadau cyflog a chinio ysgol am ddim a phethau eraill, a hynny’n gwbl briodol. Nid wyf yn gwrthwynebu hynny o gwbl, dim ond dweud wrth yr Aelodau eu bod wedi croesawu'r cyhoeddiadau hynny ynglŷn â lle bydd yr arian hwn yn mynd, a bod canlyniadau ariannol i ba adnoddau sydd ar gael. Dywed mai gwaith y Llywodraeth yw datrys problemau. Rwy'n cytuno ag ef. Credaf ein bod wedi llwyddo sicrhau rhywfaint o le inni anadlu wrth weithio gyda'r diwydiant i weld beth y gallwn ei wneud, ac os oes ganddo awgrymiadau eraill nad ydym wedi meddwl amdanynt, byddwn yn falch iawn o'u clywed.

Deputy Minister, one of the major issues of the initial announcement of the cut of emergency funding was the relatively short notice of it, which meant that some bus companies, especially smaller ones, did not have the necessary financial reserves to keep unprofitable but vital services open, and also the allotted time to change their services to accommodate, resulting in much uncertainty and worry. Last week, Deputy Minister, you spoke about the importance of bus routes and maintaining rural services in terms of meeting our carbon footprint requirements and reducing our reliance on cars. This was re-emphasised yesterday in your roads review announcement. But the inconsistent messaging from the Welsh Government about sustaining the long-term future of the bus network and our rural routes does nothing to assure bus companies or the general public of that importance.

With this in mind, Deputy Minister, do you recognise that this inconsistency in messaging and action is having a detrimental impact, not only on the survivability of bus routes, but the longer term planning and forecasting for rural services? What commitments do you make to provide better engagement with bus companies and the public to ensure longer lead-in times for future funding announcements? Thank you.

Ddirprwy Weinidog, un o broblemau mawr y cyhoeddiad cychwynnol am dorri'r cyllid brys oedd y rhybudd cymharol fyr, a olygai nad oedd gan rai cwmnïau bysiau, yn enwedig rhai llai, gronfeydd ariannol wrth gefn sy'n angenrheidiol i gadw gwasanaethau amhroffidiol ond hanfodol, ynghyd â'r amser digonol i newid eu gwasanaethau er mwyn darparu ar gyfer y newidiadau, gan arwain at gryn dipyn o ansicrwydd a phryder. Yr wythnos diwethaf, Ddirprwy Weinidog, fe sonioch chi am bwysigrwydd llwybrau bysiau a chynnal gwasanaethau gwledig i ateb gofynion ein hôl troed carbon a lleihau ein dibyniaeth ar geir. Cafodd hyn ei ailbwysleisio ddoe yn eich cyhoeddiad ar yr adolygiad ffyrdd. Ond nid yw’r negeseuon anghyson gan Lywodraeth Cymru ynghylch cynnal dyfodol hirdymor y rhwydwaith bysiau a’n llwybrau gwledig yn rhoi unrhyw sicrwydd i gwmnïau bysiau na’r cyhoedd yn gyffredinol ynghylch y pwysigrwydd hwnnw.

Gyda hyn mewn golwg, Ddirprwy Weinidog, a ydych yn cydnabod bod yr anghysondeb hwn yn y negeseuon a'r camau gweithredu yn cael effaith andwyol, nid yn unig ar allu’r llwybrau bysiau i oroesi, ond ar y rhagolygon a’r cynlluniau mwy hirdymor ar gyfer gwasanaethau gwledig? Pa ymrwymiadau rydych yn eu gwneud i ymgysylltu'n well â chwmnïau bysiau a’r cyhoedd i sicrhau cyfnodau rhybudd hwy ar gyfer cyhoeddiadau cyllido yn y dyfodol? Diolch.

Well, let's just be clear; the major threat to the bus industry is Tory austerity. So, let's not get away from that fact, and I'm not going to let the party opposite shift the blame for the situation we are facing. It's their Government's economic policies that have led us to this position.

Now, I don't accept his characterisation of the communication we've had with the bus industry, which we've worked very closely with through the pandemic and beyond. After the publication of the budget, officials met with operators to discuss its contents and its implications. This was followed up in writing, where it was made clear that the budget was draft and was subject to change prior to finalisation. Officials also made it clear that underspends from mandatory concessionary fares, because older people haven't come back in the numbers that we saw before the pandemic, may not be available to bus support because of other budget pressures across the Government, and industry was asked to plan for a reduced funding package during these meetings. So, I don't think it's fair to say that this was sprung on them. We knew that BES was coming to an end, we were doing our best to try and find resource to extend it for as long as possible, and we're in the position that we are in, but we've talked to the industry throughout.

Wel, gadewch inni fod yn glir; y bygythiad mawr i'r diwydiant bysiau yw cyni'r Torïaid. Felly, gadewch inni beidio ag ymgilio rhag y ffaith honno, ac nid wyf yn mynd i adael i'r blaid gyferbyn daflu'r baich am y sefyllfa rydym yn ei hwynebu. Polisïau economaidd eu Llywodraeth hwy sydd wedi ein harwain i'r sefyllfa hon.

Nawr, nid wyf yn derbyn ei ddisgrifiad o'r cyfathrebu rhyngom a'r diwydiant bysiau, a ninnau wedi gweithio'n agos iawn â hwy drwy gydol y pandemig a thu hwnt. Ar ôl cyhoeddi'r gyllideb, cyfarfu swyddogion â gweithredwyr i drafod ei chynnwys a'i goblygiadau. Dilynwyd hyn yn ysgrifenedig, lle nodwyd yn glir mai drafft a oedd y gyllideb ac y gallai newid cyn iddi gael ei chwblhau. Am nad yw pobl hŷn wedi dychwelyd yn y niferoedd a welsom cyn y pandemig, dywedodd swyddogion hefyd ei bod yn bosibl nad yw'r tanwariant o brisiau siwrneiau consesiynol gorfodol ar gael fel cymorth i fysiau oherwydd pwysau cyllidebol eraill ar draws y Llywodraeth, a gofynnwyd i’r diwydiant gynllunio ar gyfer pecyn ariannu llai yn ystod y cyfarfodydd hyn. Felly, ni chredaf ei bod yn deg dweud bod hyn wedi'i gyflwyno iddynt yn ddirybudd. Roeddem yn gwybod bod BES yn dod i ben, roeddem yn gwneud ein gorau i geisio dod o hyd i adnoddau i’w ymestyn cyhyd â phosibl, ac rydym yn y sefyllfa rydym ynddi, ond rydym wedi siarad â’r diwydiant drwy gydol y broses.

Dydy'r Llywodraeth yma ddim yn gwneud eironi, mae'n rhaid. Ar yr un llaw, ddoe, roedd y Dirprwy Weinidog yn cyhoeddi bod cynlluniau i adeiladu llawer iawn o ffyrdd gwledig Cymru am gael eu hatal, gan sôn bryd hwnnw am bwysigrwydd trafnidiaeth cyhoeddus a sut mae'r mwyaf difreintiedig, menywod, yr anabl a phobl bregus eraill sydd yn dibynnu fwyaf ar drafnidiaeth cyhoeddus a pha mor bwysig ydy o, felly. Yna, wrth drafod y cynllun argyfwng bysiau, fe ddywedodd yr un Dirprwy Weinidog na fyddai'r arian sy'n cael ei roi i fysiau Cymru yn ddigon i gynnal eu llwybrau a'r gwasanaethau presennol. Dydy o ddim mor hawdd neidio ar feic i seiclo i'r siop agosaf yn y Gymru wledig. Mae'n cymunedau ni bellteroedd oddi wrth ei gilydd, a gwasanaethau wedi cael eu canoli mewn ardaloedd ymhell i ffwrdd. Mae'n rhaid i bobl deithio pellteroedd mawr i weld meddyg, i weld deintydd, i dderbyn addysg, i siopa, i fynd i'r ganolfan hamdden, a llu o weithgareddau eraill. A bydd pobl oedrannus a bregus yn byw bywydau unig iawn yn sgil hyn.

Os na ariennir gwasanaethau bysiau yn iawn, yna mi fyddwch chi yn gorfodi mwy o bobl i ddibynnu ar geir preifat. Ac yn absenoldeb rhwydwaith o bwyntiau gwefru, yr hyn a welwn ni ydy gwlad fel Ciwba yn y Gymru wledig, efo pobl yn cynnal yr un hen geir tanwydd ffosil am ddegawdau i ddod. Ond, yn fyw na hynny, rydych chi'n rhoi hoelen arall yn arch y Gymru wledig, gan orfodi pobl i adael ein cymunedau i fyw yn rhywle arall oherwydd diffyg trafnidiaeth a mynediad at wasanaethau. Felly, a gawn ni sicrwydd y byddwch chi yn sicrhau bod y llwybrau presennol, o leiaf, yn cael eu cynnal, gyda buddsoddi go iawn yn digwydd yn y rhwydwaith fysiau yn y Gymru wledig pan ddaw y cyfle cyntaf posib?  

This Government doesn't do irony, surely. On the one hand, yesterday, the Deputy Minister announced that plans to build many rural roads in Wales were to be ceased, talking at that point about the importance of public transport and how the most disadvantaged, women, the disabled and vulnerable people are the most reliant on public transport, and how important it is, therefore. Then, in discussing the bus programme, the same Deputy Minister said that the funding provided to buses in Wales wouldn't be enough to maintain the current routes and services. Now, it's not as easy to jump on a bike and cycle to the nearest shop in rural Wales. Our communities are miles apart, and services are centred in areas that are a long way away. People have to travel long distances to see a GP, a dentist, to get their education, to shop, to go to a leisure centre and all sorts of other activities. And older people and vulnerable people will live very isolated lives as a result of this.

If bus services aren't properly funded, then you will force more people to rely on private vehicles. And in the absence of a network of charging points, what we will see is a nation like Cuba in rural Wales, with people sustaining the old fossil fuel vehicles for decades to come. But, more than that, you are putting another nail in the coffin of rural Wales, forcing people to leave their communities to live elsewhere because of an absence of transport and access to services. Therefore, can we have an assurance that you will ensure that the current routes, at least, are maintained, with real investment happening in the bus network in rural Wales when the first opportunity arises?

15:20

Well, I don't need any lectures on the importance of public transport and the vital role that buses play in rural areas. I really don’t see the point in flippant remarks about people not being able to cycle in rural areas. Who is suggesting that? So, let’s get serious about what the issues are here. We all are concerned about this. No party has a monopoly on that, and I think that my track record speaks for itself in understanding and valuing the importance of buses and of public transport.

We have a real budget problem here, and his party is a part of the co-operation agreement in agreeing the priorities for Government. So, there’s no point in him standing there, lecturing me about the consequences of the funding being available when, jointly together, we've agreed a set of budget priorities, and this wasn’t one of them. So, there are consequences to those choices. To govern is to choose, and he and his party have been part of that process, along with ours.

Now, we had hoped that the passenger numbers would have returned by now, which would have allowed the fare box to recover, and allowed us to put in the significant subsidy that we already do, but taper down the BES scheme. That has not been possible, and additional money has not come from the Treasury to be able to fill that gap. Now, we are still hopeful that the UK Government might respond to its own pressures and provide some emergency funding, which would allow us to extend the support that we give to the industry, which we want to redesign in any case. But, absent of that, unless he knows of some money down the back of the budget sofa that I don’t, then I think that our options are limited, which breaks my heart.

Wel, nid oes angen unrhyw bregethau arnaf ar bwysigrwydd trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus a’r rôl hanfodol y mae bysiau'n ei chwarae mewn ardaloedd gwledig. Nid wyf yn gweld pwynt sylwadau gwamal ynglŷn â phobl yn methu â beicio mewn ardaloedd gwledig. Pwy sy'n awgrymu hynny? Felly, gadewch inni drafod o ddifrif beth yw'r materion dan sylw yma. Mae pob un ohonom yn pryderu am hyn. Nid oes gan unrhyw blaid fonopoli ar hynny, a chredaf fod fy hanes o lwyddiant yn siarad drosto’i hun o ran deall a gwerthfawrogi pwysigrwydd bysiau a thrafnidiaeth gyhoeddus.

Mae gennym broblem gyllidebol wirioneddol yma, ac mae ei blaid yn rhan o’r cytundeb cydweithio sy'n cytuno ar y blaenoriaethau ar gyfer y Llywodraeth. Felly, nid oes unrhyw ddiben iddo sefyll yno, yn pregethu wrthyf am ganlyniadau'r cyllid sydd ar gael a ninnau wedi cytuno, gyda'n gilydd, ar gyfres o flaenoriaethau cyllidebol, ac nid oedd hyn yn un ohonynt. Felly, mae canlyniadau i’r dewisiadau hynny. Mae llywodraethu'n golygu dewis, ac mae ef a'i blaid wedi bod yn rhan o'r broses honno, ynghyd â'n plaid ninnau.

Nawr, roeddem wedi gobeithio y byddai nifer y teithwyr wedi dychwelyd erbyn hyn, a byddai hynny wedi caniatáu i'r gweithredwyr adennill rhywfaint o arian, ac wedi caniatáu inni ddarparu'r cymhorthdal sylweddol rydym eisoes yn ei ddarparu, ond gan leihau cynllun BES yn raddol. Nid yw hynny wedi bod yn bosibl, ac nid oes arian ychwanegol wedi'i ddarparu gan y Trysorlys i allu llenwi’r bwlch hwnnw. Nawr, rydym yn dal yn obeithiol y gallai Llywodraeth y DU ymateb i’r pwysau sydd arni hi a darparu rhywfaint o gyllid brys, a fyddai’n caniatáu inni ymestyn y cymorth a roddwn i’r diwydiant, diwydiant rydym yn awyddus i'w ailgynllunio beth bynnag. Ond yn absenoldeb hynny, oni bai ei fod yn gwybod am arian i lawr cefn soffa'r gyllideb nad wyf yn ymwybodol ohono, credaf fod ein hopsiynau'n gyfyngedig, ac mae hynny'n torri fy nghalon.

Can I thank Delyth for raising this topical question, and also for the way that she raised it, when she expressed not only her support for the roads review yesterday, and the principles behind it, but also tied this into the other side of that coin, which is providing the multi-modal, sustainable other forms of transport, which this topical question focuses on today?

I cannot give the Minister any easy solutions whatsoever, and I know the bind that he's in. But would he join me in urging all Members of this Senedd Chamber who are demanding more money to sustain this beyond the welcome few months’ breathing space that we have got, to then support representations to the UK Government, who are seeing bus companies threatening to walk away today, not in three months’ time? But also, genuinely, to Plaid Cymru, to say: if there is a way in which we can sequence, renegotiate, nuance some of the aspects of co-operation agreement that would help that Minister go through—[Interruption.] Now, this is a genuine ask for you to look at it, because, if we are serious about maintaining the bus network in Wales, which everybody seems to be, then everything needs to be on the table. So, would he join me in those calls? But, as you've made clear, Minister, it’s not all to do with money. It’s also to do with re-regulation and taking back the disaster of the deregulation under the Conservative Government.

A gaf fi ddiolch i Delyth am godi’r cwestiwn amserol hwn, a hefyd am y ffordd y’i cododd, pan fynegodd nid yn unig ei chefnogaeth i’r adolygiad ffyrdd ddoe, a’r egwyddorion y tu ôl iddo, ond gan wneud cysylltiad hefyd rhwng hyn ac ochr arall y geiniog honno, sef darparu’r mathau eraill o drafnidiaeth aml-ddull, cynaliadwy, y mae’r cwestiwn amserol hwn yn canolbwyntio arnynt heddiw?

Ni allaf roi unrhyw atebion hawdd o gwbl i’r Gweinidog, ac rwy'n deall y cyfyng-gyngor y mae ynddo. Ond a wnaiff ymuno â mi i annog pob Aelod o Siambr y Senedd hon sy’n mynnu mwy o arian i gynnal hyn y tu hwnt i’r ychydig fisoedd o le i anadlu rydym wedi'u cael, sydd i’w croesawu, i gefnogi sylwadau i Lywodraeth y DU, sy'n gweld cwmnïau bysiau'n bygwth cerdded i ffwrdd heddiw, nid ymhen tri mis? Ond hefyd, o ddifrif, i ddweud wrth Blaid Cymru: os oes ffordd y gallwn drefnu, ailnegodi, a thrafod manylion rhai o'r agweddau ar y cytundeb cydweithio a fyddai'n helpu'r Gweinidog i fynd drwy—[Torri ar draws.] Nawr, mae hwn yn gais gwirioneddol ichi edrych arno, oherwydd, os ydym o ddifrif ynglŷn â chynnal y rhwydwaith bysiau yng Nghymru, fel yr ymddengys bod pawb, mae angen i bopeth fod ar y bwrdd. Felly, a wnaiff ymuno â mi gyda'r galwadau hynny? Ond fel rydych wedi dweud yn glir, Weinidog, nid yw popeth yn ymwneud ag arian. Mae hefyd yn ymwneud ag ailreoleiddio ac unioni trychineb dadreoleiddio o dan y Llywodraeth Geidwadol.

Thank you for that. I think that we do have the right long-term plans, both from the roads review to reallocate funding in the medium to long term, and the re-regulation of the bus industry. Our problem is a short-term one, and the Member rightly points out that the Government in England has not extended by three months its support, as we have, and so the cliff edge is faced there now. And because of the nature of the commercial set-up, it's simply up to operators to surrender their routes in a completely random and uncoordinated way. What we’re trying to do is to have some kind of order and some stability so we can have a rational discussion about what routes might be salvageable if the fare book doesn’t recover, and we’re still hopeful that it might. But, in the absence of additional funding, then our options are very limited. But we’re going to try and do what we can in the time we’ve got and with the money we’ve got to get the best possible outcome, while crossing our fingers that there might be a UK-wide funding settlement that allows us to do more.

Diolch. Credaf fod gennym y cynlluniau hirdymor cywir, o’r adolygiad ffyrdd i ailddyrannu cyllid yn y tymor canolig i'r tymor hir, ac ailreoleiddio’r diwydiant bysiau. Mae ein problem yn un fyrdymor, ac mae’r Aelod, yn gwbl gywir, yn nodi nad yw’r Llywodraeth yn Lloegr wedi ymestyn ei chymorth am dri mis fel rydym ni wedi'i wneud, ac felly, maent yn wynebu ymyl clogwyn yno ar hyn o bryd. Ac oherwydd natur y drefn fasnachol, gall y gweithredwyr ildio eu llwybrau teithio mewn ffordd gwbl ar hap a heb ei chydlynu. Yr hyn y ceisiwn ni ei wneud yw cael rhyw fath o drefn a rhywfaint o sefydlogrwydd fel y gallwn gael trafodaeth resymol ynglŷn â pha lwybrau y gellid eu hachub os nad yw arian tocynnau'n gwella, ac rydym yn dal yn obeithiol y gellir gwneud hynny. Ond yn absenoldeb cyllid ychwanegol, mae ein hopsiynau'n gyfyngedig iawn. Ond rydym yn mynd i geisio gwneud yr hyn a allwn yn yr amser sydd gennym a chyda'r arian sydd gennym i sicrhau'r canlyniad gorau posibl, gan groesi ein bysedd am setliad ariannu ar gyfer y DU gyfan sy'n caniatáu inni wneud mwy.

15:25

Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd, and thank you for letting me come in on this. The chief executive of Neath Port Talbot council wrote to me regarding the possible devastating impact of the Government’s decision around this on a number of local bus services, and I just want to make the point that it’s not just rural bus services, but services in counties like Neath Port Talbot, and she’s particularly concerned about the impact on young people attending school or college. Student transport to Neath Port Talbot College is via the local bus network, and the routes operate on a commercial basis. She thinks that this route will be made unviable, which will of course lead to unintended consequences across the wider network. There’s a very real possibility that reductions in revenue support will impact on home-to-school transport services as operators reduce their capacity, close their business or increase contract prices to compensate. In the last few days, and even just literally before coming to the Chamber, I’ve heard from residents who rely on buses, who are really concerned about this—a mother concerned about her son’s bus to school, a daughter concerned about her mother’s bus to hospital. I just want to know what assurances you can give the people of Neath Port Talbot that their bus services will remain in place.

Diolch, Ddirprwy Lywydd, a diolch am adael imi wneud sylwadau ar hyn. Ysgrifennodd prif weithredwr cyngor Castell-nedd Port Talbot ataf ynglŷn ag effaith ddinistriol bosibl penderfyniad y Llywodraeth ynghylch hyn ar nifer o wasanaethau bysiau lleol, a hoffwn wneud y pwynt fod hyn yn ymwneud â mwy na gwasanaethau bysiau gwledig yn unig, ond â gwasanaethau mewn siroedd fel Castell-nedd Port Talbot hefyd, ac mae hi'n arbennig o bryderus am yr effaith ar bobl ifanc sy'n mynychu ysgol neu goleg. Mae cludiant myfyrwyr i Goleg Castell-nedd Port Talbot yn cael ei ddarparu drwy'r rhwydwaith bysiau lleol, ac mae'r llwybrau'n gweithredu ar sail fasnachol. Mae hi o'r farn y bydd y llwybr hwn yn cael ei wneud yn anhyfyw, a fydd wrth gwrs yn arwain at ganlyniadau anfwriadol ar draws y rhwydwaith ehangach. Mae posibilrwydd gwirioneddol y bydd gostyngiadau mewn cymorth refeniw yn effeithio ar wasanaethau cludiant o'r cartref i'r ysgol wrth i weithredwyr leihau eu capasiti, cau eu busnesau neu gynyddu prisiau contract i wneud iawn am yr arian a gollwyd. Yn ystod yr ychydig ddyddiau diwethaf, a hyd yn oed yn llythrennol cyn dod i'r Siambr, clywais gan drigolion sy'n dibynnu ar fysiau ac sy'n wirioneddol bryderus am hyn—mam yn pryderu am fws ei mab i'r ysgol, merch yn poeni am fws ei mam i'r ysbyty. Hoffwn wybod pa sicrwydd y gallwch ei roi i bobl Castell-nedd Port Talbot y bydd eu gwasanaethau bysiau yn parhau.

Well, as I’ve now explained several times, I’m not in a position to give any assurances beyond the extra three months that we have been able to negotiate. But I desperately hope we’ll be able to both come up with a transition plan, but really what we need is additional funding for us to be able to sustain the bus network while passenger numbers recover and while we move to our new, regulated bus system.

Wel, fel rwyf wedi'i egluro sawl gwaith bellach, nid wyf mewn sefyllfa i roi unrhyw sicrwydd y tu hwnt i’r tri mis ychwanegol rydym wedi gallu eu negodi. Ond rwy’n mawr obeithio y byddwn yn gallu llunio cynllun pontio, ond mewn gwirionedd, yr hyn sydd ei angen arnom yw cyllid ychwanegol inni allu cynnal y rhwydwaith bysiau wrth i nifer y teithwyr ddychwelyd a thra byddwn yn symud i’n system fysiau reoledig newydd.

Thank you, Presiding Officer. As you know, I wasn’t going to speak in this debate, but I think there are three issues that have come up now that I feel I've got to make. To many of my constituents—in fact, most of my constituents—public transport is buses. Eighty per cent of transport is by bus. Morriston Hospital, as you know, Presiding Officer, or Deputy Presiding Officer, is incredibly difficult to get to, but it’s good by bus, because we’ve got the No. 4. I have two questions, really, for the Minister. Why do trains take priority over buses? To the poorer people, buses are their form of transport. Trains are for the wealthier people. And you say: where do we get the money from? Well, you’ve going to give additional rate relief to large hotels, out-of-town shopping centres, fast food outlets, supermarkets. You've never asked me about that as a Government. In fact, if you had, I’d have said, ‘No, we don’t do that. We should spend it on public services’, and I think that there’s a whole range of things that we could not be spending money on. Spending money on rate relief for large companies who are very profitable is not my idea of a priority, and certainly not a socialist priority.

Diolch, Lywydd. Fel y gwyddoch, nid oeddwn yn mynd i siarad yn y ddadl hon, ond credaf fod tri pheth wedi codi nawr y teimlaf fod yn rhaid i mi eu nodi. I lawer o fy etholwyr—y rhan fwyaf o fy etholwyr, mewn gwirionedd—mae trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus yn golygu bysiau. Mae 80 y cant o gludiant yn digwydd ar fws. Mae Ysbyty Treforys, fel y gwyddoch, Lywydd, neu Ddirprwy Lywydd, yn anhygoel o anodd ei gyrraedd, ond mae’n iawn ar y bws, gan fod gennym y Rhif 4. Mae gennyf ddau gwestiwn i’r Gweinidog mewn gwirionedd. Pam mae trenau'n cael blaenoriaeth dros fysiau? I bobl dlotach, bysiau yw eu dull o deithio. Mae trenau ar gyfer bobl fwy cefnog. Ac rydych yn dweud: o ble y daw'r arian? Wel, rydych yn mynd i roi rhyddhad ardrethi ychwanegol i westai mawr, canolfannau siopa y tu allan i'r dref, siopau bwyd cyflym, archfarchnadoedd. Nid ydych erioed wedi gofyn i mi ynglŷn â hynny fel Llywodraeth. Mewn gwirionedd, pe baech chi wedi gofyn i mi, byddwn wedi dweud, 'Na, nid ydym yn gwneud hynny. Dylem ei wario ar wasanaethau cyhoeddus', a chredaf fod ystod eang o bethau y gallem beidio â gwario arian arnynt. Nid gwario arian ar ryddhad ardrethi i gwmnïau mawr sy’n broffidiol iawn yw fy syniad i o flaenoriaeth, ac yn sicr, nid yw’n flaenoriaeth sosialaidd.

Well, I understand those points, obviously. In terms of the relative priority of buses versus trains, clearly we need both. We need an integrated transport system. I think it’s wrong to characterise train users as somehow the privileged elite—that