Y Cyfarfod Llawn



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 drwy gynhadledd fideo am 13:30 gyda'r Llywydd (Elin Jones) yn y Gadair. 

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

Datganiad gan y Llywydd
Statement by the Llywydd

Prynhawn da a chroeso, bawb.

Good afternoon and welcome.

Before we start formally, I'm sure we've all seen on the news today that Seth Burke, one of our newly elected youth parliamentarians, spent many weeks in hospital over Christmas with COVID. We're glad to know that Seth is now home and all of us, as Senedd Members, I'm sure are wishing Seth a very speedy recovery and hope very much that he, along with his fellow Senedd Members of the Youth Parliament, will be able to attend the first sitting of the new Youth Parliament when it meets virtually in mid February.

Cyn inni ddechrau’n ffurfiol, rwy’n siŵr fod pob un ohonom wedi gweld ar y newyddion heddiw fod Seth Burke, un o'r Aelodau sydd newydd eu hethol i'n Senedd Ieuenctid, wedi treulio wythnosau lawer yn yr ysbyty dros y Nadolig gyda COVID. Rydym yn falch o wybod bod Seth gartref bellach, ac rwy'n siŵr fod pob un ohonom, fel Aelodau’r Senedd, yn dymuno gwellhad buan iawn i Seth ac yn gobeithio’n fawr y bydd ef, ynghyd â’i gyd-Aelodau o'r Senedd Ieuenctid, yn gallu mynychu cyfarfod cyntaf y Senedd Ieuenctid newydd pan fydd yn cyfarfod yn rhithiol ganol mis Chwefror.

Felly, pob hwyl i Seth a phawb.

Cyn yr eitem gyntaf, dwi angen nodi ychydig o bwyntiau, fel arfer. Mae Cyfarfod Llawn a gynhelir drwy gynhadledd fideo, yn unol â Rheolau Sefydlog Senedd Cymru, yn gyfystyr â thrafodion y Senedd at ddibenion Deddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006. Bydd rhai o ddarpariaethau Rheol Sefydlog 34 yn gymwys ar gyfer y cyfarfod yma, ac mae'r rheini wedi eu nodi ar eich agenda chi. 

So, I wish Seth and everyone else well.

Before we move to the first item, I do need to set out a few points. A Plenary meeting held using video-conference, in accordance with the Standing Orders of the Welsh Parliament, constitutes Senedd proceedings for the purposes of the Government of Wales Act 2006. Some of the provisions of Standing Order 34 will apply for today's meeting, and these are set out on your agenda. 

1. Cwestiynau i’r Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol
1. Questions to the Minister for Social Justice

Felly, yr eitem gyntaf y prynhawn yma yw'r cwestiynau i'r Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol, ac mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Joel James.

The first item this afternoon is questions to the Minister for Social Justice, and the first question is from Joel James.

Deddfwriaeth Gwrth-gaethwasiaeth
Anti-slavery Legislation

1. Pa asesiad y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud o effaith deddfwriaeth gwrth-gaethwasiaeth sy'n effeithio ar Gymru? OQ57402

1. What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the impact of anti-slavery legislation that affects Wales? OQ57402

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 has improved the focus on identifying and tackling the risk of modern slavery, supporting survivors and bringing perpetrators to justice. We are working with the Home Office and partners in Wales to review the modern slavery strategy and better understand the impact of the Act.

Mae Deddf Caethwasiaeth Fodern 2015 wedi gwella’r ffocws ar nodi a mynd i’r afael â pheryglon caethwasiaeth fodern, rhoi cymorth i oroeswyr a dod â chyflawnwyr o flaen eu gwell. Rydym yn gweithio gyda’r Swyddfa Gartref a phartneriaid yng Nghymru i adolygu’r strategaeth caethwasiaeth fodern a deall effaith y Ddeddf yn well.

Thank you, Deputy Minister, and, as you know, the Modern Slavery Act UK specifies that companies with a turnover of £36 million or more need to declare the measures that they're taking to stop slavery in their supply chains. More recent developments by the UK Government in 2020 have, in what was a world first, extended this requirement to all public bodies and local authorities in England and Wales that also have budgets of over £36 million. 

As the Deputy Minister will know, Wales has comparatively few private companies that actually meet the £36 million threshold, and, as one of the lead Ministers for anti-slavery in Wales, I believe it's your responsibility to make the case to the UK Government for this threshold to be changed to incorporate more Welsh businesses. In the first instance, can the Deputy Minister explain what specific attempts this Government has made to have this £36 million threshold changed to be more applicable to Welsh businesses? And, secondly, can the Deputy Minister explain what contribution she and the Minister have made personally, as leads on anti-slavery, to justify this role within their ministerial portfolios? Thank you.

Diolch, Ddirprwy Weinidog, ac fel y gwyddoch, mae Deddf Caethwasiaeth Fodern y DU yn nodi bod angen i gwmnïau a chanddynt drosiant o £36 miliwn neu fwy ddatgan y camau y maent yn eu cymryd i atal caethwasiaeth yn eu cadwyni cyflenwi. Mae datblygiadau mwy diweddar gan Lywodraeth y DU yn 2020, y cyntaf o'u bath drwy'r byd, wedi ymestyn y gofyniad hwn i gynnwys pob corff cyhoeddus ac awdurdod lleol yng Nghymru a Lloegr a chanddynt gyllidebau o dros £36 miliwn.

Fel y gŵyr y Dirprwy Weinidog, cymharol ychydig o gwmnïau preifat yng Nghymru sy’n cyrraedd y trothwy hwnnw o £36 miliwn, ac fel un o’r Gweinidogion arweiniol dros atal caethwasiaeth yng Nghymru, credaf mai eich cyfrifoldeb chi yw dadlau'r achos i Lywodraeth y DU dros newid y trothwy hwn fel ei fod yn cynnwys mwy o fusnesau Cymru. I gychwyn, a all y Dirprwy Weinidog egluro pa ymdrechion penodol y mae’r Llywodraeth hon wedi’u gwneud i newid y trothwy £36 miliwn hwn i fod yn fwy perthnasol i fusnesau Cymru? Ac yn ail, a all y Dirprwy Weinidog egluro pa gyfraniad y mae'r Gweinidog a hithau wedi’i wneud yn bersonol, fel arweinwyr ar atal caethwasiaeth, i gyfiawnhau’r rôl hon yn eu portffolios gweinidogol? Diolch.

Can I thank the Member for his question and his interest in this issue? I'm sure Members across the Senedd floor can agree this is something that there should be consensus and cross-party work on given the very nature of the subject matter and the challenges that we face. And whilst modern slavery is a reserved matter under the Government of Wales Act 2006, we have, through the course of this Act coming into place, worked both with the UK Government very closely and with partners in Wales. We are part of the Wales anti-slavery leadership group and we also work closely—. We were part of the review of the strategy that it's currently undertaking. I will certainly take away some of the points that the Member raised today in terms of that review and the ongoing conversations we are having with UK Government counterparts.

And I should perhaps at this point just refer to some of the things that we have already done in Wales, and that's our code of practice on ethical employment in supply chains and with our work around modern slavery and fair work and social partnership, we're also looking at a review and a refresh of that strategy to see how we can strengthen it further in the future.

A gaf fi ddiolch i’r Aelod am ei gwestiwn a’i ddiddordeb yn y mater hwn? Rwy’n siŵr y gall Aelodau ar draws y Senedd gytuno y dylid cael consensws a gwaith trawsbleidiol ar hyn o ystyried natur y pwnc dan sylw a’r heriau sy’n ein hwynebu. Ac er bod caethwasiaeth fodern yn fater a gedwir yn ôl o dan Ddeddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006, wrth i’r Ddeddf hon ddod i rym, rydym wedi gweithio’n agos iawn gyda Llywodraeth y DU a chyda phartneriaid yng Nghymru. Rydym yn rhan o'r grŵp arwain atal caethwasiaeth yng Nghymru ac rydym hefyd yn gweithio’n agos—. Roeddem yn rhan o’r adolygiad o’r strategaeth y mae’n ei gynnal ar hyn o bryd. Byddaf yn sicr yn ystyried rhai o'r pwyntiau a gododd yr Aelod heddiw mewn perthynas â'r adolygiad hwnnw a'r sgyrsiau parhaus rydym yn eu cael gyda'n swyddogion cyfatebol yn Llywodraeth y DU.

Ac efallai y dylwn gyfeirio ar y pwynt hwn at rai o'r pethau rydym wedi'u gwneud yng Nghymru eisoes, sef ein cod ymarfer ar gyflogaeth foesegol mewn cadwyni cyflenwi a'n gwaith ar gaethwasiaeth fodern a'r bartneriaeth gymdeithasol a gwaith teg, ac rydym hefyd yn ystyried adolygu ac adnewyddu’r strategaeth honno i weld sut y gallwn ei chryfhau ymhellach yn y dyfodol.

We should recognise, of course, that Wales has led the way in the UK on tackling modern slavery. We were the first country in the UK to appoint an anti-trafficking lead when Carl Sargeant was Minister, and that role has been supported by groups like Bawso and the Welsh Refugee Council, which bring a victim-focused expertise. And now we also have Jeff Cuthbert spearheading the police and crime commissioner response. So, Wales has a good story to tell. As you've mentioned, Minister, we have the code of practice on ethical employment in supply chains, and that is also key. But we are also subject to UK legislation. I have serious concerns about the UK's Nationality and Borders Bill, which leading charities have condemned as overtly racist and which surely threatens our status as a nation of sanctuary with its punitive time limits for trafficking victims and others to bring forward their cases. So, is the Welsh Government assessing the Bill to see how Wales might close the victim support gaps that it will inevitably open?

Dylem gydnabod, wrth gwrs, fod Cymru wedi arwain y ffordd yn y DU ar fynd i’r afael â chaethwasiaeth fodern. Ni oedd y wlad gyntaf yn y DU i benodi arweinydd atal masnachu pobl pan oedd Carl Sargeant yn Weinidog, ac mae’r rôl honno wedi’i chefnogi gan grwpiau fel Bawso a Chyngor Ffoaduriaid Cymru, sy’n darparu arbenigedd sy’n canolbwyntio ar ddioddefwyr. A bellach, mae gennym Jeff Cuthbert yn arwain ymateb y comisiynwyr heddlu a throseddu. Felly, mae gan Gymru hanes da i’w adrodd. Fel rydych wedi sôn, Weinidog, mae gennym god ymarfer ar gyflogaeth foesegol mewn cadwyni cyflenwi, ac mae hwnnw’n allweddol hefyd. Ond rydym hefyd yn ddarostyngedig i ddeddfwriaeth y DU. Mae gennyf bryderon difrifol ynghylch Bil Cenedligrwydd a Ffiniau y DU a gondemniwyd gan elusennau blaenllaw fel un sy’n amlwg yn hiliol ac sy’n sicr yn bygwth ein statws fel cenedl noddfa gyda’i derfynau amser cosbol i ddioddefwyr masnachu pobl ac eraill gyflwyno eu hachosion. Felly, a yw Llywodraeth Cymru yn asesu’r Bil, i weld sut y gallai Cymru gau’r bylchau anochel y bydd yn eu creu o ran cymorth i ddioddefwyr?


Y Gweinidog i ateb.

The Minister to respond.

The Deputy Minister to respond. Yes, carry on, Hannah Blythyn.

Y Dirprwy Weinidog i ymateb. Ie, ewch yn eich blaen, Hannah Blythyn.

Diolch, Llywydd. Can I thank the Member again for her work in this area—the work of the cross-party Senedd group on human trafficking? I know Welsh Government officials have recently met with the group to see how we can work collaboratively again across the Senedd, and across Government, and with partners across Wales. And the Member, Joyce Watson, rightly refers to the work of the PCC Jeff Cuthbert now, as the designated lead in this area and how we actually work together. And the Member highlights concerns around the Nationality and Borders Bill, and you know that both my colleagues the Minister for Social Justice and the Counsel General issued a written statement in December, shortly before the recess, making clear the Welsh Government's very strong concerns in this area, and the way in which it might undermine some of the work we are doing around the nation of sanctuary, not to mention around modern slavery. We are concerned that the Bill conflates modern slavery with immigration issues and risks creating additional barriers to the identification and provision of support to modern slavery victims. We are calling very strongly on the UK Government to change course on this, and we'll continue to do what we can do within Wales, implementing the code of practice and working with those bodies that aren't devolved as well, and with our police and crime commissioner colleagues and with local authorities, to make sure that we do tackle these pernicious practices in Wales.

Diolch, Lywydd. A gaf fi ddiolch eto i’r Aelod am ei gwaith yn y maes hwn—gwaith grŵp trawsbleidiol y Senedd ar fasnachu pobl? Gwn fod swyddogion Llywodraeth Cymru wedi cyfarfod â’r grŵp yn ddiweddar i weld sut y gallwn gydweithio unwaith eto ar draws y Senedd, ac ar draws y Llywodraeth, a chyda phartneriaid ledled Cymru. Ac mae'r Aelod, Joyce Watson, yn iawn i gyfeirio at waith y Comisiynydd Heddlu a Throseddu, Jeff Cuthbert, fel yr arweinydd dynodedig yn y maes hwn a'r ffordd rydym yn gweithio gyda'n gilydd. Ac mae'r Aelod yn tynnu sylw at bryderon ynghylch y Bil Cenedligrwydd a Ffiniau, ac fe wyddoch fod fy nghyd-Aelodau, y Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol a'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol, wedi cyhoeddi datganiad ysgrifenedig ym mis Rhagfyr, ychydig cyn y toriad, yn nodi pryderon dybryd Llywodraeth Cymru yn y maes, a’r ffordd y gallai danseilio peth o’r gwaith rydym yn ei wneud mewn perthynas â'r genedl noddfa, heb sôn am gaethwasiaeth fodern. Rydym yn poeni bod y Bil yn cyfuno caethwasiaeth fodern â materion mewnfudo ac y gallai greu rhwystrau ychwanegol rhag nodi achosion a darparu cymorth i ddioddefwyr caethwasiaeth fodern. Rydym yn galw’n gryf iawn ar Lywodraeth y DU i ddilyn llwybr gwahanol ar hyn, a byddwn yn parhau i wneud popeth a allwn yng Nghymru, gan weithredu’r cod ymarfer a gweithio gyda’r cyrff nad ydynt wedi’u datganoli hefyd, a chyda’n comisiynwyr heddlu a throseddu a chydag awdurdodau lleol, i sicrhau ein bod yn mynd i’r afael â’r arferion niweidiol hyn yng Nghymru.

Elusennau a'r Sector Gwirfoddol
Charities and the Voluntary Sector

2. Sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn cefnogi elusennau a'r sector gwirfoddol yn ystod pandemig COVID-19? OQ57420

2. How is the Welsh Government supporting charities and the voluntary sector during the COVID-19 pandemic? OQ57420

We have provided over £40 million in additional funding to voluntary sector organisations since the start of the pandemic. And the Welsh Government also provides core funding for the Wales Council for Voluntary Action and county voluntary councils to enable them to support local voluntary organisations and volunteering groups across Wales.

Rydym wedi darparu dros £40 miliwn mewn cyllid ychwanegol i sefydliadau’r sector gwirfoddol ers dechrau’r pandemig. Ac mae Llywodraeth Cymru hefyd yn darparu cyllid craidd ar gyfer Cyngor Gweithredu Gwirfoddol Cymru a chynghorau gwirfoddol sirol i’w galluogi i gefnogi sefydliadau gwirfoddol lleol a grwpiau gwirfoddol ledled Cymru.

Thank you, Minister, for your response. Charities and the wider voluntary sector have played a vital role in supporting our communities throughout the pandemic. And I would like to place on record my appreciation of the fantastic army of volunteers across Wales who have gone above and beyond to help us through these difficult times. However, the sector has experienced significant financial pressures as a result of the pandemic, with the WCVA recently estimating that voluntary organisations have lost around £600 million in income, whilst around a quarter of small charities have no reserves, yet demand for these services has increased by around 67 per cent since April 2021. Now, I acknowledge the support previously provided by the Welsh Government to help plug some of these financial shortfalls, as well as the additional £7 million for the next three years that was recently announced. But it's clear that further support is needed to help the sector recover whilst fundraising activities are limited by the current public health restrictions and demand for services is so high. Minister, what additional support is the Government looking to provide to the voluntary sector over the next year to ensure that organisations can continue to support our communities? Thank you.

Diolch am eich ymateb, Weinidog. Mae elusennau a’r sector gwirfoddol ehangach wedi chwarae rhan hanfodol yn cefnogi ein cymunedau drwy gydol y pandemig. A hoffwn gofnodi fy mod yn gwerthfawrogi’r fyddin wych o wirfoddolwyr ledled Cymru sydd wedi mynd y tu hwnt i'r galw i’n helpu drwy’r cyfnod anodd hwn. Fodd bynnag, mae’r sector wedi wynebu pwysau ariannol sylweddol o ganlyniad i’r pandemig, gyda CGGC yn amcangyfrif yn ddiweddar fod sefydliadau gwirfoddol wedi colli oddeutu £600 miliwn o incwm, ac nad oes gan oddeutu chwarter yr elusennau bach gronfeydd wrth gefn, ond serch hynny, mae'r galw am y gwasanaethau hyn wedi cynyddu oddeutu 67 y cant ers mis Ebrill 2021. Nawr, rwy’n cydnabod y cymorth a ddarparwyd yn flaenorol gan Lywodraeth Cymru i helpu i fynd i'r afael â rhywfaint o’r diffygion ariannol hyn, yn ogystal â’r £7 miliwn ychwanegol a gyhoeddwyd yn ddiweddar ar gyfer y tair blynedd nesaf. Ond mae'n amlwg fod angen cymorth pellach i helpu'r sector i ymadfer tra bo'r cyfyngiadau presennol ar iechyd y cyhoedd yn cyfyngu ar weithgareddau codi arian a'r galw am wasanaethau mor uchel. Weinidog, pa gymorth ychwanegol y mae’r Llywodraeth yn bwriadu ei ddarparu i’r sector gwirfoddol dros y flwyddyn nesaf i sicrhau y gall sefydliadau barhau i gefnogi ein cymunedau? Diolch.

I'd like to thank the Member for this very important question, because we've seen, as you said, Peter Fox, throughout the pandemic that strong and independent voluntary sector critical to the well-being of Wales and our communities, and that culture of volunteering proving itself with so many coming forward to support people, neighbours and communities. So, just to confirm, last year, we did launch the third phase of the third sector resilience fund, with over £4 million to help viable voluntary sector organisations survive—and that's the key point of your questions—and be sustained through the pandemic and be resilient. And this has since been increased from £4 million to £7.2 million. Of course, that is crucial to ensuring that we also have an extra £1 million for our volunteering Wales grant, to support those who are coming forward in this way, but working very closely with the third sector partnership council in terms of the way forward and for the recovery and the resilience of the third sector. We are supporting the third sector in every way we can—nationally, regionally and locally.

Hoffwn ddiolch i’r Aelod am ei gwestiwn pwysig iawn, oherwydd rydym wedi gweld, fel y dywedoch chi, Peter Fox, drwy gydol y pandemig, y sector gwirfoddol cryf ac annibynnol hwnnw sy’n hollbwysig i les Cymru a’n cymunedau, a'r diwylliant o wirfoddoli yn dod i'r amlwg wrth i gymaint o bobl fynd ati i gynorthwyo pobl, cymdogion a chymunedau. Felly, i gadarnhau, y llynedd, fe wnaethom lansio trydydd cam cronfa gwydnwch y trydydd sector, gyda dros £4 miliwn i helpu sefydliadau hyfyw'r sector gwirfoddol i oroesi—a dyna bwynt allweddol eich cwestiynau—a chael eu cynnal drwy'r pandemig, a bod yn wydn. Ac ers hynny, mae'r swm wedi'i gynyddu o £4 miliwn i £7.2 miliwn. Wrth gwrs, mae hynny’n hollbwysig i sicrhau bod gennym hefyd £1 filiwn ychwanegol ar gyfer ein grant gwirfoddoli Cymru, i gefnogi’r rheini sy’n cynnig eu cymorth yn y ffordd hon, ond gan weithio’n agos iawn gyda chyngor partneriaeth y trydydd sector ar y ffordd ymlaen ac ar gyfer adferiad a gwydnwch y trydydd sector. Rydym yn cefnogi’r trydydd sector ym mhob ffordd y gallwn—yn genedlaethol, yn rhanbarthol ac yn lleol.


Gweinidog, as chair of the cross-party group on dementia, I've heard some very difficult accounts from individuals within the voluntary sector who are providing support to people living with dementia and other debilitating conditions, and a regular complaint that they have is that they don't feel like a valued colleague and do not receive effective communication from local authorities and other statutory services. Volunteers for charities such as the Alzheimer's Society are expected to pick up the pieces with very limited information and support, and a real concern that they have is that that's leading people to fall between the cracks, and also leading to volunteers to walk away because they don't get the support that they need. I understand, Minister, that this is an issue that probably cuts across a number of different portfolios, but will the Minister discuss with her fellow Ministers, and with local authorities and statutory services, how best to support the services provided by charities, provided by volunteers, during this very challenging period? Diolch yn fawr.  

Weinidog, fel cadeirydd y grŵp trawsbleidiol ar ddementia, rwyf wedi clywed adroddiadau anodd iawn gan unigolion yn y sector gwirfoddol sy’n darparu cymorth i bobl sy’n byw gyda dementia a chyflyrau gwanychol eraill, ac un o'u cwynion rheolaidd yw nad ydynt yn teimlo eu bod yn cael eu gwerthfawrogi fel cydweithwyr, ac nad yw awdurdodau lleol a gwasanaethau statudol eraill yn cyfathrebu'n effeithiol gyda hwy. Mae disgwyl i wirfoddolwyr elusennau fel Cymdeithas Alzheimer's unioni'r sefyllfa heb fawr ddim gwybodaeth a chymorth, ac maent yn wirioneddol bryderus fod hynny’n arwain at bobl yn cwympo drwy'r bylchau, ac yn arwain at wirfoddolwyr yn rhoi'r gorau iddi gan nad ydynt yn cael y cymorth sydd ei angen arnynt. Rwy'n deall, Weinidog, fod hwn yn fater sy'n perthyn i nifer o bortffolios gwahanol yn ôl pob tebyg, ond a wnaiff y Gweinidog drafod gyda’i chyd-Weinidogion, a chydag awdurdodau lleol a gwasanaethau statudol, sut i fynd ati yn y ffordd orau i gefnogi’r gwasanaethau a ddarperir gan elusennau, a ddarperir gan wirfoddolwyr, yn ystod y cyfnod heriol hwn? Diolch yn fawr.

Diolch yn fawr, Rhys ab Owen. That is a crucial part of the way we work with the voluntary sector. In fact, we pioneered the voluntary sector partnership scheme, which actually means that all sectors, and that includes the health and social care sector, meet with Ministers, meet with the health and social services Ministers, to look at those specific issues, because it is cross-government, as you say, in terms of those needs, but particularly during the pandemic, reaching out, particularly in relation to dementia services, to those who are working in the sector. So, my officials are working with health officials to review the strategic direction for the third sector support and investment in relation to those charities that you identified today. And that's, of course, nationally, but, locally, your voluntary councils—all those across Wales—have a key part to play in terms of supporting local providers as well. 

Diolch yn fawr, Rhys ab Owen. Mae hynny’n rhan hollbwysig o’r ffordd rydym yn gweithio gyda’r sector gwirfoddol. A dweud y gwir, buom yn arloesol wrth ddatblygu cynllun partneriaeth y sector gwirfoddol, sy'n golygu bod pob sector, gan gynnwys y sector iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol, yn cyfarfod â Gweinidogion, yn cyfarfod â’r Gweinidogion iechyd a gwasanaethau cymdeithasol, i drafod y materion penodol hynny, gan fod hwn yn fater trawslywodraethol, fel y dywedwch, o ran yr anghenion hynny, ond yn enwedig yn ystod y pandemig, ac estyn allan, yn enwedig mewn perthynas â gwasanaethau dementia, at y rheini sy’n gweithio yn y sector. Felly, mae fy swyddogion yn gweithio gyda swyddogion iechyd i adolygu’r cyfeiriad strategol ar gyfer cymorth a buddsoddiad i'r trydydd sector mewn perthynas â’r elusennau a nodwyd gennych heddiw. Ac mae hynny ar sail genedlaethol wrth gwrs, ond yn lleol, mae gan eich cynghorau gwirfoddol—bob un ohonynt ledled Cymru—ran allweddol i'w chwarae yn cefnogi darparwyr lleol hefyd.

I declare an interest here as I still sit on the board of trustees at Canolfan Pentre. The support charities and the voluntary sector provide to the most vulnerable in our communities is invaluable, and throughout the pandemic alleviated an immense amount of pressure for local authorities. We wouldn't be able to provide this support without the all-important funding. Unfortunately, it's obtaining funding that many of our charities across Wales find very difficult. I think we sometimes forget that these charities are predominantly run by retired people or parents who cannot work full time due to childcare responsibilities, with little or no experience of having to complete funding applications. We must do more to break down this barrier to ensure more people are able to receive the support they need. For this reason, will the Minister work with county voluntary councils, and other funding bodies, to ensure applications for grant funding are more user friendly?

Rwy’n datgan buddiant yma gan fy mod yn dal yn aelod o fwrdd ymddiriedolwyr Canolfan Pentre. Mae’r cymorth y mae elusennau a’r sector gwirfoddol yn ei roi i’r rhai mwyaf agored i niwed yn ein cymunedau yn amhrisiadwy, a thrwy gydol y pandemig, mae wedi lleddfu pwysau enfawr ar awdurdodau lleol. Ni fyddem yn gallu darparu’r cymorth hwn heb y cyllid hollbwysig. Yn anffodus, mae llawer o'n helusennau ledled Cymru yn ei chael hi'n anodd cael cyllid. Credaf ein bod weithiau'n anghofio bod yr elusennau hyn yn cael eu rhedeg yn bennaf gan bobl sydd wedi ymddeol neu rieni na allant weithio’n llawnamser oherwydd cyfrifoldebau gofal plant, heb fawr ddim profiad, os o gwbl, o orfod gwneud ceisiadau am gyllid. Rhaid inni wneud mwy i gael gwared ar y rhwystr hwn er mwyn sicrhau bod mwy o bobl yn gallu cael y cymorth sydd ei angen arnynt. Am y rheswm hwn, a wnaiff y Gweinidog weithio gyda chynghorau gwirfoddol sirol, a chyrff ariannu eraill, i sicrhau ei bod yn haws gwneud ceisiadau am arian grant?

Thank you very much, Buffy Williams. And can I pay tribute to all of those volunteers in your community, and across the whole of Wales, who played such an important role during the pandemic, but have always done as the lifeblood of our communities?

So, just to reassure you, officials are working with funders, including the Wales funders forum, which is an important forum to bring all the funders together, to ensure that these issues are being raised in terms of accessibility to grant schemes. The county voluntary councils are often grant managers, and you will be liaising, I'm sure, with yours. And I will be asking my officials to particularly look at how application processes can be more user friendly, and very much proportionate in terms of the situations that voluntary sector organisations are in, to make sure that they can access that funding. And it's not just accessing Government funding; lottery funding has been critical, hasn't it, as well, and making sure that we can—. And local authorities playing their part as well has been crucial throughout the pandemic, and this is part of the way in which we're looking at the financial viability of the third sector, with sustainable funding being a key pillar of that infrastructure. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Buffy Williams. Ac a gaf fi dalu teyrnged i bob un o'r gwirfoddolwyr yn eich cymuned, a ledled Cymru gyfan, sydd wedi chwarae rhan mor bwysig yn ystod y pandemig, ond sydd wedi gwneud hynny erioed, fel anadl einioes ein cymunedau?

Felly, hoffwn roi sicrwydd i chi fod swyddogion yn gweithio gyda chyllidwyr, gan gynnwys fforwm cyllidwyr Cymru, sy’n fforwm pwysig i ddod â’r holl gyllidwyr ynghyd, i sicrhau bod y materion hyn yn cael eu codi mewn perthynas â hygyrchedd cynlluniau grant. Mae’r cynghorau gwirfoddol sirol yn aml yn rheolwyr grantiau, ac fe fyddwch yn cysylltu gyda'ch un chi, rwy’n siŵr. A byddaf yn gofyn i fy swyddogion edrych yn benodol ar sut y gall y prosesau ymgeisio fod yn haws, ac yn gymesur o ran y sefyllfaoedd y mae sefydliadau’r sector gwirfoddol ynddynt, i sicrhau y gallant gael mynediad at y cyllid hwnnw. Ac nid oes a wnelo hyn â chael mynediad at gyllid y Llywodraeth yn unig; mae arian y loteri wedi bod yn hollbwysig hefyd, onid yw, a sicrhau ein bod yn gallu—. Ac mae'r ffaith bod awdurdodau lleol yn chwarae eu rhan hefyd wedi bod yn hollbwysig drwy gydol y pandemig, ac mae hyn yn rhan o'r ffordd rydym yn edrych ar hyfywedd ariannol y trydydd sector, gyda chyllid cynaliadwy yn un o elfennau allweddol y seilwaith hwnnw.

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

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr, Mark Isherwood. 

Questions now from the party spokespeople. The Conservative spokesperson, Mark Isherwood. 

Diolch, Llywydd. I was re-elected as chair of the cross-party group on disability at its first meeting this Senedd term on 17 December. The online meeting included a presentation by the chief executive of Disability Wales on the 'Locked out: liberating disabled people’s lives and rights in Wales beyond COVID-19' report, which originated from discussions at the Welsh Government's disability equality forum, chaired by you. This found that 68 per cent of deaths from COVID-19 in Wales were among disabled people and stated that there is nothing inevitable about this statistic, and this report illustrates how social factors, including discrimination, poor housing, poverty, employment status, institutionalisation, lack of personal protective equipment, poor and patchy services, inaccessible and confusing public information, and personal circumstances, significantly contributed to this figure during the pandemic.

The report also found that disabled people did not get all the medical help they needed, had less access to public services and social support, had less access to public spaces and public life, struggled to live independently and did not always have their human rights fully respected. It also reaffirmed the fundamental right of disabled people to be fully involved in decisions about their own lives and the need for reasonable adjustments to be made to make sure that everyone is able to use places and services. What specific action are you taking, as the Welsh Government Minister responsible for equality and human rights, accordingly?

Diolch, Lywydd. Cefais fy ailethol yn gadeirydd y grŵp trawsbleidiol ar anabledd yn ei gyfarfod cyntaf yn nhymor y Senedd hon ar 17 Rhagfyr. Roedd y cyfarfod ar-lein yn cynnwys cyflwyniad gan brif weithredwr Anabledd Cymru ar adroddiad ‘Drws ar Glo: Datgloi bywydau a hawliau pobl anabl yng Nghymru ar ôl COVID-19’, a ddeilliodd o drafodaethau yn fforwm cydraddoldeb i bobl anabl Llywodraeth Cymru, a gadeiriwyd gennych chi. Canfu fod 68 y cant o farwolaethau COVID-19 yng Nghymru yn bobl anabl a nododd nad oes unrhyw beth yn anochel am yr ystadegyn hwn, ac mae’r adroddiad yn dangos sut y mae ffactorau cymdeithasol, gan gynnwys gwahaniaethu, tai gwael, tlodi, statws cyflogaeth, sefydliadu, diffyg cyfarpar diogelu personol, gwasanaethau gwael a thameidiog, gwybodaeth gyhoeddus anhygyrch a dryslyd, ac amgylchiadau personol wedi cyfrannu'n sylweddol at y ffigur hwn yn ystod y pandemig.

Canfu’r adroddiad hefyd na chafodd pobl anabl yr holl gymorth meddygol roeddent ei angen, eu bod wedi cael llai o fynediad at wasanaethau cyhoeddus a chymorth cymdeithasol, wedi cael llai o fynediad at fannau cyhoeddus a bywyd cyhoeddus, wedi ei chael hi'n anodd byw’n annibynnol ac nad oedd eu hawliau dynol bob amser wedi cael eu parchu'n llawn. Roedd hefyd yn ailddatgan hawl sylfaenol pobl anabl i gael eu cynnwys yn llawn mewn penderfyniadau am eu bywydau eu hunain a’r angen i wneud addasiadau rhesymol i sicrhau bod pawb yn gallu defnyddio lleoedd a gwasanaethau. Pa gamau penodol rydych yn eu cymryd felly, fel Gweinidog Llywodraeth Cymru â chyfrifoldeb dros gydraddoldeb a hawliau dynol?


Thank you very much, Mark Isherwood, for that question. I was in attendance at the cross-party group most recently—I have attended more than one—which you chair, and it was very good to see you back in that position. Can I just confirm that over the time of the pandemic it has been vital for me to engage, as I chair the disability equality forum? In fact, I chaired eight disability equality forums, where we had those discussions about the impact of the pandemic, concerns and developments relating to disabled people in Wales, and also making sure that all those views were shared and the experiences shared across the Welsh Government—the chief medical officer attending those meetings, and other Ministers as well.

I think, in light of the testimonies that came from the disability equality forum and data that was emerging, we commissioned forum members to examine the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic was having on disabled people, and that resulted in the report you've just mentioned, 'Locked out: liberating disabled people’s lives and rights in Wales beyond COVID-19', and that was co-produced by Professor Debbie Foster of the Cardiff Business School and the steering group, who have worked together to ensure that we have a disability taskforce that's been established—I attended and co-chaired the first inaugural meeting in November—and, indeed, taking this forward, in terms of ensuring that the findings of the 'Locked out' report can be delivered. Now, I just want to finally, quickly, say that this is all in the context of developing actions within the principles of the social model of disability, which this Senedd has also endorsed, alongside the Welsh Government. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn am eich cwestiwn, Mark Isherwood. Roeddwn yn bresennol yng nghyfarfod diweddaraf y grŵp trawsbleidiol rydych yn ei gadeirio—rwyf wedi bod mewn mwy nag un—ac roedd yn dda iawn eich gweld yn ôl yn y swydd honno. A gaf fi gadarnhau ei bod wedi bod yn hanfodol imi ymgysylltu drwy gyfnod y pandemig gan fy mod yn cadeirio’r fforwm cydraddoldeb i bobl anabl? A dweud y gwir, cadeiriais wyth fforwm cydraddoldeb i bobl anabl, lle cawsom y trafodaethau hynny am effaith y pandemig, pryderon a datblygiadau'n ymwneud â phobl anabl yng Nghymru, yn ogystal â sicrhau bod pob un o'r safbwyntiau hynny'n cael eu rhannu a’r profiadau’n cael eu rhannu ar draws Llywodraeth Cymru—gyda'r prif swyddog meddygol yn mynychu'r cyfarfodydd hynny, a Gweinidogion eraill hefyd.

Yng ngoleuni’r dystiolaeth a gafwyd yn y fforwm cydraddoldeb i bobl anabl a’r data a ddaeth i’r amlwg, fe wnaethom gomisiynu aelodau o’r fforwm i archwilio’r effaith roedd pandemig COVID-19 yn ei chael ar bobl anabl, ac arweiniodd hynny at yr adroddiad rydych newydd ei grybwyll, 'Drws ar Glo: Datgloi bywydau a hawliau pobl anabl yng Nghymru ar ôl COVID-19’, a gafodd ei gydgynhyrchu gan yr Athro Debbie Foster o Ysgol Fusnes Caerdydd a’r grŵp llywio, sydd wedi gweithio gyda’i gilydd i sicrhau bod gennym dasglu anabledd wedi’i sefydlu—mynychais a chydgadeiriais y cyfarfod cyntaf ym mis Tachwedd—ac i fwrw ymlaen â hyn yn wir, o ran sicrhau y gellir cyflawni canfyddiadau adroddiad ‘Drws ar Glo’. Nawr, hoffwn ddweud yn gyflym, i gloi, fod hyn oll yng nghyd-destun datblygu camau gweithredu o fewn egwyddorion y model cymdeithasol o anabledd a gymeradwywyd gan y Senedd hon ochr yn ochr â Llywodraeth Cymru.

Well, as Professor Debbie Foster told the Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee this morning, which I was chairing, to drive the change required will need change to the way we work across the public sector in Wales, with embracement of true co-production not political soundbites—I'm not referring to you here, but soundbites that often misunderstand and misuse the term.

And in this context, and, again, noting your responsibility for equality and human rights, what specific actions are you taking following the findings of the scoping study for the alignment and development of autism and neurodevelopmental services in September 2019, commissioned by the Welsh Government, which has recently been brought to my attention and which highlights the gap between demand and capacity for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder services in Wales? The report recommends that further work to inform the development services for ADHD should be undertaken, and that the Welsh Government should review the funding for services. Estimates suggest that untreated ADHD could cost the UK, including Wales, billions each year, with the symptoms affecting individuals throughout their lives. And ADHD has links to school exclusion, unemployment, substance misuse and criminality, with an estimated 25 per cent of prisoners having ADHD. Such data highlights the importance of ensuring appropriate services are in place for people with ADHD to ensure optimal outcomes for both the individual and wider society, and therefore social justice. I look forward to hearing your response accordingly.

Wel, fel y dywedodd yr Athro Debbie Foster wrth y Pwyllgor Cyfrifon Cyhoeddus a Gweinyddiaeth Gyhoeddus y bore yma, a gadeiriwyd gennyf, er mwyn ysgogi’r newid sydd ei angen, bydd angen newid y ffordd rydym yn gweithio ar draws y sector cyhoeddus yng Nghymru, gan groesawu cydgynhyrchu gwirioneddol yn hytrach na sloganau gwleidyddol—nid wyf yn cyfeirio atoch chi yma, ond sloganau gwleidyddol sy'n aml yn camddeall ac yn camddefnyddio'r term.

Ac yn y cyd-destun hwn, ac unwaith eto, gan nodi eich cyfrifoldeb dros gydraddoldeb a hawliau dynol, pa gamau penodol rydych yn eu cymryd yn dilyn canfyddiadau'r astudiaeth gwmpasu ar gyfer alinio a datblygu gwasanaethau awtistiaeth a niwroddatblygiadol ym mis Medi 2019, a gomisiynwyd gan Lywodraeth Cymru ac a gafodd ei ddwyn i fy sylw yn ddiweddar, ac sy’n nodi'r bwlch rhwng y galw a chapasiti mewn perthynas â gwasanaethau anhwylder diffyg canolbwyntio a gorfywiogrwydd (ADHD) yng Nghymru? Mae’r adroddiad yn argymell y dylid gwneud rhagor o waith i lywio’r gwasanaethau datblygu ar gyfer ADHD, ac y dylai Llywodraeth Cymru adolygu’r cyllid ar gyfer gwasanaethau. Mae amcangyfrifon yn awgrymu y gallai ADHD heb ei drin gostio biliynau bob blwyddyn i’r DU, gan gynnwys Cymru, gyda’r symptomau’n effeithio ar unigolion drwy gydol eu bywydau. Ac mae cysylltiadau rhwng ADHD a gwaharddiadau o'r ysgol, diweithdra, camddefnyddio sylweddau a throseddoldeb, ac amcangyfrifir fod gan 25 y cant o garcharorion ADHD. Mae data o’r fath yn amlygu pwysigrwydd sicrhau bod gwasanaethau priodol ar waith i bobl ag ADHD er mwyn sicrhau’r canlyniadau gorau posibl i’r unigolyn a’r gymdeithas ehangach, ac felly i gyfiawnder cymdeithasol. Edrychaf ymlaen at glywed eich ymateb i hynny.


Thank you very much for that follow-up question, and just to say that I want to ensure that the delivery of this report through our disability rights taskforce is actually co-produced. We commissioned it, it's co-chaired, and we need to deliver that in terms of the social model of disability, and also undertaking this—. And you've mentioned the human rights issues. This is, of course, part of the human rights framework in terms of what we're seeking to do to incorporate the UN convention on the rights of disabled people into Welsh law. Now, you have raised another key point in terms of moving forward, which is very much a cross-Government response. I will also seek an update on the progress, particularly in relation to ADHD, from my colleagues in the Welsh Government.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am eich cwestiwn dilynol, a dylwn ddweud yr hoffwn sicrhau bod yr adroddiad hwn a gyflwynwyd drwy ein tasglu hawliau anabledd wedi'i gydgynhyrchu mewn gwirionedd. Fe’i comisiynwyd gennym ni, mae’n cael ei gydgadeirio, ac mae angen inni ei gyflwyno yn unol â'r model cymdeithasol o anabledd, yn ogystal â chyflawni—. Ac rydych wedi sôn am y materion hawliau dynol. Mae hyn, wrth gwrs, yn rhan o'r fframwaith hawliau dynol ar yr hyn rydym yn ceisio'i wneud i ymgorffori confensiwn y Cenhedloedd Unedig ar hawliau pobl ag anableddau yng nghyfraith Cymru. Nawr, rydych wedi codi pwynt allweddol arall wrth symud ymlaen, sy'n ymateb trawslywodraethol i raddau helaeth iawn. Byddaf hefyd yn gofyn am y wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am y cynnydd, yn enwedig mewn perthynas ag ADHD, gan fy nghyd-Aelodau yn Llywodraeth Cymru.

Okay, thank you. Moving to your overarching responsibility for fuel poverty finally, last month, on Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, the Welsh Government published its cold weather resilience plan for people at risk of living in a cold home, something I've been calling for as chair of the cross-party group on fuel poverty and energy efficiency, as you know. Although fuel poverty coalition members welcomed the plan, and most of them fed into its development, how do you respond to their concern and feedback that they would like to see strengthened detail on how the Welsh Government will work with the health sector to achieve the plan's aims and agree with what the health sector can do to support it, and that the plan would benefit from the inclusion of an additional objective for specific actions to help support critical moments in healthcare, like discharge from hospital, or enhancing the hospital to a healthier home service, help train healthcare professionals to identify fuel poverty and those at risk of cold weather and raise awareness of available support and help establish referral networks between health actors and advice partners, and that, beyond emergency assistance payments under the discretionary assistance fund for oil and liquid petroleum gas, there's little or no detail in the plan on support for rural communities? Again, I look forward to your response accordingly.

Iawn, diolch. Gan symud, yn olaf, at eich cyfrifoldeb cyffredinol dros dlodi tanwydd, y mis diwethaf, ar Ddiwrnod Ymwybyddiaeth Tlodi Tanwydd, cyhoeddodd Llywodraeth Cymru ei chynllun ymdopi â thywydd oer ar gyfer pobl sydd mewn perygl o fyw mewn cartref oer, rhywbeth rwyf wedi bod yn galw amdano fel cadeirydd y grŵp trawsbleidiol ar dlodi tanwydd ac effeithlonrwydd ynni, fel y gwyddoch. Er bod aelodau'r gynghrair tlodi tanwydd wedi croesawu’r cynllun, a’r rhan fwyaf ohonynt wedi cyfrannu at ei ddatblygiad, sut rydych yn ymateb i’w pryder a’u hadborth yr hoffent weld mwy o fanylion ar sut y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn gweithio gyda’r sector iechyd i gyflawni amcanion y cynllun a chytuno â’r hyn y gall y sector iechyd ei wneud i’w gefnogi, ac y byddai’r cynllun yn elwa o gynnwys amcan ychwanegol ar gyfer camau gweithredu penodol i helpu i gefnogi adegau hollbwysig ym maes gofal iechyd, megis wrth ryddhau o’r ysbyty, neu wella’r gwasanaeth ysbyty i gartref iachach, helpu i hyfforddi gweithwyr gofal iechyd proffesiynol i nodi tlodi tanwydd a phobl sydd mewn perygl o ddioddef yn sgil tywydd oer a chodi ymwybyddiaeth o’r cymorth sydd ar gael a helpu i sefydlu rhwydweithiau atgyfeirio rhwng gweithredwyr iechyd a phartneriaid cynghori, ac mai ychydig iawn o fanylion, os o gwbl, sydd i'w cael yn y cynllun ar gymorth i gymunedau gwledig, y tu hwnt i daliadau cymorth mewn argyfwng ar gyfer olew a nwy petrolewm hylifedig drwy'r gronfa cymorth dewisol? Unwaith eto, edrychaf ymlaen at eich ymateb i hynny.

Thank you for that follow-up question. You will know that I did publish the cold weather resilience plan on 3 December and it does include 12 actions designed to improve the cold weather resilience of lower income households: financial help, for example, to repair boilers for lower income households and to buy domestic fuel for off-grid and rural homes—you mentioned rural communities—through the discretionary assistance fund—they're included in the plan—and also supporting joint working with energy suppliers to ensure that we are targeting support on households that are struggling to pay their energy bills; improved referrals into schemes such as the Warm Homes programme; the energy company obligation scheme; but also, clearly, as you have identified, in terms of health and well-being services as well.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn dilynol. Fe fyddwch yn ymwybodol fy mod wedi cyhoeddi’r cynllun ymdopi â thywydd oer ar 3 Rhagfyr, ac mae’n cynnwys 12 cam gweithredu sydd wedi’u cynllunio i gefnogi aelwydydd incwm isel i ymdopi â thywydd oer: cymorth ariannol, er enghraifft, i atgyweirio boeleri ar gyfer aelwydydd incwm isel ac i brynu tanwydd domestig ar gyfer cartrefi oddi ar y grid a chartrefi gwledig—fe sonioch chi am gymunedau gwledig—drwy’r gronfa cymorth dewisol—maent wedi’u cynnwys yn y cynllun—yn ogystal â chefnogi cydweithio â chyflenwyr ynni i sicrhau ein bod yn targedu cymorth ar aelwydydd sy’n ei chael hi'n anodd talu eu biliau ynni; gwell atgyfeiriadau i gynlluniau megis rhaglen Cartrefi Clyd; cynllun rhwymedigaeth cwmnïau ynni; ond hefyd, yn amlwg, fel rydych wedi'i nodi, mewn perthynas â gwasanaethau iechyd a lles.

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarydd Plaid Cymru, Sioned Williams.

Questions now from Plaid Cymru spokesperson, Sioned Williams.

Diolch, Llywydd. Minister, the leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price, yesterday asked the First Minister about what actions the Welsh Government are taking in the light of the current and mounting cost-of-living crisis, described as nothing less than catastrophic by the Resolution Foundation, which is hitting too many of Wales's families, with devastating consequences. As well as the measures already in place, which are unfortunately and frustratingly limited by the control of the callous and uncaring Conservatives in power in Westminster over welfare and other means of tackling poverty, Plaid Cymru would like to see a new focus on what can be done to prevent even more people being plunged into even deeper poverty, with all the negative and damaging outcomes that has on our society.

Later today, we will debate the Equality and Social Justice Committee's report on debt, and energy costs are shown in the report to be contributing massively to an ever increasing and unsustainable level of debt for too many Welsh households. Although welcome, you have said yourself, and the committee agrees, that the extra one-off payments you were able to make through the winter fuel support scheme are no way near enough and cannot make up for the loss of the £20 universal credit uplift, for example, so cruelly taken away from Welsh families in need by the UK Government. I'd like to ask for an update on the uptake of the support scheme payments and ask how the Welsh Government is monitoring the effectiveness of awareness-raising initiatives to ensure that those who really need this support are accessing it. 

Diolch, Lywydd. Weinidog, gofynnodd arweinydd Plaid Cymru, Adam Price, i’r Prif Weinidog ddoe pa gamau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu cymryd yng ngoleuni’r argyfwng costau byw cynyddol presennol y mae Sefydliad Resolution wedi'i alw'n drychineb sy’n amharu ar lawer gormod o deuluoedd Cymru, gyda chanlyniadau dinistriol. Yn ogystal â’r mesurau sydd eisoes ar waith, sydd wedi eu cyfyngu, yn anffodus ac yn rhwystredig, gan reolaeth y Ceidwadwyr dideimlad a didostur sydd mewn grym yn San Steffan dros les a dulliau eraill o drechu tlodi, hoffai Plaid Cymru weld ffocws newydd ar yr hyn y gellir ei wneud i atal hyd yn oed mwy o bobl rhag llithro i dlodi gwaeth fyth, gyda’r holl ganlyniadau negyddol a niweidiol a gaiff hynny ar ein cymdeithas.

Yn ddiweddarach heddiw, byddwn yn trafod adroddiad y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb a Chyfiawnder Cymdeithasol ar ddyled, ac mae'r adroddiad yn dangos bod costau ynni'n cyfrannu’n enfawr at lefelau dyled cynyddol ac anghynaliadwy i ormod o aelwydydd yng Nghymru. Er eu bod i'w croesawu, rydych wedi dweud eich hun, ac mae’r pwyllgor yn cytuno, nad yw’r taliadau untro ychwanegol a ddarparwyd gennych drwy’r cynllun cymorth tanwydd gaeaf yn agos digon ac na allant wneud iawn am golli'r ychwanegiad o £20 i'r credyd cynhwysol, er enghraifft, y gwnaeth Llywodraeth y DU ei dynnu'n ôl mor greulon oddi wrth deuluoedd anghenus Cymru. Hoffwn ofyn am y wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am y nifer sy’n manteisio ar daliadau’r cynllun cymorth a gofyn sut y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn monitro effeithiolrwydd mentrau codi ymwybyddiaeth i sicrhau bod y rheini sydd wir angen y cymorth hwn yn cael mynediad ato.


Diolch yn fawr, Sioned Williams. I'm really pleased that you've raised this issue. It came up very strongly yesterday, as you said, with questions from Adam Price to the First Minister, but also questions from across the—certainly from Labour Members as well as Plaid Cymru Members in terms of the catastrophic cost-of-living crisis that people are facing. What is very clear is that we need to call on the UK Government to play their part in tackling this. Now, I would like to say that we have had a good take-up of our winter support fuel payment scheme. By the end of December, we had data from 20 of 22 local authorities showing over 100,000 applications have been received by local authorities. Now, what's very clear is that this needs to be promoted, and we're using all the local authorities and all our winter fuel support scheme partners to make sure that the take-up is reached. 

Diolch yn fawr, Sioned Williams. Rwy’n falch iawn eich bod wedi codi’r mater hwn. Cafodd sylw helaeth ddoe, fel y dywedoch chi, mewn cwestiynau gan Adam Price i’r Prif Weinidog, ond cwestiynau hefyd o bob rhan o’r—yn sicr gan Aelodau Llafur yn ogystal ag Aelodau Plaid Cymru ar yr argyfwng costau byw trychinebus y mae pobl yn ei wynebu. Yr hyn sy’n glir iawn yw bod angen inni alw ar Lywodraeth y DU i chwarae eu rhan wrth fynd i’r afael â hyn. Nawr, hoffwn ddweud bod nifer dda o bobl wedi manteisio ar ein cynllun cymorth tanwydd gaeaf. Erbyn diwedd mis Rhagfyr, roedd gennym ddata gan 20 o’r 22 awdurdod lleol a ddangosai fod dros 100,000 o geisiadau wedi dod i law awdurdodau lleol. Nawr, yr hyn sy'n amlwg iawn yw bod angen hyrwyddo hyn, ac rydym yn defnyddio'r holl awdurdodau lleol a holl bartneriaid y cynllun cymorth tanwydd gaeaf i sicrhau bod cymaint o bobl â phosibl yn manteisio arno.

Thank you. The same report, the report of the social justice and equalities committee, recommends that the Welsh Government sets out how it will accelerate its Warm Homes programme as a way of tackling fuel poverty, because accelerate it must given the current and future cost-of-living storm, which has been deepened by the skyrocketing fuel prices, which we know will rise even further come the spring and will be with us for many years ahead, as the head of Centrica has warned today. Four of Wales's counties are already in the top 10 areas across the United Kingdom hardest hit by rising fuel prices. Can the Minister tell us if the Government will act on those recommendations with new urgency, given the circumstances? How is the Welsh Government currently identifying and targeting fuel-poor households? The report of the Auditor General for Wales raised concerns that, while the Nest scheme's initial purpose was to tackle fuel poverty, the evolution of the scheme meant that some funds were being prioritised to people who may not have been experiencing fuel poverty. National Energy Action has also raised the issue about energy suppliers needing to better identify financially vulnerable customers in order to provide support. So, how is the Welsh Government assisting and ensuring energy suppliers are identifying and supporting financially vulnerable customers and those living in fuel poverty? Diolch.

Diolch. Mae’r un adroddiad, sef adroddiad y pwyllgor cydraddoldeb a chyfiawnder cymdeithasol, yn argymell bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn nodi sut y bydd yn cyflymu ei rhaglen Cartrefi Clyd fel ffordd o fynd i’r afael â thlodi tanwydd, gan fod yn rhaid ei chyflymu o ystyried yr argyfwng costau byw ar hyn o bryd ac yn y dyfodol, sydd wedi’i waethygu gan y cynnydd aruthrol ym mhrisiau tanwydd, y gwyddom y byddant yn codi hyd yn oed ymhellach yn y gwanwyn ac y byddant gyda ni am flynyddoedd lawer i ddod, fel y rhybuddiodd pennaeth Centrica heddiw. Mae pedair o siroedd Cymru eisoes ymhlith y 10 ardal sydd wedi eu taro galetaf ledled y Deyrnas Unedig gan y cynnydd mewn prisiau tanwydd. A all y Gweinidog ddweud wrthym a fydd y Llywodraeth yn gweithredu'r argymhellion hynny gyda mwy o frys o ystyried yr amgylchiadau? Sut y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn nodi ac yn targedu aelwydydd tlawd o ran tanwydd ar hyn o bryd? Mynegodd adroddiad Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru bryderon, er mai pwrpas gwreiddiol cynllun Nyth oedd trechu tlodi tanwydd, fod esblygiad y cynllun yn golygu bod rhywfaint o arian yn cael ei flaenoriaethu i bobl nad ydynt wedi bod yn byw mewn tlodi tanwydd. Mae National Energy Action hefyd wedi codi mater ynghylch yr angen i gyflenwyr ynni wneud mwy i nodi cwsmeriaid sydd mewn sefyllfa fregus yn ariannol er mwyn darparu cymorth. Felly, sut y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn cynorthwyo ac yn sicrhau bod cyflenwyr ynni yn nodi ac yn cefnogi cwsmeriaid sydd mewn sefyllfa fregus yn ariannol a'r rheini sy'n byw mewn tlodi tanwydd? Diolch.

Diolch, Sioned Williams, for that really important follow-up question, and, of course, it does apply to the importance of our Warm Homes programme, and since its inception in 2009-10 to the end of March of this year, more than £394 million has been invested to improve home energy efficiency through the programme in Wales, and that's benefited more than 67,100 homes, and, within this, more than 160,000 households receiving free and impartial advice, which has been a crucial part of it, to improve domestic energy efficiency and reduce fuel bills.

But we now, as you know, are consulting on the next phase of the Warm Homes programme. That was published on 22 December, and, importantly, of course, the draft budget, published in December, with a statement by the finance Minister yesterday, does include that increase of capital funding of £30 million, from £27 million in the last financial year, for energy efficiency measures for lower income households. It is important that we look to what has been achieved as well as ensuring that, as a result of experience and lessons learnt, we move forward and we get the full results of the consultation from the next phase of the programme.

I think that very much is linked to the fuel poverty plan, of course, with our advisory group, and I've already been mentioning the cold weather resilience plan, but I would also like to just say that it is important that we tackle this, recognising that the UK Government has got its part to play in this in terms of the cost-of-living catastrophe that we have in terms of fuel poverty. I and the Minister for Climate Change have written to Kwasi Kwarteng this week, expressing our deep concerns about the increasing domestic energy prices, the impact they're having on households in Wales, particularly concerned about lower income households, and the fact that we know those increases have come into effect and the fact that more households in Wales are going to be faced with poverty because of their policies. I'm sure that you will be discussing this later on in response to the report, and indeed other questions.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn dilynol hynod bwysig, Sioned Williams, ac wrth gwrs, mae’n ymwneud â phwysigrwydd ein rhaglen Cartrefi Clyd, ac ers ei sefydlu yn 2009-10 hyd at ddiwedd mis Mawrth eleni, mae mwy na £394 miliwn wedi’i fuddsoddi i wella effeithlonrwydd ynni cartrefi drwy’r rhaglen yng Nghymru, ac mae hynny wedi bod o gymorth i fwy na 67,100 o gartrefi, ac o fewn hyn, mwy na 160,000 o aelwydydd yn cael cyngor diduedd am ddim, sydd wedi bod yn rhan hollbwysig o'r gwaith, i wella effeithlonrwydd ynni domestig a lleihau biliau tanwydd.

Ond rydym bellach, fel y gwyddoch, yn ymgynghori ar gam nesaf y rhaglen Cartrefi Clyd. Fe’i cyhoeddwyd ar 22 Rhagfyr, ac yn bwysig, wrth gwrs, mae’r gyllideb ddrafft, a gyhoeddwyd ym mis Rhagfyr, gyda datganiad gan y Gweinidog cyllid ddoe, yn cynnwys y cynnydd mewn cyllid cyfalaf o £30 miliwn, o £27 miliwn yn y flwyddyn ariannol ddiwethaf, ar gyfer mesurau effeithlonrwydd ynni i aelwydydd incwm isel. Mae’n bwysig inni edrych ar yr hyn sydd wedi’i gyflawni yn ogystal â sicrhau, o ganlyniad i brofiad a gwersi a ddysgwyd, ein bod yn symud ymlaen ac yn cael canlyniadau llawn yr ymgynghoriad o gam nesaf y rhaglen.

Credaf fod cysylltiad cryf rhwng hynny a’r cynllun tlodi tanwydd, wrth gwrs, gyda’n grŵp cynghori, ac rwyf eisoes wedi sôn am y cynllun ymdopi â thywydd oer, ond hoffwn ddweud hefyd ei bod yn bwysig inni fynd i’r afael â hyn, gan gydnabod bod gan Lywodraeth y DU ei rhan i’w chwarae yn hyn o safbwynt y trychineb costau byw sydd gennym mewn perthynas â thlodi tanwydd. Mae'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd a minnau wedi ysgrifennu at Kwasi Kwarteng yr wythnos hon i fynegi ein pryderon difrifol am y cynnydd mewn prisiau ynni domestig, yr effaith y maent yn ei chael ar aelwydydd yng Nghymru, ac rydym yn arbennig o bryderus am aelwydydd incwm isel, a’r ffaith ein bod yn gwybod bod y codiadau hynny wedi dod i rym a’r ffaith bod mwy o aelwydydd yng Nghymru yn mynd i wynebu tlodi oherwydd eu polisïau. Rwy’n siŵr y byddwch yn trafod hyn yn nes ymlaen mewn ymateb i’r adroddiad, a chwestiynau eraill yn wir.

Cynllun Cymorth Tanwydd y Gaeaf
The Winter Fuel Support Scheme

3. Pa asesiad y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'i wneud o effeithiau cynllun cymorth tanwydd y gaeaf Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfiawnder cymdeithasol? OQ57406

3. What assessment has the Minister made of the social justice impacts of the Welsh Government winter fuel support scheme? OQ57406

Households are experiencing a cost-of-living crisis due to spiralling energy prices and cuts to welfare support. Councils are supporting take-up of the Welsh Government's winter fuel support scheme amongst eligible households to help them keep warm this winter, and will continue to promote the scheme over the coming weeks.

Mae aelwydydd yn profi argyfwng costau byw oherwydd prisiau ynni cynyddol a thoriadau i gymorth lles. Mae cynghorau'n cefnogi'r defnydd o gynllun cymorth tanwydd gaeaf Llywodraeth Cymru gan aelwydydd cymwys i'w helpu i gadw'n gynnes y gaeaf hwn, a bydd yn parhau i hyrwyddo'r cynllun dros yr wythnosau nesaf.

Minister, as you say, many of our constituents throughout the whole of Wales are now really experiencing a day-to-day cost-of-living crisis. They're making choices—genuinely—between heating and eating, either feeding themselves or feeding the prepayment meters. We've had COVID-19 and post-Brexit impacts on supply chains; we've had shipping delays; factories in lockdown or slowdown globally; staff absences affecting things particularly like raw materials; food prices have risen due to those supply chain disruptions and we've had increased HGV driver wages after thousands left the UK for their home countries in the EU. And all of this, Minister, is before the soaring energy prices and the national insurance hike that comes into force in April. The energy bills are expected to soar as the Government's price cap is revised in February and implemented in April, and that's not to even mention the cruel universal credit cut. Yet, for some reason, the Prime Minister and UK Chancellor seem impotent or unaware, their attentions seemingly distracted by other more pressing matters such as clinging on to the keys of No. 10 at all costs. So, this fuel poverty intervention by Welsh Government is really welcome, particularly given that real, immediate cost-of-living crisis. How can we ensure, Minister, that as many eligible people as possible are able to access this fund and get hold of this welcome help?

Weinidog, fel y dywedwch, mae llawer o'n hetholwyr ledled Cymru bellach yn profi argyfwng costau byw o ddydd i ddydd. Maent yn gwneud dewisiadau—gwirioneddol—rhwng gwresogi a bwyta, naill ai bwydo eu hunain neu fwydo'r mesuryddion rhagdalu. Rydym wedi gweld effeithiau COVID-19 ac ôl-Brexit ar gadwyni cyflenwi; rydym wedi gweld oedi wrth gludo nwyddau; ffatrïoedd yn cau neu arafu cynhyrchiant yn fyd-eang; absenoldeb staff sy'n effeithio ar bethau yn enwedig pethau fel deunyddiau crai; mae prisiau bwyd wedi codi oherwydd y tarfu ar gadwyni cyflenwi ac rydym wedi gweld cyflogau gyrwyr HGV yn codi ar ôl i filoedd o bobl adael y DU i fynd adref i'w gwledydd eu hunain yn yr UE. A hyn i gyd, Weinidog, cyn y prisiau ynni cynyddol a'r cynnydd yn yr yswiriant gwladol a ddaw i rym ym mis Ebrill. Disgwylir i'r biliau ynni godi wrth i gap prisiau'r Llywodraeth gael ei ddiwygio ym mis Chwefror a'i weithredu ym mis Ebrill, heb sôn am y toriad creulon i'r credyd cynhwysol. Ac eto, am ryw reswm, mae'r Prif Weinidog a Changhellor y DU i'w gweld yn analluog neu'n anymwybodol, a'u sylw i'w weld ar faterion eraill pwysicach megis dal eu gafael ar allweddi Rhif 10 doed a ddelo. Felly, mae'r ymyrraeth ar dlodi tanwydd gan Lywodraeth Cymru i'w groesawu'n fawr, yn enwedig o gofio'r argyfwng costau byw gwirioneddol ac uniongyrchol. Sut y gallwn sicrhau, Weinidog, fod cynifer o bobl gymwys â phosibl yn gallu defnyddio'r gronfa hon a chael y cymorth gwerthfawr hwn?

Thank you very much, Huw Irranca-Davies, and as you say, spiralling energy prices are leading this cost-of-living crisis. If you look back to what the Resolution Foundation said in response to the UK Government's autumn budget, they noted at that point, even if we also take into account the impact of the faster than average earnings increase to national living wage, the poorest fifth of households will still be an average of £280 a year worse off overall, and we know that those figures now have increased in terms of the adverse impact.

I think it's important just in terms of all of what's coming together, this Senedd and the questions this afternoon and yesterday are focusing on this cost-of-living crisis. We are calling on the UK Government—I've mentioned the joint letter with the Minister for Climate Change, Julie James—to take action now alongside us and the action we're taking to support low-income households to secure affordable energy. So, we are pressing all the buttons in terms of promoting our winter support scheme. It is available to all of those lower income households who are on benefits for working-age households.

I've already mentioned in response to Sioned Williams that we've got a promising 100,000 applications already. We estimate that 350,000 households will be available. The Welsh Local Government Association have shown very strong support in terms of take-up, but also we have our income maximisation campaign; digital marketing of our winter fuel support scheme; and also a really useful toolkit of resources issued to all our partners, including the anti-poverty coalition, National Energy Action and, of course, Citizens Advice as well. 

And if I could just say finally in response, we're under no illusion that the £100 will go far enough in compensating households who lost out so much last year because of the harsh decisions when the £20 per week universal credit and working tax credit uplift payment—. If we can get that £100 out, and every Member of the Senedd can help us with that in terms of promoting this Welsh Government scheme.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Huw Irranca-Davies, ac fel y dywedwch, mae prisiau ynni cynyddol yn rhan amlwg o'r argyfwng costau byw hwn. Os edrychwch yn ôl at yr hyn a ddywedodd Sefydliad Resolution mewn ymateb i gyllideb Llywodraeth y DU yn yr hydref, nodwyd bryd hynny, hyd yn oed os ystyriwn hefyd effaith y cynnydd cyflymach na'r cyfartaledd mewn enillion i'r cyflog byw cenedlaethol, y bydd yr un rhan o bump tlotaf o aelwydydd yn dal i fod £280 y flwyddyn ar gyfartaledd yn waeth eu byd yn gyffredinol, a gwyddom fod y ffigurau hynny bellach wedi cynyddu o ran yr effaith niweidiol.

O ystyried y modd y daw popeth gyda'i gilydd, credaf ei bod yn bwysig fod y cwestiynau yn y Senedd hon y prynhawn yma a ddoe yn canolbwyntio ar yr argyfwng costau byw. Rydym yn galw ar Lywodraeth y DU—rwyf wedi sôn am y llythyr ar y cyd â'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd, Julie James—i weithredu yn awr ochr yn ochr â ni a'r camau rydym yn eu cymryd i gefnogi aelwydydd incwm isel i sicrhau ynni fforddiadwy. Felly, rydym yn gwneud popeth a allwn i hyrwyddo ein cynllun cymorth tanwydd gaeaf. Mae ar gael i bob un o'r aelwydydd incwm is sydd ar fudd-daliadau i aelwydydd oedran gweithio.

Rwyf eisoes wedi sôn mewn ymateb i Sioned Williams ein bod wedi cael 100,000 o geisiadau eisoes, sy'n addawol. Amcangyfrifwn y bydd 350,000 o aelwydydd yn ei gael. Mae Cymdeithas Llywodraeth Leol Cymru wedi dangos cefnogaeth gref iawn o ran y nifer sy'n gwneud cais, ond hefyd mae gennym ein hymgyrch pwyslais ar incwm; marchnata ein cynllun cymorth tanwydd gaeaf yn ddigidol; a phecyn cymorth defnyddiol iawn o adnoddau a ddarparwyd ar gyfer ein holl bartneriaid, gan gynnwys y gynghrair gwrth-dlodi, National Energy Action a Chyngor ar Bopeth hefyd wrth gwrs. 

Ac os caf ddweud i orffen fy ymateb, nid ydym o dan unrhyw gamargraff y bydd y £100 yn mynd yn ddigon pell i ddigolledu aelwydydd a gollodd gymaint y llynedd oherwydd y penderfyniadau llym pan gafodd yr ychwanegiad i'r taliad credyd cynhwysol a'r credyd treth gwaith o £20 yr wythnos—. Os gallwn gael y £100 hwnnw allan, a gall pob Aelod o'r Senedd ein helpu gyda hynny drwy hyrwyddo'r cynllun hwn gan Lywodraeth Cymru.


Minister, many of our most hard-pressed families will face major financial challenges over the next few years, and not just in the cost of fuel. As your Government continues to press ahead with its carbon-neutral target, it is those least able to afford a change in their heating system and other areas of their lifestyles that will bear the brunt of meeting these climate targets. What assessment have you made of the impact on inequalities that such a policy will surely drive? Thank you.

Weinidog, bydd llawer o'n teuluoedd mwyaf gweithgar yn wynebu heriau ariannol mawr dros y blynyddoedd nesaf, ac nid oherwydd cost tanwydd yn unig. Wrth i'ch Llywodraeth barhau i fwrw ymlaen â'i tharged carbon niwtral, y rhai lleiaf abl i fforddio newid yn eu system wresogi ac agweddau eraill ar eu ffordd o fyw a fydd yn ysgwyddo'r baich o gyrraedd y targedau hinsawdd hyn. Pa asesiad a wnaethoch o'r effaith ar anghydraddoldebau y bydd polisi o'r fath yn sicr o'u hysgogi? Diolch.

This is an area where, of course, the UK Government has to also take responsibility. Thank you for the question; it is important. We are in a situation where people are having to choose between heating and eating, and that's coming through from so much powerful evidence. But it is also, and my colleagues, I'm sure, will want to share this with you—. I will share the letter that we have written to the Minister in the UK Government to address all of these issues, because they are exacerbating the situation in relation to energy costs. For example, one of the points that is crucial, and it relates to your point, is that we have deep concern about the increase in domestic energy prices, but also we have felt for a long time as a Welsh Government—we’ve had a long-held view—that environmental and social policy costs—and this is what you're referring to—imposed on household energy bills should be met by general taxation, and I hope you will join us in calling for that.

But can I just also refer to our wider household support fund? I announced an over £50 million household support fund before Christmas that covers other areas, including tackling food poverty as well as fuel poverty, and I hope that you will also welcome the initiatives that we, as a Welsh Government, have been taking.

Mae hwn yn faes lle mae'n rhaid i Lywodraeth y DU gymryd cyfrifoldeb hefyd wrth gwrs. Diolch am y cwestiwn; mae'n bwysig. Rydym mewn sefyllfa lle mae pobl yn gorfod dewis rhwng gwresogi a bwyta, ac mae hynny i'w weld mewn cymaint o dystiolaeth bwerus. Ond mae hefyd, a bydd fy nghyd-Aelodau, rwy'n siŵr, am rannu hyn gyda chi—. Fe rannaf y llythyr rydym wedi'i ysgrifennu at y Gweinidog yn Llywodraeth y DU sy'n rhoi sylw i'r holl faterion hyn, oherwydd maent yn gwaethygu'r sefyllfa mewn perthynas â chostau ynni. Er enghraifft, un o'r pwyntiau sy'n allweddol, ac mae'n ymwneud â'ch pwynt chi, yw ein bod yn pryderu'n fawr am y cynnydd mewn prisiau ynni domestig, ond hefyd rydym wedi teimlo ers amser maith fel Llywodraeth Cymru—rydym wedi bod o'r farn ers amser hir—y dylai costau polisi amgylcheddol a chymdeithasol—a dyna rydych chi'n cyfeirio ato—a osodir ar filiau ynni'r cartref gael eu talu drwy drethiant gyffredinol, a gobeithio y gwnewch chi ymuno â ni i alw am hynny.

Ond a gaf fi hefyd gyfeirio at ein cronfa ehangach o gymorth i aelwydydd? Cyhoeddais gronfa cymorth i aelwydydd gwerth dros £50 miliwn cyn y Nadolig ar gyfer meysydd eraill, gan gynnwys mynd i'r afael â thlodi bwyd yn ogystal â thlodi tanwydd, a gobeithio y byddwch hefyd yn croesawu'r cynlluniau rydym ni, fel Llywodraeth Cymru, wedi bod yn eu rhoi ar waith.

Cynllun Setliad Dinasyddion Affganistan
The Afghan Citizens Settlement Scheme

4. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael gyda Llywodraeth y DU ynghylch cynllun setliad dinasyddion Affganistan? OQ57427

4. What discussions has the Minister had with the UK Government regarding the Afghan citizens settlement scheme? OQ57427

We regularly raise the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme with the UK Government and, since the scheme was announced, I've taken part in several four-nation ministerial calls, with the latest taking place yesterday, and I've raised issues from gaps in eligibility to the slow pace of developments.

Rydym yn codi cynllun adsefydlu dinasyddion Affganistan yn rheolaidd gyda Llywodraeth y DU ac ers cyhoeddi'r cynllun, rwyf wedi cymryd rhan mewn sawl galwad rhwng Gweinidogion y pedair gwlad, y ddiweddaraf ohonynt ddoe, ac rwyf wedi codi materion yn amrywio o fylchau yn y cymhwysedd i arafwch datblygiadau.

Diolch, Minister. We know that the physical evaluation of an individual is critical to an individual’s needs, but it is just the beginning of a person’s journey to being settled and secure in a new country. As a nation of sanctuary, I know that in Wales we pride ourselves on offering the support necessary to make sure that people can rebuild their lives and integrate with their communities. Can the Minister outline what ongoing support, therefore, we are offering, as a Government and with our local authority partners, to ensure that those who have been resettled can access all the services that they require?

Diolch, Weinidog. Gwyddom fod gwerthusiad ffisegol unigolyn yn hanfodol i anghenion y cyfryw unigolyn, ond dechrau ei daith yn unig yw cael ei adsefydlu a chael diogelwch mewn gwlad newydd. Fel cenedl noddfa, gwn ein bod yng Nghymru yn ymfalchïo yn y ffordd y cynigiwn y cymorth sydd ei angen i sicrhau y gall pobl ailadeiladu eu bywydau ac integreiddio yn eu cymunedau. A all y Gweinidog amlinellu pa gymorth parhaus rydym yn ei gynnig fel Llywodraeth a chyda'n partneriaid awdurdod lleol, i sicrhau y gall y rhai a adsefydlir gael mynediad at yr holl wasanaethau sydd eu hangen arnynt?

I thank Rhianon Passmore for this very important and timely question. Particularly, I'm fortunate that I met with the Minister Victoria Atkins yesterday. Anyone who’s resettled or dispersed to Wales will be supported as far as we’re able, as a nation of sanctuary, as you said, and it is with our partners, as a result of our partnership with local government, the team Wales multi-agency approach, and indeed with our armed services as well, and the Urdd being a key partner, we've supported over 350 Afghan individuals since August, since the evacuation. We have ensured that there’s a holistic assessment of the needs of new arrivals and access to education, healthcare, support in finding employment. But also, interestingly, we developed a peer support group for Afghan families who’ve settled in Wales already, and many will be in your constituencies, drawing on the successful advocacy forum model, and that's delivered as part of the asylum rights project, which Welsh Government funds. This does help Afghan families to connect with each other and support each other to settle in Wales. I did raise issues yesterday with the Minister relating to the biometric residence permits, which are crucial for Afghan citizens to access bank accounts, and other issues following her statement last week.

Can I just at this point, Llywydd, pay tribute to our former colleague Jack Dromey MP, who sadly passed away last week? The day before he passed away, Jack raised our shared concerns that the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme was failing to prioritise the reunion of those at risk in Afghanistan with family who may live in the UK. I do want to just pay tribute to what he did in his political life and, of course, give all of our sympathies to his family and to Harriet Harman, of course, his wife. But what he said—and I think it's relevant to this—he said:

'Our country has a proud history of providing a safe haven to those fleeing persecution. Any watering down of the resettlement scheme would be contrary to our most fundamental values of decency, honesty and fairness.'

Diolch i Rhianon Passmore am y cwestiwn pwysig ac amserol iawn hwn. Yn fwyaf arbennig, rwy'n ffodus imi gael cyfarfod â'r Gweinidog, Victoria Atkins, ddoe. Bydd unrhyw un sy'n cael ei adsefydlu neu ei ddanfon i Gymru yn cael ei gefnogi cyn belled ag y gallwn, fel cenedl noddfa, fel y dywedoch chi, a chyda'n partneriaid, o ganlyniad i'n partneriaeth â llywodraeth leol, dull amlasiantaethol tîm Cymru, ac yn wir, â'n lluoedd arfog hefyd, a'r Urdd yn bartner allweddol, rydym wedi cynorthwyo dros 350 o Affganiaid ers mis Awst, ers i'r lluoedd adael. Rydym wedi sicrhau bod asesiad cyfannol o anghenion newydd-ddyfodiaid a mynediad at addysg, gofal iechyd, cymorth i ddod o hyd i waith. Ond hefyd, yn ddiddorol, gwnaethom ddatblygu grŵp cefnogi cymheiriaid ar gyfer teuluoedd o Affganistan sydd wedi ymgartrefu yng Nghymru eisoes, a bydd llawer ohonynt yn eich etholaethau, gan ddefnyddio'r model fforwm eiriolaeth llwyddiannus, a chafodd hynny ei gyflawni fel rhan o'r prosiect hawliau lloches y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei ariannu. Mae hyn yn helpu teuluoedd o Affganistan i gysylltu â'i gilydd a chynorthwyo ei gilydd i ymgartrefu yng Nghymru. Ddoe, crybwyllais faterion wrth y Gweinidog yn ymwneud â'r trwyddedau preswylio biometrig, sy'n hanfodol i ddinasyddion o Affganistan allu cael mynediad at gyfrifon banc, a materion eraill yn dilyn ei datganiad yr wythnos diwethaf.

A gaf fi dalu teyrnged i'n cyfaill, Jack Dromey AS, a fu farw yr wythnos diwethaf? Y diwrnod cyn iddo farw, cododd Jack y pryderon a rannwn fod cynllun adsefydlu dinasyddion o Affganistan yn methu rhoi blaenoriaeth i ailuno'r rhai sydd mewn perygl yn Affganistan â theuluoedd sy'n byw yn y DU. Rwyf am dalu teyrnged i'r hyn a wnaeth yn ei fywyd gwleidyddol ac wrth gwrs, rwyf am gydymdeimlo â'i deulu a Harriet Harman, ei wraig. Ond yr hyn a ddywedodd—a chredaf ei fod yn berthnasol i hyn—oedd:

'Mae gan ein gwlad hanes balch o ddarparu hafan ddiogel i'r rhai sy'n ffoi rhag erledigaeth. Byddai unrhyw lastwreiddio ar y cynllun adsefydlu yn groes i'n gwerthoedd mwyaf sylfaenol sef gweddusrwydd, gonestrwydd a thegwch.


Minister, the Afghan citizen resettlement scheme will provide up to 20,000 Afghan women, children and others most at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK. It will build on the UK's continuing efforts to support those at-risk Afghan citizens, prioritising those who have assisted UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for our values, and those extremely vulnerable people, such as women and girls at risk and members of minority groups.

I know that you stand for this very strongly and I agree with you that Wales needs to play its part in this operation to help these people secure permanent homes and rebuild their lives in the UK, and I know that you have mentioned on a few occasions that Wales is a nation of sanctuary. So, can I ask, Minister, what discussions have you had—I know you mentioned this in an earlier response to my learned colleague Rhianon Passmore—what conversations specifically have you had with ministerial colleagues, your partners in local government, the private sector and voluntary sector to overcome the hurdles you mentioned in your response previously to Rhianon, to ensure that those coming to Wales obtain the housing, education, training and employment opportunities they need to allow them to rebuild their lives, and to repay the debt that we owe them?

You also mentioned the Afghan resettlement fund. Can you please elaborate on what key performance indicators are going to be in place to ensure they actually will prove to be helpful to those wishing to resettle? Thank you so much.

Weinidog, bydd cynllun adsefydlu dinasyddion Affganistan yn darparu llwybr diogel a chyfreithlon i hyd at 20,000 o fenywod, plant ac eraill o Affganistan sy'n wynebu'r perygl mwyaf i adsefydlu yn y DU. Bydd yn adeiladu ar ymdrechion parhaus y DU i gefnogi'r dinasyddion o Affganistan sydd mewn perygl, gan flaenoriaethu'r rhai sydd wedi cynorthwyo ymdrechion y DU yn Affganistan ac a safodd dros ein gwerthoedd, a'r bobl hynod agored i niwed hynny, megis menywod a merched sydd mewn perygl ac aelodau o grwpiau lleiafrifol.

Gwn eich bod yn sefyll yn gadarn iawn dros hyn ac rwy'n cytuno â chi fod angen i Gymru chwarae ei rhan yn y gwaith i helpu'r bobl hyn i gael cartrefi parhaol ac ailadeiladu eu bywydau yn y DU, a gwn eich bod wedi sôn droeon fod Cymru'n genedl noddfa. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn, Weinidog, pa drafodaethau a gawsoch—gwn ichi sôn am hyn mewn ymateb cynharach i fy nghyd-Aelod dysgedig, Rhianon Passmore—pa sgyrsiau a gawsoch yn benodol gyda chyd-Weinidogion, eich partneriaid mewn llywodraeth leol, y sector preifat a'r sector gwirfoddol i oresgyn y rhwystrau y sonioch chi amdanynt yn eich ymateb blaenorol i Rhianon, er mwyn sicrhau bod y rhai sy'n dod i Gymru yn cael y cyfleoedd ym maes tai, addysg, hyfforddiant a chyflogaeth sydd eu hangen arnynt i'w galluogi i ailadeiladu eu bywydau, ac i ad-dalu'r ddyled sydd arnom iddynt?

Fe sonioch chi hefyd am gronfa adsefydlu Affganistan. A allwch chi egluro pa ddangosyddion perfformiad allweddol a fydd ar waith i sicrhau y bydd yn wirioneddol ddefnyddiol i'r rhai sy'n dymuno adsefydlu? Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Thank you very much, Natasha Asghar. I confirm that I met with Victoria Atkins, the Minister for Afghan Resettlement, yesterday. In fact, I met her with the First Minister for Northern Ireland, and she was meeting Scottish colleagues as well. We're going to have a regular dialogue. She made that statement only last week, in terms of the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme, and I've already commented on some of the concerns that I raised with her yesterday, much of which lies with the UK Government. Our authorities, in terms of devolved services, we are already engaged with them. In fact, Victoria Atkins is due to come and visit Wales to look at some of our bridging accommodation, and I will be meeting her with the lead cabinet member of the Welsh Local Government Association as well. This is an area where I raised particular issues in terms of accessing employment opportunities, which are crucial. I've mentioned the biometric residence permits as one key point. We did get some progress yesterday in terms of updating information that was coming through, but I would like to say that we do remain very concerned about delays in helping the at-risk individuals find sanctuary.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees referral pathways are not open until the spring. That means at-risk individuals who have been forced to flee may never find their way through this route. This is the key route in to the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme, and I think there is a great deal to do. They're not fast-tracking, they're not looking sympathetically at cases of all Afghan asylum seekers already living in the UK. That is illogical and it exacerbates pressure on the asylum system. I do have to say that there's a fundamental inconsistency at the heart of the Nationality and Borders Bill, which says that an Afghan brought to the UK under the resettlement scheme will be well supported, but the same Afghan citizen would not be able to avail themselves of either the ACRS, the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme, or the Afghan relocations and assistance policy. They could then, under the Nationality and Borders Bill, be criminalised and not adequately supported. So, I hope we can work on a cross-party basis to address some of these concerns and issues as this scheme unfolds. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Natasha Asghar. Rwy'n cadarnhau fy mod wedi cyfarfod â Victoria Atkins, y Gweinidog Adsefydlu Affganiaid, ddoe. Yn wir, cyfarfûm â hi gyda Phrif Weinidog Gogledd Iwerddon, ac roedd hi'n cyfarfod â chydweithwyr yn yr Alban hefyd. Byddwn yn cael deialog reolaidd. Gwnaeth y datganiad hwnnw yr wythnos diwethaf ar y cynllun adsefydlu dinasyddion Affganistan, ac rwyf eisoes wedi gwneud sylwadau ar rai o'r pryderon a godais gyda hi ddoe, ac mae llawer ohonynt yn faterion i Lywodraeth y DU. Rydym eisoes yn ymwneud â'n hawdurdodau ni, mewn perthynas â gwasanaethau datganoledig. Yn wir, mae Victoria Atkins i fod i ddod i ymweld â Chymru i edrych ar rai o'n darpariaethau pontio, a byddaf yn cyfarfod â hi gydag aelod cabinet arweiniol Cymdeithas Llywodraeth Leol Cymru hefyd. Mae hwn yn faes lle crybwyllais faterion penodol mewn perthynas â dod o hyd i gyfleoedd cyflogaeth, sy'n hanfodol. Rwyf wedi sôn am y trwyddedau preswylio biometrig fel un pwynt allweddol. Cawsom beth cynnydd ddoe mewn perthynas â diweddaru gwybodaeth a oedd yn dod drwodd, ond hoffwn ddweud ein bod yn parhau'n bryderus iawn ynghylch oedi wrth helpu'r unigolion sydd mewn perygl i ddod o hyd i noddfa.

Nid yw llwybrau atgyfeirio Uchel Gomisiynydd Ffoaduriaid y Cenhedloedd Unedig yn agor tan y gwanwyn. Mae hynny'n golygu efallai na fydd unigolion mewn perygl sydd wedi cael eu gorfodi i ffoi byth yn dod o hyd i'w ffordd drwy'r llwybr hwn. Dyma'r llwybr allweddol i mewn i gynllun adsefydlu dinasyddion Affganistan, a chredaf fod llawer i'w wneud. Nid ydynt yn gweithredu llwybr carlam, nid ydynt yn edrych yn gydymdeimladol ar achosion yr holl geiswyr lloches o Affganistan sydd eisoes yn byw yn y DU. Mae hynny'n afresymegol ac mae'n gwaethygu'r pwysau ar y system loches. Rhaid imi ddweud bod anghysondeb sylfaenol wrth wraidd y Bil Cenedligrwydd a Ffiniau, sy'n dweud y bydd Affganiad a ddygwyd i'r DU o dan y cynllun adsefydlu yn cael cymorth da, ond ni fyddai'r cyfryw ddinesydd Affganaidd yn gallu manteisio ar naill ai'r cynllun adsefydlu dinasyddion Affganistan, na'r polisi adleoli a chymorth i Affganiaid. O dan y Bil Cenedligrwydd a Ffiniau felly, gallent gael eu troseddoli a'u hamddifadu o gymorth digonol. Felly, rwy'n gobeithio y gallwn weithio ar sail drawsbleidiol i fynd i'r afael â rhai o'r pryderon a'r materion hyn wrth i'r cynllun ddatblygu. 

Y Rhaglen Ôl-ffitio
The Retrofitting Programme

5. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd ynghylch cyflymu'r broses o weithredu'r rhaglen ôl-ffitio i aelwydydd mewn tlodi tanwydd? OQ57417

5. What discussions has the Minister had with the Minister for Climate Change about accelerating the retrofitting programme to households in fuel poverty? OQ57417

I work with Cabinet colleagues on action to tackle poverty. The new winter fuel support scheme, the proposed increase in Welsh Government funding for the Warm Homes programme from 2022-23, and the consultation on the next iteration of the Warm Homes programme demonstrate our commitment in this area.

Rwy'n gweithio gyda chyd-Weinidogion yn y Cabinet ar gamau gweithredu i fynd i'r afael â thlodi. Mae'r cynllun cymorth tanwydd gaeaf newydd, y cynnydd arfaethedig yng nghyllid Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer y rhaglen Cartrefi Clyd o 2022-23, a'r ymgynghoriad ar iteriad nesaf y rhaglen Cartrefi Clyd yn dangos ein hymrwymiad yn y maes hwn.

Thank you, Minister. I heard your earlier comments, and I just want to focus in my supplementary question on the role of the private sector, because the worst-insulated homes are in the private rental sector, which is also where tenants are having to pay higher rents. I was speaking to a constituent this weekend about the inability to keep their living room warm, even after eight or nine hours of having the heating on. Obviously the carbon emissions and the money involved are all going out of the window, particularly because the landlord in this particular case is not maintaining the building properly, and they're obviously making a killing from the rents they charge. I just want to look particularly at all those buildings that aren't compliant with the EPC E efficiency rating, because that is the minimum. I don't understand why there are still exemptions for anybody who is trying to rent when this is an absolute minimum requirement and we clearly need to ensure that the private rented sector plays its part. There has been improvement in Cardiff, but there are still over 5,000 homes that do not meet that minimum E rating for energy efficiency, which obviously has huge costs for individuals as well as for the environment. So, what can be done to get landlords to play their part in all of this?

Diolch, Weinidog. Clywais eich sylwadau cynharach, ac rwyf am ganolbwyntio yn fy nghwestiwn atodol ar rôl y sector preifat, am mai yn y sector rhentu preifat y ceir y cartrefi sydd wedi'u hinswleiddio waethaf, a dyna lle mae tenantiaid hefyd yn gorfod talu rhenti uwch. Roeddwn yn siarad ag etholwr y penwythnos hwn am yr anallu i gadw eu hystafell fyw yn gynnes, hyd yn oed ar ôl wyth neu naw awr o gael y gwres ynghynn. Yn amlwg, mae'r allyriadau carbon a'r arian sydd ynghlwm i gyd yn mynd allan drwy'r ffenestr, yn enwedig gan nad yw'r landlord yn yr achos penodol hwn yn cynnal a chadw'r adeilad yn iawn, ac mae'n amlwg eu bod yn gwneud elw mawr o'r rhenti y maent yn eu codi. Rwyf am edrych yn arbennig ar yr holl adeiladau nad ydynt yn cydymffurfio â sgôr effeithlonrwydd E y dystysgrif perfformiad ynni, oherwydd dyna'r lefel ofynnol. Nid wyf yn deall pam y ceir esemptiadau o hyd i unrhyw un sy'n ceisio rhentu pan fo hon yn lefel ofynnol absoliwt ac mae'n amlwg fod angen inni sicrhau bod y sector rhentu preifat yn chwarae ei ran. Mae gwelliant wedi bod yng Nghaerdydd, ond mae ceir dros 5,000 o gartrefi o hyd nad ydynt yn bodloni'r sgôr E ofynnol ar gyfer effeithlonrwydd ynni, sydd, yn amlwg, yn golygu costau enfawr i unigolion yn ogystal ag i'r amgylchedd. Felly, beth y gellir ei wneud i gael landlordiaid i chwarae eu rhan yn hyn oll?

Thank you, Jenny Rathbone, for this crucially important question this afternoon. You have summarised the dire situation that many private renters are finding themselves in. As you know and are aware, local authorities are responsible for the enforcement of minimum energy efficiency standards in the private rented sector, so it's Rent Smart Wales, working with local authorities and landlords, who are required to provide that information about helping to achieve the minimum standards. We are assured that Rent Smart Wales is working closely with the Warm Homes programme Nest scheme to refer households who potentially meet the eligibility for those home energy efficiency improvements. I've mentioned already this afternoon the extra £30 million in the budget for the energy efficiency of lower income households in the next financial year. That's a 10 per cent increase. But, clearly, this is something that the Minister for Climate Change is primarily taking forward, with my support, looking at what we can do in terms of accelerating the Warm Homes programme and the fuel poverty strategy.  

Diolch am y cwestiwn hollbwysig hwn y prynhawn yma, Jenny Rathbone. Rydych wedi crynhoi'r sefyllfa enbyd y mae llawer o rentwyr preifat ynddi. Fel y gwyddoch, awdurdodau lleol sy'n gyfrifol am orfodi safonau effeithlonrwydd ynni gofynnol yn y sector rhentu preifat, felly Rhentu Doeth Cymru, gan weithio gydag awdurdodau lleol a landlordiaid, sydd i fod i ddarparu'r wybodaeth honno am helpu i gyrraedd y safonau gofynnol. Rydym wedi ein sicrhau bod Rhentu Doeth Cymru yn gweithio'n agos gyda chynllun Nyth y rhaglen Cartrefi Clyd i gyfeirio aelwydydd a allai fod yn bodloni'r cymhwysedd ar gyfer y gwelliannau effeithlonrwydd ynni hynny i'r cartref. Rwyf eisoes wedi sôn y prynhawn yma am y £30 miliwn ychwanegol yn y gyllideb ar gyfer effeithlonrwydd ynni aelwydydd incwm is yn y flwyddyn ariannol nesaf. Dyna gynnydd o 10 y cant. Ond yn amlwg, mae hyn yn rhywbeth sy'n cael ei ddatblygu'n bennaf gan y Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd, gyda fy nghefnogaeth i, i edrych ar yr hyn y gallwn ei wneud i gyflymu'r rhaglen Cartrefi Clyd a'r strategaeth tlodi tanwydd.

Anghydraddoldebau Cymdeithasol
Social Inequalities

6. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am y gwersi a ddysgwyd am anghydraddoldebau cymdeithasol yn sgil y pandemig? OQ57412

6. Will the Minister make a statement on the lessons learned about social inequalities as a result of the pandemic? OQ57412

Mae anghydraddoldeb cymdeithasol wedi mynd yn waeth oherwydd y pandemig. Bydd y ddyletswydd economaidd-gymdeithasol yn creu fframwaith gweithredu a bydd yr unedau cydraddoldeb, hil ac anabledd newydd yn darparu tystiolaeth gadarn i lywio polisi a chynlluniau.

Social inequality has deepened as a result of the pandemic. The socioeconomic duty will provide a framework for action and the new equality, race and disability units will provide robust evidence to inform policy and plans.

Dwi'n gobeithio y gwnaiff y cysylltiad wella wrth i fi symud ymlaen. Mae'r pandemig wedi tanlinellu'r anghydraddoldeb dwfn sydd yn bodoli yn fy etholaeth i rhwng cymunedau â'i gilydd, a rhwng teuluoedd â'i gilydd. Er enghraifft, mae problemau tai anaddas mewn rhannau o Arfon—tai sy'n rhy fach i anghenion y teuluoedd sydd ynddyn nhw, tai sydd yn damp ac yn anodd i'w gwresogi. Ac, wrth gwrs, mae hyn wedi ei gwneud hi'n anoddach i atal lledaeniad yr haint, y COVID, yn ystod y cyfnod yma, ac yn anoddach i ddelio efo'i effeithiau.

Rŵan, mae'r teuluoedd yma yn wynebu argyfwng arall, yr argyfwng costau byw, gan amlygu anghydraddoldeb cymdeithasol arall a fydd yn effeithio llawer o deuluoedd yn Arfon, yn ôl yr arolygon, efo Gwynedd ymhlith y siroedd fydd yn cael ei heffeithio fwyaf. Fe ofynnodd arweinydd Plaid Cymru i'r Prif Weinidog ddoe i roi sylw i'r argyfwng costau byw drwy gynnal uwchgynhadledd i ddyfeisio ymateb trawslywodraethol brys i'r argyfwng costau byw. Ydy'ch Llywodraeth chi wedi cael cyfle i ystyried hyn ymhellach, ac a wnewch chi gefnogi cynnal uwchgynhadledd i lunio'r ymateb brys sydd mawr ei angen?  

I hope your connection improves as I move forward. The pandemic has highlighted the deep inequalities that exist within my constituency between communities and between families. For example, inappropriate housing is a problem in certain parts of Arfon—houses that are too small for the needs of the families living in them, houses that are damp and difficult to heat. And, of course, this has made it more difficult to prevent the spread of COVID during this period, and it's made it more difficult to deal with its impacts. 

Now, these families are facing another crisis, the cost-of-living crisis, highlighting another social inequality that will impact very many families in Arfon, according to the latest information, with Gwynedd among the counties hardest hit. The leader of Plaid Cymru asked the First Minister yesterday to address the cost-of-living crisis by holding a summit to come up with a cross-governmental response to the cost-of-living crisis as a matter of urgency. Has your Government had an opportunity to consider this further, and will you support the staging of such a summit to draw up the urgent response that we so desperately need? 


Diolch yn fawr, Siân Gwenllian. I think many of the questions and responses this afternoon show the importance of us focusing on this issue and the cost-of-living catastrophe that is emerging, made worse by an increase in wholesale gas prices, resulting in many households in Wales falling into fuel poverty. But you've also mentioned housing and the impact of the pandemic for those who are in inappropriate housing. Jenny Rathbone's question really follows through from yours. I've also responded in terms of our Warm Homes programme fuel support scheme and household living costs scheme. I think this is where we do need to now bring all of this together. I will certainly be taking this back to discuss with the First Minister and colleagues as to how we can address this as a cross-government initiative, bringing all the partners around the table. I'm grateful for your question and follow-up from yesterday's raising of this in First Minister's questions by the leader of Plaid Cymru as well. 

Diolch yn fawr, Siân Gwenllian. Credaf fod llawer o'r cwestiynau a'r ymatebion y prynhawn yma yn dangos pwysigrwydd canolbwyntio ar y mater hwn a'r trychineb costau byw sy'n dod i'r amlwg, wedi'i waethygu gan gynnydd mewn prisiau nwy cyfanwerthol, sy'n golygu bod llawer o aelwydydd yng Nghymru yn wynebu tlodi tanwydd. Ond rydych hefyd wedi sôn am dai ac effaith y pandemig ar y rhai sydd mewn tai amhriodol. Mae cwestiwn Jenny Rathbone yn dilyn ymlaen o'ch cwestiwn chi mewn gwirionedd. Rwyf hefyd wedi ymateb ynglŷn â chynllun cymorth tanwydd ein rhaglen Cartrefi Clyd a'r cynllun costau byw aelwydydd. Credaf mai dyma lle mae angen inni ddod â hyn i gyd at ei gilydd. Byddaf yn sicr yn mynd â hyn yn ôl i drafod gyda'r Prif Weinidog a fy nghyd-Aelodau sut y gallwn fynd i'r afael â hyn fel cynllun trawslywodraethol, gan ddod â'r holl bartneriaid o gwmpas y bwrdd. Rwy'n ddiolchgar am eich cwestiwn ac am ddilyn ymlaen o'r hyn a godwyd gan arweinydd Plaid Cymru ddoe yn y cwestiynau i'r Prif Weinidog hefyd.

Mae cwestiwn 7 [OQ57403] wedi ei dynnu nôl. 

Question 7 [OQ57403] is withdrawn.

Strategaeth Trais yn erbyn Menywod, Cam-drin Domestig a Thrais Rhywiol
The Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy

8. Beth yw'r camau nesaf y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn bwriadu eu cymryd mewn perthynas â'r strategaeth trais yn erbyn menywod, cam-drin domestig a thrais rhywiol? OQ57405

8. What are the next steps the Welsh Government intends to take in relation to the violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence strategy? OQ57405

We are currently consulting on a draft strategy and expect to publish the 2022-26 violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence strategy in April 2022. Implementation of the strategy will be based on collaborative working with relevant agencies, and guided by the voices of survivors.

Ar hyn o bryd rydym yn ymgynghori ar strategaeth ddrafft ac yn disgwyl cyhoeddi strategaeth trais yn erbyn menywod, cam-drin domestig a thrais rhywiol 2022-26 ym mis Ebrill 2022. Bydd gweithredu'r strategaeth yn seiliedig ar gydweithio ag asiantaethau perthnasol, ac wedi ei arwain gan leisiau goroeswyr.

Thank you, Minister. Over the course of the pandemic, we have sadly seen a rise in the number of reported domestic abuse-related offences. Rhondda Cynon Taf Women's Aid received over 3,000 referrals during this period, and supported 69 children under 16 living in refuge. We have seen the horrific murders of women like Sarah Everard and Wenjing Lin at the hands of men, and we have seen female students too afraid to leave their halls and homes from fear of spiking. Domestic abuse and violence isn't an issue that just affects women of a particular race, age, religion or class; it affects us all. It's so important that women in Wales feel safe and that their voices are heard. How will the Minister promote the consultation on the strategy and ensure women across Wales know where to turn if they are suffering? 

Diolch, Weinidog. Yn anffodus, yn ystod y pandemig gwelsom gynnydd yn nifer y troseddau a gofnodwyd sy'n gysylltiedig â cham-drin domestig. Derbyniodd Cymorth i Fenywod Rhondda Cynon Taf dros 3,000 o atgyfeiriadau yn ystod y cyfnod hwn, a chefnogodd 69 o blant o dan 16 oed a oedd yn byw mewn lloches. Rydym wedi gweld llofruddiaethau erchyll menywod fel Sarah Everard a Wenjing Lin dan law dynion, ac rydym wedi gweld myfyrwyr benywaidd yn rhy ofnus i adael eu neuaddau a'u cartrefi oherwydd sbeicio. Nid mater sy'n effeithio ar fenywod sy'n perthyn i hil, oedran, crefydd neu ddosbarth penodol yw cam-drin domestig a thrais; mae'n effeithio ar bob un ohonom. Mae mor bwysig fod menywod yng Nghymru yn teimlo'n ddiogel a bod eu lleisiau'n cael eu clywed. Sut y bydd y Gweinidog yn hyrwyddo'r ymgynghoriad ar y strategaeth ac yn sicrhau bod menywod ledled Cymru yn gwybod ble i droi os ydynt yn dioddef?

Diolch yn fawr, Buffy Williams. Can I pay tribute to all of those who provide specialist services in your constituency and, indeed, across Wales? I also thank those who attended the cross-party group yesterday on violence against women and children, chaired by Sioned Williams, which addressed these issues relating to the importance of this new strategy, the consultation that's taking place, particularly looking at the impact of the pandemic and also the horrific murders, as you said in your question, of women like Sarah Everard at the hands of men, and those female students, as you say. We have had the debate on spiking. This is very much a cross-party issue. I'm hoping that we will move forward in terms of the outcome of the consultation, particularly listening to the voices of survivors and also the partners providing the emergency support—all the partners; statutory and devolved, local authorities and policing colleagues—in our new strategy for the next phase of tackling violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Diolch yn fawr, Buffy Williams. A gaf fi dalu teyrnged i bawb sy'n darparu gwasanaethau arbenigol yn eich etholaeth, a ledled Cymru yn wir? Diolch hefyd i'r rhai a fynychodd y grŵp trawsbleidiol ddoe ar drais yn erbyn menywod a phlant, dan gadeiryddiaeth Sioned Williams, a aeth i'r afael â'r materion hyn sy'n ymwneud â phwysigrwydd y strategaeth newydd hon, yr ymgynghoriad sydd ar y gweill, gan edrych yn arbennig ar effaith y pandemig a hefyd, fel y dywedoch chi yn eich cwestiwn, ar lofruddiaethau erchyll menywod fel Sarah Everard dan law dynion, a'r myfyrwyr benywaidd y sonioch chi amdanynt. Rydym wedi cael y ddadl ar sbeicio. Mae hwn yn fater trawsbleidiol iawn. Rwy'n gobeithio y byddwn yn symud ymlaen gyda chanlyniad yr ymgynghoriad, gan wrando'n arbennig ar leisiau goroeswyr a hefyd y partneriaid sy'n darparu'r cymorth brys—yr holl bartneriaid; statudol a datganoledig, awdurdodau lleol a heddluoedd—yn ein strategaeth newydd ar gyfer y cam nesaf yn y frwydr yn erbyn trais yn erbyn menywod, cam-drin domestig a thrais rhywiol.


Ac yn olaf, cwestiwn 9—Sarah Murphy.

And finally, question 9—Sarah Murphy.

Cenedl Cyflog Byw Gwirioneddol
A Real Living Wage Nation

9. Pa gynnydd y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei wneud tuag at wneud Cymru'n genedl cyflog byw gwirioneddol? OQ57404

9. What progress is the Welsh Government making towards Wales becoming a real living wage nation? OQ57404

The Welsh Government is committed to leading by example as a real living wage employer and working in social partnership to increase real living wage adoption. We have announced our funding commitment to the real living wage in social care and are working more broadly to motivate employers towards the real living wage. 

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi ymrwymo i arwain drwy esiampl fel cyflogwr cyflog byw go iawn a gweithio mewn partneriaeth gymdeithasol i gynyddu'r nifer sy'n mabwysiadu cyflogau byw go iawn. Rydym wedi cyhoeddi ein hymrwymiad ariannu i'r cyflog byw go iawn mewn gofal cymdeithasol ac rydym yn gweithio'n ehangach i gymell cyflogwyr tuag at y cyflog byw go iawn.

Thank you very much, Minister. I welcome the recent announcement regarding the implementation of the manifesto and programme for government commitment to a real living wage for social care workers. I am very pleased that my own Bridgend County Borough Council is also adopting this. It is a tangible and meaningful indication of the appreciation of our social care workers, and also recognises the skills and experience that they have. This will also, hopefully, help with the recruitment drives that local authorities are carrying out at the moment due to the care sector staff shortages.

However, the knock-on effect is that the difference in salary between care workers and their supervisors and manager roles is smaller, and it means that I have had some supervisors and managers say to me, 'Well, what's the point of taking on that extra responsibility if there's not that much difference between the salaries now?' I was just wondering what solutions the Welsh Government has explored to address this issue in both the public and private sectors in Wales.  

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Weinidog. Rwy'n croesawu'r cyhoeddiad diweddar ynghylch gweithredu'r maniffesto ac ymrwymiad y rhaglen lywodraethu i gyflog byw go iawn i weithwyr gofal cymdeithasol. Rwy'n falch iawn fod fy nghyngor i, Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr, hefyd yn mabwysiadu hyn. Mae'n arwydd pendant ac ystyrlon o'n gwerthfawrogiad o'n gweithwyr gofal cymdeithasol, ac mae hefyd yn cydnabod y sgiliau a'r profiad sydd ganddynt. Bydd hyn hefyd, gobeithio, yn helpu gyda'r ymgyrchoedd recriwtio y mae awdurdodau lleol yn eu cynnal ar hyn o bryd oherwydd prinder staff yn y sector gofal.

Fodd bynnag, yr effaith ganlyniadol yw bod y gwahaniaeth rhwng cyflogau gweithwyr gofal a'u goruchwylwyr a'u rolau rheoli yn llai, ac mae'n golygu fy mod wedi cael rhai goruchwylwyr a rheolwyr yn dweud wrthyf, 'Wel, beth yw'r pwynt ysgwyddo'r cyfrifoldeb ychwanegol hwnnw os nad oes cymaint â hynny o wahaniaeth rhwng y cyflogau bellach?' Tybed pa atebion y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'u harchwilio i ddatrys y mater hwn yn y sector cyhoeddus a'r sector preifat yng Nghymru.

I thank the Member for her question, and I'm really pleased that the Welsh Government is determined to see that that real living wage uplift begins to affect the pay packets of social care workers later this year. As the Member points out, this is significant, but it is a first step towards improving terms and conditions for the sector. We certainly recognise as a Government that, while the real living wage is a key component of fair work, it is just part of that package that makes fair work and sustainable employment that benefits both the worker and the employer in the long term.

Like I said, it is the first step in terms of the social care workforce. We will continue to work in partnership, as part of the social care fair work forum, to actually address some of those wider concerns that the Member raised, and the wider pressures that we know exist on the sector itself. Alongside that, we are using all the financial levers and the power of the public purse, and things like the economic contract or the code of practice on ethical employment and supply chains, to encourage more employers outside the public sector to take up the real living wage in their organisations and supply chains.

We are determined to continue to make sure that the Welsh public sector continues to set the right example. Prior to Christmas, both the First Minister and I wrote to public bodies in Wales, urging them to explore taking further steps on implementing the real living wage. I'm really pleased, as the Member said, that Bridgend County Borough Council have recently indicated a commitment to becoming a real living wage accredited employer. So, we are going to be working closely with them, but also with Cynnal Cymru, the body responsible for the Living Wage Foundation accreditation in Wales, to see what more we can do to target certain sectors, and also to see how we can support Cynnal Cymru financially to improve their capacity to roll out real living wage accreditation across Wales.  

Diolch i'r Aelod am ei chwestiwn, ac rwy'n falch iawn fod Llywodraeth Cymru yn benderfynol o weld bod y codiad hwnnw i'r cyflog byw go iawn yn dechrau effeithio ar becynnau cyflog gweithwyr gofal cymdeithasol yn ddiweddarach eleni. Fel y nododd yr Aelod, mae hyn yn arwyddocaol, ond cam cyntaf ydyw tuag at wella telerau ac amodau'r sector. Rydym yn sicr yn cydnabod fel Llywodraeth, er bod y cyflog byw go iawn yn elfen allweddol o waith teg, mai dim ond rhan ydyw o'r pecyn sy'n golygu bod gwaith teg a chyflogaeth gynaliadwy o fudd i'r gweithiwr a'r cyflogwr yn hirdymor.

Fel y dywedais, dyma'r cam cyntaf o ran y gweithlu gofal cymdeithasol. Byddwn yn parhau i weithio mewn partneriaeth, fel rhan o fforwm gwaith teg gofal cymdeithasol, i fynd i'r afael â rhai o'r pryderon ehangach a godwyd gan yr Aelod, a'r pwysau ehangach y gwyddom eu bod yn bodoli ar y sector ei hun. Ochr yn ochr â hynny, rydym yn defnyddio'r holl ysgogiadau ariannol a phŵer y pwrs cyhoeddus, a phethau fel y contract economaidd neu'r cod ymarfer ar gyflogaeth foesegol mewn cadwyni cyflenwi, i annog mwy o gyflogwyr y tu allan i'r sector cyhoeddus i fabwysiadu'r cyflog byw go iawn yn eu sefydliadau a'u cadwyni cyflenwi.

Rydym yn benderfynol o barhau i sicrhau bod sector cyhoeddus Cymru yn parhau i osod yr esiampl gywir. Cyn y Nadolig, ysgrifennodd y Prif Weinidog a minnau at gyrff cyhoeddus yng Nghymru, yn eu hannog i ystyried rhoi camau pellach ar waith ar weithredu'r cyflog byw go iawn. Rwy'n falch iawn, fel y dywedodd yr Aelod, fod Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr wedi nodi ymrwymiad yn ddiweddar i fod yn gyflogwr cyflog byw go iawn achrededig. Felly, byddwn yn gweithio'n agos gyda hwy, ond hefyd gyda Cynnal Cymru, y corff sy'n gyfrifol am achrediad y Living Wage Foundation yng Nghymru, i weld beth arall y gallwn ei wneud i dargedu sectorau penodol, a hefyd i weld sut y gallwn gefnogi Cynnal Cymru yn ariannol i wella eu gallu i gyflwyno achrediad y cyflog byw go iawn ledled Cymru.  

Diolch i'r Dirprwy Weinidog ac i'r Gweinidog. 

Thank you to the Deputy Minister and the Minister.

2. Cwestiynau i’r Cwnsler Cyffredinol a Gweinidog y Cyfansoddiad
2. Questions to the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution

Yr eitem nesaf, felly, yw'r cwestiynau i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol a Gweinidog y Cyfansoddiad, ac mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Jack Sargeant.

The next item, therefore, is questions to the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, and the first question is from Jack Sargeant. 

Cymorth Cyfreithiol Troseddol
Criminal Legal Aid

1. Pa ystyriaeth y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'i rhoi i'r argymhellion a wnaed gan adolygiad annibynnol Syr Christopher Bellamy o gymorth cyfreithiol troseddol? OQ57418

1. What consideration has the Counsel General given to the recommendations made by Sir Christopher Bellamy's independent review of criminal legal aid? OQ57418

Thank you for the question. Sir Christopher Bellamy makes many essential recommendations about the criminal justice system and criminal legal aid. The extent to which the UK Government accept his recommendations is going to be a good test of the extent to which they are committed to saving the criminal justice system, which they are responsible for.

Diolch am y cwestiwn. Mae Syr Christopher Bellamy yn gwneud llawer o argymhellion hanfodol am y system cyfiawnder troseddol a chymorth cyfreithiol troseddol. Bydd y graddau y mae Llywodraeth y DU yn derbyn ei argymhellion yn brawf da o'r graddau y maent wedi ymrwymo i achub y system cyfiawnder troseddol y maent yn gyfrifol amdani.

I thank the Counsel General for that answer. Counsel General, I am sure that you agree with me, and with Sir Christopher Bellamy, that the legal aid system needs huge investment to nurse it back to some level of health after years of neglect from various Westminster Governments. But, if we look beyond the scope of Sir Christopher Bellamy's review, we have seen how hard it is for ordinary people to obtain justice—those subpostmasters wrongly convicted in Wales and across the UK, those who lost their lives in Grenfell and those fans and their families who went to a football match and never came home. They all had one thing in common: they all had huge barriers put in the way of them obtaining justice. Counsel General, do you agree with me, and do you support calls from Andy Burnham, Steve Rotheram and Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, Andy Dunbobbin, to call for a Hillsborough law now?

Diolch i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol am yr ateb hwnnw. Gwnsler Cyffredinol, rwy'n siŵr eich bod yn cytuno â mi, a chyda Syr Christopher Bellamy, fod angen buddsoddiad enfawr ar y system cymorth cyfreithiol i'w hadfer i ryw lefel o iechyd ar ôl blynyddoedd o'i hesgeuluso gan wahanol Lywodraethau yn San Steffan. Ond os edrychwn y tu hwnt i gwmpas adolygiad Syr Christopher Bellamy, rydym wedi gweld pa mor anodd yw hi i bobl gyffredin gael cyfiawnder—yr is-bostfeistri hynny a gollfarnwyd yn gyfeiliornus yng Nghymru ac ar draws y DU, y rhai a gollodd eu bywydau yn Grenfell a'r cefnogwyr a'u teuluoedd a aeth i gêm bêl-droed ac na ddaeth adref yn eu holau. Roedd gan bob un ohonynt un peth yn gyffredin: roeddent i gyd yn wynebu rhwystrau enfawr rhag gallu cael cyfiawnder. Gwnsler Cyffredinol, a ydych yn cytuno â mi, ac a ydych yn cefnogi galwadau gan Andy Burnham, Steve Rotheram a Chomisiynydd Heddlu a Throseddu Gogledd Cymru, Andy Dunbobbin, am gyfraith Hillsborough yn awr?


Firstly, can I thank you for that very important supplementary question? Just to say in starting that I, of course, met with Sir Christopher Bellamy and many of the points that you're raising are points that I have raised. And I'm also very grateful to the Member that you regularly raise this issue because access to justice is, to some degree, dependent upon having an effective and working legal aid system. Sir Christopher Bellamy, of course, identified a whole series of access to justice issues in terms of accessibility of lawyers, the desert of legal advice that exists, and also the funding system. But it was quite limited in respect of criminal legal aid.

In respect of the Hillsborough law campaign, it is one I am very, very interested in. In my past life, I was involved, of course, in the Orgreave cases and the demand for an inquiry, for example, into Orgreave, which, had lessons been learnt from that, might well have impacted on the way Hillsborough developed and so on.

Now, the proposals, as I understand them, have come, actually, from the Bishop of Liverpool, and three of the key ones were that there'd be a public advocate, representation at inquests, which is something that I've always argued for, and the duty of candour. And, of course, there are others. So, I think that this is something that is a very, very important call, and I understand why it has come. It relates right to the base of people in communities having access to justice and I think it is an issue I would really like to explore further. It is of course aimed in terms of a UK Government piece of legislation, but there may well be relevant lessons in respect of Wales, and if the Member is happy, I'm more than happy to meet with him, and with, in fact, other Members, in order to explore how the importance of the calls for a Hillsborough law could be relevant to Wales and also relevant to justice that takes place in Wales. And, of course, justice is not devolved. Were it devolved, I think we might be able to move far more progressively and more quickly on this issue. But I'm certainly exploring it; I'm very interested in it, and I'm happy to engage with the Member and others to look further at it.

Yn gyntaf, a gaf fi ddiolch ichi am y cwestiwn atodol pwysig iawn hwnnw? Hoffwn ddweud i ddechrau fy mod, wrth gwrs, wedi cyfarfod â Syr Christopher Bellamy ac mae llawer o'r pwyntiau rydych chi'n eu codi yn bwyntiau rwyf finnau wedi'u codi. Ac rwyf hefyd yn ddiolchgar iawn i'r Aelod am godi'r mater hwn yn rheolaidd oherwydd mae mynediad at gyfiawnder, i ryw raddau, yn dibynnu ar gael system cymorth cyfreithiol effeithiol sy’n gweithio. Nododd Syr Christopher Bellamy gyfres gyfan o broblemau sy’n ymwneud â mynediad at gyfiawnder gan gynnwys hygyrchedd cyfreithwyr, y diffyg cyngor cyfreithiol sy’n bodoli, a’r system ariannu hefyd. Ond roedd yn eithaf cyfyngedig mewn perthynas â chymorth cyfreithiol troseddol.

Ar ymgyrch cyfraith Hillsborough, mae gennyf ddiddordeb mawr iawn ynddi. Yn y gorffennol, bûm yn ymwneud ag achosion Orgreave a'r galw am ymchwiliad i Orgreave, er enghraifft, a phe bai gwersi wedi cael eu dysgu o hynny, gallai fod wedi cael effaith ar y ffordd y datblygodd Hillsborough ac yn y blaen.

Nawr daeth y cynigion, yn ôl fel rwy'n eu deall, gan Esgob Lerpwl mewn gwirionedd, a thri o'r rhai allweddol oedd y dylid cael eiriolwr cyhoeddus, cynrychiolaeth mewn cwestau, sy'n rhywbeth rwyf bob amser wedi dadlau o’i blaid, yn ogystal â dyletswydd gonestrwydd. Ac mae yna rai eraill wrth gwrs. Felly, rwy’n credu bod hon yn alwad bwysig iawn, ac rwy’n deall pam ei bod wedi digwydd. Mae'n ymwneud â sicrhau bod gan sylfaen y bobl mewn cymunedau’n cael mynediad at gyfiawnder ac rwy'n credu ei fod yn fater yr hoffwn ei archwilio ymhellach. Deddfwriaeth gan Lywodraeth y DU ydyw wrth gwrs, ond mae’n bosibl iawn y bydd gwersi perthnasol i Gymru eu dysgu, ac os yw’r Aelod yn hapus, rwy’n fwy na pharod i gyfarfod ag ef, a chydag Aelodau eraill mewn gwirionedd, er mwyn archwilio sut y gallai pwysigrwydd y galwadau am gyfraith Hillsborough fod yn berthnasol i Gymru a hefyd yn berthnasol i gyfiawnder sy’n digwydd yng Nghymru. Ac wrth gwrs, nid yw cyfiawnder wedi’i ddatganoli. Pe bai wedi’i ddatganoli, rwy’n credu efallai y gallem symud yn gynt ac mewn modd llawer mwy blaengar mewn perthynas â’r mater hwn. Ond rwy'n sicr yn ei archwilio; mae gennyf ddiddordeb mawr ynddo, ac rwy’n hapus i ymgysylltu â’r Aelod ac eraill i edrych arno ymhellach.

Y Cyswllt Hedfan rhwng Caerdydd ac Ynys Môn
The Cardiff-Anglesey Flight Link

2. Pa gyngor cyfreithiol y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'i roi i Lywodraeth Cymru mewn perthynas â'r cyswllt hedfan rhwng Caerdydd ac Ynys Môn? OQ57422

2. What legal advice has the Counsel General provided to the Welsh Government in relation to the flight link between Cardiff and Anglesey? OQ57422

I thank the Member for the question. The service is currently suspended due to the impact of the pandemic, which continues to impact heavily on the global aviation industry. Against this backdrop and at the appropriate time, full and proper consideration will be given to the future of the service. Members will be kept updated by appropriate Ministers.

Diolch i'r Aelod am y cwestiwn. Mae'r gwasanaeth wedi'i atal ar hyn o bryd oherwydd effaith y pandemig, sy'n parhau i effeithio'n fawr ar y diwydiant hedfan byd-eang. Yn erbyn y cefndir hwn ac ar yr adeg briodol, rhoddir ystyriaeth lawn a phriodol i ddyfodol y gwasanaeth. Bydd y Gweinidogion priodol yn rhoi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf i'r Aelodau.

Thank you. For almost two years, the Anglesey to Cardiff flight, as you have just said, has been grounded. Yet, it was disclosed last month that the Welsh Government has paid out over £750,000 in subsidies—taxpayers' money—in the last financial year. The current contract expires on 17 February 2023 and has a maximum value of £8,529,282. Now, a Welsh Government spokesperson has stated that the tender was based on the provision of 10 flight rotations per week and the final costs are determined by a number of variable factors. So, it seems clear to me, therefore, that those variable factors have allowed Eastern Airways to be paid over £0.75 million of taxpayers' money for zero service in 2021. So, will you clarify whether the Welsh Government has deemed to seek any legal advice in relation to terminating or actually amending this contract?

Diolch. Ers bron i ddwy flynedd, mae'r gwasanaeth o Ynys Môn i Gaerdydd, fel rydych newydd ei ddweud, wedi'i atal. Ac eto, fis diwethaf datgelwyd bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi talu dros £750,000 mewn cymorthdaliadau—arian trethdalwyr—yn y flwyddyn ariannol ddiwethaf. Daw'r contract presennol i ben ar 17 Chwefror 2023 ac mae'n werth uchafswm o £8,529,282. Nawr, mae llefarydd ar ran Llywodraeth Cymru wedi dweud bod y tendr yn seiliedig ar ddarparu 10 taith gron yr wythnos a phennir y costau terfynol yn ôl nifer o ffactorau amrywiol. Felly, mae'n ymddangos yn glir i mi fod y ffactorau amrywiol hynny wedi caniatáu i dros £.0.75 miliwn o arian trethdalwyr gael ei dalu i Eastern Airways yn 2021 er na ddarparwyd unrhyw wasanaethau. Felly, a wnewch chi egluro a yw Llywodraeth Cymru wedi ystyried gofyn am unrhyw gyngor cyfreithiol mewn perthynas â therfynu neu ddiwygio'r contract hwn?

I thank the Member for that supplementary question. Perhaps I could start by saying that the Cardiff to Anglesey service is a public service obligation. It is fully subsidised by the Welsh Government, which it has been able to do under retained EU law—Regulation (EC) No. 1008/2008—and any decisions taken in relation to the route will be made in accordance with the requirements of those regulations.

In respect of the other points that the Member has made, perhaps I could just remind her that I'm answering questions today in my role as Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution. So, my answers are limited to my specific responsibilities and functions as a law officer and the areas covered by my role as the Minister for the constitution. The question, the supplementary you raise, raises specific policy questions relevant to a particular area, and, as such, should be directed to the relevant portfolio Minister who has responsibility for this area.

Diolch i'r Aelod am y cwestiwn atodol hwnnw. Efallai y caf ddechrau drwy ddweud bod gwasanaeth Caerdydd i Ynys Môn yn ddyletswydd gwasanaeth cyhoeddus. Mae'n cael cymhorthdal llawn gan Lywodraeth Cymru, a gallodd wneud hynny o dan gyfraith yr UE a ddargedwir—Rheoliad (CE) Rhif 1008/2008—a bydd unrhyw benderfyniadau a wneir mewn perthynas â'r llwybr yn cael eu gwneud yn unol â gofynion y rheoliadau hynny.

Mewn perthynas â'r pwyntiau eraill y mae'r Aelod wedi'u gwneud, efallai y caf ei hatgoffa fy mod yn ateb cwestiynau heddiw yn fy rôl fel y Cwnsler Cyffredinol a Gweinidog y Cyfansoddiad. Felly, mae fy atebion wedi'u cyfyngu i fy nghyfrifoldebau a fy swyddogaethau penodol fel swyddog y gyfraith a'r meysydd sydd wedi'u cynnwys yn fy rôl fel Gweinidog y cyfansoddiad. Mae'r cwestiwn atodol a godwch yn codi cwestiynau polisi penodol sy'n berthnasol i faes penodol, ac fel y cyfryw, dylid ei gyfeirio at y Gweinidog portffolio perthnasol sy'n gyfrifol am y maes hwn.

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

Rŷn ni'n symud ymlaen nawr i'r cwestiynau i lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr sydd gyntaf—Darren Millar.

We'll move on now to questions from the party spokespeople. Conservative spokesperson first—Darren Millar.

Diolch, Llywydd. Minister, can you explain to us why the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales has a budget of £3.3 million, please?

Diolch, Lywydd. Weinidog, a allwch chi egluro inni pam y mae gan y Comisiwn Annibynnol ar Ddyfodol Cyfansoddiadol Cymru gyllideb o £3.3 miliwn, os gwelwch yn dda?

Thank you for the question. The constitution commission has a budget designed to enable it to carry out its important work of engagement with the people of Wales.

Diolch am y cwestiwn. Mae gan gomisiwn y cyfansoddiad gyllideb sydd wedi'i chynllunio i'w alluogi i gyflawni ei waith pwysig yn ymgysylltu â phobl Cymru.

Thank you for that answer, Minister, but I'm afraid it still doesn't explain why the commission needs to have such a large budget. When I asked you, on the establishment of this commission, what the budget would be, you said that you would write to me. I'm still waiting for your letter—I haven't received it. But, obviously, I've managed to peek at the Welsh Government's budget, which was debated yesterday, and saw that £3.3 million has been allocated to this particular commission. Previous commissions cost around £1 million to undertake their work—and I'm referring there to the Richard commission and the Silk commission, both of which had a budget that was much less than a third of the budget for this commission. So, can I ask you again: why does the Welsh Government feel that it's necessary to spend £3.3 million on this particular piece of work, and can you provide to the Senedd, and me, in accordance with the promise that you made back in October but are still yet to fulfil, a copy of the detailed budget for this commission's work?

Diolch am yr ateb hwnnw, Weinidog, ond mae arnaf ofn nad yw'n egluro pam fod angen i'r comisiwn gael cyllideb mor fawr. Pan sefydlwyd y comisiwn hwn, gofynnais ichi beth fyddai'r gyllideb, ac fe ddywedoch chi y byddech yn ysgrifennu ataf. Rwy'n dal i aros am eich llythyr—nid wyf wedi'i dderbyn. Ond yn amlwg, rwyf wedi llwyddo i gael golwg ar gyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru, a drafodwyd ddoe, a gwelais fod £3.3 miliwn wedi'i ddyrannu i'r comisiwn penodol hwn. Roedd comisiynau blaenorol yn costio tua £1 filiwn i ymgymryd â'u gwaith—ac rwy'n cyfeirio at gomisiwn Richard a chomisiwn Silk, ac roedd gan y ddau ohonynt gyllideb a oedd yn llawer llai na thraean o'r gyllideb ar gyfer y comisiwn hwn. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn ichi eto: pam fod Llywodraeth Cymru yn teimlo bod angen gwario £3.3 miliwn ar y gwaith hwn, ac a allwch chi ddarparu copi o'r gyllideb fanwl ar gyfer gwaith y comisiwn i'r Senedd, ac i mi, yn unol â'r addewid a wnaethoch yn ôl ym mis Hydref ond nad ydych eto wedi'i gyflawni?

Well can I say firstly, if you haven't had the letter from me, then apologies for that. Of course, you have the information from the budget, and, of course, I think in previous answers I did refer to the forthcoming budget. In terms of the cost of operating a commission that is going to engage with the people of Wales, over a period of several years, on an issue that is fundamentally important to the future of Wales and the future of the UK, it seems to me absolutely right that there should be sufficient funding to enable it to do that work and to engage with the people of Wales. The engagement part of the commission's work is clearly something that is exceptionally additional to the work of some previous commissions, and is a fundamental part of actually building that consensus that I have described previously.

In respect of the actual breakdown, I suspect the problem with the breakdown at the moment is that the commission is, at the moment, in the process of developing its own strategy and its work programme and the costings of that. And I'm sure further information can be made available in due course, when we have further information about those details. But for now, the important part is ensuring that the commission is able and capable of doing work that is so fundamental to the future of Wales and the future of the UK.

Wel, a gaf fi ddweud yn gyntaf, os nad ydych wedi cael y llythyr gennyf, rwy'n ymddiheuro am hynny. Wrth gwrs, rydych chi wedi cael y wybodaeth o'r gyllideb, ac wrth gwrs, rwy'n credu fy mod wedi cyfeirio at y gyllideb a oedd i ddod mewn atebion blaenorol. O ran cost gweithredu comisiwn a fydd yn ymgysylltu â phobl Cymru, dros gyfnod o sawl blwyddyn, ar fater sy'n sylfaenol bwysig i ddyfodol Cymru a dyfodol y DU, mae'n ymddangos i mi'n gwbl briodol y dylid cael digon o arian i'w alluogi i wneud y gwaith hwnnw ac i ymgysylltu â phobl Cymru. Mae'n amlwg fod gwaith ymgysylltu'r comisiwn yn rhywbeth cwbl ychwanegol at waith rhai o'r comisiynau blaenorol, ac mae'n rhan sylfaenol o adeiladu'r consensws hwnnw rwyf wedi'i ddisgrifio o'r blaen.

O ran y manylion, rwy'n tybio mai'r broblem gyda'r manylion ar hyn o bryd yw bod y comisiwn, ar hyn o bryd, yn y broses o ddatblygu ei strategaeth ei hun a'i rhaglen waith ei hun a chostau hynny. Ac rwy'n siŵr y gellir darparu rhagor o wybodaeth maes o law, pan fydd gennym ragor o wybodaeth am y manylion hynny. Ond am y tro, y peth pwysig yw sicrhau bod y comisiwn yn gallu gwneud gwaith sydd mor hanfodol i ddyfodol Cymru a dyfodol y DU.

Well, I'm grateful for your apology, Minister. Of course, there's a single line in the budget to cover this particular issue, and I did ask in previous opportunities in the Senedd for an explanation as to what the remuneration would be for both the chairs and the members of the commission, and I'm still awaiting that information. Of course, it's not contained in the budget that has been published. You talk about engagement; of course, the previous commissions did engage quite extensively as part of their work, and managed it within a financial envelope that is significantly different to the £3.3 million that the Welsh Government has sought to allocate.

Now, when you announced the establishment of the commission, you advised Members of the Senedd that you expected it to complete its work by the end of 2023. Can you explain, therefore, why in the budget—the three-year indicative budget that was published—there's still a further £1.1 million allocated for the 2024-25 financial year, which would be after this commission has completed its work? Why is a third of the commission's budget expected to take place after the completion of the commission's work? That seems to me to make no sense at all, or have you revised the timetable?

Wel, rwy'n ddiolchgar am eich ymddiheuriad, Weinidog. Wrth gwrs, mae un llinell yn y gyllideb i ymdrin â'r mater penodol hwn, a gofynnais mewn cyfleoedd blaenorol yn y Senedd am esboniad ynglŷn â beth fyddai'r tâl i gadeiryddion ac aelodau'r comisiwn, ac rwy'n dal i aros am y wybodaeth honno. Wrth gwrs, nid yw wedi'i gynnwys yn y gyllideb sydd wedi'i chyhoeddi. Rydych yn sôn am ymgysylltu; wrth gwrs, roedd y comisiynau blaenorol yn ymgysylltu'n eithaf helaeth fel rhan o'u gwaith, ac yn ei reoli o fewn amlen ariannol sy'n wahanol iawn i'r £3.3 miliwn y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi ceisio'i ddyrannu.

Nawr, pan gyhoeddoch chi eich bod yn sefydlu'r comisiwn, fe ddywedoch chi wrth Aelodau'r Senedd eich bod yn disgwyl iddo gwblhau ei waith erbyn diwedd 2023. A allwch chi egluro, felly, pam fod £1.1 miliwn arall yn dal i fod wedi'i ddyrannu yn y gyllideb—y gyllideb tair blynedd ddangosol a gyhoeddwyd—ar gyfer blwyddyn ariannol 2024-25, a fyddai ar ôl i'r comisiwn hwn gwblhau ei waith? Pam y disgwylir i draean o gyllideb y comisiwn ddigwydd ar ôl cwblhau gwaith y comisiwn? Mae'n ymddangos i mi nad yw hynny'n gwneud unrhyw synnwyr o gwbl, neu a ydych chi wedi diwygio'r amserlen?


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

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

Can I firstly thank you for those further comments? Just to say, in respect of the remuneration, again, I'm sorry if you haven't had the letter, but, certainly, I know I had a written request from one of your Members, Mr Joel James, who asked for that information, and that information in terms of the rates of remuneration have been provided. I'm disappointed if, perhaps within your own group, an individual Member has not made available to you information that was specifically provided. I'm sure that a copy of that letter, if Mr Joel James is in agreement, could be made available to you, and the information is in that. So, I will deal with that.

In terms of the expenditure and the budget, well, the budget takes place in terms of the commission and its work, which doesn't just suddenly come to a stop. How the budget can be expended over a period of time, and the extent to which it is expended, is going to be dependent on the full work programme, but in terms of the delivery of the report, clearly there will be work that carries on from that. And I think I've made clear in previous statements as well that, of course, one of the issues is the establishment, ultimately, of a permanent constitutional commission, not this, and, of course, there would be recommendations on that and it would lead to issues around that. So, it is inevitable that it will go over the particular year timescales. The important thing was an interim report by the end of this year, a full report by the subsequent year, but, of course, those timetables may change because, as you know, debate, discussion and events around the constitution are a work in progress. 

A gaf fi ddiolch ichi yn gyntaf am y sylwadau pellach hynny? O ran y tâl, hoffwn ddweud unwaith eto ei bod hi'n ddrwg gennyf os nad ydych wedi cael y llythyr, ond yn sicr, gwn fy mod wedi cael cais ysgrifenedig gan un o'ch Aelodau, Mr Joel James, a ofynnodd am y wybodaeth honno, a darparwyd y wybodaeth mewn perthynas â chyfraddau talu. Rwy'n siomedig os oes Aelod unigol o'ch grŵp eich hun, efallai, heb dynnu eich sylw at wybodaeth a ddarparwyd yn benodol. Rwy'n siŵr y gellir darparu copi o'r llythyr hwnnw i chi, os yw Mr Joel James yn cytuno, ac mae'r wybodaeth yn hwnnw. Felly, fe wnaf ymdrin â hynny. 

Ar y gwariant a'r gyllideb, wel, mae'r gyllideb yno mewn perthynas â'r comisiwn a'i waith, ac nid yw hwnnw'n dod i ben yn sydyn. Bydd sut y gellir gwario'r gyllideb dros gyfnod o amser, ac i ba raddau y caiff ei gwario, yn dibynnu ar y rhaglen waith lawn, ond o ran cyflwyno'r adroddiad, yn amlwg bydd gwaith yn parhau o hwnnw. A chredaf fy mod wedi egluro mewn datganiadau blaenorol hefyd, wrth gwrs, mai un o'r materion sy'n codi yw sefydlu comisiwn cyfansoddiadol parhaol yn y pen draw, nid hyn, ac wrth gwrs, bydd argymhellion ynglŷn â hynny a byddai'n arwain at faterion yn ymwneud â hynny. Felly, mae'n anochel y bydd yn parhau y tu hwnt i amserlenni'r flwyddyn benodol. Y peth pwysig oedd adroddiad interim erbyn diwedd eleni, ac adroddiad llawn erbyn y flwyddyn ddilynol, ond wrth gwrs, gall yr amserlenni hynny newid oherwydd, fel y gwyddoch, mae dadleuon, trafodaethau a digwyddiadau'n ymwneud â'r cyfansoddiad yn waith sydd ar y gweill.

Diolch yn fawr, Dirprwy Lywydd. Cwnsler Cyffredinol, the cross-party Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee's report on the Welsh Government's legislative consent memorandum on the Professional Qualifications Bill pointed out that without the consent of the Senedd or Welsh Ministers, the Secretary of State or Lord Chancellor would be able to exercise regulation-making powers to amend primary legislation, including Senedd Acts. This means that the Secretary of State or the Lord Chancellor could potentially exercise the regulation-making powers to amend Senedd Acts and regulations made by Welsh Ministers. Indeed, Tory Ministers in London could go even further and amend the Government of Wales Act 2006, the basis of our current devolution settlement. I think we can all agree it's a matter of basic constitutional principle that the legislative competence of this Senedd should not be modified by regulations made by any Minister in London, especially this current Conservative Government. What discussion have you had, Counsel General, with Westminster Ministers about the use of secondary legislation in Westminster to potentially undermine the devolution settlement here in Wales?

Diolch yn fawr, Ddirprwy Lywydd. Gwnsler Cyffredinol, nododd adroddiad y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a'r Cyfansoddiad trawsbleidiol ar femorandwm cydsyniad deddfwriaethol Llywodraeth Cymru ar y Bil Cymwysterau Proffesiynol y byddai'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol neu'r Arglwydd Ganghellor, heb gydsyniad y Senedd neu Weinidogion Cymru, yn gallu arfer pwerau i wneud rheoliadau er mwyn diwygio deddfwriaeth sylfaenol, gan gynnwys Deddfau'r Senedd. Mae hyn yn golygu y gallai'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol neu'r Arglwydd Ganghellor arfer y pwerau i wneud rheoliadau er mwyn diwygio Deddfau'r Senedd a rheoliadau a wneir gan Weinidogion Cymru. Yn wir, gallai Gweinidogion Torïaidd yn Llundain fynd gam ymhellach a diwygio Deddf Llywodraeth Cymru 2006, sef sail ein setliad datganoli presennol. Credaf y gallwn ni i gyd gytuno ei fod yn fater o egwyddor gyfansoddiadol sylfaenol na ddylai cymhwysedd deddfwriaethol y Senedd hon gael ei addasu drwy reoliadau a wneir gan unrhyw Weinidog yn Llundain, yn enwedig y Llywodraeth Geidwadol bresennol hon. Pa drafodaeth a gawsoch, Gwnsler Cyffredinol, gyda Gweinidogion San Steffan ynghylch y defnydd posibl o is-ddeddfwriaeth yn San Steffan i danseilio'r setliad datganoli yma yng Nghymru?

Well, thank you. You do raise a very important point, and it's a point that I consider across the board in respect of the overall impact of UK legislation legislative consents, and the impact on the devolution settlement. And there are many contradictions and anomalies and difficulties in respect of each piece of legislation that is going through. I've certainly raised that in direct discussions I've had with UK Government Ministers, but I can also tell you: on every single piece of legislation that is going through, the intensity of correspondence and engagement over the issues of consent, over disputes over what may be a reserved matter, what may not be a reserved matter, are all conducted by Welsh Ministers and by Welsh Government on the basis of preserving the integrity of the devolution settlement.

It is certainly right that there are issues that arise in respect of the weakness of the Sewel convention. What I am hoping is that, as progress is being made in respect of the inter-governmental review, the actual creation of bodies and a disputes procedure, and an independent secretariat, will actually provide a mechanism for further engaging, and, I believe, actually enforcing and enhancing the Sewel convention, which has become so weakened, I believe, over recent years, because of direct, I believe, constitutional assaults from the UK Government. So, you're right to raise this point, but I think the inter-governmental arrangements that I would hope there will be further announcements on over the coming weeks and early months will actually begin to tackle part of that constitutional vacuum. I don't think it will resolve it, but I believe it may provide a mechanism for a step towards a more solid constitutional and conclusive constitutional arrangement. 

Diolch. Rydych yn codi pwynt pwysig iawn, ac mae'n bwynt rwy'n ei ystyried yn gyffredinol o ran effaith gyffredinol cydsyniad deddfwriaethol i ddeddfwriaeth y DU, a'r effaith ar y setliad datganoli. Ac mae llawer o anghysondebau ac anomaleddau ac anawsterau mewn perthynas â phob deddfwriaeth sy'n cael ei phasio. Rwy'n sicr wedi codi hynny mewn trafodaethau uniongyrchol a gefais gyda Gweinidogion Llywodraeth y DU, ond gallaf ddweud wrthych hefyd: gyda phob deddfwriaeth a gyflwynir, mae Gweinidogion Cymru a Llywodraeth Cymru yn gohebu ac yn ymgysylltu'n helaeth ynghylch materion cydsyniad, ac anghydfodau ynghylch yr hyn a allai fod yn fater a gedwir yn ôl ai peidio, a hynny ar sail cynnal cyfanrwydd y setliad datganoli.

Mae'n sicr yn iawn fod materion yn codi ynghylch gwendid confensiwn Sewel. Wrth i gynnydd gael ei wneud mewn perthynas â'r adolygiad rhynglywodraethol, rwy'n gobeithio y bydd creu cyrff a gweithdrefn anghydfodau, ac ysgrifenyddiaeth annibynnol, yn darparu mecanwaith ar gyfer ymgysylltu pellach mewn gwirionedd, a gorfodi a gwella confensiwn Sewel, sydd wedi gwanhau cymaint dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, rwy'n credu, oherwydd ymosodiadau cyfansoddiadol uniongyrchol gan Lywodraeth y DU. Felly, rydych yn iawn i godi'r pwynt hwn, ond credaf y bydd y trefniadau rhynglywodraethol y byddwn yn gobeithio cael cyhoeddiadau pellach arnynt dros yr wythnosau a'r misoedd cynnar yn dechrau mynd i'r afael â pheth o'r gwactod cyfansoddiadol hwnnw. Nid wyf yn credu y bydd yn ei ddatrys, ond credaf y gallai ddarparu mecanwaith ar gyfer cam tuag at drefniant cyfansoddiadol mwy cadarn a therfynol. 


Diolch, Cwnsler Cyffredinol. I don't think I would describe the Sewel convention as weak; I think I'd probably describe it as non-existent at the moment, but there we are. Last week, Cwnsler Cyffredinol, the Lords described the overuse of secondary legislation in Westminster as dangerous for democracy. Lord Judge, the highly respected former lord chief justice, criticised the increase in secondary legislation and said that the House of Commons hasn't rejected a single piece of delegated legislation since 1979. He went on to say, 

'thousands and thousands of pages, in small print, are sent out to us every year, telling us all how we should live'

our lives, unless, of course, Cwnsler Cyfredinol, you're invited to a 10 Downing Street garden party. However, I don't think we as a Parliament can ourselves be complacent when it comes to this. There are some real areas of concern that I have in this Senedd. We have seen a huge increase in the use of secondary legislation in this place. In questioning the education Minister on the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill, concerns were raised that sections in the Bill gave a lesser scrutiny role to the Welsh Parliament than previously. And the building safety Act—a UK Government Bill—fully within a devolved area, that you consented to, has 17 clauses that create regulation powers for Welsh Ministers. Now, given the well-known lack of proper scrutiny within the legislative consent memoranda process, and the substantial increase in the use of secondary legislation in this place, what steps are you taking as the legal officer of the Senedd to make sure that this does not become a danger to Welsh democracy in the same way that eminent lawyers are warning about Westminster? Diolch yn fawr. 

Diolch, Gwnsler Cyffredinol. Nid wyf yn credu y byddwn yn dweud bod confensiwn Sewel yn wan; rwy'n credu y byddwn yn ei ddisgrifio fel rhywbeth nad yw'n bodoli ar hyn o bryd, ond dyna ni. Gwnsler Cyffredinol, yr wythnos diwethaf, dywedodd yr Arglwyddi fod y gorddefnydd o is-ddeddfwriaeth yn San Steffan yn beryglus i ddemocratiaeth. Beirniadodd yr Arglwydd Farnwr, y cyn arglwydd brif ustus uchel ei barch, y cynnydd mewn is-ddeddfwriaeth a dywedodd nad yw Tŷ'r Cyffredin wedi gwrthod unrhyw ddeddfwriaeth ddirprwyedig ers 1979. Aeth ymlaen i ddweud,

'caiff miloedd a miloedd o dudalennau, mewn print mân, eu hanfon atom bob blwyddyn, yn dweud wrth bawb ohonom sut y dylem fyw'

oni bai eich bod, Gwnsler Cyffredinol, yn cael eich gwahodd i barti yng ngardd 10 Stryd Downing. Fodd bynnag, nid wyf yn credu y gallwn ninnau fel Senedd fod yn hunanfodlon ynglŷn â hyn. Mae rhai meysydd yn peri pryder gwirioneddol imi yn y Senedd hon. Rydym wedi gweld cynnydd enfawr yn y defnydd o is-ddeddfwriaeth yn y lle hwn. Wrth holi'r Gweinidog addysg am y Bil Addysg Drydyddol ac Ymchwil (Cymru), mynegwyd pryderon fod adrannau yn y Bil yn rhoi llai o rôl graffu i Senedd Cymru nag o'r blaen. Ac mae gan y Ddeddf diogelwch adeiladau—Bil Llywodraeth y DU—sydd o fewn maes a ddatganolwyd yn llawn, y gwnaethoch gydsynio iddi, 17 cymal sy'n creu pwerau rheoleiddio i Weinidogion Cymru. Nawr, o ystyried y diffyg craffu priodol amlwg iawn o fewn proses y memoranda cydsyniad deddfwriaethol, a'r cynnydd sylweddol yn y defnydd o is-ddeddfwriaeth yn y lle hwn, pa gamau rydych yn eu cymryd fel swyddog cyfreithiol y Senedd i sicrhau na fydd hyn yn peryglu democratiaeth Gymreig yn yr un modd ag y mae cyfreithwyr blaenllaw yn ei rybuddio mewn perthynas â San Steffan? Diolch yn fawr.

It is a very important point in respect of the operation of parliaments across the UK, not just in respect of secondary legislation but, of course, the increased use of framework legislation, which ultimately leads to the same powers going to executives and, obviously, diminution in the roles of scrutiny. Can I just say that, on the issue of scrutiny, I have something very much in mind? I very much welcome actually the input from the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee on the issue around legislative consent memoranda, and, of course, there is going to be a Business Committee review of that, and that is an area I've been certainly applying my mind and giving considerable attention to. I think the same applies in respect of the points you raise with regard to secondary legislation, and I include with that framework legislation, because I think, from the Government's side, there are two competing forces: the one is the imperative on Government to get on with legislation, to get on with implementing manifestos, but, equally so, that has to be within the framework of a parliament, where the exercise of powers by government are properly held to account, that they are transparent, and there is a capacity for proper scrutiny. Now, there are real issues of scrutiny for a variety of other reasons as well, as the Member will know, and that is, for example, the extent of legislation that is coming, the issues that arise on legislative consent memoranda and the way in which legislation is having to be responded to so quickly, particularly in the light of Brexit and, of course, rather similar issues in respect of COVID.

What I can say is—and I've said this, I think, in the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee, but I can reiterate it here—I am more than happy to engage on a regular basis on those issues of scrutiny, on the discussion around those challenges that we have as not only a new Parliament, as a new democracy, but one that has also—. Each session of the Senedd has an increasing legislative role and increasing responsibilities, and we have to ensure that the democratic structure and the accountability of the Welsh Parliament is operating. There are difficult environments because of the dysfunctional constitutional arrangement we have at present within the UK, but hence the need for our own constitutional commission and also the inter-governmental review and the other considerations that are under way that recognise that dysfunction and are beginning to look at ways of creating a solution to it.

Mae'n bwynt pwysig iawn mewn perthynas â gwaith seneddau ar draws y DU, nid yn unig mewn perthynas ag is-ddeddfwriaeth ond wrth gwrs, y defnydd cynyddol o fframwaith deddfwriaethol, sy'n arwain at yr un pwerau'n mynd i weithrediaethau yn y pen draw, a lleihau rolau craffu wrth gwrs. A gaf fi ddweud, ar fater craffu, fod gennyf rywbeth mewn golwg? Rwy'n croesawu'r mewnbwn gan y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a'r Cyfansoddiad ynghylch mater memoranda cydsyniad deddfwriaethol, ac wrth gwrs, cyflawnir adolygiad yn o hynny gan y Pwyllgor Busnes, ac mae hwnnw'n sicr yn faes rwyf wedi bod yn ei ystyried ac wedi bod yn rhoi cryn sylw iddo. Credaf fod yr un peth yn wir am y pwyntiau a godwch ynglŷn ag is-ddeddfwriaeth, ac rwy'n cynnwys fframwaith deddfwriaethol gyda hynny, oherwydd o ochr y Llywodraeth, credaf fod dau rym sy'n cystadlu: un yw'r rheidrwydd ar Lywodraeth i fwrw ymlaen â deddfwriaeth, i fwrw ymlaen â gweithredu maniffestos, ond yn yr un modd, rhaid i hynny fod o fewn fframwaith senedd, lle mae'n rhaid i arfer pwerau gan lywodraeth gael ei ddwyn i gyfrif yn briodol, a'u bod yn dryloyw, a bod gallu i graffu'n briodol. Nawr, ceir problemau gwirioneddol gyda chraffu am amryw o resymau eraill hefyd, fel y gŵyr yr Aelod, sef, er enghraifft, maint y ddeddfwriaeth sydd ar y ffordd, y materion sy'n codi gyda memoranda cydsyniad deddfwriaethol a'r ffordd y mae'n rhaid ymateb i ddeddfwriaeth mor gyflym, yn enwedig yng ngoleuni Brexit a materion go debyg mewn perthynas â COVID wrth gwrs.

Yr hyn y gallaf ei ddweud yw—ac rwyf wedi dweud hyn, rwy'n credu, yn y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a'r Cyfansoddiad, ond gallaf ei ailadrodd yma—rwy'n fwy na pharod i ymgysylltu'n rheolaidd ar y materion hynny sy'n ymwneud â chraffu, ar y drafodaeth ynghylch yr heriau sydd gennym nid yn unig fel Senedd newydd, fel democratiaeth newydd, ond un sydd hefyd—. Mae gan bob sesiwn o'r Senedd rôl ddeddfwriaethol gynyddol a chyfrifoldebau cynyddol, ac mae'n rhaid inni sicrhau bod strwythur democrataidd ac atebolrwydd Senedd Cymru yn weithredol. Ceir amgylcheddau anodd oherwydd y trefniant cyfansoddiadol camweithredol sydd gennym ar hyn o bryd yn y DU, ond dyna pam fod angen inni gael ein comisiwn cyfansoddiadol ein hunain a hefyd yr adolygiad rhynglywodraethol a'r ystyriaethau eraill sydd ar y gweill sy'n cydnabod y camweithredu hwnnw ac sy'n dechrau edrych ar ffyrdd o'i ddatrys.


Sorry, let me get it. Sorry, I hadn't appreciated I had the third question.

Mae'n ddrwg gennyf, gadewch imi ei estyn. Mae'n ddrwg gennyf, nid oeddwn wedi deall mai fy nghwestiwn i oedd y trydydd cwestiwn.

'Adroddiad Tribiwnlysoedd Datganoledig yng Nghymru'
'Devolved Tribunals in Wales Report'

3. A wnaiff y Cwnsler Cyffredinol ddatganiad am yr amserlen ar gyfer gweithredu argymhellion yr 'Adroddiad Tribiwnlysoedd Datganoledig yng Nghymru' gan Gomisiwn y Gyfraith? OQ57414

3. Will the Counsel General make a statement on the timetable for the implementation of the recommendations of the Law Commission's 'Devolved Tribunals in Wales Report'? OQ57414

Diolch am eich cwestiwn, Rhys. Yn y datganiad ysgrifenedig i groesawu cyhoeddi'r adroddiad, fe wnes i esbonio bod y Llywodraeth yn cefnogi'n gryf yr egwyddor sylfaenol tu ôl i'r argymhellion sydd wedi cael eu gwneud. Byddwn yn nodi mwy o fanylion am ein cynlluniau yn ystod y misoedd nesaf. Bydd yr Aelodau'n deall na allaf roi amserlen ar gyfer y ddeddfwriaeth angenrheidiol ar hyn o bryd. 

Thank you very much for that question, Rhys. In my written statement welcoming the publication of the report, I made it clear that the Government strongly endorses the fundamental principle of the recommendations made. We will set out more detail on our plans in the coming months. Members will understand that I cannot give a timetable for the necessary legislation at this stage.

Diolch yn fawr, Cwnsler. Rwy'n gweld yr argymhellion yma, fel sefydlu tribiwnlys apêl, fel cam pwysig iawn yn natblygu’r system gyfiawnder yma yng Nghymru. Efallai nad yw e'n cael lot o sylw yn gyhoeddus, ond dwi'n credu ei fod o bwysigrwydd mawr. Yn fy marn i, drwy'r tribiwnlysoedd Cymreig, mae gennym ni sylfaen i adeiladu system cyfiawnder teg a chyfiawn yma yng Nghymru. Mae'r tribiwnlysoedd yn hygyrch—mae hwnna wedi cael ei godi yn barod gan Jack Sargeant, o ran y broblem gyda hygyrchedd yn y system bresennol—ac maen nhw wedi cael eu strwythuro mewn ffordd sy'n annog trafodaeth yn hytrach na gwrthdaro. A beth sy'n wych am y tribiwnlysoedd Cymreig yw dyw eu datblygiad ddim yn amodol ar Lywodraeth San Steffan ond, wrth gwrs, ar Lywodraeth Cymru. Does dim modd beio San Steffan y tro hwn, Cwnsler Cyffredinol. Yn rhy aml o lawer yn y gorffennol, mae'r tribiwnlysoedd Cymreig wedi cael eu hanghofio, yn syrthio rhwng dwy stôl oherwydd natur setliad datganoli, a mawr y gobeithiaf y gwnaiff Llywodraeth Cymru ddal gafael yn y cyfle yma. Felly, wrth eu datblygu ymhellach, a ydy'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol yn cytuno gyda'r egwyddor sylfaenol y dylai holl ddeddfwriaeth Senedd Cymru o nawr ymlaen ddefnyddio Tribiwnlysoedd Cymru i benderfynu ar unrhyw anghydfod sy'n deillio o'r ddeddfwriaeth hynny, yn hytrach na defnyddio llysoedd sirol Cymru a Lloegr? Diolch yn fawr.

Thank you very much, Counsel General. I see these recommendations, such as establishing an appeals tribunal, as a very important step in developing the justice system here in Wales. Perhaps it's not given much coverage publicly, but I do think there is huge importance to this. In my view, through the Welsh tribunals, we have a foundation to build a fair and just justice system here in Wales. The tribunals are accessible—the issue of accessibility in the current system was raised by Jack Sargeant—and the tribunals are structured in such a way as to encourage discussion rather than conflict. And what's excellent about the Welsh tribunals is that their development isn't subject to the Westminster Government but to the Welsh Government. We cannot blame Westminster this time, Counsel General. Far too often in the past the Welsh tribunals have been forgotten, falling between two stools because of the nature of the devolved settlement, and I very much hope that the Welsh Government will grasp this opportunity. So, in developing them further, does the Counsel General agree with the fundamental principle that all Senedd legislation should from now on use Welsh tribunals to decide on any dispute arising from that legislation, rather than using the county courts of England and Wales? Thank you.

Thank you for the question, and, of course, the Member wrote about this in an article in Nation.Cymru, which I read and I agreed with. I agree with him in, firstly, welcoming the work of the Law Commission in the detailed report that we have, which is under serious consideration and with a view to looking at the legislative programme. Also, I think we would all recognise the important work that Sir Wyn Williams has done in respect of the tribunals. The Member is right that the tribunals have come to us in a sort of ad hoc way. Some we have created, some we have inherited, some that have changed, and now is absolutely the right time for these tribunals to come together in a single tier, as is recommended. That is my view. What is equally important, though, is that one of the recommendations or options that's put there is of course the creation of an appellate structure, and it certainly is my thinking that that appellate structure is something that we would want to create and also probably to have the president of tribunals as, effectively, an appeal court judge.

This is a broader issue I was also discussing on my visit to Scotland, where, of course, courts and tribunals have a different framework but some similar issues, and I would hope that this actually becomes what is the embryonic base of the Welsh justice system and that you can also look eventually—. I mean, I don't want to run before we can walk on this—there's still quite a long way to go—but, of course, there are other tribunals that are not devolved, but something not being devolved doesn't mean it can't fit within a tribunal system, and that was an interesting commentary that I had from my visit to Scotland. So, this is a fundamentally important step forward for Wales. Our experience in terms of the way the tribunals have been operating, particularly during COVID, has been, I think, very effective. And I think the proposals that have come forward will put our part of the justice system that we have on a sound footing, independent of Government, able to act as an embryonic Welsh justice system, and with, for the first time, our own appeals structure.

Diolch am y cwestiwn, ac wrth gwrs, ysgrifennodd yr Aelod am hyn mewn erthygl a ddarllenais ar Nation.Cymru ac roeddwn yn cytuno â hi. Cytunaf ag ef, yn gyntaf, ynglŷn â chroesawu gwaith Comisiwn y Gyfraith yn yr adroddiad manwl sydd gennym, sy'n cael ei ystyried o ddifrif a chyda golwg ar edrych ar y rhaglen ddeddfwriaethol. Hefyd, credaf y byddem i gyd yn cydnabod y gwaith pwysig y mae Syr Wyn Williams wedi'i wneud mewn perthynas â'r tribiwnlysoedd. Mae'r Aelod yn iawn fod y tribiwnlysoedd wedi dod mewn rhyw fath o ffordd ad hoc. Rydym wedi creu rhai, rydym wedi etifeddu rhai, ceir rhai sydd wedi newid, a nawr yw'r amser i'r tribiwnlysoedd hyn ddod at ei gilydd mewn un haen, fel yr argymhellir. Dyna fy marn i. Yr hyn sydd yr un mor bwysig, serch hynny, yw bod un o'r argymhellion neu'r opsiynau a nodir yno yn creu strwythur apeliadol, wrth gwrs, ac yn sicr, rwy'n credu bod y strwythur apeliadol hwnnw'n rhywbeth y byddem eisiau ei greu a hefyd, mae'n debyg, cael llywydd tribiwnlysoedd fel barnwr llys apêl i bob pwrpas.

Mae hwn yn fater ehangach roeddwn hefyd yn ei drafod ar fy ymweliad â'r Alban, lle mae gan lysoedd a thribiwnlysoedd, wrth gwrs, fframwaith gwahanol ond rhai pethau tebyg, a byddwn yn gobeithio y daw hon yn sylfaen embryonig i system gyfiawnder Cymru ac y gallwch edrych yn y pen draw hefyd—. Hynny yw, nid wyf eisiau cropian cyn cerdded yn hyn o beth—mae cryn dipyn o ffordd i fynd o hyd—ond wrth gwrs, ceir tribiwnlysoedd eraill nad ydynt wedi'u datganoli, ond nid yw'r ffaith nad yw rhywbeth wedi'i ddatganoli yn golygu na all ffitio o fewn system dribiwnlysoedd, ac roedd hwnnw'n sylw diddorol a gefais o fy ymweliad â'r Alban. Felly, mae hwn yn gam sylfaenol bwysig ymlaen i Gymru. Mae ein profiad o ran y ffordd y mae'r tribiwnlysoedd wedi bod yn gweithredu, yn enwedig yn ystod COVID, wedi bod yn effeithiol iawn yn fy marn i. A chredaf y bydd y cynigion sydd wedi'u cyflwyno yn rhoi'r rhan sydd gennym ni o'r system gyfiawnder ar sail gadarn, yn annibynnol ar y Llywodraeth, ac y bydd yn gallu gweithredu fel system gyfiawnder Gymreig embryonig, a hynny gyda'n strwythur apeliadau ein hunain am y tro cyntaf.

Mynediad i Gyfiawnder
Access to Justice

4. Pa asesiad y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud o effaith technoleg ddigidol ar fynediad i gyfiawnder yng Nghymru? OQ57410

4. What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the impact of digital technology on access to justice in Wales? OQ57410

Thank you for the question. The Welsh Government assesses UK Government initiatives as they arise to ensure that access to justice considerations have been fully considered. Digital technology has the potential to expand access to justice, but the system has to work hard to ensure that no-one is left behind.

Diolch am y cwestiwn. Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn asesu cynlluniau Llywodraeth y DU wrth iddynt godi i sicrhau bod ystyriaethau mynediad at gyfiawnder wedi cael eu hystyried yn llawn. Mae gan dechnoleg ddigidol botensial i ehangu mynediad at gyfiawnder, ond mae'n rhaid i'r system weithio'n galed i sicrhau nad oes neb yn cael ei adael ar ôl.

I thank the Counsel General for that answer, and he'll know that, during the pandemic, we've seen a real shift to using online services to allow people to access justice across Wales. It's out of necessity, and it has provided some opportunities. Without it, many more people would be affected by the delays and backlogs that we do indeed see. But we've got to bear in mind that not everyone has the ability or the means to use these services. In fact, as the Thomas commission said, it can indeed be harder for those who are digitally excluded to access legal rights. So, can I ask what conversations the Counsel General has had with Ministers in the Ministry of Justice to ensure that they are aware of the importance that we in Wales place on ensuring that all court services are accessible by people who lack digital skills, or indeed lack easy access to digital platforms, or indeed to the legal support that needs to go alongside that digital access to justice?

Diolch i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol am yr ateb hwnnw, ac fe fydd yn gwybod ein bod, yn ystod y pandemig, wedi gweld newid go iawn i ddefnyddio gwasanaethau ar-lein i ganiatáu i bobl gael mynediad at gyfiawnder ledled Cymru. Mae'n fater o anghenraid, ac mae wedi darparu rhai cyfleoedd. Hebddo, byddai llawer mwy o bobl yn cael eu heffeithio gan yr oedi a'r ôl-groniadau a welwn. Ond mae'n rhaid inni gofio nad oes gan bawb allu na modd o ddefnyddio'r gwasanaethau hyn. Yn wir, fel y dywedodd comisiwn Thomas, gall yn wir fod yn anos i'r rhai sydd wedi'u hallgáu'n ddigidol gael mynediad at hawliau cyfreithiol. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn pa sgyrsiau y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'u cael gyda Gweinidogion yn y Weinyddiaeth Gyfiawnder i sicrhau eu bod yn ymwybodol o'r pwyslais rydym ni yng Nghymru yn ei roi ar sicrhau bod pob gwasanaeth llys ar gael i bobl heb sgiliau digidol, neu heb fynediad hawdd at blatfformau digidol, neu'n wir at y cymorth cyfreithiol sydd ei angen ochr yn ochr â mynediad digidol at gyfiawnder?

Thank you for the supplementary question. You raise a very important point that is an ongoing one. Of course, we do have a digital strategy for Wales, which is a programme for government commitment that makes clear that for people who cannot, or decide not to, participate digitally, there are alternative ways to access public services. Now, of course, within the courts system and certainly within our tribunals, I think our performance has been second to none, and I commented on this during the discussion on the annual report of the president of the Welsh Tribunals and how they've operated during the COVID period digitally and have been able to work very effectively, and, of course, I think some of our tribunals are very particularly suited to those types of hearings. But the point is absolutely right—we have 7 per cent of people in Wales who do not have access to the internet, and we have 23 per cent of people over 16 who are assessed as not having the necessary digital skills. So, that is a very important point in respect of access, and a lot of this has also been exacerbated by the fact that we've had UK Government court closures, which have made individuals more and more dependent on digital access, but it is very clear that there are many failings within the system that need to be identified. I have raised this and I know the Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, has also raised this, and others have, at every opportunity with the Ministry of Justice—that of course we support the benefits that can be achieved through digital access, but equally so there are real equality issues in ensuring that digital access does not become something that prevents access to justice or creates a two-tier system of access to justice.

Diolch am y cwestiwn atodol. Rydych yn codi pwynt pwysig iawn sy'n un parhaus. Wrth gwrs, mae gennym strategaeth ddigidol i Gymru, sy'n un o ymrwymiadau ein rhaglen lywodraethu i'w gwneud yn glir i bobl nad ydynt yn gallu neu sy'n penderfynu peidio â chyfranogi'n ddigidol fod yna ffyrdd amgen o gael mynediad at wasanaethau cyhoeddus. Nawr, wrth gwrs, o fewn y system llysoedd ac yn sicr o fewn ein tribiwnlysoedd, credaf fod ein perfformiad wedi bod yn ddiguro, a gwneuthum sylwadau ar hyn yn ystod y drafodaeth ar adroddiad blynyddol llywydd Tribiwnlysoedd Cymru a sut y maent wedi gweithredu yn ddigidol yn ystod cyfnod COVID ac sut y maent wedi gallu gweithio'n effeithiol iawn, ac wrth gwrs, credaf fod rhai o'n tribiwnlysoedd yn arbennig o addas i'r mathau hynny o wrandawiadau. Ond mae'r pwynt yn gwbl gywir—mae gennym 7 y cant o bobl Cymru heb fynediad at y rhyngrwyd, ac mae gennym 23 y cant o bobl dros 16 oed yr aseswyd nad oes ganddynt y sgiliau digidol angenrheidiol. Felly, mae hwnnw'n bwynt pwysig iawn ynglŷn â mynediad, ac mae llawer o hyn hefyd wedi'i waethygu gan y ffaith ein bod wedi cau llysoedd Llywodraeth y DU, sydd wedi gwneud unigolion yn fwy a mwy dibynnol ar fynediad digidol, ond mae'n amlwg iawn fod llawer o fethiannau sy'n rhaid eu nodi o fewn y system. Rwyf wedi crybwyll hyn a gwn fod y Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol, Jane Hutt, hefyd wedi ei grybwyll, yn ogystal ag eraill, ar bob cyfle wrth y Weinyddiaeth Gyfiawnder—ein bod, wrth gwrs, yn cefnogi'r manteision y gellir eu cyflawni drwy fynediad digidol, ond yn yr un modd mae yna gwestiynau gwirioneddol yn codi o ran cydraddoldeb a sicrhau nad yw mynediad digidol yn mynd yn rhywbeth sy'n atal mynediad at gyfiawnder neu'n creu system ddwy haen o fynediad at gyfiawnder.

Minister, digital technology has the potential to reshape the way that justice operates and how people access it. The courts and tribunals service is investing roughly about £1 billion to reform its systems with the aim of bringing new technologies and modern ways of working into the courtrooms, and the Ministry of Justice has created a £5 million innovation fund to promote these new ways to deliver legal support and advice through digital means. This will clearly have an impact on Welsh courts. Further to this, has the Minister assessed the range of opportunities for people to use technology to self-diagnose their problem to establish if their problem is a legal one or not?

Weinidog, mae gan dechnoleg ddigidol botensial i ail-lunio'r ffordd y mae cyfiawnder yn gweithredu a sut y mae pobl yn cael mynediad ato. Mae'r gwasanaeth llysoedd a thribiwnlysoedd yn buddsoddi tua £1 biliwn i ddiwygio ei systemau gyda'r nod o gyflwyno technolegau newydd a ffyrdd modern o weithio yn y llysoedd, ac mae'r Weinyddiaeth Gyfiawnder wedi creu cronfa arloesi gwerth £5 miliwn i hyrwyddo'r ffyrdd newydd hyn o ddarparu cymorth a chyngor cyfreithiol drwy ddulliau digidol. Mae'n amlwg y bydd hyn yn cael effaith ar lysoedd Cymru. Yn ychwanegol at hyn, a yw'r Gweinidog wedi asesu'r amrywiaeth o gyfleoedd i bobl ddefnyddio technoleg i hunanasesu eu problem i weld a yw'n broblem gyfreithiol ai peidio?


I thank the Member for that supplementary question. You raise a number of interesting points. The first one—. Of course, the latter point you raise is: have I as a Minister actually considered doing that? Well, of course, the Member will be aware that, despite our request, justice is not devolved. Just think how much better we could actually engage digital operations, public facilities, the public services that are so integral in respect of justice issues, if it was devolved. Now that's something, obviously, that I'm looking at in conjunction with the Minister for Social Justice, to show how we could operate a justice system and better access and better justice, I believe, within a devolved situation. So, that's one area that is under way. Of course, the assessment of that has been being carried out on an ongoing basis by the Ministry of Justice. Unfortunately, the engagement with us over that tends to be rather sporadic. We raise it with Ministers when we speak. The Member will probably not be surprised to know that we still have major hurdles in accessing justice data relating to Wales. Now how do you develop and design social policy and justice policy if you don't even know what the data is in your own country? And we've raised that numerous times at every level. I think the weaknesses of the data availability disaggregation are recognised, but what's happening about it, I don't know.

What I would like to see would be a situation where there was a greater engagement with us, and a greater say in the use of resources in the actual combination of public services and court services through the use of digital facilities, but at the moment we are still very dependent on the Ministry of Justice taking decisions. For example, we have a major civil justice court in the capital of Wales in Cardiff that is not fit for purpose. It is recognised as not fit for purpose; that point has regularly been made and yet we still await a decision on having proper court facilities for families, for representatives, with all the digital and security aspects that are required. So, you hit the right points, but there is still a long way to go for the Ministry of Justice, I believe, to have a comprehensive programme in respect of the use of digital technology and also the recognition of the ongoing need for those who do not have that digital access.

Diolch i’r Aelod am y cwestiwn atodol. Rydych yn codi nifer o bwyntiau diddorol. Y cyntaf—. Wrth gwrs, y pwynt olaf a godwch yw: a wyf fi fel Gweinidog wedi ystyried gwneud hynny? Wel, wrth gwrs, bydd yr Aelod yn ymwybodol, er gwaethaf ein cais, nad yw cyfiawnder wedi’i ddatganoli. Meddyliwch faint yn well y gallem gyflawni gweithrediadau digidol, cyfleusterau cyhoeddus, y gwasanaethau cyhoeddus sydd mor hanfodol mewn perthynas â materion cyfiawnder, pe bai cyfiawnder wedi'i ddatganoli. Nawr, mae hynny'n rhywbeth rwy'n edrych arno ar y cyd â'r Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol wrth gwrs, i ddangos sut y gallem weithredu system gyfiawnder a gwell mynediad a gwell cyfiawnder, yn fy marn i, mewn sefyllfa ddatganoledig. Felly, dyna un maes sydd ar y gweill. Wrth gwrs, mae’r Weinyddiaeth Gyfiawnder wedi bod yn asesu hynny'n barhaus. Yn anffodus, mae'r ymwneud â ni ar hynny yn tueddu i fod braidd yn ysbeidiol. Rydym yn codi'r mater gyda Gweinidogion pan fyddwn yn siarad. Mae’n debyg na fydd yr Aelod yn synnu clywed bod rhwystrau mawr yn ein hwynebu o hyd o ran cael gafael ar ddata cyfiawnder sy'n ymwneud â Chymru. Nawr, sut rydych yn datblygu ac yn llunio polisi cymdeithasol a pholisi cyfiawnder os nad ydych hyd yn oed yn gwybod beth yw'r data yn eich gwlad eich hun? Ac rydym wedi codi hynny sawl tro ar bob lefel. Credaf fod y gwendidau wedi eu cydnabod o ran dadgyfuno argaeledd data, ond nid wyf yn gwybod beth sy'n digwydd ynglŷn â hynny.

Yr hyn yr hoffwn ei weld fyddai sefyllfa lle byddai mwy o ymgysylltu â ni, a mwy o lais gennym yn y defnydd o adnoddau yn y cyfuniad o wasanaethau cyhoeddus a gwasanaethau llys drwy'r defnydd o gyfleusterau digidol, ond ar hyn o bryd, rydym yn dal i fod yn ddibynnol iawn ar benderfyniadau'r Weinyddiaeth Gyfiawnder. Er enghraifft, mae gennym lys cyfiawnder sifil mawr ym mhrifddinas Cymru yng Nghaerdydd nad yw’n addas at y diben. Mae'n cael ei gydnabod fel un nad yw'n addas at y diben; mae’r pwynt hwnnw wedi’i wneud dro ar ôl tro ac eto rydym yn dal i aros am benderfyniad ynghylch cael cyfleusterau llys priodol ar gyfer teuluoedd, ar gyfer cynrychiolwyr, gyda’r holl agweddau digidol a diogelwch sy’n ofynnol. Felly, fe gyfeirioch at y pwyntiau cywir, ond yn fy marn i mae llawer i'w wneud cyn y bydd gan y Weinyddiaeth Gyfiawnder raglen gynhwysfawr ar ddefnyddio technoleg ddigidol, a chyn y bydd yn cydnabod angen parhaus y rheini nad oes ganddynt fynediad digidol o'r fath.

Rheoliadau Diogelwch Tomenni Glo
Coal Tip Safety Regulations

5. Pa gyngor cyfreithiol y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'i roi i Lywodraeth Cymru ar reoliadau diogelwch tomenni glo? OQ57426

5. What legal advice has the Counsel General provided to the Welsh Government on coal tip safety regulations? OQ57426

I thank the Member for her question. Safeguarding our communities remains the Welsh Government’s top priority and we will continue to discharge our devolved responsibilities to do so. We have commissioned the Law Commission to review the legislation, and we will look to bring forward new legislation to allow us to manage disused coal tips in Wales.

Diolch i’r Aelod am ei chwestiwn. Mae diogelu ein cymunedau yn parhau i fod yn brif flaenoriaeth i Lywodraeth Cymru, a byddwn yn parhau i gyflawni ein cyfrifoldebau datganoledig i wneud hynny. Rydym wedi comisiynu Comisiwn y Gyfraith i adolygu’r ddeddfwriaeth, a byddwn yn ceisio cyflwyno deddfwriaeth newydd i ganiatáu inni reoli hen domenni glo yng Nghymru.

Thank you for that answer. I know that the Welsh Government will be acutely aware of these concerns around coal tip safety. It's something I've raised many times in the Senedd, and I know that, as you have set out, there is work ongoing to find solutions to make the tips that are deemed highest risk, particularly, safe. I would be interested to gain an understanding of the Welsh Government's legal perspective on this. The finance Minister said in a statement in September of last year—and I quote—that:

'The UK Government has a legal and moral responsibility to work with the Welsh Government to address this issue and fund these long-term costs.'

Could you, Counsel General, please explain what these legal responsibilities the UK Government has are, presumably under the Mines and Quarries (Tips) Act 1969, and what role you can play to help ensure that those responsibilities are upheld? Because, as the deputy climate change Minister said at the end of last year, the UK Government is currently abdicating those responsibilities.

And finally, if I may, you referred in your first answer to the consultation being held by the Law Commission, which I welcome. Could you please give us an update on the work undertaken so far and provide a date for us about when you expect them to publish their recommendations, please?

Diolch am eich ateb. Gwn y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn ymwybodol iawn o’r pryderon hyn ynghylch diogelwch tomenni glo. Mae’n rhywbeth rwyf wedi’i godi droeon yn y Senedd, ac fel y nodwyd gennych, gwn fod gwaith yn mynd rhagddo i ganfod i atebion i sicrhau bod y tomenni yr ystyrir eu bod yn peri’r risg fwyaf, yn enwedig, yn ddiogel. Byddai'n dda gennyf ddeall safbwynt cyfreithiol Llywodraeth Cymru ar hyn. Dywedodd y Gweinidog cyllid mewn datganiad ym mis Medi y llynedd:

'Mae cyfrifoldeb cyfreithiol a moesol ar Lywodraeth y DU i weithio gyda Llywodraeth Cymru i fynd i’r afael â’r mater hwn ac i ariannu’r costau hirdymor hyn.'

Gwnsler Cyffredinol, a wnewch chi esbonio beth yw’r cyfrifoldebau cyfreithiol hyn sydd gan Lywodraeth y DU, o dan Ddeddf Mwyngloddiau a Chwareli (Tomenni) 1969 yn ôl pob tebyg, a pha rôl y gallwch ei chwarae i helpu i sicrhau bod y cyfrifoldebau hynny’n cael eu cyflawni? Oherwydd, fel y dywedodd y dirprwy Weinidog newid hinsawdd ddiwedd y llynedd, mae Llywodraeth y DU yn ymwrthod â’r cyfrifoldebau hynny ar hyn o bryd.

Ac yn olaf, os caf, fe gyfeirioch chi yn eich ateb cyntaf at yr ymgynghoriad a gynhelir gan Gomisiwn y Gyfraith, sy'n rhywbeth rwy'n ei groesawu. A fyddech cystal â rhoi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf i ni am y gwaith a wnaed hyd yn hyn a rhoi dyddiad i ni pryd rydych yn disgwyl iddynt gyhoeddi eu hargymhellion, os gwelwch yn dda?

Okay. Thank you for a variety of important points in respect of coal tips, and I think your constituency—your region—and the constituency I represent obviously have a large number of coal tips.

I suppose the starting point, of course, is that when the 1994 legislation came in—and, again, going back, in fact, to the legislation after Aberfan in 1969—the focus was on working mines and operating tips rather than defunct tips. And, of course, a further matter has arisen on that, which is, of course, the difference between reclamation and making tips safe. Because reclamation in many areas are areas where Welsh Government has been engaged in, but, of course, the issue of safety of tips is something that has particularly emerged as a result of climate change, and relates to responsibilities, I believe, that go well before devolution. Now, you will have heard me the last time this was raised—and I believe you participated in the questions at that time—that I believe that, at the very least, there is a moral and a political responsibility of UK Government.

The issue of legal liability becomes much more complex because of, really, the weakness of the legislative framework that was created after 1994, where you have tips that are now in different ownerships. Some are still in the ownership of the Coal Authority, who remain responsible for them. The issues arise as to whether the responsibility only relates in terms of safety risks or broader, longer term risks. Whilst all this is going on and whilst the UK Government has clearly abrogated, I think quite shamefully, any responsibility in respect of the pre-devolution legacy of the coal industry, we, nevertheless, have to ensure that our communities are safe. Consequentially, the Law Commission has been carrying out its work. I believe that work is close to conclusion. They did hold a number of sessions, which I understand were quite well attended, within Wales. I've met with them—with the Law Commission—as well and have discussed the ongoing work, and, of course, it is the intention to legislate in this area. We have to legislate to create a framework.

The arguments in respect of funding will carry on and remain, but, as a Welsh Government, our priority, as I've said, is towards the safety of the people of Wales and our communities. So, within the next three-year budget, there's £44.4 million in there for safety work. We've also provided £800,000 to the Coal Authority in respect of their carrying out inspections of high-risk tips, and there is still work going on in respect of the evaluation and analysis of what those are and where they are and what the levels of safety are. And I understand the Minister for Climate Change has, obviously, commented on that in the past and will no doubt do so in the near future.

Iawn. Diolch am amryw o bwyntiau pwysig mewn perthynas â thomenni glo, a chredaf fod gan eich etholaeth—eich rhanbarth—a’r etholaeth rwy'n ei chynrychioli nifer fawr o domenni glo, yn amlwg.

Mae'n debyg mai'r man cychwyn, wrth gwrs, yw pan ddaeth deddfwriaeth 1994 i rym—a chan fynd yn ôl, eto, at y ddeddfwriaeth ar ôl Aberfan ym 1969—roedd y ffocws ar fwyngloddiau a thomenni gweithredol yn hytrach na hen domenni. Ac wrth gwrs, mae mater pellach wedi codi mewn perthynas â hynny, sef wrth gwrs, y gwahaniaeth rhwng adfer tomenni a'u gwneud yn ddiogel. Oherwydd mae adfer, mewn sawl achos, wedi bod yn faes y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi ymwneud ag ef, ond wrth gwrs, mae mater diogelwch tomenni yn rhywbeth sydd wedi dod i'r amlwg yn fwyaf arbennig o ganlyniad i'r newid yn yr hinsawdd, ac rwy'n credu ei fod yn ymwneud â chyfrifoldebau sy'n dyddio o gyfnod ymhell cyn datganoli. Nawr, fe fyddwch wedi fy nghlywed yn dweud y tro diwethaf i hyn gael ei godi—a chredaf ichi gymryd rhan yn y cwestiynau bryd hynny—fy mod yn credu bod cyfrifoldeb moesol a gwleidyddol fan lleiaf ar Lywodraeth y DU yn hyn o beth.

Mae mater atebolrwydd cyfreithiol yn llawer mwy cymhleth, oherwydd gwendid y fframwaith deddfwriaethol a grëwyd ar ôl 1994 yn y bôn, lle mae gennych domenni sydd bellach mewn perchnogaeth wahanol. Mae rhai ohonynt yn dal ym mherchnogaeth yr Awdurdod Glo, sy'n parhau i fod yn gyfrifol amdanynt. Mae cwestiynau'n codi ynglŷn ag a yw’r cyfrifoldeb yn ymwneud â risgiau diogelwch yn unig neu â risgiau ehangach mwy hirdymor. Tra bod hyn oll yn mynd rhagddo, a thra bod Llywodraeth y DU yn amlwg wedi ymwrthod, yn gwbl gywilyddus yn fy marn i, ag unrhyw gyfrifoldeb dros yr hyn a adawodd y diwydiant glo ar ei ôl yn y cyfnod cyn datganoli, mae’n rhaid inni sicrhau, serch hynny, fod ein cymunedau’n ddiogel. O ganlyniad, mae Comisiwn y Gyfraith wedi bod yn cyflawni ei waith. Credaf fod y gwaith yn agos at fod wedi ei gwblhau. Fe wnaethant gynnal nifer o sesiynau yng Nghymru, a chawsant eu mynychu gan nifer eithaf da o bobl yn ôl yr hyn a ddeallaf. Rwyf wedi cyfarfod â hwy—gyda Chomisiwn y Gyfraith—ac wedi trafod y gwaith sy'n mynd rhagddo, ac wrth gwrs, y bwriad yw deddfu yn y maes hwn. Mae'n rhaid inni ddeddfu er mwyn creu fframwaith.

Bydd y dadleuon ynglŷn â chyllid yn parhau, ond fel Llywodraeth Cymru, ein blaenoriaeth, fel y dywedais, yw diogelwch pobl Cymru a’n cymunedau. Felly, o fewn y gyllideb tair blynedd nesaf, mae £44.4 miliwn ar gael ar gyfer gwaith diogelwch. Rydym hefyd wedi darparu £800,000 i’r Awdurdod Glo mewn perthynas â chynnal arolygiadau o domenni risg uchel, ac mae gwaith yn mynd rhagddo o hyd ar werthuso a dadansoddi pa rai yw’r rheini a'u lleoliad a beth yw’r lefelau diogelwch. Ac rwy’n deall bod y Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd, yn amlwg, wedi gwneud sylwadau ar hynny yn y gorffennol ac y bydd yn sicr o wneud hynny yn y dyfodol agos.


As the Counsel General will be aware, there is, presently, inadequate legislation for local authorities to ensure that coal tips on private land are safe. Although the current Act does give local authorities the necessary power to enter private land at any reasonable time in order to inspect and carry out safety tests, a minimum of two days' notice is required. If the landowner refuses, as is their right, there is a requirement for local authorities to obtain a court order to gain entry, and this could take some considerable time. Whilst most landowners, I'm sure, would be more than happy for inspections of disused coal tips, there's nonetheless a legislative limitation that could lead to serious consequences. With this in mind, does the Counsel General believe that this legislation needs to be tightened in order to mitigate any danger to the public due to a delay in disused coal tip inspections, and what considerations has he given to the prospect of amending this aspect of legislation for any new regulatory system? Thank you.

Fel y gŵyr y Cwnsler Cyffredinol, ar hyn o bryd, nid oes deddfwriaeth ddigonol i awdurdodau lleol sicrhau bod tomenni glo ar dir preifat yn ddiogel. Er bod y Ddeddf bresennol yn rhoi pŵer angenrheidiol i awdurdodau lleol gael mynediad i dir preifat ar unrhyw adeg resymol er mwyn archwilio a chynnal profion diogelwch, mae angen rhoi o leiaf ddau ddiwrnod o rybudd. Os yw perchennog y tir yn gwrthod, ac mae hawl ganddynt i wneud hynny, mae gofyniad i awdurdodau lleol gael gorchymyn llys er mwyn cael mynediad, a gallai hyn gymryd cryn dipyn o amser. Er y byddai'r rhan fwyaf o berchnogion tir, rwy'n siŵr, yn fwy na pharod i gael archwiliadau o hen domenni glo, ceir cyfyngiad deddfwriaethol serch hynny a allai arwain at ganlyniadau difrifol. Gyda hyn mewn golwg, a yw’r Cwnsler Cyffredinol o’r farn fod angen tynhau’r ddeddfwriaeth hon er mwyn lleihau unrhyw berygl i’r cyhoedd yn sgil oedi cyn archwilio hen domenni glo, a pha ystyriaethau y mae wedi’u rhoi i’r posibilrwydd o ddiwygio’r agwedd hon ar y ddeddfwriaeth ar gyfer unrhyw system reoleiddio newydd? Diolch.

Well, I thank Joel for that question, and, yes, the point you raise in respect of the role of local authorities is right, and also in terms of the obligations of private landowners who have coal tips on their property, or even sometimes part of coal tips, as some of the complications. This is an issue I think that has been identified by the Law Commission and is part of the ongoing work, and I'm sure will be part of something that we need to address in respect of any regulatory regime with regard to coal tips. And when we have the full report and the recommendations and we've had an opportunity to consider those and also the substance of legislation, I'm sure that that will be a significant part of it.

Wel, diolch i Joel am ei gwestiwn, ac mae’r pwynt a godwch ar rôl awdurdodau lleol yn gywir, a hefyd ynghylch rhwymedigaethau perchnogion tir preifat a chanddynt domenni glo ar eu heiddo, neu hyd yn oed rannau o domenni glo, weithiau, fel rhai o'r cymhlethdodau. Mae hwn yn fater a nodwyd gan Gomisiwn y Gyfraith, rwy'n credu, ac mae'n rhan o'r gwaith parhaus, ac rwy'n siŵr y bydd yn rhan o rywbeth y mae angen inni fynd i'r afael ag ef mewn perthynas ag unrhyw gyfundrefn reoleiddiol yng nghyswllt tomenni glo. A phan fyddwn wedi cael yr adroddiad llawn a'r argymhellion, ac wedi cael cyfle i ystyried y rheini yn ogystal â sylwedd y ddeddfwriaeth, rwy'n siŵr y bydd hynny'n rhan bwysig o'r gwaith.

Deddfwriaeth Hawliau Dynol
Human Rights Legislation

6. Pa ystyriaeth y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'i rhoi i effaith adolygiad Llywodraeth y DU o ddeddfwriaeth hawliau dynol ar gyfraith Cymru? OQ57428

6. What consideration has the Counsel General given to the impact on Welsh law of the UK Government's review of human rights legislation? OQ57428

Thank you for your question. Last month, the UK Government launched a consultation on the Human Rights Act 1998. I have concerns about these proposals. My officials and I will be carefully scrutinising the detail to determine the impact on Welsh law and to ensure that the rights of the people of Wales are not diluted.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Fis diwethaf, lansiodd Llywodraeth y DU ymgynghoriad ar Ddeddf Hawliau Dynol 1998. Mae gennyf bryderon am y cynigion hyn. Bydd fy swyddogion a minnau’n craffu’n ofalus ar y manylion i bennu’r effaith ar gyfraith Cymru ac i sicrhau nad yw hawliau pobl Cymru yn cael eu gwanhau.

Thank you. Martha Spurrier, director of human rights group Liberty, has said that:

'This plan to reform the Human Rights Act is a blatant, unashamed power grab from a Government that wants to put themselves above the law. They are quite literally rewriting the rules in their favour so they become untouchable.'

The Law Society of England and Wales's president has said that:

'People from all walks of life rely on the Human Rights Act to uphold and protect their rights. Any reform of this subtle and carefully crafted legal instrument should be led by evidence—not driven by political rhetoric…. We trust that government's final proposals will preserve the UK's deserved reputation as a global leader in upholding human rights both domestically and on the international stage.' 

Fundamentally, any loss or regression or diminution of human rights is deeply worrying and destabilising, both to the individual and to the state. Counsel General, what representations and dialogue with the UK Government are ongoing in this area, and has the Welsh Government clearly expressed its position on the very deeply held concerns about such dangerous proposed actions for the Welsh citizen?

Diolch. Mae Martha Spurrier, cyfarwyddwr grŵp hawliau dynol Liberty, wedi dweud:

'Mae’r cynllun hwn i ddiwygio’r Ddeddf Hawliau Dynol yn enghraifft amlwg a digywilydd o gipio pwerau gan Lywodraeth sydd am osod eu hunain uwchben y gyfraith. Maent yn llythrennol yn ailysgrifennu'r rheolau o'u plaid hwy fel na ellir eu cyffwrdd.'

Mae llywydd Cymdeithas Cyfreithwyr Cymru a Lloegr wedi dweud:

'Mae pobl o bob cefndir yn dibynnu ar y Ddeddf Hawliau Dynol i gynnal ac amddiffyn eu hawliau. Dylai unrhyw ddiwygio a wneir i’r offeryn cyfreithiol cynnil hwn, sydd wedi’i lunio’n ofalus, gael ei arwain gan dystiolaeth—nid ei yrru gan rethreg wleidyddol…. Hyderwn y bydd cynigion terfynol y llywodraeth yn diogelu enw da haeddiannol y DU fel arweinydd byd-eang yn cynnal hawliau dynol gartref ac ar y llwyfan rhyngwladol.'

Yn y bôn, mae colli neu grebachu neu leihau hawliau dynol yn destun pryder ac yn ansefydlogi'r unigolyn a’r wladwriaeth. Gwnsler Cyffredinol, pa sylwadau a thrafodaethau sy’n mynd rhagddynt gyda Llywodraeth y DU yn y maes hwn, ac a yw Llywodraeth Cymru wedi mynegi ei barn yn glir wrth Lywodraeth y DU ynghylch y pryderon dwys ynglŷn ag effaith y fath gamau arfaethedig peryglus ar ddinasyddion Cymru?

Thank you for that detailed supplementary question. The Human Rights Act review, with a view to creating a new bill of rights, is something that has to be taken very, very seriously indeed. In fact, the Member will be aware that a joint statement has been issued by myself and the Minister for Social Justice specifically on this because of our concerns about the report and the way it is framed. Can I say that it really does the UK Government no credit when the Lord Chancellor, in referring to this review, says that the purpose of it is to counter 'wokery and political correctness', whatever that means?

Human rights are a fundamental part of the Government of Wales legislation, of the devolution legislation, and, of course, all the legislation we apply has to be compliant with that, and I'm fully supportive of that. I have real concerns about the review; they are expressed within the statement. I have real concerns, for example, about the reference to rights inflation. One of the purposes is to, basically, deal with the fact that we apparently have had a growth of rights and we therefore have too many rights and therefore some of our rights have to be restricted. I have real concerns about the—. Although, in the foreword to the report, it addresses the issue of devolution, but, quite frankly, it doesn't then deal with the issue of devolution at all, other than in respect of Northern Ireland. And I also have concerns about the limitation that's been placed within the review, which basically says that it will not look at expanding the issue of social and economic rights. Well, if you're going to have a review of human rights, how can you ignore the issue of the suitability of economic and social rights protection of the people?

So, I have real concern about the pejorative way in which the report has been phrased, the lack of evidence to base some of the assumptions or leading points that are made within it. But what I can assure Members of is that this is a matter of very significant concern across all Parliaments, and we will address that very seriously and put in a very wholesome and I think substantive report on all the interests that we have as a Welsh Parliament in respect of the areas under consideration by the review, but also, I think, the areas that we believe should be added to it that, clearly, the UK Government does not intend to review at the moment, which I think is a great lost opportunity.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn atodol manwl. Mae’r adolygiad o’r Ddeddf Hawliau Dynol, gyda'r bwriad o greu bil hawliau newydd, yn rhywbeth y mae’n rhaid ei ystyried yn ddifrifol iawn. Mewn gwirionedd, bydd yr Aelod yn ymwybodol fod datganiad ar y cyd wedi’i gyhoeddi gan y Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol a minnau yn benodol ar hyn oherwydd ein pryderon am yr adroddiad a’r ffordd y mae wedi’i fframio. A gaf fi ddweud nad yw’n fawr o glod i Lywodraeth y DU pan fo’r Arglwydd Ganghellor, wrth gyfeirio at yr adolygiad, yn dweud mai ei ddiben yw gwrthsefyll 'agweddau woke a chywirdeb gwleidyddol', beth bynnag y mae hynny’n ei olygu?

Mae hawliau dynol yn rhan sylfaenol o ddeddfwriaeth Llywodraeth Cymru, o’r ddeddfwriaeth ddatganoli, ac wrth gwrs, mae’n rhaid i’r holl ddeddfwriaeth a roddwn ar waith gydymffurfio â honno, ac rwy’n cefnogi hynny'n llwyr. Mae gennyf bryderon gwirioneddol am yr adolygiad; maent wedi'u mynegi yn y datganiad. Mae gennyf bryderon gwirioneddol, er enghraifft, ynglŷn â'r cyfeiriad at 'rights inflation'. Un o’r dibenion, yn y bôn, yw mynd i'r afael â’r ffaith ein bod, yn ôl yr honiad, wedi gweld cynnydd yn nifer yr hawliau, ac felly fod gennym ormod o hawliau ac felly fod rhaid cyfyngu ar rai o’n hawliau. Mae gennyf bryderon gwirioneddol am y—. Er hynny, yn rhagair yr adroddiad, mae'n cyfeirio at ddatganoli, ond a dweud y gwir, nid yw'n sôn am ddatganoli o gwbl wedi hynny, ac eithrio mewn perthynas â Gogledd Iwerddon. Ac mae gennyf bryderon hefyd am y cyfyngiad sydd wedi'i osod yn yr adolygiad, sy'n dweud, yn y bôn, na fydd yn ystyried ehangu mater hawliau cymdeithasol ac economaidd. Wel, os ydych am gael adolygiad o hawliau dynol, sut y gallwch anwybyddu mater addasrwydd amddiffyniadau hawliau economaidd a chymdeithasol y bobl?

Felly, mae gennyf bryder gwirioneddol am y ffordd ddifrïol y mae’r adroddiad wedi’i eirio, y diffyg tystiolaeth sy'n sail i rai o’r rhagdybiaethau neu’r pwyntiau arweiniol a wneir ynddo. Ond yr hyn y gallaf roi sicrwydd i'r Aelodau yn ei gylch yw bod hwn yn fater o gryn bryder ar draws pob Senedd, a byddwn yn mynd i’r afael â hynny o ddifrif ac yn cyflwyno adroddiad llesol a sylweddol iawn ar yr holl fuddiannau sydd gennym fel Senedd Cymru mewn perthynas â'r meysydd sydd dan ystyriaeth yn yr adolygiad, ond hefyd, rwy'n credu, y meysydd y credwn y dylid eu hychwanegu ato. meysydd y mae'n amlwg nad yw Llywodraeth y DU yn bwriadu eu hadolygu ar hyn o bryd, sy’n gyfle a gollwyd yn fy marn i.

Diwygio'r Ddeddf Hawliau Dynol
Reform of the Human Rights Act

7. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'u cael gyda swyddogion cyfraith Llywodraeth y DU ynghylch effaith y diwygiad arfaethedig i'r Ddeddf Hawliau Dynol ar gyfraith Cymru? OQ57419

7. What discussions has the Counsel General had with UK Government law officers about the impact of the proposed reform to the Human Rights Act on Welsh law? OQ57419


Thank you for your question. The proposals in the consultation on the Human Rights Act 1998 are UK Government ones. They do not reflect the views of Welsh Government. My officials and I, and in conjunction with the Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, are carefully considering the consultation document.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Cynigion Llywodraeth y DU yw'r cynigion yn yr ymgynghoriad ar Ddeddf Hawliau Dynol 1998. Nid ydynt yn adlewyrchu safbwyntiau Llywodraeth Cymru. Mae fy swyddogion a minnau, ac ar y cyd â’r Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol, Jane Hutt, yn ystyried y ddogfen ymgynghori’n ofalus.

Diolch yn fawr, Cwnsler Cyffredinol. Obviously, from the answer you gave to Rhianon Passmore and everything else you've done over the years, you clearly agree with me that any changes to fundamental rights, like the Human Rights Act, should always be met with real caution. They form the basis of individual and collective rights within our liberal democracy. We should be adding to them, not taking rights away and talking about stuff like rights inflation.

We are used to the UK Government's power grab from this Parliament by legislating in devolved areas and through the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020. However, I think that here we have something even more serious, because we have a power grab against the Welsh people. As the Minister, Jane Hutt, said in her declaration today: this goes to the very fundamental basis of our devolution settlement. It's a fundamental right that all legislation from this place, be it primary or secondary legislation, needs to be compatible with convention rights, and if they're incompatible, then the people of Wales can hold each and every one of us accountable in court. The proposal preventing a court from quashing certain secondary legislation found incompatible with a person's human rights totally undermines this right. This was a right that the people of Wales—

Diolch yn fawr, Gwnsler Cyffredinol. Yn amlwg, o’r ateb a roesoch i Rhianon Passmore a phopeth arall rydych wedi’i wneud dros y blynyddoedd, rydych yn amlwg yn cytuno â mi y dylid bod yn ofalus iawn bob amser wrth wneud unrhyw newidiadau i hawliau sylfaenol, fel y Ddeddf Hawliau Dynol. Maent yn sail i hawliau unigol a chyfunol o fewn ein democratiaeth ryddfrydol. Dylem fod yn ychwanegu atynt yn hytrach na chael gwared ar hawliau a sôn am bethau fel chwyddiant hawliau.

Rydym wedi arfer â Llywodraeth y DU yn cipio pwerau oddi wrth y Senedd hon drwy ddeddfu mewn meysydd datganoledig a thrwy Ddeddf Marchnad Fewnol y Deyrnas Unedig 2020. Fodd bynnag, credaf fod hyn hyd yn oed yn fwy difrifol, gan fod gennym enghraifft o gipio pwerau oddi wrth bobl Cymru. Fel y dywedodd y Gweinidog, Jane Hutt, yn ei datganiad heddiw: mae hyn yn effeithio'n sylfaenol ar sail ein setliad datganoli. Mae'n hawl sylfaenol fod angen i bob deddfwriaeth a ddaw o'r lle hwn, boed yn ddeddfwriaeth sylfaenol neu'n is-ddeddfwriaeth, fod yn gydnaws â hawliau'r confensiwn, ac os ydynt yn anghydnaws, gall pobl Cymru ddwyn pob un ohonom i gyfrif yn y llys. Mae'r cynnig sy'n atal llys rhag dirymu is-ddeddfwriaeth benodol y canfyddir ei bod yn anghydnaws â hawliau dynol unigolyn yn tanseilio'r hawl hon yn llwyr. Roedd hon yn hawl a enillwyd gan bobl Cymru—

The Member needs to ask his question now.

Mae angen i’r Aelod ofyn ei gwestiwn yn awr.

—won in a referendum in 1997, a right that was affirmed in a second referendum in 2011, and confirmed in 2021 when the abolishers were totally rejected at the ballot box. What can you do as Counsel General, and what can all of us do from every party, every Member of this Senedd, to protect the rights of the people of Wales? Diolch yn fawr.

—mewn refferendwm ym 1997, hawl a gadarnhawyd mewn ail refferendwm yn 2011, ac a gadarnhawyd yn 2021 pan gafodd y diddymwyr eu gwrthod yn llwyr yn y blwch pleidleisio. Beth y gallwch ei wneud fel Cwnsler Cyffredinol, a beth y gall pob un ohonom ninnau o bob plaid ei wneud, pob Aelod o’r Senedd hon, i ddiogelu hawliau pobl Cymru? Diolch yn fawr.

Thank you for the supplementary. I mean, I can probably respond by perhaps quoting what the chief executive of Amnesty International said. This is a body that I think has support across political parties and incredible international status. Sacha Deshmukh, the chief executive, she said, 'Let's not pussyfoot around with this. It is not wrong to say that Government ministers risk aligning themselves with authoritarian regimes if their overhaul of the Human Rights Act is successful.'

When you take the review of human rights, what is also proposed in respect of judicial review, which is about limiting the ability of the courts to challenge the exercise of power—the unlawful exercise of power by Governments—when you look at the Nationalities and Borders Bill, which seeks to give arbitrary rights to take away citizenship from individuals, when you look at the police, crime and sentencing legislation, which seeks to provide substantial restrictions on the freedom to protest, what we have is a Government that is moving towards an increasingly authoritarian framework. So, this review is fundamentally important.

I can say, certainly, my view as Counsel General is that I do not want to see any diminution of human rights in terms of our compatibility with human rights legislation, and I think we'll make that clear and many other points clear in the representations that we actually make to the UK Government. You know, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. If ever there was a time to be eternally vigilant, now is it.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn atodol. Mae'n debyg y gallaf ymateb drwy ddyfynnu'r hyn a ddywedodd prif weithredwr Amnesty International. Mae hwn yn gorff a chanddo gefnogaeth ar draws y pleidiau gwleidyddol a statws rhyngwladol anhygoel. Dywedodd Sacha Deshmukh, y prif weithredwr, 'Dewch inni siarad yn blwmp ac yn blaen. Nid yw'n anghywir i ddweud bod gweinidogion y Llywodraeth mewn perygl o sefyll ochr yn ochr â chyfundrefnau awdurdodaidd os llwyddant i ail-lunio'r Ddeddf Hawliau Dynol.'

Pan edrychwch ar yr adolygiad o hawliau dynol, yr hyn a gynigir hefyd mewn perthynas ag adolygiad barnwrol, sy'n ymwneud â lleihau gallu'r llysoedd i herio'r modd yr arferir pwerau—arfer pwerau'n anghyfreithlon gan Lywodraethau—pan edrychwch ar Fil Cenedligrwydd a Ffiniau y DU, sy'n ceisio rhoi hawliau mympwyol i ddiddymu dinasyddiaeth unigolion, pan edrychwch ar y ddeddfwriaeth heddlu, troseddu a dedfrydu, sy'n ceisio cyfyngu'n sylweddol ar y rhyddid i brotestio, yr hyn sydd gennym yw Llywodraeth sy'n symud tuag at fframwaith cynyddol awdurdodaidd. Felly, mae'r adolygiad hwn yn hanfodol bwysig.

Gallaf ddweud, yn sicr, mai fy marn i fel Cwnsler Cyffredinol yw nad wyf am weld hawliau dynol yn cael eu lleihau o gwbl o gymharu â deddfwriaeth hawliau dynol, a chredaf y byddwn yn dweud hynny’n glir ynghyd â llawer o bwyntiau eraill yn y sylwadau a wnawn i Lywodraeth y DU. Wyddoch chi, pris rhyddid yw gwyliadwriaeth dragwyddol. Os bu amser erioed i fod yn dragwyddol wyliadwrus, nawr yw'r amser hwnnw.

Cyfraith yr UE a Ddargedwir
EU Retained Law

8. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'u cael gyda swyddogion cyfraith eraill y DU mewn perthynas ag adolygiad Llywodraeth y DU o gyfraith yr UE a ddargedwir? OQ57407

8. What discussions has the Counsel General had with other UK law officers in respect of the UK Government's review of EU retained law? OQ57407

Thank you for your question. The UK Government has informed Welsh Government that it intends to fully engage with the devolved Governments in conducting its review of retained EU law. I await further information with regard to that review and how the UK Government intends to engage with Welsh Government.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Mae Llywodraeth y DU wedi rhoi gwybod i Lywodraeth Cymru ei bod yn bwriadu ymgysylltu’n llawn â’r Llywodraethau datganoledig wrth gynnal ei hadolygiad o gyfraith yr UE a ddargedwir. Rwy'n disgwyl rhagor o wybodaeth am yr adolygiad hwnnw a sut y mae Llywodraeth y DU yn bwriadu ymgysylltu â Llywodraeth Cymru.

A simple supplementary, Counsel General. In awaiting the future response from the UK Government, I wonder on what basis does he expect engagement between the UK Government and Welsh Government Ministers such as himself, the Counsel General, to be conducted. Should it be on the basis of respect and understanding of the competences of devolved administrations? Does he have any other thoughts on the way he would like this to proceed in a constructive and positive way?

Cwestiwn atodol syml, Gwnsler Cyffredinol. Wrth aros am ymateb gan Lywodraeth y DU yn y dyfodol, tybed ar ba sail y mae’n disgwyl i'r ymgysylltiad rhwng Llywodraeth y DU a Gweinidogion Llywodraeth Cymru fel ef ei hun, y Cwnsler Cyffredinol, gael ei gynnal. A ddylai fod ar sail parch a dealltwriaeth o gymwyseddau gweinyddiaethau datganoledig? A oes ganddo unrhyw syniadau eraill ynglŷn â'r ffordd yr hoffai i hyn ddigwydd mewn ffordd adeiladol a chadarnhaol?


Can I first of all say that this was raised by Lord Frost, who has since resigned from Government? We had been informed at official level that the UK Government intended to fully engage with the devolved Governments in conducting their review of retained EU law. We received a letter from Lord Frost, drawing our attention to a written statement setting that out and that it would be discussed at a future meeting of the UK-EU inter-ministerial group. We have no details of the policy proposals; what information we have is extremely limited. My policy officials are pressing for clarity in this and we've asked for meetings later this month for a further update on the UK Government's plans. But in the absence of more detail, it's difficult to assess the impact on the Welsh Government and indeed on the Senedd. But I have to say there is considerable potential for significant impact on Welsh Government with legislative consent motions being required for much of the legislation being brought forward, but also this has the potential to significantly intrude in terms of devolved areas of responsibility.

My immediate concern was the impression appeared to be that we were going to be consulted over this in the same way as any other stakeholder. We're not any other stakeholder within this process; we are one of a number of UK Parliaments and Governments that have to be properly engaged with in that context, because of the impact this may have on our legislative capacity, on the devolution settlement and, indeed, on all those policies we have about standards and economic and social justice.

A gaf fi ddweud yn gyntaf i hyn gael ei godi gan yr Arglwydd Frost, sydd wedi ymddiswyddo o’r Llywodraeth ers hynny? Roeddem wedi cael gwybod ar lefel swyddogol fod Llywodraeth y DU yn bwriadu ymgysylltu’n llawn â’r Llywodraethau datganoledig wrth gynnal eu hadolygiad o gyfraith yr UE a ddargedwir. Cawsom lythyr gan yr Arglwydd Frost yn tynnu ein sylw at ddatganiad ysgrifenedig yn nodi hynny ac y byddai’n cael ei drafod mewn un o gyfarfodydd grŵp rhyngweinidogol y DU-UE yn y dyfodol. Nid oes gennym unrhyw fanylion ynglŷn â'r cynigion polisi; mae'r wybodaeth sydd gennym yn gyfyngedig iawn. Mae fy swyddogion polisi yn pwyso am eglurder yn hyn o beth ac rydym wedi gofyn am gyfarfodydd yn ddiweddarach y mis hwn am ddiweddariad pellach ar gynlluniau Llywodraeth y DU. Ond yn niffyg mwy o fanylion, mae'n anodd asesu'r effaith ar Lywodraeth Cymru, ac ar y Senedd yn wir. Ond mae'n rhaid imi ddweud bod cryn botensial y bydd yr effaith ar Lywodraeth Cymru yn sylweddol gyda chynigion cydsyniad deddfwriaethol yn ofynnol ar gyfer llawer o'r ddeddfwriaeth sy'n cael ei chyflwyno, ond hefyd mae gan hyn botensial i ymyrryd yn sylweddol mewn meysydd cyfrifoldeb datganoledig.

Fy mhryder cyntaf oedd ei bod yn ymddangos y byddent yn ymgynghori â ni ynglŷn â hyn yn yr un modd ag y byddent yn ei wneud ag unrhyw randdeiliad arall. Nid unrhyw randdeiliad arall ydym ni yn y broses hon; rydym yn un o sawl Senedd a Llywodraeth yn y DU y mae’n rhaid ymgysylltu’n briodol â hwy yn y cyd-destun hwnnw, oherwydd yr effaith y gallai hyn ei chael ar ein gallu deddfwriaethol, ar y setliad datganoli, ac yn wir, ar yr holl bolisïau sydd gennym ynglŷn â safonau a chyfiawnder economaidd a chymdeithasol.

3. Cwestiynau i Gomisiwn y Senedd
3. Questions to the Senedd Commission

Nesaf yw cwestiynau i Gomisiwn y Senedd. Dim ond un cwestiwn sydd y prynhawn yma, a galwaf ar Huw Irranca-Davies i ofyn y cwestiwn hwnnw.

We now move to questions to the Senedd Commission. There is just one question this afternoon, and I call on Huw Irranca-Davies to ask that question.

Gweithgareddau Ymgysylltu'r Senedd
The Senedd's Engagement Activities

1. Pa asesiad y mae'r Comisiwn wedi'i wneud o effaith COVID-19 ar weithgareddau ymgysylltu'r Senedd a'i phwyllgorau? OQ57408

1. What assessment has the Commission made of the impact of COVID-19 on the engagement activities of the Senedd and its committees? OQ57408

Nid yw COVID-19 wedi ein rhwystro rhag gwneud gwaith ymgysylltu pwysig ond mae wedi golygu bod llawer o'r gwaith hwnnw wedi symud ar-lein. Rydyn ni wedi cynnal grwpiau ffocws a digwyddiadau ar-lein, yn ogystal â sesiynau addysg, arolygon a gweithdai. Er bod hyn wedi achosi rhai heriau, mae hefyd wedi cynnig cyfleoedd inni gyrraedd pobl nad ydyn nhw wedi ymgysylltu â'n gwaith ni o'r blaen, fel y rhai sy'n ei chael hi'n anodd i deithio i'n gweithgareddau fel arfer. Rydyn ni wedi bod yn ystyriol o bobl, hefyd, sydd wedi’u hallgau’n ddigidol drwy gynnal cyfweliadau wyneb yn wyneb lle bo hynny'n bosibl neu gysylltu dros y ffôn pan fo angen. Ar hyn o bryd, rŷn ni’n gwerthuso ac yn adolygu ein gwaith ymgysylltu ar-lein i sicrhau ei fod yn ategu gwaith wyneb yn wyneb pan fydd cyfyngiadau’n caniatáu.

COVID-19 has not prevented us from undertaking important engagement work, but it has meant that much of the work has moved online. We have run focus groups and events online, as well as education sessions, surveys and workshops. While this has caused some challenges, it's also offered opportunities for us to reach people who have not previously engaged with our work, such as those who find it difficult to travel to our activities. We have been mindful of those who are digitally excluded by conducting face-to-face interviews wherever possible or to contact over the phone when needed. We are currently evaluating and reviewing our online engagement work to ensure that it complements face-to-face work when restrictions allow.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am yr ateb hwnnw.

Thank you very much for that answer.

I have to say we have to give a compliment to all the people within the Commission who've managed to adapt very rapidly to moving services and provision online so that we can do the sort of engagement we've seen, and not least amongst this, I have to say, is the welcome approach of the education outreach section, separate from our committees and everything else, who've done so much to keep an involvement with our schools and potential young electorate as well, as we lowered the voting age to 16 at the last election. I wonder, though, whether or not you are anticipating a time when, whilst keeping the benefits of what we've learned through working online and a virtual medium, we also are able to bring young people, in particular, back to the Senedd, to the physical infrastructure, to the tangible manifestation of our place of democracy in Wales as soon as it is COVID safe, because there is no substitute, I have to say, to guiding them around this building, being in the education unit and hearing here in Cardiff exactly how we conduct our business of scrutiny.

Mae'n rhaid imi ddweud bod yn rhaid inni ganmol yr holl bobl yn y Comisiwn sydd wedi llwyddo i addasu'n gyflym iawn i symud gwasanaethau a darpariaeth ar-lein fel y gallwn ymgysylltu yn y ffordd rydym wedi'i gweld, ac yn enwedig, mae'n rhaid imi ddweud, gwaith yr adran allgymorth addysg, sydd ar wahân i'n pwyllgorau a phopeth arall, ac sydd wedi gwneud cymaint i gadw cysylltiad â'n hysgolion a darpar etholwyr ifanc hefyd, wrth inni ostwng yr oedran pleidleisio i 16 ar gyfer yr etholiad diweddaraf. Serch hynny, tybed a ydych yn rhagweld adeg pan fyddwn, gan gadw manteision yr hyn rydym wedi'i ddysgu drwy weithio ar-lein a thrwy gyfrwng rhithwir, yn gallu dod â phobl ifanc, yn arbennig, yn ôl i'r Senedd, i’r adeilad ffisegol, i ganolbwynt diriaethol ein democratiaeth yng Nghymru cyn gynted ag y bydd hynny'n ddiogel o ran COVID, oherwydd mae'n rhaid imi ddweud nad oes dim i guro eu tywys o gwmpas yr adeilad hwn, cael bod yn yr uned addysg a chlywed yma yng Nghaerdydd sut yn union rydym yn cyflawni ein gwaith craffu.

Yes, I'm certainly anticipating the time when young people from schools and colleges right throughout Wales can once again visit our Senedd. I appreciate, I think as all Members do, the opportunity to meet those young people when they come to the Senedd to have a chance to discuss with them and enthuse them on the role that democracy plays directly with their lives, and to do that in the Senedd provides that opportunity for all—not that everybody's enthusiastic about it, but most young people very much benefit and enjoy the opportunity of visiting their Senedd.

But also, in addition to reopening our doors for the young people of Wales, we mustn't lose sight of the opportunities that have been now additionally added to our ability to contact young people virtually. We've known for a very long time that it is, of course, more difficult for schools and colleges in west, mid and north Wales to visit the Senedd as often as they would like to. So, virtually meeting young people from those areas will carry on, hopefully, beyond the pandemic, as it will for all. But I think that we're all very much keen to see our young people out of their schools, visiting environments different to their school settings, and hopefully taking advantage of the ability to learn more about their Senedd by visiting us in Cardiff Bay as soon as possible.

Rwy'n sicr yn rhagweld adeg pan fydd pobl ifanc o ysgolion a cholegau ledled Cymru yn gallu ymweld â'n Senedd unwaith eto. Fel pob Aelod rwy’n credu, rwy'n derbyn bod y cyfle i gyfarfod â’r bobl ifanc hynny pan fyddant yn dod i’r Senedd i gael cyfle i drafod gyda hwy a’u hysbrydoli mewn perthynas â’r rôl y mae democratiaeth yn ei chwarae’n uniongyrchol yn eu bywydau, ac i wneud hynny yn y Senedd yn rhoi’r cyfle hwnnw i bawb—nid yw pawb yn frwdfrydig yn ei gylch, ond mae’r rhan fwyaf o bobl ifanc yn elwa’n fawr iawn ac yn mwynhau’r cyfle i ymweld â’u Senedd.

Ond hefyd, yn ogystal ag ailagor ein drysau i bobl ifanc Cymru, mae'n rhaid inni beidio â cholli golwg ar y cyfleoedd sydd bellach wedi’u hychwanegu at ein gallu i gysylltu â phobl ifanc yn rhithwir. Rydym yn gwybod ers peth amser ei bod yn anos i ysgolion a cholegau yng ngorllewin, canolbarth a gogledd Cymru ymweld â’r Senedd mor aml ag yr hoffent. Felly, bydd cyfarfod â phobl ifanc o'r ardaloedd hynny yn rhithwir yn parhau wedi'r pandemig, gobeithio, fel y bydd i bawb arall. Ond credaf fod pob un ohonom yn awyddus iawn i weld ein pobl ifanc allan o’u hysgolion, yn ymweld ag amgylcheddau gwahanol i’w hysgolion, ac yn manteisio ar y gallu i ddysgu mwy am eu Senedd, gobeithio, drwy ymweld â ni ym Mae Caerdydd cyn gynted ag y bo modd.

4. Cwestiynau Amserol
4. Topical Questions

Nid oes unrhyw gwestiynau amserol wedi eu derbyn heddiw.

No topical questions have been accepted today.

5. Datganiadau 90 Eiliad
5. 90-second Statements

Felly, symudwn ymlaen i eitem 5, datganiadau 90 eiliad, ac yn gyntaf Mick Antoniw.

So, we'll move on to item 5 on the agenda, the 90-second statements. The first statement is from Mick Antoniw.

Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd. On Saturday 8 January this year, Hanef Bhamjee OBE passed away in hospital surrounded by the love and care of members of his family. During the past four decades, I can think of no-one who has done as much as Hanef for the cause of equality, anti-racism and social justice.

Born in South Africa, his opposition to the apartheid regime brought him to the attention of the South African security services and, in 1965, for his own safety, it was necessary for him to leave. In 1972, he settled in Cardiff and Wales became his permanent home. I first met Hanef in 1973, during the campaigns against the Vietnam war and the fascist coup in Chile. As with Hanef, Wales became a welcoming home for many fleeing political oppression, a nation of sanctuary. But above all, Hanef is best known for becoming the voice of the anti-apartheid struggle in Wales. Through his advocacy, campaigning and pure strength of character, he put Wales on the international anti-racism stage. Hanef created a unity of purpose and principle throughout Welsh religious, civic, cultural and political society. After the release of Nelson Mandela, he qualified as a solicitor, supporting refugees and immigration rights as well as continuing charitable work supporting South African charities. In 2003, he was awarded the OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for his work, and in 2009 he was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi award for peace and reconciliation. Hanef was so proud to be a Welsh South African. We in Wales should be equally proud that he became one of our friends and citizens. Our thoughts at this moment are with his family and friends. His legacy lives on and the struggle continues. Amandla.

Diolch, Ddirprwy Lywydd. Ar ddydd Sadwrn 8 Ionawr eleni, bu farw Hanef Bhamjee OBE yn yr ysbyty yng nghwmni cariadus a gofalgar ei deulu. Dros y pedwar degawd diwethaf, ni allaf feddwl am unrhyw un sydd wedi gwneud cymaint â Hanef dros achos cydraddoldeb, gwrth-hiliaeth a chyfiawnder cymdeithasol.

Fe'i ganed yn Ne Affrica, a thynnwyd sylw gwasanaethau diogelwch De Affrica ato yn sgil ei wrthwynebiad i'r gyfundrefn apartheid, ac ym 1965, er mwyn ei ddiogelwch ei hun, bu'n rhaid iddo adael. Ym 1972, ymgartrefodd yng Nghaerdydd, a daeth Cymru'n gartref parhaol iddo. Cyfarfûm â Hanef am y tro cyntaf ym 1973, yn ystod yr ymgyrchoedd yn erbyn rhyfel Fietnam a’r gwrthryfel ffasgaidd yn Chile. Fel yn achos Hanef, daeth Cymru yn gartref croesawgar i lawer a oedd yn ffoi rhag gorthrwm gwleidyddol, yn genedl noddfa. Ond yn anad dim, mae Hanef yn fwyaf adnabyddus am ddod yn llais y frwydr wrth-apartheid yng Nghymru. Drwy ei eiriolaeth, ei ymgyrchu a chryfder ei gymeriad, rhoddodd Gymru ar y llwyfan gwrth-hiliaeth rhyngwladol. Creodd Hanef undod o ran pwrpas ac egwyddor yng nghymdeithas grefyddol, ddinesig, ddiwylliannol a gwleidyddol Cymru. Ar ôl i Nelson Mandela gael ei ryddhau, daeth yn gyfreithiwr, a chefnogi ffoaduriaid a hawliau mewnfudo yn ogystal â pharhau i wneud gwaith elusennol i gefnogi elusennau De Affrica. Yn 2003, dyfarnwyd yr OBE iddo gan y Frenhines am ei waith, ac yn 2009, enillodd wobr heddwch a chymod Mahatma Gandhi. Roedd Hanef mor falch o fod yn Gymro De Affricanaidd. Dylem ni yng Nghymru fod yr un mor falch ei fod wedi dod yn un o'n ffrindiau a'n dinasyddion. Rydym yn cydymdeimlo gyda'i deulu a'i ffrindiau. Mae ei etifeddiaeth yn dal i fyw ac mae'r frwydr yn parhau. Amandla.

Born in Cwmaman on 19 August 1934, Ron Jones was a champion Welsh sprinter. Over 14 years, he won 12 Welsh sprint titles and set 22 Welsh records. What makes this achievement remarkable is that his career had an accidental start. His first 100 yd victory at the 1956 Welsh championships was only the second or third such event Ron had ever run. Ron was one of the few Welsh athletes ever to hold a world record in athletics as part of the British 4x110 yd relay squad in 1963. He also captained the British Olympics team in Mexico City in 1968. Altogether, Ron picked up 31 international vests, competing in four Commonwealth Games, three European championships and two Olympic Games. After athletics, Ron held senior roles at several football clubs, including eight years as the first managing director at Cardiff City. Ron was also a driving force in SportsAid Cymru Wales, helping thousands of young Welsh citizens achieve their sporting ambitions. Ron achieved an MBE in 2001 and was inducted into the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame in 2013. Perhaps his greatest honour came in 2018, when the new £3 million athletics track in Aberdare was named after him. Ron sadly died on 30 December 2021, but his legacy as one of Wales's greatest athletes lives on.

Ganed Ron Jones yng Nghwmaman ar 19 Awst 1934, ac roedd yn rhedwr diguro o Gymro. Dros 14 mlynedd, enillodd 12 teitl rhedeg Cymreig a thorri 22 record Gymreig. Yr hyn sy'n gwneud y gamp hon yn rhyfeddol yw bod ei yrfa wedi dechrau ar ddamwain. Ei fuddugoliaeth 100 llath gyntaf ym mhencampwriaethau Cymru 1956 oedd yr ail neu'r drydedd ras o'r fath i Ron ei rhedeg erioed. Ron oedd un o’r ychydig athletwyr o Gymru i ddal record byd ym myd athletau fel rhan o garfan ras gyfnewid 4x110 llath Prydain ym 1963. Bu hefyd yn gapten ar dîm Prydain yn y Gemau Olympaidd yn Ninas Mecsico ym 1968. At ei gilydd, casglodd Ron 31 o festiau rhyngwladol, gan gystadlu yng Ngemau'r Gymanwlad bedair gwaith, mewn tair pencampwriaeth Ewropeaidd a'r Gemau Olympaidd ddwy waith. Ar ôl athletau, cafodd Ron rôl uwch mewn sawl clwb pêl-droed, gan gynnwys wyth mlynedd fel rheolwr gyfarwyddwr cyntaf Clwb Pêl-droed Dinas Caerdydd. Roedd Ron hefyd yn un o hoelion wyth SportsAid Cymru, a helpodd filoedd o ddinasyddion ifanc Cymru i gyflawni eu huchelgeisiau yn y byd chwaraeon. Dyfarnwyd MBE i Ron yn 2001 a chafodd ei gynnwys yn Oriel Anfarwolion Chwaraeon Cymru yn 2013. Efallai mai yn 2018 y daeth ei anrhydedd fwyaf, pan gafodd y trac athletau newydd gwerth £3 miliwn yn Aberdâr ei enwi ar ei ôl. Bu farw Ron ar 30 Rhagfyr 2021, ond mae ei etifeddiaeth fel un o athletwyr gorau Cymru yn parhau.


Yr wythnos hon, bu farw'r arlunydd Mike Jones o Bontardawe, sy'n adnabyddus am ei bortreadau o gymunedau gwerinol diwydiannol y de, yn enwedig ei gwm Tawe genedigol. Magwyd Mike yng Nghilmaengwyn a Godre'r Graig, ger Ystalyfera, pan oedd y diwydiannau trwm yn eu bri. Glöwr oedd ei dad, a chadwai ei rieni dafarn hefyd—lle delfrydol i arsylwi ar gymeriadau ei fro. Ac roedd Mike yn un o'r llu o ddoniau creadigol i'w hysbrydoli gan gymunedau diwydiannol Cymraeg cwm Tawe.

Mae'n cael ei gydnabod fel un o'n harlunwyr disgleiriaf am ddarlunio'r cymunedau hynny. Mae ei waith wedi ei arddangos mewn orielau ar draws Cymru a thu hwnt, gan gynnwys yr academi frenhinol yn Llundain, ac yn Efrog Newydd a Seland Newydd. Mae gwaith Mike yn cyfleu bywydau cymeriadau ei filltir sgwar—glowyr, gweithwyr tun a dur, ffermwyr a gwragedd tŷ, yn ogystal â'r pentrefi tai teras lle roedden nhw'n byw.

Llynedd, ac yntau'n dathlu'r 80 oed, cafwyd nifer o arddangosfeydd llwyddiannus dros Gymru. Roedd wrth ei fodd bod Tŷ'r Gwrhyd Pontardawe a Chylch Darllen Cwm Tawe wedi trefnu arddangosfa arbennig o'i waith adeg ei ben-blwydd yn yr hydref. Ces i fy narlun cyntaf yn y casgliad sydd gen i erbyn hyn o'i waith fel anrheg priodas, ac ar ôl symud i gwm Tawe yn fuan wedyn, ces i'r fraint o ddod i adnabod Mike Jones ac ymweld â'i stiwdio ryfeddol yn ei gartref ym Mhontardawe. Roedd e hefyd yn gefnogwr hael i achosion lleol, gan gyfrannu darluniau gwerthfawr i helpu codi arian i'r ysgolion Cymraeg lleol, eisteddfodau a Phlaid Cymru.

Cydymdeimlwn â'i wraig, Eryl, a'r teulu i gyd yn eu colled. Mae cwm Tawe a Chymru gyfan wedi colli dawn arbennig a Chymro angerddol.

This week, the artist Mike Jones from Pontardawe passed away. Mike was renowned for his portrayals of the industrial communities of south Wales, particularly in the Swansea valley of his birth. Mike was brought up in Cilmaengwyn and Godre'r Graig, near Ystalyfera, when heavy industry in the area was at its height. His father was a miner, and his parents were also publicans, and this provided the ideal venue to observe the local characters. And Mike was one of the many talented creatives inspired by the Welsh-speaking industrial communities of the Swansea valley.

He is recognised as one of the foremost artists who portrayed these communities. His work has been exhibited in galleries across Wales and beyond, including the royal academy in London, as well as galleries in New York and New Zealand. Mike Jones’s work portrays the lives of the characters in his square mile—miners, tin and steel workers, farmers and housewives, as well as the villages of terraced houses where they lived.

Last year saw his eightieth birthday celebrations, and a number of successful exhibitions were held across Wales. He was delighted that Tŷ'r Gwrhyd in Pontardawe and Cylch Darllen Cwm Tawe arranged a special exhibition of his work to celebrate his birthday in the autumn. I received the first of his works in the collection I now have as a wedding present, and after moving to the Swansea valley soon afterwards, I was privileged to get to know Mike Jones and to visit his extraordinary studio in his home in Pontardawe. He was also a generous supporter of local causes, contributing valuable paintings to help raise money for local Welsh-medium schools, eisteddfods and Plaid Cymru.

We send our condolences to his wife, Eryl, and family for their loss. The Swansea valley and the whole of Wales have lost a very special talent and a passionate Welshman.

Cynnig i ethol Aelod i bwyllgor
Motion to elect a Member to a committee

Nesaf, mae'r cynnig i ethol Aelod i bwyllgor. Galwaf ar aelod o'r Pwyllgor Busnes i wneud y cynnig yn ffurfiol. Darren Millar.

Next is the motion to elect a Member to a committee. I call on a member of the Business Committee to formally move the motion. Darren Millar.

Cynnig NDM7885 Elin Jones

Cynnig bod y Senedd, yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.14, yn ethol Sioned Williams (Plaid Cymru) yn aelod o’r Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg yn lle Siân Gwenllian (Plaid Cymru).

Motion NDM7885 Elin Jones

To propose that the Senedd, in accordance with Standing Order 17.14, elects Sioned Williams (Plaid Cymru) as a Member of the Children, Young People, and Education Committee in place of Siân Gwenllian (Plaid Cymru).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Y cwestiwn yw: a ddylid derbyn y cynnig? A oes unrhyw Aelod yn gwrthwynebu? Na. Felly derbynnir y cynnig yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 12.36.

The proposal is to agree the motion. Does any Member object? No. The motion is therefore agreed in accordance with Standing Order 12.36.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 12.36.

Motion agreed in accordance with Standing Order 12.36.

6. Dadl ar Adroddiad y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb a Chyfiawnder Cymdeithasol: Dyled a'r pandemig
6. Debate on the Equality and Social Justice Committee Report: Debt and the pandemic

Eitem 6, dadl ar adroddiad y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb a Chyfiawnder Cymdeithasol ar ddyled a'r pandemig. Galwaf ar Gadeirydd y pwyllgor, Jenny Rathbone, i wneud y cynnig.

Item 6 on the agenda is a debate on the Equality and Social Justice Committee report on debt and the pandemic. I call on the Chair of the committee, Jenny Rathbone, to move the motion.

Cynnig NDM7879 Jenny Rathbone

Cynnig bod y Senedd:

Yn nodi adroddiad y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb a Chyfiawnder Cymdeithasol, 'Dyled a'r pandemig', a osodwyd ar 15 Tachwedd 2021.

Motion NDM7879 Jenny Rathbone

To propose that the Senedd:

Notes the Equality and Social Justice Committee report, 'Debt and the pandemic', laid on 15 November 2021.

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Thank you very much for calling me. This is the first debate on the work of the Equality and Social Justice Committee. Our report looked at the impact of the pandemic on personal indebtedness and how the Welsh Government and public services should be responding. At the forefront of everybody's mind today—apart from the fate of our current Prime Minister—is the unprecedented rise in energy prices. That wasn't, however, at the top of everybody's minds when we started consulting stakeholders in August and took oral evidence in September and October. At that point, rent and council tax arrears were and are just as significant as food and fuel bills for households whose income is insufficient to meet all their everyday needs. As widely predicted, all these problems are getting worse, not better.

A year into the pandemic, StepChange captured the fact that one in five households were in financial difficulties, and at least one in 12 households had fallen into debt. The Bevan Foundation report highlighted how at least one in eight households, at that point in May last year, had had to reduce food shopping to pay for heating, or not heating the house properly to keep food on the table. Six months later, further research by YouGov, commissioned by the Bevan Foundation, tracked how the situation has deteriorated in that last half year. The crisis, unfortunately, is likely to unravel further as a result of the cruel cut to universal credit, the end of the furlough payments related to COVID, and the upcoming rise in national insurance contributions. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn am fy ngalw. Dyma'r ddadl gyntaf ar waith y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb a Chyfiawnder Cymdeithasol. Edrychodd ein hadroddiad ar effaith y pandemig ar ddyled bersonol a sut y dylai Llywodraeth Cymru a gwasanaethau cyhoeddus ymateb. Ar flaen meddwl pawb heddiw—ar wahân i dynged Prif Weinidog presennol y DU—mae'r cynnydd digynsail mewn prisiau ynni. Fodd bynnag, nid hynny oedd ar flaen meddyliau pawb pan ddechreuasom ymgynghori â rhanddeiliaid ym mis Awst a chymryd tystiolaeth lafar ym mis Medi a mis Hydref. Bryd hynny, roedd ôl-ddyledion rhent a'r dreth gyngor yr un mor sylweddol â biliau bwyd a thanwydd i aelwydydd nad yw eu hincwm yn ddigonol i ddiwallu eu holl anghenion bob dydd. Fel y rhagwelwyd yn eang, mae'r holl broblemau hyn yn gwaethygu yn hytrach na gwella.

Flwyddyn i mewn i'r pandemig, datgelodd StepChange y ffaith bod un o bob pum aelwyd mewn trafferthion ariannol, ac roedd o leiaf un o bob 12 aelwyd wedi mynd i ddyled. Amlygodd adroddiad Sefydliad Bevan sut roedd o leiaf un o bob wyth aelwyd, bryd hynny ym mis Mai y llynedd, wedi gorfod cyfyngu ar siopa bwyd i dalu am wresogi, neu beidio â gwresogi'r tŷ'n iawn i gadw bwyd ar y bwrdd. Chwe mis yn ddiweddarach, fe wnaeth ymchwil pellach gan YouGov, a gomisiynwyd gan Sefydliad Bevan, olrhain sut y mae'r sefyllfa wedi dirywio yn yr hanner blwyddyn ddiwethaf. Yn anffodus, mae'r argyfwng yn debygol o waethygu ymhellach o ganlyniad i'r toriad creulon i'r credyd cynhwysol, diwedd y taliadau ffyrlo sy'n gysylltiedig â COVID, a'r cynnydd sydd ar y ffordd yn y cyfraniadau yswiriant gwladol.

The public is not stupid. Many of our witnesses and contributors foresaw this huge hike in energy costs that households are now grappling with. They predicted that this was going to be a tsunami or perfect storm, which, I'm afraid, is now staring us in the face. This is not simply an energy crisis compounded by a climate emergency. Britain is now significantly poorer as a result of the decision taken to withdraw from the single market with our European neighbours, and Wales has taken that hit particularly badly as manufacturers are much more vulnerable than services to increased bureaucracy and hold-ups at ports. And that hold-up has obviously translated into significant rises in the costs of everyday foods. Bluntly, the problems are getting worse, not better. The rising cost of living, and the end of key measures of Government support, all point to a very, very difficult period ahead for many, many households.

What can we do about this? Well, first of all, we must work together. We made 14 recommendations in our report, covering everything from data collection to council tax arrears, and I would like to thank the Minister for Social Justice for her helpful and constructive response to the committee's recommendations, having accepted nine recommendations in full, and accepting the remaining five in principle. 

Building on the warnings from our witnesses, it is vital that people struggling to make ends meet are not falling into the hands of people who only make things worse for them. The Welsh Government's creation of the single advice fund two years ago, integrating all advice services, makes it more likely that people will get help at an earlier stage in their indebtedness. There's the Welsh Government decision, in light of our recommendation, to use community-based organisations to spread the message of hope and help to targeted groups who may not know about these single advice services. Also, we need to build on the very effective social media messaging they've used to increase the take-up of benefits to now tackle reducing the stigma associated with being in debt. People must come forward and get help from those who really can offer good alternatives to the doorstep lenders and the loan sharks. 

Fuel poverty, we can all agree, is now a major cause for concern, and the Welsh Government's £100 winter fuel payment to low-income households provides some short-term respite but it's not sufficient. The committee will return to the need for accelerated plans to tackle fuel poverty, including bringing all social homes up to energy rating A in the shortest time possible, in our forthcoming inquiry into the Warm Homes programme and what we need to do about fuel poverty. But we cannot lose sight of other challenges. 

For example, the most common debt issue raised with Citizens Advice in 2020 was council tax debt. The financial year 2020-21 saw the largest single-year increase in council tax arrears in 20 years, rising to nearly £157 million. We heard concerns about pockets of bad practice in terms of how these debts are sometimes being collected, and very much welcome the Welsh Government's willingness to review how the council tax protocol for Wales is working, whether it needs to be strengthened or be placed on a statutory footing. We welcome the Welsh Government's openness to contemplate debt bonfires of public sector debts that are likely to be irrecoverable, but we all need to recognise that there are opportunity costs to such a decision. 

Housing debt and evictions were also featured as having got a lot worse, and witnesses confirmed that the ban on evictions across the whole rental sector had been vital in preventing homelessness during the height of the pandemic. Recommendation 10 points to the importance of maintaining that section 21 six months no-fault evictions notice period once any COVID-related regulations cease. We note that the Welsh Government, in its response, is committed to finally implementing the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 before this summer's recess, and the Senedd must ensure this deadline is met. We hope the pandemic will recede, but its legacy of indebtedness will endure well beyond that. 

Nid yw'r cyhoedd yn dwp. Roedd llawer o'n tystion a'n cyfranwyr yn rhagweld y cynnydd enfawr hwn mewn costau ynni y mae aelwydydd bellach yn ymrafael ag ef. Roeddent yn rhagweld y byddai'n creu tswnami neu storm berffaith, ac mae arnaf ofn ei bod hi bellach wedi cyrraedd. Mae hwn yn fwy nag argyfwng ynni wedi ei ddwysáu gan argyfwng hinsawdd. Mae Prydain bellach yn llawer tlotach o ganlyniad i'r penderfyniad a wnaed i adael y farchnad sengl gyda'n cymdogion Ewropeaidd, ac mae Cymru wedi cael ei tharo'n arbennig o galed gan fod gweithgynhyrchwyr yn llawer mwy agored na gwasanaethau i'r cynnydd mewn biwrocratiaeth ac oedi mewn porthladdoedd. Ac mae'n amlwg fod oedi o'r fath wedi arwain at gynnydd sylweddol yng nghostau bwydydd bob dydd. Yn blwmp ac yn blaen, mae'r problemau'n gwaethygu yn hytrach na gwella. Mae costau byw cynyddol, a diwedd cymorth allweddol gan y Llywodraeth, yn arwydd o gyfnod anodd iawn i ddod i lawer iawn o aelwydydd.

Beth y gallwn ei wneud ynglŷn â hyn? Wel, yn gyntaf oll, rhaid inni weithio gyda'n gilydd. Gwnaethom 14 o argymhellion yn ein hadroddiad, yn cwmpasu popeth o gasglu data i ôl-ddyledion y dreth gyngor, a hoffwn ddiolch i'r Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol am ei hymateb defnyddiol ac adeiladol i argymhellion y pwyllgor, ac am dderbyn naw argymhelliad yn llawn, a'r pum argymhelliad arall mewn egwyddor. 

Gan adeiladu ar y rhybuddion gan ein tystion, mae'n hanfodol nad yw pobl sy'n cael trafferth cael dau ben llinyn ynghyd yn syrthio i ddwylo pobl sydd ond yn gwneud pethau'n waeth iddynt. Mae creu'r gronfa gynghori sengl gan Lywodraeth Cymru ddwy flynedd yn ôl, gan integreiddio'r holl wasanaethau cynghori, yn ei gwneud yn fwy tebygol y bydd pobl yn cael cymorth ar gam cynharach o'u dyled. Ceir penderfyniad Llywodraeth Cymru, yng ngoleuni ein hargymhelliad, i ddefnyddio sefydliadau yn y gymuned i ledaenu'r neges o obaith a help i grwpiau wedi'u targedu nad ydynt efallai'n gwybod am y gwasanaethau cynghori sengl hyn. Hefyd, mae angen inni adeiladu ar y negeseuon cyfryngau cymdeithasol effeithiol iawn y maent wedi'u defnyddio i gynyddu'r nifer sy'n manteisio ar fudd-daliadau i fynd i'r afael yn awr â lleihau'r stigma sy'n gysylltiedig â bod mewn dyled. Rhaid i bobl ofyn am help gan y rhai sy'n gallu cynnig dewisiadau amgen da yn lle benthycwyr carreg y drws a benthycwyr arian didrwydded.

Gallwn i gyd gytuno fod tlodi tanwydd bellach yn peri pryder mawr, ac mae taliad tanwydd y gaeaf Llywodraeth Cymru o £100 i aelwydydd incwm isel yn darparu rhywfaint o gymorth yn y tymor byr ond nid yw'n ddigon. Bydd y pwyllgor yn dychwelyd at yr angen am gynlluniau cyflymach i fynd i'r afael â thlodi tanwydd, gan gynnwys sicrhau bod pob cartref cymdeithasol yn cyrraedd sgôr ynni A yn yr amser byrraf posibl, yn ein hymchwiliad sydd ar y ffordd i'r rhaglen Cartrefi Clyd a'r hyn y mae angen inni ei wneud ynglŷn â thlodi tanwydd. Ond ni allwn golli golwg ar heriau eraill. 

Er enghraifft, y broblem ddyled fwyaf cyffredin a ddaeth i sylw Cyngor ar Bopeth yn 2020 oedd dyledion y dreth gyngor. Yn ystod y flwyddyn ariannol 2020-21 gwelwyd y cynnydd un flwyddyn mwyaf ers 20 mlynedd mewn ôl-ddyledion treth gyngor, gan godi i bron £157 miliwn. Clywsom bryderon am bocedi o arfer gwael o ran sut y caiff y dyledion hyn eu casglu weithiau, ac rydym yn croesawu parodrwydd Llywodraeth Cymru i adolygu sut y mae protocol y dreth gyngor ar gyfer Cymru yn gweithio, ac a oes angen ei gryfhau neu ei roi ar sail statudol. Rydym yn croesawu agwedd agored Llywodraeth Cymru tuag at ystyried 'coelcerthi dyledion' yn y sector cyhoeddus sy'n debygol o fod yn anadferadwy, ond mae angen i bob un ohonom gydnabod bod costau cyfle i benderfyniad o'r fath. 

Nodwyd bod dyledion ym maes tai ac achosion o droi allan hefyd wedi gwaethygu cryn dipyn, a chadarnhaodd tystion fod y gwaharddiad ar droi allan ar draws y sector rhentu cyfan wedi bod yn hanfodol i atal digartrefedd pan oedd y pandemig ar ei anterth. Mae argymhelliad 10 yn cyfeirio at bwysigrwydd cadw'r cyfnod rhybudd adran 21 o chwe mis ar gyfer troi allan heb fai ar ôl i unrhyw reoliadau sy'n gysylltiedig â COVID ddod i ben. Nodwn fod Llywodraeth Cymru, yn ei hymateb, wedi ymrwymo o'r diwedd i weithredu Deddf Rhentu Cartrefi (Cymru) 2016 cyn toriad yr haf eleni, a rhaid i'r Senedd sicrhau ei bod yn cadw at hyn. Gobeithiwn y bydd y pandemig yn cilio, ond bydd y dyledion y bydd yn eu gadael ar ôl yn parhau ymhell wedi hynny. 

On a related matter, we were concerned by allegations from Shelter Cymru of alleged police involvement in illegal evictions during the pandemic, repeated in both their written and oral evidence. We sought further details from Shelter on exactly what information had been shared with the police. After our report was published, I wrote to all four police forces in Wales asking them to respond to these allegations, and it is important to note the police response, which is that an urgent request, as soon as they were made aware of this problem, was made to Shelter Cymru to provide further information, and this was followed up by a further request in October. But Shelter, unfortunately, responded to say they were unable to give any additional details, due to staff shortages, at that point. Some limited additional information was received on 19 October, but that was insufficient to enable investigation of specific cases or allegations. I received that letter on 14 December. I want to raise this because I think we need to stop any hares running here. It's entirely appropriate for Shelter to pick up specific cases of allegations of police involvement in illegal evictions, but they need to do so in a meaningful way. Shelter has yet to provide the police with the dates and addresses of where these alleged illegal evictions occurred, as that is the only information that would allow the police to chase that up in terms of the operational responsibilities. Until or unless Shelter or anyone else has exhausted the pursuit of a complaint against the police or any other organisation, they shouldn't be going public on it. They need to give the organisation complained against the opportunity to respond. 

Turning to another matter, we received compelling evidence on the role of affordable credit providers, whether they are credit unions or Purple Shoots, an interesting not-for-profit microcredit provider, who offer a much safer option than illegal lenders or high-interest credit providers. However, not everyone is aware of these sorts of organisations or what they can provide, and, therefore, resort to or are pressured into much more damaging solutions. There's a role here also for the discretionary assistance fund in its future guise, because that played a very significant part in helping people with discretionary awards during the pandemic. We heard from a range of stakeholders that the Government should consider making the flexibilities that were available in the DAF during the pandemic a permanent feature, and they also want to see the application process streamlined and written in easy-to-understand language, so everybody, hopefully, can access it. I'm very pleased that the Government has accepted that these issues will be considered in its review of the successor to the DAF. 

I want to thank all those who contributed to the inquiry, either by submitting evidence or taking part in one of our online focus groups. I want to highlight the pivotal role of the Bevan Foundation. Its work on debt raised it up the agenda for all of us, and their initial report into the pandemic and debt in Wales certainly helped prompt the committee into undertaking this inquiry as our first one. I also want to thank Rhys Morgan and the rest of the clerking team, the research behind this report led by Gareth Thomas, and the excellent outreach engagement work with the public led by Rhys Jones. I hope that Members will use this opportunity to share with us what they think we can do to really try and manage these very, very difficult problems, and what strategies we are able to pursue in Wales to prevent more people going into debt and, indeed, possibly becoming homeless and destitute. I look forward to hearing Members' contributions.

Ar fater cysylltiedig, roedd honiadau gan Shelter Cymru ynglŷn ag ymwneud honedig yr heddlu wrth droi pobl allan yn anghyfreithlon yn ystod y pandemig yn peri pryder i ni, ac ailadroddwyd hyn yn eu tystiolaeth ysgrifenedig a llafar. Gofynnwyd am ragor o fanylion gan Shelter ynglŷn â pha wybodaeth yn union a rannwyd gyda'r heddlu. Ar ôl i'n hadroddiad gael ei gyhoeddi, ysgrifennais at bob un o'r pedwar heddlu yng Nghymru yn gofyn iddynt ymateb i'r honiadau hyn, ac mae'n bwysig nodi ymateb yr heddlu, sef bod cais brys, cyn gynted ag y cawsant wybod am y broblem hon, wedi'i wneud i Shelter Cymru i ddarparu rhagor o wybodaeth, ac fe'i dilynwyd gan gais pellach ym mis Hydref. Ond yn anffodus, ymatebodd Shelter i ddweud nad oeddent yn gallu rhoi unrhyw fanylion ychwanegol, oherwydd prinder staff ar y pryd . Derbyniwyd rhywfaint o wybodaeth ychwanegol gyfyngedig ar 19 Hydref, ond nid oedd yn ddigon i allu ymchwilio i achosion neu honiadau penodol. Cefais y llythyr hwnnw ar 14 Rhagfyr. Rwyf am godi hyn oherwydd credaf fod angen inni atal unrhyw straeon cyfeiliornus yma. Mae'n gwbl briodol i Shelter gasglu achosion penodol o honiadau o ymwneud yr heddlu mewn digwyddiadau o droi allan anghyfreithlon, ond mae angen iddynt wneud hynny mewn ffordd ystyrlon. Nid yw Shelter wedi rhoi dyddiadau a chyfeiriadau i'r heddlu lle digwyddodd y troi allan anghyfreithlon honedig, gan mai dyna'r unig wybodaeth a fyddai'n caniatáu i'r heddlu fynd ar drywydd hynny fel rhan o'u cyfrifoldebau gweithredol. Tan neu oni bai y bydd Shelter neu unrhyw un arall wedi mynd ar drywydd cwyn yn erbyn yr heddlu neu unrhyw sefydliad arall, ni ddylent fod yn ei drafod yn gyhoeddus. Mae angen iddynt roi cyfle i'r sefydliad y gwneir y gŵyn amdano ymateb. 

Gan droi at fater arall, cawsom dystiolaeth gymhellol ynglŷn â rôl darparwyr credyd fforddiadwy, boed yn undebau credyd neu Purple Shoots, darparwr microgredyd nid-er-elw diddorol, sy'n cynnig opsiwn llawer mwy diogel na benthycwyr anghyfreithlon neu ddarparwyr credyd llog uchel. Fodd bynnag, nid yw pawb yn ymwybodol o'r mathau hyn o sefydliadau na'r hyn y gallant ei ddarparu, ac felly, maent yn troi at atebion llawer mwy niweidiol, neu'n dod dan bwysau i droi atynt. Mae rôl yma hefyd i'r gronfa cymorth dewisol ar ei newydd wedd, oherwydd chwaraeodd hynny ran bwysig iawn yn helpu pobl gyda dyfarniadau dewisol yn ystod y pandemig. Clywsom gan amrywiaeth o randdeiliaid y dylai'r Llywodraeth ystyried gwneud yr hyblygrwydd a oedd ar gael yn y gronfa cymorth dewisol yn ystod y pandemig yn nodwedd barhaol, ac maent hefyd am weld y broses ymgeisio'n cael ei symleiddio a'i hysgrifennu mewn iaith hawdd ei deall, fel y gall pawb, gobeithio, gael mynediad ati. Rwy'n falch iawn fod y Llywodraeth wedi derbyn y bydd y materion hyn yn cael eu hystyried yn ei hadolygiad o olynydd y gronfa cymorth dewisol. 

Hoffwn ddiolch i bawb a gyfrannodd at yr ymchwiliad, naill ai drwy gyflwyno tystiolaeth neu gymryd rhan yn un o'n grwpiau ffocws ar-lein. Rwyf am dynnu sylw at rôl ganolog Sefydliad Bevan. Fe wnaeth ei waith ar ddyled ei godi'n uwch ar yr agenda i bob un ohonom, ac yn sicr helpodd eu hadroddiad cychwynnol i'r pandemig a dyled yng Nghymru i annog y pwyllgor i gynnal yr ymchwiliad hwn fel ein hymchwiliad cyntaf. Hoffwn ddiolch hefyd i Rhys Morgan a gweddill y tîm clercio, yr ymchwil sy'n sail i'r adroddiad hwn dan arweiniad Gareth Thomas, a'r gwaith ymgysylltu allgymorth ardderchog gyda'r cyhoedd dan arweiniad Rhys Jones. Gobeithio y bydd yr Aelodau'n defnyddio'r cyfle hwn i rannu gyda ni yr hyn y credant y gallwn ei wneud i geisio rheoli'r problemau eithriadol o anodd hyn, a pha strategaethau y gallwn fynd ar eu trywydd yng Nghymru i atal mwy o bobl rhag mynd i ddyled ac yn wir, rhag mynd yn ddigartref ac yn ddiymgeledd o bosibl. Edrychaf ymlaen at glywed cyfraniadau'r Aelodau.


Diolch i Jenny fel Cadeirydd, yr Aelodau eraill ar y pwyllgor a'r swyddogion am yr araith yma. Diolch hefyd i'r mudiadau roedden ni'n cymryd tystiolaeth ohonynt.

Thank you to Jenny as Chair of the committee, and other members of the committee and all of the officials for this debate. And thank you too to all of those who gave evidence.

Back in March 2020, we were told that we were all facing the same storm, but whilst we may have been facing the same storm, we weren't all rowing in the same boat—those on low incomes, the self-employed, the 3 million United Kingdom taxpayers not entitled to Government support, single parents, renters, and the list goes on. A separate report published today stated that UK households have suffered the biggest fall in available cash in eight years, and that the unique pressures facing young people risks creating a generation precariat, with only half of young adults able to make ends meet each month.

On one specific issue in the report, I was very pleased to see in the response from the Welsh Government an acceptance of the committee's recommendation to pursue an idea of a debt bonfire, which the Welsh Liberal Democrats put forward in last May's election. We propose that the Welsh Government make available a limited fund to purchase and write off public sector-related debt, where this may prevent someone from accessing services or support. A debt bonfire could be a powerful solution for those who are trapped under the weight of debt and who can't escape debt because of the limited support available to them. And, of course, there are many, many other recommendations in the report that I welcome.

But the reality is that there are steps that the United Kingdom Government could be taking now that could give people a brighter outlook for the year ahead. One is the Conservatives revisiting the decision to freeze the personal tax allowance, which will see 85,000 people in Wales paying more income tax. They could have opted for a fairer way of raising additional revenues than through hiking national insurance contributions. People are facing this cost-of-living disaster that we're hearing so much about, and we have to do everything possible, both Governments, to ensure that the pandemic and the rapidly rising cost of living do not leave millions behind. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Yn ôl ym mis Mawrth 2020, dywedwyd wrthym ein bod i gyd yn wynebu'r un storm, ond er ein bod yn wynebu'r un storm o bosibl, nid oeddem i gyd yn rhwyfo yn yr un cwch—y rhai ar incwm isel, yr hunangyflogedig, y 3 miliwn o drethdalwyr y Deyrnas Unedig nad oes ganddynt hawl i gael cymorth gan y Llywodraeth, rhieni sengl, rhentwyr, ac mae'r rhestr yn parhau. Nododd adroddiad ar wahân a gyhoeddwyd heddiw fod aelwydydd y DU wedi dioddef y gostyngiad mwyaf ers wyth mlynedd mewn arian ar gael, a bod y pwysau unigryw sy'n wynebu pobl ifanc yn creu perygl o genhedlaeth simsan, gyda dim ond hanner yr oedolion ifanc yn gallu cael dau ben llinyn ynghyd bob mis.

Ar un mater penodol yn yr adroddiad, roeddwn yn falch iawn o weld yn yr ymateb gan Lywodraeth Cymru ei bod yn derbyn argymhelliad y pwyllgor i fynd ar drywydd syniad o 'goelcerth ddyledion', a gyflwynwyd gan Ddemocratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru yn yr etholiad fis Mai diwethaf. Rydym yn cynnig bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn darparu cronfa gyfyngedig i brynu a dileu dyled sy'n gysylltiedig â'r sector cyhoeddus, lle gallai hyn atal rhywun rhag cael gwasanaethau neu gymorth. Gallai 'coelcerth ddyledion' fod yn ateb pwerus i'r rhai sydd wedi'u dal o dan bwysau dyled ac na allant ddianc rhag dyled oherwydd y cymorth cyfyngedig sydd ar gael iddynt. Ac wrth gwrs, mae llawer o argymhellion eraill rwy'n eu croesawu yn yr adroddiad.

Ond y realiti yw bod yna gamau y gallai Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig eu cymryd yn awr a allai roi rhagolygon mwy disglair i bobl am y flwyddyn i ddod. Un ohonynt yw'r ffordd y mae'r Ceidwadwyr yn ailedrych ar y penderfyniad i rewi'r lwfans treth personol, a fydd yn golygu bod 85,000 o bobl yng Nghymru yn talu mwy o dreth incwm. Gallent fod wedi dewis ffordd decach o godi refeniw ychwanegol na thrwy godi cyfraniadau yswiriant gwladol. Mae pobl yn wynebu'r trychineb costau byw rydym yn clywed cymaint amdano, ac mae'n rhaid inni wneud popeth posibl, y ddwy Lywodraeth, i sicrhau nad yw'r pandemig a'r costau byw sy'n codi'n gyflym yn gadael miliynau ar ôl. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

As a member of the Equality and Social Justice Committee, I am delighted to contribute to today's debate on our report, 'Debt and the pandemic'. The pandemic has taken its toll in different ways. For many people it hit financially—they faced job insecurity, less income, higher bills. It has compounded the financial problems that families have been grappling with.

I believe this inquiry and our report is a testament to the enthusiasm of all Members who wanted to understand more about the complexities of the debt experienced by people in Wales and the impact of the pandemic on individual and household finances. I want at the outset to thank our Chair, Jenny Rathbone, who has skillfully led the committee through this inquiry, and the Minister for accepting in full or in principle the recommendations that we settled on.

It is the response of the Government that I want to focus on this afternoon, because as the Minister rightly said in her letter to the committee, there is an urgent need to tackle the growing debt burden that is being faced by some of our most vulnerable households in Wales. I also want us to remember that, for many people, the challenge of managing debt and attempting to resolve their problems can be a lonely affair. There is a significant risk that those in society with less to start with will witness a disproportionate impact on their financial health because of the pandemic, and this has been well documented in other studies beyond this inquiry—[Inaudible.]—and increasing worries, strain, depression and longer lasting mental ill health.

According to the mental ill health charity Platfform, these anxieties and distresses have not, however, been experienced uniformly, and there is good evidence that the pandemic and our responses to it have widened these health inequalities. They also observe that mental health is known to be linked to wider inequalities that are prevalent in our society. There's a link between financial health and mental health, and the effect of the pandemic on the financial health of those who were already struggling is going to provide the basis for a range of ongoing challenges that this Government needs to meet.

The evidence to the committee was comprehensive. The recommendations are based on that evidence and the discussions that followed. There appears to be little disagreement between the committee and the Government about the seriousness of the challenges that many people face in Wales, although I do want to see some speed put into the work the Government is committed to.

I want to raise three points in support of the committee report this afternoon. Firstly, the importance of data. Without information we will have little ability to affect the life chances of those in debt. Planning will be pointless without understanding the complete picture, which is why I welcome the Government's acceptance of the committee's view that their equalities data unit should work with organisations in the sector to collate and publish annual data on debt in Wales, broken down by protected characteristics. My concerns about health inequalities, especially mental ill health, should feature in the work undertaken, so that we fully understand the consequences of the debt position beyond the financial.

Secondly is the disproportionate impact of debt and the pandemic on different groups. In our report we outline how much of the evidence pointed to the differing impact on different groups. Organisations such as StepChange, Citizens Advice and the Bevan Foundation provided evidence that some groups are more likely to experience debt than others, such as people who are unemployed or in insecure work, people whose work has been affected by the pandemic, single parents, parents with young children, renters, people from some ethnic minority communities, and people with disabilities. In addition, the Bevan Foundation highlighted that households with an annual income below £40,000 a year were significantly more likely to be in arrears than higher income households. Furthermore, they found that people living in social rented accommodation are more likely to be in arrears on every major bill than any other group. This evidence demonstrates how complex the picture is and how it will not be resolved quickly.

Thirdly is the importance of us holding the Welsh Government to account and returning to this subject as soon as we can. I appreciate that there are matters beyond our control, but people expect Welsh Ministers to act. In doing so, I expect that other departments within Government should be engaged in this agenda as we also seek to provide a stronger economy from which people should be able to benefit.

Fel aelod o'r Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb a Chyfiawnder Cymdeithasol, mae'n bleser gennyf gyfrannu at y ddadl heddiw ar ein hadroddiad, 'Dyled a'r pandemig'. Mae'r pandemig wedi gadael ei ôl mewn gwahanol ffyrdd. I lawer o bobl, fe wnaeth daro'n ariannol—roeddent yn wynebu ansicrwydd ynglŷn â'u swyddi, llai o incwm, biliau uwch. Mae wedi dwysáu'r problemau ariannol y mae teuluoedd wedi bod yn ymrafael â hwy.

Credaf fod yr ymchwiliad hwn a'n hadroddiad yn dyst i frwdfrydedd yr holl Aelodau a oedd am ddeall mwy am gymhlethdodau'r ddyled a brofir gan bobl yng Nghymru ac effaith y pandemig ar gyllid unigolion ac aelwydydd. Hoffwn ddiolch ar y cychwyn i'n Cadeirydd, Jenny Rathbone, sydd wedi arwain y pwyllgor yn fedrus drwy'r ymchwiliad hwn, a'r Gweinidog am dderbyn yn llawn neu mewn egwyddor yr argymhellion y gwnaethom gytuno arnynt.

Rwyf am ganolbwyntio ar ymateb y Llywodraeth y prynhawn yma, oherwydd fel y dywedodd y Gweinidog yn gywir yn ei llythyr at y pwyllgor, mae gwir angen mynd i'r afael â'r baich dyledion cynyddol sy'n wynebu rhai o'n cartrefi mwyaf