Y Cyfarfod Llawn - Y Bumed Senedd

Plenary - Fifth Senedd

27/01/2021

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 13:29 gyda'r Llywydd (Elin Jones) yn y Gadair. 

The Senedd met by video-conference at 13:29 with the Llywydd (Elin Jones) in the Chair.

Datganiad gan y Llywydd
Statement by the Llywydd

Croeso i'r Cyfarfod Llawn. Cyn i ni ddechrau, dwi eisiau nodi ychydig o bwyntiau. 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 heddiw, ac mae'r rhain wedi'u nodi ar eich agenda chi. Dwi eisiau atgoffa Aelodau hefyd fod y Rheolau Sefydlog sy'n ymwneud â threfn yn y Cyfarfod Llawn yn berthnasol i'r cyfarfod yma.

Welcome to this Plenary meeting. Before we begin, I want to set out a few points. A Plenary meeting held by 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 Plenary meeting, and these are set out on your agenda. I would remind Members that Standing Orders relating to order in Plenary meetings apply to this meeting.

13:30
1. Cwestiynau i Weinidog yr Economi, Trafnidiaeth a Gogledd Cymru
1. Questions to the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales

Yr eitem gyntaf, felly, yw'r cwestiynau i Weinidog yr Economi, Trafnidiaeth a Gogledd Cymru, ac mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Caroline Jones.

The first item is questions to the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, and the first question is from Caroline Jones.

Economi Gorllewin De Cymru
The Economy of South Wales West

1. Pa gamau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu cymryd i wella economi Gorllewin De Cymru yn ngoleuni’r pandemig COVID-19? OQ56189

1. What action is the Welsh Government taking to improve the economy of South Wales West in light of the COVID-19 pandemic? OQ56189

Thank you. Well, of course, we’ve provided the most generous package of support for businesses anywhere in the United Kingdom since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, worth over £2 billion, and £1.7 billion of that is now in businesses' accounts. In south-west Wales, the latest restrictions fund has seen over 3,600 businesses receive over £12.4 million, and the sector-specific fund has made 268 offers worth £2.8 million to date.

Diolch. Wel, wrth gwrs, rydym wedi darparu'r pecyn cymorth mwyaf hael i fusnesau yn unrhyw ran o'r Deyrnas Unedig ers dechrau pandemig COVID-19, gwerth mwy na £2 biliwn, ac mae £1.7 biliwn o’r swm hwnnw bellach yng nghyfrifon busnesau. Yn ne-orllewin Cymru, mae'r gronfa ddiweddaraf i fusnesau dan gyfyngiadau wedi darparu dros £12.4 miliwn i dros 3,600 o fusnesau, ac mae'r gronfa sector-benodol wedi gwneud 268 cynnig gwerth cyfanswm o £2.8 miliwn hyd yn hyn.

Thank you, Minister. I recently contacted you regarding the plight of gaming arcades, and in your response you state that you had to take difficult decisions on eligibility criteria. These businesses, which your Government has classified as being the same as casinos or licensed betting establishments—which they're not—are being denied the same support as other leisure businesses in Wales. And whilst their counterparts in Scotland and England receive support, why is it the case that bingo halls can receive support but high-street gaming arcades cannot? Minister, will you arrange to meet with representatives of the three impacted businesses within my region to hear their plight? If these businesses are forced to close, hundreds of people will lose their jobs. Thank you.

Diolch, Weinidog. Yn ddiweddar, cysylltais â chi ynglŷn â thrafferthion arcedau hapchwarae, ac yn eich ymateb dywedwch fod yn rhaid ichi wneud penderfyniadau anodd ar feini prawf cymhwysedd. Mae'r busnesau hyn, y mae eich Llywodraeth wedi'u categoreiddio fel rhai sydd yr un fath â chasinos neu sefydliadau betio trwyddedig—er nad ydynt—yn cael eu hamddifadu o'r cymorth a roddir i fusnesau hamdden eraill yng Nghymru. Ac er bod busnesau cyfatebol yn yr Alban a Lloegr yn derbyn cymorth, pam y gall neuaddau bingo dderbyn cymorth ond nid arcedau hapchwarae ar y stryd fawr? Weinidog, a wnewch chi drefnu i gyfarfod â chynrychiolwyr y tri busnes yr effeithiwyd arnynt yn fy rhanbarth i er mwyn clywed eu trafferthion? Os caiff y busnesau hyn eu gorfodi i gau, bydd cannoedd o bobl yn colli eu swyddi. Diolch.

Can I thank Caroline Jones for her question? I'm always willing to meet with businesses and with representative bodies. Of course, if a formal invitation is made, we'll give it very, very sympathetic consideration. In relation to the issue, though—to gaming and gambling—the guidance that is used by local authorities clearly states, in relation to those venues, arcades of the type that could be classified as amusements rather than gambling premises are considered leisure establishments and are eligible for the grants, either via the small business rate relief route, or where the rateable value of the premises makes them eligible for the larger £5,000 as leisure facilities. But as I've already said on numerous occasions during the course of this pandemic, very difficult decisions have had to be made, and, in so doing, we are still offering the most generous package of support anywhere in the United Kingdom to protect jobs. To date, we've been able to protect more than 140,000 jobs across Wales as a result of our direct action.

A gaf fi ddiolch i Caroline Jones am ei chwestiwn? Rwyf bob amser yn barod i gyfarfod â busnesau a chyrff cynrychiadol. Wrth gwrs, os rhoddir gwahoddiad ffurfiol, byddwn yn rhoi ystyriaeth gydymdeimladol iawn iddo. Mewn perthynas â'r mater sy'n codi, serch hynny—hapchwarae a gamblo—mae'r canllawiau a ddefnyddir gan awdurdodau lleol yn nodi'n glir, mewn perthynas â'r lleoliadau hynny, fod arcedau o'r math y gellid eu categoreiddio’n arcedau difyrion yn hytrach na’n sefydliadau gamblo yn cael eu hystyried yn sefydliadau hamdden ac yn gymwys i gael y grantiau, naill ai drwy ryddhad ardrethi busnesau bach, neu pan fo gwerth ardrethol y safle’n eu gwneud yn gymwys i gael y swm mwy o £5,000 fel cyfleusterau hamdden. Ond rwyf wedi dweud ar sawl achlysur eisoes yn ystod y pandemig hwn, bu’n rhaid gwneud penderfyniadau anodd iawn, ac wrth wneud hynny, rydym yn dal i gynnig y pecyn cymorth mwyaf hael yn unrhyw ran o'r Deyrnas Unedig er mwyn diogelu swyddi. Hyd yn hyn, rydym wedi gallu diogelu mwy na 140,000 o swyddi ledled Cymru o ganlyniad i'n gweithredu uniongyrchol.

South Wales West is already experiencing its own economic shocks, not least due to the exposure of supply chains, which feed into the now fragile hospitality, tourism and leisure sector. Minister, you've recognised that fragility with ring-fenced financial support for many front-line businesses, but, of course, they still won't be buying stock or committing to capital improvements at this point. Developing the foundational economy is a big plank of your policy, as is the promotion of Welsh food and drink. You've insisted that viable businesses should still be with us once we're through the pandemic, so where are you at the moment in securing the viability of that gate-to-plate path?

Mae Gorllewin De Cymru eisoes yn dioddef ei ergydion economaidd ei hun, yn anad dim o ganlyniad i ba mor agored yw’r cadwyni cyflenwi sy'n bwydo i mewn i'r sector lletygarwch, twristiaeth a hamdden sydd bellach yn fregus iawn. Weinidog, rydych wedi cydnabod y bregusrwydd hwnnw gyda chymorth ariannol wedi'i glustnodi i lawer o fusnesau rheng flaen, ond wrth gwrs, ni fyddant yn prynu stoc nac yn ymrwymo i welliannau cyfalaf ar hyn o bryd. Mae datblygu'r economi sylfaenol yn rhan fawr o'ch polisi, ynghyd â hyrwyddo bwyd a diod o Gymru. Rydych wedi mynnu y dylai busnesau hyfyw fod gyda ni o hyd wedi’r pandemig, felly ble rydych chi arni ar hyn o bryd o ran sicrhau hyfywedd y llwybr gât i'r plât hwnnw?

Can I thank Suzy Davies for her question? I should actually say that, in terms of considering capital investments, we did make available £100 million in business development grants, which was taken by a huge number of businesses—great interest in that particular scheme and the demand was incredible. That was specifically designed to encourage businesses to invest in their future. So, we have already made a considerable sum of money available for capital improvements. And in terms of that pathway to recovery, just last Friday the First Minister announced an additional £200 million to the restrictions fund, taking it to a total of £650 million, to enable businesses to have that bridge to the period of recovery.

In terms of the supply chain, we've also been able to allow supply chain businesses to access funds where they are able to prove a significant downturn in turnover. And it's worth just mentioning to Members that, in direct regard to that key sector that Suzy Davies has mentioned—hospitality—a typical hospitality business in Wales with the equivalent of six full-time staff could now be eligible to receive between £12,000 and £14,000, to help them through this desperately difficult period of restrictions. And that compares favourably to what's on offer across the border, where £9,000 is the highest award available to businesses in that sector of the same size. That demonstrates just how generous the offer is in Wales and how determined we are, as a Welsh Government, to secure the futures of as many businesses and as many employees as possible. 

A gaf fi ddiolch i Suzy Davies am ei chwestiwn? O ran ystyried buddsoddiadau cyfalaf, dylwn ddweud ein bod wedi sicrhau bod £100 miliwn ar gael mewn grantiau datblygu busnes, a aeth i nifer enfawr o fusnesau—cafwyd cryn dipyn o ddiddordeb yn y cynllun penodol hwnnw a bu’r galw yn anhygoel. Lluniwyd y cynllun yn benodol i annog busnesau i fuddsoddi yn eu dyfodol. Felly, rydym eisoes wedi sicrhau bod swm sylweddol o arian ar gael ar gyfer gwelliannau cyfalaf. Ac o ran y llwybr hwnnw at adferiad, ddydd Gwener diwethaf, cyhoeddodd y Prif Weinidog £200 miliwn ychwanegol ar gyfer y gronfa i fusnesau dan gyfyngiadau, gan ei chynyddu i gyfanswm o £650 miliwn, er mwyn galluogi busnesau i bontio i’r cyfnod adfer.

O ran y gadwyn gyflenwi, rydym hefyd wedi gallu caniatáu i fusnesau’r gadwyn gyflenwi gael mynediad at arian pan allant brofi gostyngiad sylweddol yn eu trosiant. Ac mae'n werth sôn wrth yr Aelodau, o ran y sector allweddol hwnnw y soniodd Suzy Davies amdano—lletygarwch—y gallai busnes lletygarwch nodweddiadol yng Nghymru sydd â'r hyn sy'n cyfateb i chwe aelod o staff amser llawn fod yn gymwys i dderbyn rhwng £12,000 a £14,000, i'w cynorthwyo drwy'r cyfnod anodd hwn o gyfyngiadau. Ac mae hynny'n cymharu'n ffafriol â'r hyn sydd ar gael dros y ffin, gan mai £9,000 yw'r swm uchaf sydd ar gael i fusnesau o'r un maint yn y sector hwnnw. Mae hynny'n dangos pa mor hael yw'r cynnig yng Nghymru a pha mor benderfynol rydym ni, fel Llywodraeth Cymru, i ddiogelu dyfodol cymaint o fusnesau a chymaint o weithwyr â phosibl.

13:35

Minister, over £32 million has been given out in business grants to businesses across Neath Port Talbot and I very much welcome that. But many of those small businesses depend upon one large business—Tata—in my constituency, and they have previously applied to the UK Government for help from the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme funding. They haven't heard yet. Have you had a chance to speak to the new Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to discuss how he can support Tata during this particular time? 

Weinidog, mae dros £32 miliwn wedi’i roi mewn grantiau busnes i fusnesau ar draws Castell-nedd Port Talbot, ac rwy'n croesawu hynny’n fawr. Ond mae llawer o'r busnesau bach hynny’n dibynnu ar un busnes mawr—Tata—yn fy etholaeth, ac maent wedi gwneud cais i Lywodraeth y DU o'r blaen am gymorth drwy gyllid y cynllun benthyciadau tarfu ar fusnes yn sgil y coronafeirws. Nid ydynt wedi clywed unrhyw beth eto. A ydych wedi cael cyfle i siarad ag Ysgrifennydd Gwladol newydd yr Adran Busnes, Ynni a Strategaeth Ddiwydiannol i drafod sut y gall gefnogi Tata yn ystod y cyfnod penodol hwn?

Can I thank Dai Rees for his question and say that a call with the new Secretary of State is now scheduled? It's in our diary. I have previously had very constructive relationships with other Ministers in BEIS, including, I'd particularly mention, Nadhim Zahawi, who is very collaborative in his approach, and we spoke on numerous occasions about the need to support the steel industry. Of course, that support has not yet been forthcoming from the UK Government. It's absolutely crucial that a deal is provided to the sector as a whole, but that specific support is agreed with Tata, recognising the strategic purpose of Tata as the UK's primary steel maker, and that is absolutely vital in terms of our national security and our economic well-being. So, these are the points that I'll be pressing upon the new Secretary of State when I speak with him. 

A gaf fi ddiolch i Dai Rees am ei gwestiwn a dweud bod galwad gyda'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol newydd bellach wedi'i threfnu? Mae hynny yn ein dyddiadur. Roedd gennyf berthynas adeiladol iawn gyda Gweinidogion eraill yn yr Adran Busnes, Ynni a Strategaeth Ddiwydiannol, gan gynnwys, dylwn grybwyll yn benodol, Nadhim Zahawi, sy'n gydweithredol iawn, ac rydym wedi siarad ar sawl achlysur ynglŷn â'r angen i gefnogi'r diwydiant dur. Wrth gwrs, ni chafwyd y cymorth hwnnw eto gan Lywodraeth y DU. Mae'n gwbl hanfodol fod cytundeb yn cael ei ddarparu ar gyfer y sector cyfan, ond bod cymorth penodol yn cael ei gytuno â Tata, gan gydnabod pwrpas strategol Tata fel prif wneuthurwr dur y DU, ac mae hynny'n gwbl hanfodol i'n diogelwch cenedlaethol a'n lles economaidd. Felly, dyma’r pwyntiau y byddaf yn eu pwysleisio wrth yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol newydd pan fyddaf yn siarad ag ef.

Cefnogaeth i Fusnesau
Support for Businesses

2. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am gefnogaeth i fusnesau yng Nghaerffili y mae pandemig y coronafeirws yn effeithio arnynt? OQ56176

2. Will the Minister provide an update on support for businesses in Caerphilly affected by the coronavirus pandemic? OQ56176

Yes, of course. In Caerphilly, the latest restrictions fund has seen over 1,500 businesses receive more than £4.5 million and the sector-specific fund has made 61 offers worth £478,000 to date.

Gwnaf, wrth gwrs. Yng Nghaerffili, mae'r gronfa ddiweddaraf i fusnesau dan gyfyngiadau wedi darparu mwy na £4.5 miliwn i dros 1,500 o fusnesau ac mae'r gronfa sector-benodol wedi gwneud 61 cynnig gwerth cyfanswm o £478,000 hyd yma.

I'd like to thank the Minister for meeting with representatives of businesses in Caerphilly and for the constructive responses that he gave. I just wanted to follow up on a few issues that have come out of that. Over the past few weeks, I've been contacted again by those businesses, who've expressed some concerns about the current financial package. One has said—a dance studio in Ystrad Mynach—that they cannot access support from the economic resilience fund due to them not paying their staff through PAYE, despite being in more or less the same position as other businesses of similar size otherwise. Another that contacted me is a farm park, who told me that the economic resilience fund cannot be used to support staff salaries even though the staff cannot be furloughed due to having to care for the park's animals. And I've had further concerns from representatives of the hair and beauty sector, who can't access support from the present round of ERF funding despite being unable to open. There's a fine line in the hospitality sector between being eligible and being not eligible, and I think, sometimes, businesses are falling on the wrong side of that fine line, which I'd like the Minister to address, and particularly with the next round of funding in mind. So, in the next round of funding, can those issues please be addressed to make sure that those businesses are catered for? And can he also tell us, with the First Minister having announced £200 million in the next round, when the detail of that next round of funding will be announced? 

Hoffwn ddiolch i'r Gweinidog am gyfarfod â chynrychiolwyr busnesau yng Nghaerffili ac am yr ymatebion adeiladol a roddodd. Hoffwn holi ynglŷn ag ychydig o faterion sydd wedi deillio o hynny. Dros yr ychydig wythnosau diwethaf, mae'r busnesau hynny wedi cysylltu â mi unwaith eto, gan fynegi rhai pryderon ynglŷn â’r pecyn ariannol cyfredol. Mae un wedi dweud—stiwdio ddawns yn Ystrad Mynach—na allant gael mynediad at gymorth drwy’r gronfa cadernid economaidd gan nad ydynt yn talu eu staff ar sail talu wrth ennill, er eu bod yn yr un sefyllfa fwy neu lai â busnesau eraill o faint tebyg fel arall. Parc fferm yw un arall a gysylltodd â mi, a dywedodd wrthyf na ellir defnyddio’r gronfa cadernid economaidd i gynnal cyflogau staff er na ellir rhoi’r staff ar ffyrlo am eu bod yn gorfod gofalu am anifeiliaid y parc. Ac mae cynrychiolwyr y sector trin gwallt a harddwch wedi mynegi pryderon pellach i mi am nad ydynt yn gallu cael cymorth drwy rownd gyllido bresennol y gronfa cadernid economaidd er nad ydynt yn gallu agor. Prin yw’r gwahaniaeth yn y sector lletygarwch rhwng bod yn gymwys a pheidio â bod yn gymwys, ac weithiau rwy'n credu bod busnesau’n cwympo ar yr ochr anghywir i'r gwahaniaeth hwnnw, a hoffwn i’r Gweinidog fynd i'r afael â hynny, ac yn enwedig gyda'r rownd gyllido nesaf mewn golwg. Felly, yn y rownd gyllido nesaf, a ellir mynd i'r afael â'r materion hynny i sicrhau y ceir darpariaeth ar gyfer y busnesau hynny? Ac a all ddweud wrthym hefyd, gan fod y Prif Weinidog wedi cyhoeddi £200 miliwn yn y rownd nesaf, pa bryd y bydd manylion y rownd gyllido nesaf honno’n cael eu cyhoeddi?

Can I thank Hefin David not just for his questions, but also for the opportunity to meet with him recently and the representatives of businesses from Caerphilly? I thought it was a very valuable discussion that we had, and certainly we are always exploring how we can plug the gaps that people and businesses are falling through as a result of the UK Government and the Welsh Government schemes. Now, the Deputy Minister, I should, first of all, say, recently met with ExcludedUK—my colleague Jane Hutt—to discuss issues and problems faced by many millions of people across the United Kingdom, including here in Wales. In addition to this, the Minister for Finance and I recently wrote to the Chancellor, pressing him for further support to be made available to businesses and to working people. Today, Members may have seen that, in Prime Minister's questions, the Prime Minister was asked about extending business and employee support to ensure that fewer people and businesses fall through the gaps, and he said that a statement would be forthcoming regarding that very matter. 

Our package has been designed with, obviously, affordability in mind, but also with the available funding that we have, and sometimes we have had to make difficult decisions. But our purpose has been to plug as many gaps as possible left by UK Government schemes. And with regard to some of the examples that Hefin has outlined, and first of all the dance business, while a business without PAYE staff can't access the ERF sector fund, a business that has a rateable property would be able to, via their local authority, secure a grant of £3,000 or £5,000 from the ERF restrictions fund. And that also applies to the businesses within the hair and beauty sector. Now, Hefin is also right that, last Friday, the First Minister outlined an additional £200 million that will be made available to support businesses in the coming weeks. The details of that additional support package will be published very soon, in a matter of days. In the meanwhile, I should also assure Members that the discretionary fund operated by local authorities remains open to applications. That's a £25 million fund, and that fund is designed to allow businesses to secure grants of up to £2,000. 

A gaf fi ddiolch i Hefin David nid yn unig am ei gwestiynau, ond hefyd am y cyfle i gyfarfod ag ef yn ddiweddar a chynrychiolwyr busnesau o Gaerffili? Roeddwn yn credu bod y drafodaeth a gawsom yn werthfawr iawn, ac yn sicr, rydym bob amser yn archwilio sut y gallwn lenwi'r bylchau y mae pobl a busnesau yn cwympo drwyddynt o ganlyniad i gynlluniau Llywodraeth y DU a Llywodraeth Cymru. Nawr, dylwn ddweud yn gyntaf oll fod y Dirprwy Weinidog wedi cyfarfod ag ExcludedUK yn ddiweddar—fy nghyd-Aelod Jane Hutt—i drafod materion a phroblemau y mae miliynau o bobl yn eu hwynebu ledled y Deyrnas Unedig, gan gynnwys yma yng Nghymru. Yn ogystal â hyn, ysgrifennodd y Gweinidog Cyllid a minnau at y Canghellor yn ddiweddar, gan bwyso arno i sicrhau bod cymorth pellach ar gael i fusnesau ac i bobl sy'n gweithio. Heddiw, efallai y bydd yr Aelodau wedi gweld, yn y cwestiynau i Brif Weinidog y DU, iddo gael ei holi ynglŷn ag ymestyn cymorth i fusnesau a gweithwyr er mwyn sicrhau bod llai o bobl a busnesau yn cwympo drwy’r bylchau, a dywedodd y byddai datganiad yn cael ei wneud cyn bo hir ar yr union fater hwnnw.

Lluniwyd ein pecyn gyda fforddiadwyedd mewn golwg, yn amlwg, ond hefyd gyda'r cyllid sydd ar gael i ni, ac weithiau, bu’n rhaid inni wneud penderfyniadau anodd. Ond ein nod oedd llenwi cymaint â phosibl o’r bylchau yng nghynlluniau Llywodraeth y DU. Ac o ran rhai o'r enghreifftiau a amlinellwyd gan Hefin, ac yn gyntaf oll y busnes dawns, er na all busnes heb staff a gyflogir ar sail talu wrth ennill gael mynediad at gronfa sectorau penodol y gronfa cadernid economaidd, byddai busnes a chanddo eiddo ardrethol yn gallu sicrhau grant drwy eu hawdurdod lleol o £3,000 neu £5,000 o gyllid y gronfa cadernid economaidd ar gyfer busnesau dan gyfyngiadau. Ac mae hynny hefyd yn berthnasol i'r busnesau yn y sector trin gwallt a harddwch. Nawr, mae Hefin hefyd yn llygad ei le fod y Prif Weinidog, ddydd Gwener diwethaf, wedi amlinellu £200 miliwn ychwanegol a fydd ar gael i gefnogi busnesau yn ystod yr wythnosau nesaf. Bydd manylion y pecyn cymorth ychwanegol hwnnw’n cael eu cyhoeddi cyn bo hir, ymhen ychydig ddyddiau. Yn y cyfamser, dylwn sicrhau'r Aelodau hefyd fod y gronfa ddewisol a weithredir gan awdurdodau lleol yn parhau i fod yn agored i geisiadau. Mae'r gronfa honno'n werth £25 miliwn, ac wedi'i chynllunio i ganiatáu i fusnesau gael grantiau o hyd at £2,000.

13:40

Thank you, Minister. As an extension of that question, I wanted to ask you about businesses falling through the gaps because there are still quite a few businesses falling through the gaps. So, I welcome what you've said, and I look forward to seeing more detail and what you're planning to do about it. Can I ask you specifically about support for the self-employed who work from home and have recently set up new businesses? I've been contacted by a constituent who set up a new business venture in November of 2019, and, after undergoing the appropriate training he needed to do, he was planning on starting trading in that business in the early part of 2020. However, this couldn't happen because it entailed visiting people's homes, which was banned, obviously, under the coronavirus regulations. As a result, he made no profit and accrued a significant debt as a result of setting up his business. I'm just wondering what assistance you're providing to businesses like his who were very unlucky in the time they started their business, obviously. 

Diolch, Weinidog. Gan ehangu ar y cwestiwn hwnnw, hoffwn ofyn i chi am fusnesau sy'n cwympo drwy'r bylchau gan fod cryn dipyn o fusnesau’n cwympo drwy'r bylchau o hyd. Felly, rwy'n croesawu'r hyn rydych wedi'i ddweud, ac edrychaf ymlaen at weld mwy o fanylion a'r hyn rydych yn bwriadu ei wneud yn ei gylch. A gaf fi ofyn i chi'n benodol ynghylch cymorth i bobl hunangyflogedig sy'n gweithio gartref ac sydd wedi sefydlu busnesau newydd yn ddiweddar? Mae etholwr a sefydlodd fenter busnes newydd ym mis Tachwedd 2019 wedi cysylltu â mi, ac ar ôl iddo gyflawni'r hyfforddiant priodol roedd angen iddo’i wneud, roedd yn bwriadu dechrau masnachu yn y busnes hwnnw yn gynnar yn 2020. Fodd bynnag, ni allai hyn ddigwydd gan ei fod yn galw am ymweld â chartrefi pobl, rhywbeth a oedd wedi’i wahardd, yn amlwg, dan y rheoliadau coronafeirws. O ganlyniad, ni wnaeth unrhyw elw ac aeth i ddyled sylweddol o ganlyniad i sefydlu ei fusnes. Tybed pa gymorth rydych yn ei roi i fusnesau fel ei fusnes ef a fu’n anlwcus iawn o ran yr adeg y gwnaethant ddechrau eu busnes wrth gwrs.

Can I thank Laura Jones for highlighting that particular case? And, obviously, if Laura Anne Jones would write to me with some of the detail, I will give it specific consideration as well to see whether we are able to assist. But, in general terms, in regard to start-up businesses, we did of course make available during the pandemic grants for start-ups to protect them, and within Caerphilly itself 84 start-up grants have been awarded, totalling more than £200,000, demonstrating the Welsh Government's commitment to start-ups. And we are currently considering further support for start-up businesses in the coming weeks and months as part of that overall package of support that has been announced by the First Minister. 

A gaf fi ddiolch i Laura Jones am dynnu sylw at yr achos penodol hwnnw? Ac yn amlwg, os gwnaiff Laura Anne Jones ysgrifennu ataf gyda rhywfaint o'r manylion, fe roddaf ystyriaeth benodol iddo hefyd i weld a allwn fod o gymorth. Ond yn gyffredinol, o ran busnesau newydd, gwnaethom ddarparu grantiau yn ystod y pandemig ar gyfer busnesau newydd er mwyn eu diogelu, ac yng Nghaerffili ei hun, mae 84 o grantiau wedi'u rhoi i fusnesau newydd, gwerth cyfanswm o fwy na £200,000, ac mae hynny’n dangos ymrwymiad Llywodraeth Cymru i fusnesau newydd. Ac ar hyn o bryd, rydym yn ystyried cymorth pellach i fusnesau newydd dros yr wythnosau a'r misoedd nesaf fel rhan o'r pecyn cymorth cyffredinol a gyhoeddwyd gan y Prif Weinidog.

As stated by the Minister, we acknowledge that the support offered to Welsh businesses has been the most generous of all UK Governments. However, the finances available to Welsh businesses, even with the help of the UK Government, are patently not enough, given the number of businesses across all sectors who are either closing permanently or are shedding jobs at an alarming rate, as evidenced by three large retail outlets that have closed recently in Pontypool town centre. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the only possibility of stopping this catastrophic damage to the Welsh economy is to end the lockdowns. Could the Minister give any indication as to when this will happen so that those in desperate economic situations may see some light at the end of the tunnel?

Fel y nododd y Gweinidog, rydym yn cydnabod mai’r cymorth a gynigiwyd i fusnesau Cymru yw’r mwyaf hael o holl Lywodraethau'r DU. Fodd bynnag, mae’n amlwg nad yw'r cyllid sydd ar gael i fusnesau Cymru yn ddigon, hyd yn oed gyda chymorth Llywodraeth y DU, o ystyried nifer y busnesau ar draws pob sector sydd naill ai'n cau'n barhaol neu sy'n cael gwared ar swyddi ar raddfa frawychus, fel y gwelwyd wrth i dri safle manwerthu mawr ynghanol y dref ym Mhont-y-pŵl gau yn ddiweddar. Mae'n dod yn fwyfwy amlwg mai'r unig bosibilrwydd o atal y niwed trychinebus hwn i economi Cymru yw dod â'r cyfyngiadau symud i ben. A all y Gweinidog roi unrhyw syniad pryd y bydd hyn yn digwydd fel y gall y rheini sydd mewn sefyllfaoedd economaidd enbyd weld rhywfaint o oleuni ar ben draw’r twnnel?

Can I thank David Rowlands for his question and say that, first and foremost, this is an unprecedented crisis that we are facing globally? We have never faced such a pandemic in our lifetimes, and so the support that's required for businesses, of course, whilst it's been substantial indeed, goes no way to actually covering many of the additional costs and the loss of revenue that businesses would have experienced during the course of the pandemic. Most businesses want to be open, as I think all Members would recognise, rather than be forced to close due to lockdowns. 

The plan for emerging from lockdowns is pretty clear in terms of where we need to be in regard to test positivity and infection rates. But, in the meantime, we stand ready to support every business during this period of lockdown to ensure that they can survive. Again, in regard to the Caerphilly area, there are some excellent examples of how the Welsh Government has supported businesses and secured jobs in recent months—businesses like Bergstrom, IG Doors, Hydro Sapa, MII Engineering. Between those, we've been able to grant award more than £1 million and secure the best part of 1,000 jobs. That's an impressive achievement for Caerphilly and demonstrates how, in every single part of Wales, the Welsh Government is stepping in to secure employment, to save people's prospects. 

A gaf fi ddiolch i David Rowlands am ei gwestiwn a dweud, yn anad dim, fod yr hyn rydym yn ei wynebu’n fyd-eang yn argyfwng na welwyd mo'i debyg o'r blaen? Nid ydym erioed wedi wynebu pandemig o'r fath yn ystod ein hoes, ac felly nid yw'r cymorth sydd ei angen ar fusnesau, er ei fod wedi bod yn sylweddol, yn ddigon i wneud iawn am lawer o'r costau ychwanegol a’r refeniw y byddai busnesau wedi'i golli yn ystod y pandemig. Mae'r rhan fwyaf o fusnesau eisiau bod ar agor, fel y credaf y byddai'r holl Aelodau'n ei gydnabod, yn hytrach na chael eu gorfodi i gau oherwydd cyfyngiadau symud.

Mae'r cynllun ar gyfer dod allan o gyfyngiadau symud yn eithaf clir o ran ble mae angen inni fod mewn perthynas â phrofion positif a chyfraddau heintio. Ond yn y cyfamser, rydym yn barod i gefnogi pob busnes yn ystod y cyfyngiadau symud hyn i sicrhau y gallant oroesi. Unwaith eto, mewn perthynas ag ardal Caerffili, ceir rhai enghreifftiau rhagorol o sut y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi cefnogi busnesau a diogelu swyddi dros y misoedd diwethaf—busnesau fel Bergstrom, IG Doors, Hydro Sapa, MII Engineering. Rhwng y busnesau hynny, rydym wedi gallu dyfarnu mwy nag £1 filiwn mewn grantiau a diogelu bron i 1,000 o swyddi. Mae hynny'n gyflawniad gwych i Gaerffili ac mae'n dangos sut y mae Llywodraeth Cymru, ym mhob rhan o Gymru, yn camu i'r adwy i ddiogelu cyflogaeth er mwyn cynnal gobeithion pobl ar gyfer y dyfodol.

13:45
Cwestiynau Heb Rybudd gan Lefarwyr y Pleidiau
Questions Without Notice from Party Spokespeople

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr yn gyntaf yr wythnos yma, Russell George.

Questions now from party spokespeople. The Conservative spokesperson first this week, Russell George.

Diolch, Presiding Officer, and good afternoon, Minister. Two weeks ago, Minister, you launched the £180 million sector-specific fund to support  the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors. How many businesses have already been supported and how much has been allocated, and how much money is still left in that pot to be allocated to those businesses?

Diolch, Lywydd, a phrynhawn da, Weinidog. Bythefnos yn ôl, Weinidog, fe wnaethoch chi lansio'r gronfa sector-benodol sy'n werth £180 miliwn i gefnogi sectorau lletygarwch, twristiaeth a hamdden. Faint o fusnesau sydd eisoes wedi cael cymorth a faint sydd wedi'i ddyrannu, a faint o arian sydd ar ôl yn y pot hwnnw i'w ddyrannu i'r busnesau hynny?

Well, can I thank Russell George for his question? The sector-specific fund at the outset came under intense demand from businesses, obviously, because there is a desperate need for support for those enterprises that are suffering so dearly right now. I can tell Russell George and Members that, as of today, more than 7,600 applications have been submitted, worth in the region of £70 million already. The fund, obviously, remains open as planned and we continue to provide status updates on the Business Wales website as and when required. So far, more than 880 offers, worth in excess of £5.5 million, have been made, with £3 million of that accepted by businesses and more than £2 million has already been made in terms of payment.

Wel, a gaf fi ddiolch i Russell George am ei gwestiwn? Yn amlwg, bu cryn dipyn o alw gan fusnesau ar y cychwyn am arian o’r gronfa sector-benodol gan fod angen dirfawr am gymorth i'r mentrau sy'n dioddef yn fawr ar hyn o bryd. Gallaf ddweud wrth Russell George a'r Aelodau fod mwy na 7,600 o geisiadau wedi'u cyflwyno hyd yn hyn, sy'n werth cyfanswm o oddeutu £70 miliwn eisoes. Mae'r gronfa, yn amlwg, yn parhau i fod ar agor fel y cynlluniwyd, ac rydym yn parhau i ddarparu diweddariadau ar ei statws ar wefan Busnes Cymru yn ôl yr angen. Hyd yn hyn, gwnaed mwy na 880 o gynigion, gwerth dros £5.5 miliwn, gyda busnesau'n derbyn £3 miliwn o’r swm hwnnw, ac mae mwy na £2 filiwn eisoes wedi'i dalu.

Thank you for your answer, Minister. I would suggest that those figures aren't particularly good. If only 7,600 businesses have actually brought forward applications, then the money hasn't even got to them yet; they're just applications that have been received. That tells us that there are thousands and thousands of businesses across Wales that haven't been supported in this particular sector. And from my perspective, it's so important that this financial support gets to businesses as quickly as possible. I know that you will agree with me that any business that was viable last year should be viable later this year when we see, hopefully, the end of this horrible pandemic.

But I'm particularly concerned about the hospitality sector, because it's this area that has been under the greatest level of restriction for the longest period of time. They've been under restrictions before the late December lockdown. Now, I know in response to question 1 today, Minister, you mentioned that the latest package of support for a typical hospitality business in Wales with the equivalent of six full-time staff would be eligible for between £12,000 and £14,000 in total. My concern is that I've had dozens of businesses contact me—small businesses in the hospitality sector, and other Members have had the same, because we've heard from some today also—who have fallen through the net of financial support, mainly because they don't meet the criteria for the economic resilience fund because it's too restrictive for a range of reasons: either the businesses have to employ staff on pay as you earn or because the fund is aimed at larger value-added-tax registered businesses, and so on. Can you either introduce a discretionary fund for those small businesses in the hospitality sector or can you look at the eligibility criteria for support and make that less restrictive?

Diolch am eich ateb, Weinidog. Byddwn yn awgrymu nad yw'r ffigurau hynny'n arbennig o dda. Os mai 7,600 o fusnesau yn unig sydd wedi cyflwyno ceisiadau, nid yw'r arian wedi eu cyrraedd hwy eto hyd yn oed; dim ond ceisiadau a ddaeth i law yw'r rheini. Mae hynny'n dweud wrthym fod miloedd ar filoedd o fusnesau ledled Cymru heb gael unrhyw gymorth yn y sector penodol hwn. Ac o’m safbwynt i, mae’n hynod bwysig fod y cymorth ariannol hwn yn cyrraedd busnesau cyn gynted â phosibl. Gwn y byddwch yn cytuno â mi y dylai unrhyw fusnes a oedd yn hyfyw y llynedd fod yn hyfyw yn ddiweddarach eleni pan fyddwn, gobeithio, yn gweld diwedd ar y pandemig erchyll hwn.

Ond rwy'n arbennig o bryderus am y sector lletygarwch, gan mai’r maes hwn sydd wedi bod dan y lefel uchaf o gyfyngiadau am y cyfnod hiraf o amser. Maent wedi bod dan gyfyngiadau cyn cyfyngiadau symud diwedd mis Rhagfyr. Nawr, gwn ichi sôn mewn ymateb i gwestiwn 1 heddiw, Weinidog, y byddai'r pecyn cymorth diweddaraf ar gyfer busnes lletygarwch nodweddiadol yng Nghymru gyda'r hyn sy'n cyfateb i chwe aelod o staff amser llawn yn gymwys am gyfanswm o rhwng £12,000 a £14,000. Fy mhryder i yw bod dwsinau o fusnesau wedi cysylltu â mi—busnesau bach yn y sector lletygarwch, ac mae’r un peth wedi digwydd i Aelodau eraill, gan inni glywed gan rai ohonynt heddiw hefyd—sydd wedi cwympo drwy rwyd y cymorth ariannol, yn bennaf am nad ydynt yn bodloni'r meini prawf ar gyfer y gronfa cadernid economaidd gan eu bod yn rhy gyfyngol am nifer o resymau: naill ai mae'n rhaid i'r busnesau gyflogi staff ar sail talu wrth ennill neu am fod y gronfa wedi'i hanelu at fusnesau mwy sydd wedi cofrestru at ddibenion treth ar werth ac ati. A wnewch chi gyflwyno cronfa ddewisol ar gyfer y busnesau bach hynny yn y sector lletygarwch neu a wnewch chi edrych ar y meini prawf cymhwysedd ar gyfer cymorth a’u gwneud yn llai cyfyngol?

I thank Russell George for his further questions and say that, in terms of the overall numbers, there are between 8,500 and 9,000 businesses within the sector that the specific fund has been established to support. So, of those 8,500 to 9,000 businesses, I think 7,600 applications is pretty impressive so far, but obviously we are leaving the fund open to give every opportunity to those remaining businesses to apply for support, and indeed we made the decision to extend the period the fund is going to be open for. Obviously, this is vitally important money for businesses that will continue to suffer during the winter months. But, as I've already said, we're already putting money into the bank accounts of those businesses—a significant sum of money has already been awarded and drawn down.

In terms of a discretionary fund, obviously we wouldn't want to duplicate what is already on offer and local authorities still have their discretionary funds open for applications—a £25 million fund. We're open to ideas as to how we can support every sector across the economy, and crucially the hospitality sector. If we look at some of the comparisons as well with the UK, with the larger businesses, we'd see that for businesses with a rateable value of between £12,000 and £50,000, in England, the maximum award is currently around about £6,000; in Northern Ireland, about £14,400; in Scotland, for hospitality, it's around £12,000; here in Wales, £25,000. And if you look at the larger businesses, those with rateable values of between £50,00 and £500,000, in England the maximum would be £9,000; Northern Ireland, £19,200; in Scotland, again, specifically for hospitality businesses, it would be £34,000. There is an opportunity here in Wales for those businesses of that size and type to draw down £110,000. That demonstrates just how significant our funds are in Wales and how we are still offering the most generous package of support for businesses. But, of course, as we consider future rounds of support, we are always open to ideas, and any suggestions from any Members will be welcome and received very well here in this department.

Diolch i Russell George am ei gwestiynau pellach ac rwy'n dweud o ran y niferoedd cyffredinol, fod y sector y sefydlwyd y gronfa benodol i’w gefnogi yn cynnwys rhwng 8,500 a 9,000 o fusnesau. Felly, o'r 8,500 a 9,000 o fusnesau, credaf fod 7,600 o geisiadau yn eithaf da hyd yn hyn, ond yn amlwg, rydym yn gadael y gronfa ar agor i roi pob cyfle i'r busnesau sydd ar ôl wneud cais am gymorth, ac yn wir, gwnaethom y penderfyniad i ymestyn y cyfnod y bydd y gronfa'n agored. Yn amlwg, mae hwn yn arian hanfodol bwysig i fusnesau a fydd yn parhau i ddioddef yn ystod misoedd y gaeaf. Ond fel rwyf wedi’i ddweud eisoes, rydym eisoes yn rhoi arian yng nghyfrifon banc y busnesau hynny—mae swm sylweddol o arian eisoes wedi'i ddyfarnu a'i dynnu i lawr.

Ac o ran cronfa ddewisol, yn amlwg, ni fyddem am ddyblygu'r hyn sydd eisoes ar gael ac mae cronfeydd dewisol yr awdurdodau lleol yn dal i fod yn agored i geisiadau—£25 miliwn o gyllid. Rydym yn agored i syniadau ynglŷn â sut y gallwn gefnogi pob sector ar draws yr economi, ac yn enwedig y sector lletygarwch. Os edrychwn ar rai o'r cymariaethau â’r DU hefyd, gyda’r busnesau mwy o faint, byddem yn gweld, ar gyfer busnesau a chanddynt werth ardrethol o rhwng £12,000 a £50,000, yn Lloegr, fod y dyfarniad uchaf oddeutu £6,000 ar hyn o bryd; yng Ngogledd Iwerddon, mae oddeutu £14,400; yn yr Alban, ar gyfer lletygarwch, mae oddeutu £12,000; yma yng Nghymru, £25,000. Ac os edrychwch ar y busnesau mwy o faint, y rheini a chanddynt werthoedd ardrethol o rhwng £50,00 a £500,000, yn Lloegr, yr uchafswm fyddai £9,000; Gogledd Iwerddon, £19,200; yn yr Alban, unwaith eto, yn benodol ar gyfer busnesau lletygarwch, byddai'n £34,000. Mae cyfle yma yng Nghymru i fusnesau o'r maint a'r math hwnnw gael £110,000. Mae hynny'n dangos pa mor arwyddocaol yw ein cronfeydd yng Nghymru a sut rydym yn dal i gynnig y pecyn cymorth mwyaf hael i fusnesau. Ond wrth gwrs, wrth inni ystyried rowndiau cymorth yn y dyfodol, rydym bob amser yn agored i syniadau, a bydd unrhyw awgrymiadau gan unrhyw Aelodau yn cael croeso a derbyniad da iawn yma yn yr adran hon.

13:50

Well, can I thank the Minister for his offer, and I'm certainly happy to take him up on that? I think the headlines from me, in terms of ideas, would be to make the criteria less restrictive on the economic resilience fund, to allow more businesses to apply. I appreciate that hospitality businesses on the high street might have got the non-domestic rate relief, but they weren't able to have any additional funding because of the restrictions in place for many of those types of businesses.

I was interested in the evidence that you and your officials gave last week, of course, to the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee. Your officials seemed to acknowledge that there is a large sum of money that the Welsh Government has not yet allocated. You also suggested that your department is perhaps reluctant to draw down or ask for further money from the finance Minister because you're fearful that you won't be able to design and deploy suitable funding schemes quickly enough in order for that money to be spent before the end of the financial year, which, again, would make me push for that to be less restrictive on the criteria, in terms of the economic resilience fund. From my perspective, businesses in non-essential retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure—a whole range of businesses—are crying out for additional support, and that money needs to be spent quickly, and every single bit of money that is available, that the Welsh Government has, has to be spent rather than lost, to ensure that struggling businesses survive through this pandemic.

Wel, a gaf fi ddiolch i'r Gweinidog am ei gynnig, ac rwy'n sicr yn fwy na pharod i'w dderbyn? Rwy'n credu mai'r prif bethau gennyf fi, o ran syniadau, fyddai gwneud y meini prawf yn llai cyfyngol ar gyfer y gronfa cadernid economaidd, er mwyn caniatáu i fwy o fusnesau wneud cais. Rwy'n sylweddoli y gallai busnesau lletygarwch ar y stryd fawr fod wedi cael y rhyddhad ardrethi annomestig, ond nid oedd modd iddynt gael unrhyw arian ychwanegol oherwydd y cyfyngiadau sydd ar waith ar gyfer llawer o'r mathau hynny o fusnesau.

Roedd gennyf ddiddordeb yn y dystiolaeth a roesoch chi a'ch swyddogion yr wythnos diwethaf, wrth gwrs, i Bwyllgor yr Economi, Seilwaith a Sgiliau. Roedd eich swyddogion i'w gweld yn cydnabod bod yna swm mawr o arian nad yw Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i ddyrannu eto. Fe awgrymoch chi hefyd fod eich adran yn amharod efallai i dynnu rhagor o arian i lawr neu ofyn am ragor o arian gan y Gweinidog Cyllid gan eich bod yn ofni na fyddwch yn gallu llunio cynlluniau cyllido addas a’u rhoi ar waith yn ddigon cyflym er mwyn i'r arian hwnnw gael ei wario cyn diwedd y flwyddyn ariannol, a fyddai, unwaith eto, yn gwneud imi wthio am weld hynny'n llai cyfyngol ar y meini prawf, o ran y gronfa cadernid economaidd. O'm safbwynt i, mae busnesau ym maes manwerthu nad yw’n hanfodol, lletygarwch, twristiaeth a hamdden—ystod eang o fusnesau—yn ymbil am gymorth ychwanegol, ac yn dweud bod angen gwario arian yn gyflym, a bod angen gwario pob darn bach o arian sydd ar gael, sydd gan Lywodraeth Cymru, yn hytrach na'i golli, er mwyn sicrhau bod busnesau sy'n ei chael hi'n anodd yn goroesi'r pandemig hwn.

I'd agree entirely with Russell George that there is a need for urgency in terms of how we support businesses, get money into business accounts and, I think, between Welsh Government, Business Wales and local authorities, the effort has been really quite remarkable in Wales, in terms of the speed at which we've been able to administer grants and awards. But Russell George is also right that we need to ensure that we have systems in place and teams in place that enable us to get money into business accounts by the end of the financial year. We would not wish to send back any financial resource if we can use that money instead to support businesses, and that's why we've always been keen, as we've designed these various schemes, to ensure that we can guarantee that we will be able to deposit money in bank accounts before the end of year, and that mentality will continue.

And in terms of asking the finance Minister for additional financial resource, well, I can tell Members that that £200 million additional fund that was announced by the First Minister last Friday came off the back of discussions between myself and the finance Minister, and the finance Minister kindly agreed to the more generous option of support that was put before her, recognising, as all colleagues do across Government, the urgent need and continued need to support people in employment and to make sure that we save as many businesses as we possibly can.

Byddwn yn cytuno’n llwyr â Russell George fod angen brys o ran sut rydym yn cefnogi busnesau, yn sicrhau bod arian yn cyrraedd cyfrifon busnes, ac yn fy marn i, rhwng Llywodraeth Cymru, Busnes Cymru ac awdurdodau lleol, mae’r ymdrech wedi bod yn eithaf rhyfeddol yng Nghymru, o ran pa mor gyflym rydym wedi gallu rhoi grantiau a dyfarniadau. Ond mae Russell George hefyd yn llygad ei le fod angen inni sicrhau bod gennym systemau ar waith a thimau ar waith sy'n ein galluogi i roi arian mewn cyfrifon busnes erbyn diwedd y flwyddyn ariannol. Ni fyddem yn dymuno anfon unrhyw adnoddau ariannol yn ôl os gallwn ddefnyddio'r arian hwnnw yn lle hynny i gefnogi busnesau, a dyna pam ein bod bob amser wedi bod yn awyddus, wrth inni lunio'r cynlluniau amrywiol hyn, i sicrhau ein bod yn gallu adneuo arian mewn cyfrifon banc cyn diwedd y flwyddyn, a bydd y meddylfryd hwnnw'n parhau.

Ac o ran gofyn i’r Gweinidog Cyllid am adnoddau ariannol ychwanegol, wel, gallaf ddweud wrth yr Aelodau fod y gronfa ychwanegol honno o £200 miliwn a gyhoeddwyd gan y Prif Weinidog ddydd Gwener diwethaf wedi deillio o drafodaethau rhwng y Gweinidog Cyllid a minnau, ac roedd y Gweinidog Cyllid yn ddigon caredig i gytuno i’r opsiwn mwy hael o gymorth a gynigiwyd iddi, gan gydnabod, fel y gwna pob un o'r cyd-Aelodau ar draws y Llywodraeth, yr angen brys a’r angen parhaus i gynnal pobl mewn gwaith ac i sicrhau ein bod yn achub cymaint o fusnesau ag y gallwn.

Llefarydd Plaid Cymu nawr, Helen Mary Jones.

Plaid Cymru spokesperson now, Helen Mary Jones.

Diolch yn fawr, Llywydd. Further to the Minister's responses to Russell George, does he share the concerns that did seem to be being expressed to the committee last week about actually getting the money out of the door quickly enough? In saying this, Llywydd, I completely acknowledge that this is a huge task, and that many of the people who've been involved, at all levels, in delivering support for businesses in Wales have made absolutely heroic efforts. But I, like others who've spoken already today, have got some concerns about actually getting that resource to the right place fast enough.

I have, for example, heard that, in one part of Wales, a survey of hospitality businesses showed that 75 per cent of them had been refused for one or another of the Welsh Government's schemes. They were unable to be clear to me about which schemes they'd been turned down for. And I put this to the Minister as well, that there is quite a bit of complexity out there between support that is available from UK Government and support that's available from the Welsh Government, and I ask the Minister what further he can do to ensure that businesses understand what they should apply for and how they can access that. Does the Minister consider that there may be a case, if there are issues in getting money out of the door centrally, let's say through Business Wales, to divert some of the new resource to provide additional discretionary support, administered by local authorities, who may find it easier to determine if some of those businesses that perhaps don't meet the formal criteria, but they will have a better idea of whether those are genuine businesses or not?

Diolch yn fawr, Lywydd. Yn ychwanegol at ymatebion y Gweinidog i Russell George, a yw’n rhannu’r pryderon a fynegwyd yn y pwyllgor yr wythnos diwethaf, yn ôl pob golwg, ynglŷn â sicrhau bod yr arian yn cael ei ddarparu’n ddigon cyflym? Wrth ddweud hyn, Lywydd, rwy’n cydnabod yn llwyr fod hon yn dasg enfawr, a bod llawer o’r bobl sydd wedi bod ynghlwm, ar bob lefel, wrth ddarparu cymorth i fusnesau yng Nghymru wedi gwneud ymdrechion cwbl arwrol. Ond fel eraill sydd wedi siarad eisoes heddiw, mae gennyf rai pryderon ynglŷn â sicrhau bod yr adnoddau hynny’n mynd i’r lle iawn yn ddigon cyflym.

Rwyf wedi clywed, er enghraifft, fod arolwg o fusnesau lletygarwch mewn un rhan o Gymru wedi dangos bod 75 y cant ohonynt wedi cael eu gwrthod ar gyfer un neu'r llall o gynlluniau Llywodraeth Cymru. Nid oeddent yn gallu dweud yn glir wrthyf ar gyfer pa gynlluniau y cawsant eu gwrthod. A dywedais hyn wrth y Gweinidog hefyd, fod cryn dipyn o gymhlethdod i’w gael rhwng y cymorth sydd ar gael gan Lywodraeth y DU a’r cymorth sydd ar gael gan Lywodraeth Cymru, a gofynnaf i'r Gweinidog beth arall y gall ei wneud i sicrhau bod busnesau'n deall yr hyn y dylent wneud cais amdano a sut y gallant gael mynediad ato. Os oes problemau gyda darparu arian yn ganolog, er enghraifft drwy Busnes Cymru, a yw'r Gweinidog o'r farn y gallai fod achos dros ddargyfeirio rhywfaint o'r adnoddau newydd ar gyfer darparu cymorth dewisol ychwanegol wedi'i weinyddu gan awdurdodau lleol, a allai ei chael hi'n haws penderfynu a oes rhai busnesau'n methu bodloni'r meini prawf ffurfiol efallai, ond bydd ganddynt well syniad a ydynt yn fusnesau dilys ai peidio?

13:55

Well, can I thank Helen Mary Jones for the points that she raises and the very valid questions? And I should begin by saying that, normally, this department would administer something in the region of £20 million to £30 million of business support grants through the business and regions budget line in an average year. And, of course, there would be other grants that would be awarded for entrepreneurial start-ups and so forth, but that pales into insignificance compared to the amount of grant awards that we've made this year: £1.7 billion of money is already in the accounts of businesses from the £2 billion available to us. One hundred and seventy-eight thousand grants have been made to businesses, worth £1 billion, through local authorities. That is a remarkable effort. Five hundred and twenty million pounds has been made available to businesses through the Welsh Government's economic resilience fund, supporting thousands and thousands of businesses and 140,000-plus people in employment. So, in terms of being able to get money into bank accounts swiftly, I think we have an incredibly strong story to tell. But we wish to make sure that we continue with that swift pace of administration in the weeks and months to come.

What we are keen to do, as well, is to ensure that businesses don't submit duplicate applications for grants, and, unfortunately, it's become quite apparent of late that a significant number of businesses have indeed submitted duplicate applications, and that can sometimes then hold up an award because we have to cross-reference applications against others, so that we don't make multiple awards to the same business. And so, what I would urge businesses to do, to ensure that they support us in helping them, is to sign up to Business Wales so that they get regular updates, regular digital news letters, and to ensure that when they are considering making an application, whether it be for UK or Welsh Government support, that they do look at the eligibility criteria very carefully, so that they are not then disappointed as a result of either missing details of the eligibility criteria or, indeed, ignoring them completely. It's absolutely essential that businesses help us to help them by applying only once for grants and by applying for the ones that are relevant to them.

Wel, a gaf fi ddiolch i Helen Mary Jones am y pwyntiau y mae'n eu codi a'r cwestiynau dilys iawn? A dylwn ddechrau drwy ddweud y byddai'r adran hon, fel arfer, yn gweinyddu rhywle rhwng £20 miliwn a £30 miliwn o grantiau cymorth busnes drwy linell wariant busnes a rhanbarthau mewn blwyddyn gyffredin. Ac wrth gwrs, byddai grantiau eraill yn cael eu dyfarnu ar gyfer busnesau entrepreneuraidd newydd ac ati, ond nid yw hynny'n ddim o’i gymharu â swm y grantiau rydym wedi'u dyfarnu eleni: mae £1.7 biliwn o arian eisoes yng nghyfrifon busnesau o'r £2 biliwn sydd ar gael i ni. Mae 178,000 o grantiau wedi'u rhoi i fusnesau, gwerth £1 biliwn, drwy awdurdodau lleol. Mae honno'n ymdrech ryfeddol. Mae £520 miliwn ar gael i fusnesau drwy gronfa cadernid economaidd Llywodraeth Cymru, i gefnogi miloedd ar filoedd o fusnesau a mwy na 140,000 o bobl mewn gwaith. Felly, o ran gallu rhoi arian mewn cyfrifon banc yn gyflym, credaf fod gennym hanes anhygoel o gryf. Ond rydym am sicrhau ein bod yn parhau i weinyddu’n gyflym yn yr wythnosau a'r misoedd i ddod.

Yr hyn rydym yn awyddus i'w wneud, hefyd, yw sicrhau nad yw busnesau'n cyflwyno ceisiadau dyblyg am grantiau, ac yn anffodus, mae'n dod yn eithaf amlwg yn ddiweddar fod nifer sylweddol o fusnesau wedi cyflwyno ceisiadau dyblyg, a gall hynny weithiau arwain at oedi cyn rhoi dyfarniad gan fod rhaid inni groesgyfeirio ceisiadau yn erbyn ei gilydd, fel nad ydym yn dyfarnu sawl dyfarniad i'r un busnes. Ac felly, yr hyn y byddwn yn annog busnesau i'w wneud, er mwyn sicrhau eu bod yn ein cefnogi i'w cynorthwyo, yw ymuno â Busnes Cymru fel eu bod yn cael diweddariadau rheolaidd, newyddlenni digidol rheolaidd, ac i sicrhau, pan fyddant yn ystyried gwneud cais, boed hynny am gymorth gan Lywodraeth y DU neu Lywodraeth Cymru, eu bod yn edrych ar y meini prawf cymhwysedd yn ofalus iawn, fel na chânt eu siomi naill ai o ganlyniad i fethu manylion y meini prawf cymhwysedd, neu'n wir, eu hanwybyddu'n llwyr. Mae'n gwbl hanfodol fod busnesau yn ein cynorthwyo ni i'w cynorthwyo hwy drwy wneud ceisiadau am grantiau unwaith yn unig, a thrwy wneud ceisiadau am y rhai sy'n berthnasol iddynt hwy.

I'm grateful to the Minister for his answer. There is still quite a complex picture out there, and I'll return to this through correspondence with the Minister about the issue of whether we can use local authorities more, particularly for getting support to some of the very smallest businesses that are still really important in terms of the people that they employ.

Can I ask the Minister now about longer term support? Obviously, we hope we're going to have an election in May, but we also know that some of the major UK schemes—and I'm thinking in particular of the job retention scheme, the furlough scheme—at the moment are scheduled to come to an end at the end of March. I wonder if the Minister has any sense, given that, unfortunately, the position with regard to the virus is still very serious—we can see some improvements, but it's still very serious—does the Minister have any indication from the UK Government as to whether or not these UK Government schemes are likely to be further extended, if we do find ourselves in a situation where businesses like hospitality can't reopen? And what consideration are the Minister and his team giving to what the Welsh Government will be able to do if that UK support does not continue or does not continue in its present form? I appreciate, of course, that the Welsh Government isn't resourced to do something like the furlough scheme, but I put it to the Minister that you may be wanting to consider what sectors are going to be most likely to continue to be impacted and whether or not you will be able to provide some support, going on further into the summer, particularly for hospitality and tourism businesses if they can't open.

Rwy'n ddiolchgar i'r Gweinidog am ei ateb. Mae’r darlun yn un eithaf cymhleth o hyd, a byddaf yn dychwelyd at hyn drwy ohebiaeth â'r Gweinidog ynglŷn ag a allwn ddefnyddio awdurdodau lleol i raddau mwy, yn enwedig er mwyn sicrhau cymorth i rai o'r busnesau lleiaf un sy'n dal i fod yn bwysig iawn o ran y bobl maent yn eu cyflogi.

A gaf fi ofyn i'r Gweinidog nawr am gymorth mwy hirdymor? Yn amlwg, rydym yn gobeithio cael etholiad ym mis Mai, ond gwyddom hefyd fod rhai o gynlluniau mawr y DU—ac rwy'n meddwl yn benodol am y cynllun cadw swyddi, y cynllun ffyrlo—i fod i ddod i ben ddiwedd mis Mawrth ar hyn o bryd. Tybed a oes gan y Gweinidog unrhyw syniad, o ystyried, yn anffodus, fod y sefyllfa mewn perthynas â'r feirws yn dal i fod yn ddifrifol iawn—gallwn weld rhai gwelliannau, ond mae'n dal i fod yn ddifrifol iawn—a yw’r Gweinidog wedi cael unrhyw arwydd gan Lywodraeth y DU ynglŷn ag a yw cynlluniau Llywodraeth y DU yn debygol o gael eu hymestyn ymhellach ai peidio, os ydym mewn sefyllfa lle na all busnesau fel lletygarwch ailagor? A pha ystyriaeth y mae'r Gweinidog a'i dîm yn ei rhoi i'r hyn y gall Llywodraeth Cymru ei wneud os na fydd cymorth y DU yn parhau, neu os nad yw'n parhau ar ei ffurf bresennol? Rwy'n sylweddoli, wrth gwrs, nad oes gan Lywodraeth Cymru adnoddau i wneud rhywbeth fel y cynllun ffyrlo, ond hoffwn ddweud wrth y Gweinidog y gallech fod eisiau ystyried pa sectorau yw’r rhai mwyaf tebygol o barhau i gael eu heffeithio ac a fyddwch yn gallu darparu rhywfaint o gymorth ai peidio yn nes ymlaen yn yr haf, yn enwedig i fusnesau lletygarwch a thwristiaeth os na allant agor.

Well, can I thank Helen Mary Jones for her further contribution? And she's absolutely right, we would not be in a position—we would simply not be able to afford to replace schemes such as the job retention scheme and the self-employment support scheme in Wales. That requires the might of the UK Treasury. But, throughout this pandemic, what we have done is respond swiftly and appropriately when the UK Government has made announcements regarding support that they are able to offer, and we have shaped our packages to ensure that we plug the gaps and that we add value.

We are awaiting a response from the UK Government with regard to the very many asks that we recently made—and have been calling for for some time—in a formal letter to the Chancellor. I and my friend and colleague Rebecca Evans wrote to the Chancellor asking for the job retention scheme to be preserved for longer. We also asked for other guarantees, including flexibility from HMRC for deferred payments to be allowed for schemes such as the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme. We're awaiting the response from the Chancellor. We haven't had any indication as to whether our ask will be met with a degree of sympathy.

I've also been calling for clarity as to whether the UK Government is going to bring forward a directors income support scheme, which I know that ExcludedUK have been campaigning for and that many people have been requesting. So, we are awaiting details from the UK Government as we approach the budget, and I would hope that the UK Government would, again, recognise the need to extend that crucially important job retention scheme and other schemes, and to be acting with fairness and flexibility with regard to the other areas of activity that I've outlined.

Wel, a gaf fi ddiolch i Helen Mary Jones am ei chyfraniad pellach? Ac mae’n llygad ei lle, ni fyddem mewn sefyllfa—ni fyddem yn gallu fforddio rhoi cynlluniau ar waith yn lle’r cynllun cadw swyddi a'r cynllun cymorth incwm i’r hunangyflogedig yng Nghymru. Mae angen grym Trysorlys y DU i wneud hynny. Ond drwy gydol y pandemig, rydym wedi ymateb yn gyflym ac yn briodol wedi i Lywodraeth y DU wneud cyhoeddiadau ynglŷn â’r cymorth y gallant ei gynnig, ac rydym wedi llunio ein pecynnau i sicrhau ein bod yn llenwi’r bylchau ac yn ychwanegu gwerth.

Rydym yn aros am ymateb gan Lywodraeth y DU mewn perthynas â'r nifer fawr o bethau rydym wedi bod yn gofyn amdanynt yn ddiweddar—ac wedi bod yn galw amdanynt ers peth amser—mewn llythyr ffurfiol at y Canghellor. Ysgrifennais i a fy nghyfaill a'm cyd-Aelod, Rebecca Evans, at y Canghellor yn gofyn iddo gadw'r cynllun cadw swyddi am gyfnod hirach. Gwnaethom ofyn hefyd am fathau eraill o sicrwydd, gan gynnwys hyblygrwydd gan CThEM i ganiatáu gohirio taliadau ar gyfer cynlluniau fel y cynllun benthyciadau tarfu ar fusnes yn sgil y coronafeirws. Rydym yn aros am ymateb y Canghellor. Nid ydym wedi cael unrhyw arwydd i ddynodi faint o gydymdeimlad a fydd ganddo â'n cais.

Rwyf hefyd wedi bod yn galw am eglurder ynglŷn ag a yw Llywodraeth y DU yn mynd i gyflwyno cynllun cymorth incwm i gyfarwyddwyr, gan y gwn fod ExcludedUK wedi bod yn ymgyrchu dros hynny a bod llawer o bobl wedi bod yn gofyn amdano. Felly, rydym yn aros am fanylion gan Lywodraeth y DU wrth inni agosáu at y gyllideb, a byddwn yn gobeithio y byddai Llywodraeth y DU, unwaith eto, yn cydnabod yr angen i ymestyn y cynllun cadw swyddi hanfodol hwnnw a chynlluniau eraill, ac yn gweithredu gyda thegwch a hyblygrwydd mewn perthynas â'r meysydd gweithgaredd eraill rwyf wedi'u hamlinellu.

14:00

I'm grateful to the Minister for his answer, and I'm particularly pleased to see that he's continuing to take up the case of those excluded from support, as represented by ExcludedUK. I know the Minister is very well aware of the extent to which this COVID crisis has highlighted and thrown into sharp relief some of the underlying structural injustices and inequalities, whether that's between communities geographically in Wales—we saw Dwyfor Meirionnydd being the county where the most people signed on to receive universal credit, because they weren't able to access their employment in tourism—and we've seen the black and minority ethnic communities particularly badly affected.

I met—virtually, of course—last weekend with some young people from Kidwelly and the wider Llanelli area, and they were telling me that they're really keen to be able to build successful careers here in Wales, but also their focus was wanting to stay in their own community if they can—much more, perhaps, than might have been the case in the past. They wanted to be sure that there would be opportunities for them to do that. They were also very concerned about others, and particularly spoke to me about black people and people of colour in the context of Black Lives Matter. What can the Minister do today to set out for those young people, and young people like them, how he will plan to ensure that those opportunities are available in communities where the economies traditionally have not been strong—and west Wales and parts of the Valleys, of course, are typical of that—and how he will ensure that some of those structural inequalities that have excluded people from opportunities will be addressed in his plans to rebuild the economy after the crisis comes to an end?

Rwy'n ddiolchgar i'r Gweinidog am ei ateb, ac rwy'n arbennig o falch o weld ei fod yn parhau i ddadlau achos y rheini sy’n cael eu heithrio rhag cymorth, fel y mae ExcludedUK yn eu cynrychioli. Gwn fod y Gweinidog yn ymwybodol iawn o'r graddau y mae argyfwng COVID wedi tynnu sylw at rai o'r anghyfiawnderau a'r anghydraddoldebau strwythurol sylfaenol, boed yn ddaearyddol rhwng cymunedau yng Nghymru—gwelsom mai Dwyfor Meirionnydd yw’r sir lle mae'r nifer fwyaf o bobl wedi cofrestru i dderbyn credyd cynhwysol, am na allent fynd i'w gwaith ym maes twristiaeth—ac rydym wedi gweld cymunedau du a lleiafrifoedd ethnig yn cael eu heffeithio'n arbennig o wael.

Cyfarfûm—yn rhithiol, wrth gwrs—â phobl ifanc o Gydweli ac ardal ehangach Llanelli y penwythnos diwethaf, ac roeddent yn dweud wrthyf eu bod yn wirioneddol awyddus i allu adeiladu gyrfaoedd llwyddiannus yma yng Nghymru, ond roeddent hefyd yn awyddus i aros yn eu cymuned eu hunain os gallant—i raddau llawer mwy, o bosibl, nag y byddent wedi bod yn y gorffennol. Roeddent am fod yn sicr y byddai cyfleoedd ar gael iddynt wneud hynny. Roeddent hefyd yn bryderus iawn am eraill, a buont yn siarad â mi’n benodol am bobl dduon a phobl groenliw yng nghyd-destun mudiad Mae Bywydau Du o Bwys. Beth y gall y Gweinidog ei wneud heddiw i nodi ar gyfer y bobl ifanc hynny, a phobl ifanc debyg iddynt, sut y bydd yn cynllunio i sicrhau bod y cyfleoedd hynny ar gael mewn cymunedau lle nad yw'r economïau wedi bod yn gryf yn draddodiadol—ac mae gorllewin Cymru a rhannau o'r Cymoedd, wrth gwrs, yn nodweddiadol o hynny—a sut y bydd yn sicrhau yr eir i'r afael â rhai o'r anghydraddoldebau strwythurol sydd wedi rhwystro pobl rhag cael cyfleoedd yn ei gynlluniau i ailadeiladu'r economi wedi i'r argyfwng ddod i ben?

Helen Mary Jones raises yet another important point, and that is that no young person should have to move out of their community in order to move up in the world. They simply should not have to move away from home if they do not wish to do so. In support of young people, who we know from previous recessions will find it more difficult to enter the jobs market, we have established the barriers fund, we've established the COVID commitment and we've enhanced the Communities for Work Plus budget.

In particular, the COVID commitment provides for thousands of apprenticeship opportunities that would otherwise be lost, an extension to the pilot schemes of the personal learning accounts—we're making it a national scheme—and, of course, it provides, crucially at this time, I think, further support for mental health and resilience, which is most definitely needed for all people, but particularly for young people. The barriers fund is focused on young people in particular, but also people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. That allows individuals to draw down grants of up to £2,000 to set up their own businesses. That fund will also be aligned with support and advice from Business Wales to give those start-ups the best prospects for the future.

There are other schemes in place that are designed to support those who are furthest from the jobs market and those who are most likely to be adversely impacted by coronavirus, including the incentive scheme that we established for apprenticeships, where a business is able to draw down up to £3,000 if they take on a young person as an apprentice. All of these schemes are designed to ensure that as many young people as possible do not experience the long-term, deep, scarring effects of an economic downturn that we know, in previous generations, too many people have had to endure.

Mae Helen Mary Jones yn codi pwynt pwysig arall, sef na ddylai unrhyw unigolyn ifanc orfod symud o’u cymuned er mwyn llwyddo mewn bywyd. Ni ddylent orfod symud oddi cartref os nad ydynt yn dymuno gwneud hynny. Er mwyn cefnogi pobl ifanc, y gwyddom o ddirwasgiadau blaenorol y byddant yn ei chael hi’n anoddach cael mynediad at y farchnad swyddi, rydym wedi sefydlu'r gronfa rwystrau, rydym wedi sefydlu’r ymrwymiad COVID ac rydym wedi cynyddu cyllideb Cymunedau am Waith a Mwy.

Yn benodol, mae’r ymrwymiad COVID yn darparu ar gyfer miloedd o gyfleoedd prentisiaeth a fyddai fel arall yn cael eu colli, estyniad i gynlluniau peilot y cyfrifon dysgu personol—rydym yn ei wneud yn gynllun cenedlaethol—ac wrth gwrs, mae'n darparu mwy o gymorth ar gyfer cadernid ac iechyd meddwl, sy'n hanfodol ar yr adeg hon, yn fy marn i, rhywbeth sydd ei angen ar bawb yn bendant, ond pobl ifanc yn enwedig. Mae'r gronfa rwystrau yn canolbwyntio ar bobl ifanc yn benodol, ond hefyd ar bobl o gymunedau pobl dduon ac Asiaidd a lleiafrifoedd ethnig. Mae'n caniatáu i unigolion dynnu grantiau o hyd at £2,000 i lawr i sefydlu eu busnesau eu hunain. Bydd y gronfa honno hefyd yn cyd-fynd â chymorth a chyngor gan Busnes Cymru i roi'r gobaith gorau i'r busnesau hynny ar gyfer y dyfodol.

Mae cynlluniau eraill ar waith a gynlluniwyd i gefnogi'r bobl sydd bellaf o'r farchnad swyddi a'r bobl fwyaf tebygol o gael eu heffeithio’n andwyol gan y coronafeirws, gan gynnwys y cynllun cymhelliant a sefydlwyd gennym ar gyfer prentisiaethau, lle gall busnes dynnu i lawr hyd at £3,000 os ydynt yn cyflogi unigolyn ifanc fel prentis. Mae'r holl gynlluniau hyn wedi'u llunio i sicrhau nad yw cymaint o bobl ifanc â phosibl yn wynebu effeithiau hirdymor, dwfn, a niweidiol dirywiad economaidd y gwyddom fod gormod o bobl mewn cenedlaethau blaenorol wedi gorfod eu dioddef.

14:05
Brexit
Brexit

3. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am effaith Brexit ar economi Gogledd Cymru? OQ56190

3. Will the Minister make a statement on the impact of Brexit on the economy of North Wales? OQ56190

The agreement reached between the UK Government and the European Union on 24 December 2020, following negotiations, makes trading with the EU considerably more complex. We will continue to do everything possible to support businesses, including Holyhead port, as they adjust, whilst working alongside the UK Government.

Mae'r cytundeb a gafwyd rhwng Llywodraeth y DU a'r Undeb Ewropeaidd ar 24 Rhagfyr 2020, yn dilyn negodiadau, yn golygu bod masnachu gyda'r UE yn fwy cymhleth o lawer. Byddwn yn parhau i wneud popeth yn ein gallu i gefnogi busnesau, gan gynnwys porthladd Caergybi, wrth iddynt addasu, gan weithio ochr yn ochr â Llywodraeth y DU.

Diolch ichi am yr ateb, oherwydd mynd ar ôl dyfodol porthladd Caergybi oeddwn i eisiau ei wneud. Mae'n amlwg yn destun gofid yn sgil y newid rydyn ni wedi ei weld yn yr wythnosau diwethaf, gyda busnes ar y route o Gaergybi i Ddulyn wedi haneru o beth fyddem ni fel arfer yn ei weld ar yr adeg yma. Mae Stena Estrid hefyd, wrth gwrs, wedi cael ei symud i route o Ddulyn i Cherbourg, er ei bod hi nôl, mae'n debyg, yr wythnos yma am gyfnod byrhoedlog; mae'n debyg yn y tymor hirach y bydd hi ddim. Felly, mae yna gonsérn, wrth gwrs, ynglŷn â'r effaith hirdymor ar y porthladd. Yr hyn dwi eisiau gofyn yw beth mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei wneud i gynorthwyo gyda'r gwaith o hwyluso'r defnydd o'r porthladd pan mae'n dod i weithio gyda chwmnïau sy'n symud nwyddau, busnesau a, pan ddaw'r amser, teithwyr hefyd. Oherwydd mae angen gwarchod dyfodol y porthladd, wrth gwrs, ond mae e yn gwneud cyfraniad pwysig nid dim ond i economi Ynys Môn ond i economi gogledd Cymru gyfan.

Thank you for that response, because I was going to pursue the future of the port of Holyhead. It's clearly a cause of concern given the changes we've seen over the last few weeks, with business on the Dublin to Holyhead route having halved from what we would usually see at this time. Stena Estrid has also been shifted to the Dublin to Cherbourg route, although it's back now for the short term; in the longer term, it won't be. So, there is concern, of course, about the long-term impact on the port. What I want to ask is what the Welsh Government is doing to assist with the work of facilitating the use of the port when it comes to working with haulage companies, businesses and, when the time comes, passengers too. Because we do need to safeguard the future of the port, of course, but it does make an important contribution, not only to the Anglesey economy, but the economy of the whole of north Wales.

Indeed. Llyr Huws Gruffydd is absolutely right; it makes a very significant contribution to the Welsh economy and, I'd argue as well, to the UK economy as a whole, which is why it's vitally important that the UK Government respond favourably to the letter that I sent just yesterday addressed to Grant Shapps. In that letter, I expressed my very deep concern over the significant bureaucratic pressures that have been placed on businesses and hauliers involved in trade between the UK and the EU, and how it was having a disproportionate impact on Welsh ports, primarily Holyhead, but also Fishguard and Milford Haven. What we are seeing is that there is a significant increase in capacity on certain routes, including from Rosslare port to Europe, where capacity has been increased by over 500 per cent to meet demand. That demonstrates the real risk to Holyhead and other Welsh ports, and that is why we are calling for the UK Government to respond urgently to support our ports. As soon as I receive a response to my correspondence, I'll be sure to share it with Members.

Yn wir. Mae Llyr Huws Gruffydd yn llygad ei le; mae'n gwneud cyfraniad sylweddol iawn at economi Cymru, a byddwn yn dadlau hefyd, at economi'r DU yn ei chyfanrwydd, a dyna pam ei bod yn hanfodol bwysig fod Llywodraeth y DU yn ymateb yn ffafriol i'r llythyr a anfonais ddoe at Grant Shapps. Yn y llythyr hwnnw, mynegais fy mhryder dwys iawn ynghylch y pwysau biwrocrataidd sylweddol a osodwyd ar fusnesau a chludwyr nwyddau sy'n masnachu rhwng y DU a'r UE, a sut roedd hynny’n cael effaith anghymesur ar borthladdoedd Cymru, Caergybi yn bennaf, ond Abergwaun ac Aberdaugleddau yn bennaf. Yr hyn a welwn yw cynnydd sylweddol yn y capasiti ar rai llwybrau, gan gynnwys o borthladd Rosslare i Ewrop, lle mae'r capasiti wedi'i gynyddu dros 500 y cant i ateb y galw. Mae hynny'n dangos y risg wirioneddol i Gaergybi a phorthladdoedd eraill Cymru, a dyna pam ein bod yn galw ar Lywodraeth y DU i ymateb ar frys i gefnogi ein porthladdoedd. Cyn gynted ag y byddaf yn derbyn ymateb i fy ngohebiaeth, byddaf yn sicr o'i rannu gyda'r Aelodau.

Minister, last week was Farmhouse Breakfast Week, and as you will know, being a representative in north Wales, farming is an important part of the north Wales economy. One of the opportunities presented by Brexit is the opportunity to change public sector procurement rules so that farmers and other producers can get more of their produce purchased by the public sector. What action are you taking as the economy Minister to ensure that this is something that the farming community and others across Wales can take advantage of going forward, and where are we at in terms of the Welsh Government's review of procurement processes, given that we have now left the European Union?

Weinidog, yr wythnos diwethaf oedd Wythnos Brecwast Fferm, ac fel y gwyddoch, gan eich bod yn gynrychiolydd yng ngogledd Cymru, mae ffermio’n rhan bwysig o economi gogledd Cymru. Un o'r cyfleoedd a gyflwynir gan Brexit yw'r cyfle i newid rheolau caffael y sector cyhoeddus fel y gall ffermwyr a chynhyrchwyr eraill werthu mwy o'u cynnyrch i’r sector cyhoeddus. Pa gamau rydych yn eu cymryd fel Gweinidog yr economi i sicrhau bod hyn yn rhywbeth y gall y gymuned ffermio ac eraill ledled Cymru fanteisio arno wrth symud ymlaen, a ble rydym arni gydag adolygiad Llywodraeth Cymru o brosesau caffael, o gofio ein bod bellach wedi gadael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd?

Can I thank Darren Millar for his question and say that, first and foremost, it's not just through procurement that we can promote more and better local sourcing? What I've been very impressed by is some of the outcomes of the foundational economy challenge fund, where there are examples, particularly in terms of seafood, of businesses within the foundational economy capturing more business locally, rather than purely relying on exports. That's being driven by collaboration and by the seed funding the foundational economy challenge fund has provided, and, of course, now we're looking at scaling up and learning from those lessons that have emerged as a consequence of the challenge fund. I'll certainly invite my colleague the finance Minister to respond in detail regarding where we are on procurement policy, but, obviously, we wish to see local procurement take place wherever and whenever possible. There are good examples—there are superb examples—of that happening across Wales. We want to make sure that it's scaled up and that lessons are learnt and applied.

A gaf fi ddiolch i Darren Millar am ei gwestiwn a dweud, yn gyntaf oll, nad drwy gaffael yn unig y gallwn hyrwyddo mwy o gyrchu lleol a gwell cyrchu lleol? Yr hyn sydd wedi creu cryn argraff arnaf yw rhai o ganlyniadau cronfa her yr economi sylfaenol, lle ceir enghreifftiau, yn enwedig o ran bwyd môr, o fusnesau yn yr economi sylfaenol yn manteisio ar fwy o fusnes yn lleol, yn hytrach na dibynnu'n llwyr ar allforion. Caiff hynny ei lywio gan gydweithredu a chan yr arian sbarduno y mae cronfa her yr economi sylfaenol wedi'i ddarparu, ac wrth gwrs, rydym bellach yn ystyried cynyddu a dysgu o'r gwersi sydd wedi dod i'r amlwg o ganlyniad i'r gronfa her. Byddaf yn sicr yn gwahodd fy nghyd-Aelod y Gweinidog Cyllid i ymateb yn fanwl o ran ble rydym arni ar y polisi caffael, ond yn amlwg, rydym am weld caffael lleol lle bynnag a phryd bynnag y bo modd. Mae enghreifftiau da i’w cael—mae enghreifftiau gwych i’w cael—o hynny’n digwydd ledled Cymru. Rydym am sicrhau bod hynny’n cael ei gynyddu a bod gwersi'n cael eu dysgu a'u gweithredu.

Datblygiad Economaidd ym Mlaenau'r Cymoedd
Economic Development in the Heads of the Valleys

4. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am fuddsoddiad Llywodraeth Cymru i gefnogi datblygiad economaidd ym Mlaenau'r Cymoedd? OQ56186

4. Will the Minister make a statement on Welsh Government investment to support economic development in the Heads of the Valleys? OQ56186

14:10

Our strategy is to lay a strong and positive foundation for change across the area. To date, the Tech Valleys programme has made commitments of over £27 million, which will facilitate at least 600 sustainable jobs. The Transforming Towns programme, too, has a strong Heads of the Valleys focus as part of its £110 million investment.

Ein strategaeth yw gosod sylfaen gref a chadarnhaol ar gyfer newid ar draws yr ardal. Hyd yn hyn, mae rhaglen y Cymoedd Technoleg wedi gwneud ymrwymiadau o dros £27 miliwn, a fydd yn hwyluso o leiaf 600 o swyddi cynaliadwy. Mae'r rhaglen Trawsnewid Trefi hefyd yn canolbwyntio’n gryf ar Flaenau’r Cymoedd fel rhan o'i buddsoddiad o £110 miliwn.

I'm grateful to the Minister for that response. We've seen a number of different reports published over the last few days, and without spending time listing them all, they all say essentially two things: first of all that the depth of the economic challenge facing us post COVID and post Brexit is far greater than, perhaps, we would have recognised some time ago, and the second thing they say is that the depth of this challenge is also not borne equally, that we're seeing equality across different communities and different parts of the country having an impact whereby the poorest communities are affected far more harshly than richer communities. One of the issues that's facing the Heads of the Valleys, of course, is that an economy requires support and needs continued investment. We've seen the UK Government respond to this by cutting back on the European funds that they promised us—not a penny less—and also breaking their promises over the shared prosperity fund and other things. How is the Welsh Government going to make good the broken promises from the Conservatives? How will the Welsh Government look towards the investment to take forward the Heads of the Valleys in the future to ensure that the reports we're seeing this week do not become a reality for the people that we all seek to represent?

Rwy'n ddiolchgar i'r Gweinidog am ei ymateb. Rydym wedi gweld nifer o adroddiadau gwahanol yn cael eu cyhoeddi dros yr ychydig ddyddiau diwethaf, a heb dreulio amser yn rhestru pob un ohonynt, mae pob un yn dweud dau beth yn y bôn: yn gyntaf oll, fod dyfnder yr her economaidd sy'n ein hwynebu ar ôl COVID ac ar ôl Brexit yn fwy o lawer nag y byddem, efallai, wedi’i gydnabod beth amser yn ôl, a'r ail beth y maent yn ei ddweud yw nad yw dyfnder yr her yn cael ei ysgwyddo’n gyfartal, ein bod yn gweld cydraddoldeb ar draws gwahanol gymunedau a gwahanol rannau o'r wlad yn cael effaith lle mae'r cymunedau tlotaf yn cael eu heffeithio'n llawer gwaeth na chymunedau cyfoethocach. Un o'r materion sy'n wynebu Blaenau’r Cymoedd, wrth gwrs, yw bod angen cymorth a buddsoddiad parhaus ar economi. Rydym wedi gweld Llywodraeth y DU yn ymateb i hyn drwy dorri’r cronfeydd Ewropeaidd y gwnaethant eu haddo i ni—heb fod geiniog ar ein colled—yn ogystal â thorri eu haddewidion mewn perthynas â’r gronfa ffyniant gyffredin a phethau eraill. Sut y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn gwneud iawn am yr addewidion a dorrwyd gan y Ceidwadwyr? Sut y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn sicrhau’r buddsoddiad i fwrw ymlaen â Blaenau'r Cymoedd yn y dyfodol i wneud yn siŵr nad yw'r adroddiadau a welwn yr wythnos hon yn dod yn realiti i'r bobl y mae pob un ohonom yn ceisio’u cynrychioli?

I think that's an excellent and timely point. I was just reading earlier the report from Sheffield Hallam University by Steve Fothergill and Christina Beatty on the impact of coronavirus on older industrial Britain. I believe that they are soon to speak to the cross-party group on industrial communities that Vikki Howells chairs. They were making the point in their report that the downturn has wiped out 10 years' progress in the economy of older industrial Britain. So, clearly, there is a challenge here right across the UK in communities facing similar challenges, which the European structural funding, of course, was designed to address. The UK Government does now have a moral obligation to replace those to make sure that its successor programmes are attuned to the needs of those communities. So far, they have not done so, but there is still time for them to keep their promises. 

On top of that, the Welsh Government is doing a number of things. Obviously, the project I mentioned in my earlier answer—the Tech Valleys and the Valleys taskforce project—has made a number of very practical and useful interventions in Alun Davies's own constituency, and we've got some further announcements due on that soon. But allied to that, touching on the interventions from Darren Millar and from Helen Mary Jones, it's about what we do for the grounded communities, essentially—for those young people in Kidwelly and in Blaina and elsewhere who want to make a future where they and their families have grown up. That's where our everyday economy project really is tightly focused: how do we make use of the money we're already spending through the public sector to make sure that as much of that does not leak out of the community as possible. That can make real tangible impacts.

I know Alun Davies and I have discussed before the opportunities for food processing and production along the Heads of the Valleys road in particular. In NHS Wales, we know from our own analysis that 49 per cent of the money we spend on food goes outside of Wales. Now, we can shift some of that back into Wales, and in every part of Wales there are food producers that could be supplying their local health boards. That will make a real, everyday impact to our economies and communities. And food is just one example. So, that is part of a reform programme that I'm leading work on and that we have early progress on, but there's much more to do. 

Credaf fod hwnnw'n bwynt rhagorol ac amserol. Yn gynharach, bûm yn darllen yr adroddiad o Brifysgol Sheffield Hallam gan Steve Fothergill a Christina Beatty ar effaith y coronafeirws ar y Brydain ddiwydiannol hŷn. Rwy'n credu eu bod yn mynd i siarad â'r grŵp trawsbleidiol ar gymunedau diwydiannol a gadeirir gan Vikki Howells cyn bo hir. Roeddent yn gwneud y pwynt yn eu hadroddiad fod y dirywiad wedi dileu 10 mlynedd o gynnydd yn economi’r Brydain ddiwydiannol hŷn. Felly, yn amlwg, mae her yma ledled y DU mewn cymunedau sy'n wynebu heriau tebyg, heriau y cynlluniwyd cyllid strwythurol Ewropeaidd, wrth gwrs, i fynd i'r afael â hwy. Mae gan Lywodraeth y DU rwymedigaeth foesol yn awr i ddarparu cyllid yn ei le i sicrhau bod ei rhaglenni olynol yn cyd-fynd ag anghenion y cymunedau hynny. Hyd yn hyn, nid ydynt wedi gwneud hynny, ond mae amser o hyd iddynt gadw eu haddewidion.

Yn ychwanegol at hynny, mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn gwneud nifer o bethau. Yn amlwg, mae'r prosiect y soniais amdano yn fy ateb cynharach—y Cymoedd Technoleg a phrosiect tasglu'r Cymoedd—wedi gwneud nifer o ymyriadau ymarferol a defnyddiol iawn yn etholaeth Alun Davies, a byddwn yn gwneud rhai cyhoeddiadau pellach ynglŷn â hynny cyn bo hir. Ond ynghyd â hynny, gan gyffwrdd â'r ymyriadau gan Darren Millar a chan Helen Mary Jones, mae'n ymwneud â'r hyn a wnawn dros y cymunedau ar lawr gwlad, yn y bôn—dros y bobl ifanc yng Nghydweli a Blaenau ac mewn mannau eraill sydd am sicrhau dyfodol i’w hunain yn y lle y maent hwy a’u teuluoedd wedi cael eu magu. Dyna ble mae ffocws cryf ein prosiect economi bob dydd: sut rydym yn defnyddio'r arian rydym eisoes yn ei wario drwy'r sector cyhoeddus i sicrhau bod cymaint ohono â phosibl yn aros yn y gymuned. Gall hynny gael effeithiau gweladwy go iawn.

Gwn fod Alun Davies a minnau eisoes wedi trafod y cyfleoedd ar gyfer prosesu a chynhyrchu bwyd ar hyd ffordd Blaenau’r Cymoedd yn arbennig. Yn GIG Cymru, gwyddom o'n dadansoddiad ein hunain fod 49 y cant o'r arian a wariwn ar fwyd yn mynd y tu allan i Gymru. Nawr, gallwn symud rhywfaint ohono yn ôl i Gymru, ac ym mhob rhan o Gymru, ceir cynhyrchwyr bwyd a allai fod yn cyflenwi eu byrddau iechyd lleol. Bydd hynny'n cael effaith wirioneddol, bob dydd ar ein heconomïau a'n cymunedau. Ac un enghraifft yn unig yw bwyd. Felly, mae hynny'n rhan o raglen ddiwygio rwy'n arwain gwaith arni ac y gwelsom gynnydd cynnar arni, ond mae mwy o lawer i'w wneud.

Y Rheilffordd o Faesteg i Ben-y-bont ar Ogwr
The Maesteg to Bridgend Rail Route

5. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am broses WelTAG sy'n archwilio amlder cynyddol ar lwybr rheilffordd Maesteg-Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr? OQ56169

5. Will the Minister provide an update on the WelTAG process that is examining increased frequency on the Maesteg-Bridgend rail route? OQ56169

Increasing the frequency of services to Maesteg is a key component of the south Wales metro. Transport for Wales are now undertaking stage 2 of the WelTAG process to assess the options for increasing service frequency on this vitally important route.

Mae cynyddu amlder gwasanaethau i Faesteg yn elfen allweddol o fetro de Cymru. Mae Trafnidiaeth Cymru bellach yn cyflawni cam 2 proses Arweiniad ar Arfarnu Trafnidiaeth Cymru (WelTAG) i asesu'r opsiynau ar gyfer cynyddu amlder gwasanaethau ar y llwybr hanfodol bwysig hwn.

Minister, can I welcome that response? I genuinely give my thanks to you, your officials, Network Rail, TfW and Bridgend council officers for their engagement on this vital matter of increasing the frequency of the service on the Maesteg to Bridgend and Cardiff line. It's something, as you know, I've been campaigning on relentlessly—probably to your frustration in some ways—since I arrived in the Senedd back in 2016. I'm like the squeaky wheel on the locomotive, demanding attention. We've completed the WelTAG stage, now on to WelTAG 2. So, can you today reconfirm clearly and loudly Welsh Government's commitment to give us those more trains on the Llynfi line to add to the welcome Sunday service that we gained last year, and to the improvements to carriage stock we've already had? And when the pandemic allows, will he meet with me and campaigners to discuss the welcome progress that we now see? 

Weinidog, a gaf fi groesawu eich ymateb? Rwy’n wirioneddol ddiolchgar i chi, eich swyddogion, Network Rail, Trafnidiaeth Cymru a swyddogion cyngor Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr am eu hymwneud ar y mater hanfodol hwn, sef cynyddu amlder y gwasanaeth ar reilffordd Maesteg i Ben-y-bont ar Ogwr a Chaerdydd. Mae'n rhywbeth rwyf wedi bod yn ymgyrchu'n ddi-baid drosto, fel y gwyddoch—er rhwystredigaeth i chi mewn rhai ffyrdd yn ôl pob tebyg—ers imi ddod i’r Senedd yn ôl yn 2016. Rwyf fel yr olwyn wichlyd ar y locomotif, yn mynnu sylw. Rydym wedi cwblhau'r cam WelTAG, ac ymlaen nawr i WelTAG 2. Felly, a allwch gadarnhau ymrwymiad Llywodraeth Cymru yn glir ac yn groyw heddiw i roi mwy o drenau i ni ar reilffordd Llynfi i ychwanegu at y gwasanaeth dydd Sul roeddem yn falch o'i gael y llynedd, ac at y gwelliannau i gerbydau rydym eisoes wedi'u cael? A phan fydd y pandemig yn caniatáu, a wnaiff gyfarfod â mi ac ymgyrchwyr i drafod y cynnydd rydym yn ei weld bellach ac sydd i'w groesawu?

14:15

I most certainly will, and can I thank Huw Irranca-Davies for the campaign that he's mounted on behalf of his constituents regarding this matter? We're now working on phase 2 of the WelTAG process to develop options further, and it's important this work continues to take place with the support and engagement of local stakeholders, and Huw Irranca-Davies has been hugely supportive of our efforts to bring together those stakeholders with Transport for Wales. I'll ask my officials to provide Huw Irranca-Davies with details of the five options being considered, and how the next stages of work will be taken forward by Transport for Wales. Obviously, I need to just state that rail infrastructure is not yet a devolved matter, and so we do need the UK Government to step up to the plate and to help us to do this work, and we expect Network Rail to deliver, and UK Government to fund a safe system for crossing at the railway at Pencoed, and we're working with them to ensure that we can make this happen and it is most certainly a priority of mine and this Government.

Gwnaf, yn sicr, ac a gaf fi ddiolch i Huw Irranca-Davies am ei ymgyrchu ar ran ei etholwyr mewn perthynas â'r mater hwn? Rydym yn gweithio ar gam 2 proses WelTAG yn awr i ddatblygu opsiynau ymhellach, ac mae'n bwysig fod y gwaith hwn yn parhau gyda chefnogaeth ac ymgysylltiad rhanddeiliaid lleol, ac mae Huw Irranca-Davies wedi bod yn gefnogol iawn i'n hymdrechion i ddod â’r rhanddeiliaid hynny a Trafnidiaeth Cymru at ei gilydd. Fe ofynnaf i fy swyddogion roi manylion y pum opsiwn sy'n cael eu hystyried i Huw Irranca-Davies, a sut y bydd Trafnidiaeth Cymru yn bwrw ymlaen â chamau nesaf y gwaith. Yn amlwg, mae angen imi nodi nad yw seilwaith rheilffyrdd yn fater sydd wedi'i ddatganoli hyd yma, ac felly mae angen i Lywodraeth y DU ysgwyddo'i chyfrifoldeb a'n cynorthwyo i wneud y gwaith hwn, ac rydym yn disgwyl i Network Rail gyflawni, ac i Lywodraeth y DU ariannu system groesi ddiogel ar y rheilffordd ym Mhencoed, ac rydym yn gweithio gyda hwy i sicrhau y gallwn wneud i hyn ddigwydd, ac yn sicr, mae’n flaenoriaeth i mi a'r Llywodraeth hon.

Effaith Coronafeirws ar yr Economi
The Impact of Coronavirus on the Economy

6. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am effaith y coronafeirws ar yr economi yng Nghanol De Cymru? OQ56184

6. Will the Minister make a statement on the effect of coronavirus on the economy in South Wales Central? OQ56184

Yes, of course. We'll do all that we possibly can do to make sure that businesses are able to recover from the pandemic and we'll continue to support jobs and our economy.

In South Wales Central, the latest restrictions fund has seen more than 4,700 businesses receive in excess of £15.5 million and the sector-specific fund has made 175 payments worth more than £1 million so far.

Gwnaf, wrth gwrs. Byddwn yn gwneud popeth a allwn i sicrhau y gall busnesau adfer wedi'r pandemig a byddwn yn parhau i gefnogi swyddi a'n heconomi.

Yng Nghanol De Cymru, mae'r gronfa ddiweddaraf ar gyfer busnesau dan gyfyngiadau wedi darparu mwy na £15.5 miliwn i 4,700 o fusnesau ac mae'r gronfa sector-benodol wedi gwneud 175 o daliadau gwerth mwy nag £1 filiwn hyd yn hyn.

Thanks for that response. Minister, you will have heard the exchanges in the Chamber yesterday regarding Cardiff Airport, which has, of course, been badly hit by the pandemic. Now, the claim from the Welsh Government side seems to be that Bristol Airport is receiving grants from the UK Government, which is ignoring or neglecting Cardiff Airport. It may be that the UK Government has seen the many millions of public money that have been poured into Cardiff Airport since the Welsh Government took the decision to buy it, so they may take the view that Cardiff Airport has received more than enough public money via Cardiff Bay. Now, in terms of value for money, there has been a struggle to make a return on this public investment into Cardiff Airport. A lot of people in Wales, particularly in north Wales, see much taxpayers' money poured into Cardiff Airport with no real benefit to them. Has the Welsh Government put a limit on the amount of taxpayers' money that they're willing to set aside for Cardiff Airport, and do you think they should do that?

Diolch am eich ymateb. Weinidog, byddwch wedi clywed y dadleuon yn y Siambr ddoe ynglŷn â Maes Awyr Caerdydd, sydd, wrth gwrs, wedi cael ei effeithio’n wael gan y pandemig. Nawr, ymddengys mai'r honiad gan ochr Llywodraeth Cymru yw bod Maes Awyr Bryste yn cael grantiau gan Lywodraeth y DU, sy'n anwybyddu neu'n esgeuluso Maes Awyr Caerdydd. Efallai fod Llywodraeth y DU wedi gweld y miliynau lawer o arian cyhoeddus sydd wedi cael ei dywallt i Faes Awyr Caerdydd ers i Lywodraeth Cymru benderfynu ei brynu, felly efallai eu bod o'r farn fod Maes Awyr Caerdydd wedi derbyn mwy na digon o arian cyhoeddus drwy Fae Caerdydd. Nawr, o ran gwerth am arian, mae gwneud elw ar y buddsoddiad cyhoeddus hwn ym Maes Awyr Caerdydd wedi bod yn anodd. Mae llawer o bobl yng Nghymru, yn enwedig yng ngogledd Cymru, yn gweld llawer o arian trethdalwyr yn cael ei dywallt i mewn i Faes Awyr Caerdydd heb unrhyw fudd gwirioneddol iddynt hwy. A yw Llywodraeth Cymru wedi rhoi terfyn ar faint o arian trethdalwyr y maent yn barod i'w roi o'r neilltu ar gyfer Maes Awyr Caerdydd, ac a ydych yn credu y dylent wneud hynny?

I'd first of all say that there's an odd rationale in Gareth Bennett's argument. He says that essentially, public money should be ploughed into privately owned airports, but public money from Westminster should not be invested in a publicly owned airport within Wales. My argument would be that actually, with most passenger airports globally having some form of public ownership, and some form of public support, it stands to reason that Cardiff international airport should be receiving a fair share of support from the UK Government, and the First Minister was absolutely right to compare the generous offer of support to Bristol Airport as a failure to support Cardiff international airport.

And with regard to sentiments towards Cardiff international airport in the north, it's a fact that Anglesey airport exists primarily on the basis of having that vitally important north-south air route provided, and therefore, Cardiff international airport does provide the existence of jobs and prosperity in a significant part of north Wales.

And I would again argue that it's not just the direct financial support that can be awarded to Cardiff Airport that will ensure its long-term survival—and hopefully in the future we'll see it thrive; there are other ways that UK Government could assist Cardiff international airport. We've outlined them on many occasions, and I hope that in the coming months we will see the UK Government respond positively, including, importantly, the devolution of air passenger duty, which could make a significant difference to Cardiff international.

Yn gyntaf oll, byddwn yn dweud bod rhesymeg od yn nadl Gareth Bennett. Yn y bôn, mae'n dweud y dylid tywallt arian cyhoeddus i feysydd awyr preifat, ond na ddylid buddsoddi arian cyhoeddus o San Steffan mewn maes awyr mewn dwylo cyhoeddus yng Nghymru. Gyda'r rhan fwyaf o feysydd awyr i deithwyr ar draws y byd mewn rhyw fath o berchnogaeth gyhoeddus, ac yn cael rhyw fath o gymorth cyhoeddus, fy nadl i fyddai ei bod hi'n gwneud synnwyr fod maes awyr rhyngwladol Caerdydd yn cael cyfran deg o gymorth gan Lywodraeth y DU, ac roedd y Prif Weinidog yn llygad ei le i gymharu'r cynnig hael o gymorth i Faes Awyr Bryste fel methiant i gefnogi maes awyr rhyngwladol Caerdydd.

Ac o ran teimladau tuag at faes awyr rhyngwladol Caerdydd yn y gogledd, mae'n ffaith bod maes awyr Ynys Môn yn bodoli'n bennaf am fod ganddo'r llwybr awyr hanfodol rhwng y gogledd a’r de, ac felly, mae maes awyr rhyngwladol Caerdydd yn darparu swyddi a ffyniant i ran sylweddol o ogledd Cymru.

A byddwn yn dadlau eto nad y cymorth ariannol uniongyrchol y gellir ei roi i Faes Awyr Caerdydd yn unig a fydd yn sicrhau y bydd yn goroesi yn hirdymor—ac rwy'n gobeithio y byddwn yn ei weld yn ffynnu yn y dyfodol; mae ffyrdd eraill y gallai Llywodraeth y DU gynorthwyo maes awyr rhyngwladol Caerdydd. Rydym wedi eu hamlinellu ar sawl achlysur, ac yn y misoedd nesaf, gobeithio y byddwn yn gweld Llywodraeth y DU yn ymateb yn gadarnhaol, gan gynnwys, yn hollbwysig, datganoli’r doll teithwyr awyr, a allai wneud gwahaniaeth sylweddol i faes awyr rhyngwladol Caerdydd.

14:20
Cymorth Ariannol i Fusnesau
Financial Support For Businesses

7. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am gymorth ariannol i fusnesau a gaewyd ym mis Ionawr 2021 oherwydd rheoliadau COVID-19? OQ56188

7. Will the Minister make a statement on financial support for businesses closed in January 2021 due to COVID-19 regulations? OQ56188

Yes, absolutely. On Friday 22 January, we further enhanced our package of support to businesses affected by alert level four restrictions by £200 million, taking its total to £650 million.

Gwnaf, yn sicr. Ddydd Gwener 22 Ionawr, gwnaethom ddarparu £200 miliwn ychwanegol i’n pecyn cymorth i fusnesau yr effeithiwyd arnynt gan gyfyngiadau lefel pedwar, gan ei gynyddu i gyfanswm o £650 miliwn.

Thank you, Minister. I can tell you that that money will be not just very welcome, but is needed in Wales. Now, I have a number of small accommodation owners contacting me stating that the only Welsh Government funding they can access is the restrictions business fund non-domestic rate grant. It seems that, for some reason, now, tourism businesses are blocked from the sector specific fund that I thought was initially aimed at them. They cannot apply. This is what one Aberconwy business owner told me last week: 'We are approaching breaking point now. We've taken all available measures to keep our outgoings to an absolute minimum, but our monthly overheads are simply too great for us.' You have to remember that, here in Aberconwy, most of these businesses have been in lockdown since 1 October, and then the series of lockdowns that came afterwards. So, there is reason for hope as a further £200 million has been announced, but we've not been provided with the details as to how this will be used, and the set criteria. So, would you clarify this today? But more importantly, do you think that you could look at small guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, and those that don't have half a dozen employees? Sometimes they're just small businesses, but once their income goes, they are in a real fix. Thanks.

Diolch, Weinidog. Gallaf ddweud wrthych y bydd yr arian hwnnw nid yn unig yn cael ei groesawu'n fawr, ond fod mawr ei angen yng Nghymru. Nawr, mae nifer o berchnogion llety bach yn cysylltu â mi i nodi mai'r unig gyllid y gallant gael gafael arno gan Lywodraeth Cymru yw grant ardrethi annomestig y gronfa i fusnesau dan gyfyngiadau. Am ryw reswm, mae'n ymddangos bod busnesau twristiaeth bellach yn cael eu rhwystro rhag cael mynediad at y gronfa sector-benodol y credwn ei bod wedi'i hanelu atynt ar y cychwyn. Ni chânt wneud cais. Dyma a ddywedodd un perchennog busnes yn Aberconwy wrthyf yr wythnos diwethaf: ‘Rydym yn agosáu at y torbwynt nawr. Rydym wedi cymryd yr holl gamau sydd ar gael i gadw ein halldaliadau mor isel â phosibl, ond mae ein gorbenion misol yn rhy fawr i ni.' Mae'n rhaid ichi gofio, yma yn Aberconwy, fod y rhan fwyaf o'r busnesau hyn wedi bod dan gyfyngiadau symud ers 1 Hydref, ac yna'r gyfres o gyfyngiadau symud a ddaeth wedi hynny. Felly, mae rheswm i obeithio wrth i £200 miliwn arall gael ei gyhoeddi, ond nid ydym wedi cael unrhyw fanylion ynglŷn â sut y bydd yr arian hwn yn cael ei ddefnyddio, a'r meini prawf a osodwyd. Felly, a wnewch chi egluro hyn heddiw? Ond yn bwysicach fyth, a ydych yn credu y gallech edrych ar westai bach, busnesau gwely a brecwast, a'r rheini a chanddynt lai na hanner dwsin o weithwyr? Weithiau, dim ond busnesau bach ydynt, ond pan fydd eu hincwm yn diflannu, maent mewn trafferthion go iawn. Diolch.

Can I thank Janet Finch-Saunders for her question, which is so very important to the economy, not just of her constituency, but to north Wales and, indeed, the whole of Wales? Tourism and hospitality are vitally important, supporting thousands upon thousands of people, many of whom are amongst the lowest income earners, and are most likely to be adversely impacted themselves by coronavirus. So, that's why this Welsh Government is so determined to support the sector as much as possible. Indeed, I've already outlined how 10,600 business in tourism and hospitality have already applied for that sector-specific financial support. We're keeping that fund open for an extra period of time to ensure that many of those businesses that have not applied do apply.

I can't comment on the points raised in respect of the specific business that Janet Finch-Saunders outlined, but of course, if the Member would write to me, we'll look at the detail of that particular case. But I can assure the Member that, within Conwy local authority, 146 offers worth more than £1.4 million have already been made to businesses through the sector specific fund. I believe that 67 businesses have already accepted those offers, and in terms of the latest restrictions fund, which is a significant fund indeed, within the local authority area of Conwy, more than 2,160 grants have already been paid out, amounting to more than £6.8 million. So, that demonstrates how money is getting into those business accounts at speed, and on top of that there is still £25 million available through the local authority discretionary funds, available for businesses—often those businesses that have fallen through the gaps. But of course, if the Member wishes to write to me with those specific cases, I would be happy to respond to her correspondence.

A gaf fi ddiolch i Janet Finch-Saunders am ei chwestiwn, sydd mor bwysig i'r economi, nid yn unig yn ei hetholaeth, ond i ogledd Cymru, ac yn wir, i Gymru gyfan? Mae twristiaeth a lletygarwch yn hanfodol bwysig, ac yn cefnogi miloedd ar filoedd o bobl, llawer ohonynt ymhlith yr enillwyr ar yr incwm isaf, ac ymhlith y rhai mwyaf tebygol o gael eu heffeithio'n andwyol gan y coronafeirws. Felly, dyna pam fod Llywodraeth Cymru mor benderfynol o gefnogi'r sector i’r graddau mwyaf posibl. Yn wir, rwyf eisoes wedi amlinellu sut y mae 10,600 o fusnesau twristiaeth a lletygarwch eisoes wedi gwneud cais am y cymorth ariannol sector-benodol hwnnw. Rydym yn cadw'r gronfa honno ar agor am gyfnod ychwanegol o amser i sicrhau bod llawer o'r busnesau nad ydynt wedi gwneud cais eto yn gwneud hynny.

Ni allaf wneud sylwadau ar y pwyntiau a godwyd mewn perthynas â'r busnes penodol a ddisgrifiodd Janet Finch-Saunders, ond wrth gwrs, os gall yr Aelod ysgrifennu ataf, fe edrychwn ar fanylion yr achos penodol hwnnw. Ond gallaf roi sicrwydd i’r Aelod fod 146 o gynigion gwerth mwy na £1.4 miliwn eisoes wedi eu gwneud i fusnesau drwy'r gronfa sector-benodol yn awdurdod lleol Conwy. Credaf fod 67 o fusnesau eisoes wedi derbyn y cynigion hynny, ac o ran y gronfa ddiweddaraf i fusnesau dan gyfyngiadau, sy'n gronfa sylweddol yn wir, yn ardal awdurdod lleol Conwy, mae mwy na 2,160 o grantiau eisoes wedi'u talu, cyfanswm o fwy na £6.8 miliwn. Felly, mae hynny'n dangos sut y mae arian yn mynd i'r cyfrifon busnes hynny'n gyflym, ac yn ogystal, mae £25 miliwn ar gael o hyd drwy gronfeydd dewisol yr awdurdodau lleol, ar gael i fusnesau—yn aml y busnesau sydd wedi cwympo drwy'r bylchau. Ond wrth gwrs, os yw'r Aelod yn dymuno ysgrifennu ataf gyda'r achosion penodol hynny, rwy’n fwy na pharod i ymateb i'w gohebiaeth.

Cynlluniau Gwella Ffyrdd
Road Improvement Schemes

8. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am gynlluniau gwella ffyrdd yng nghanolbarth Cymru? OQ56172

8. Will the Minister make a statement on road improvement schemes in mid Wales? OQ56172

Yes, of course I will. Consultation is about to commence on several minor improvement schemes to address safety concerns in mid Wales. I will also be making an announcement for the start of the new Dyfi bridge scheme shortly having now agreed a revised construction programme.

Gwnaf, wrth gwrs. Mae'r ymgynghoriad ar fin cychwyn ar sawl cynllun gwella bach i fynd i'r afael â phryderon diogelwch yng nghanolbarth Cymru. Byddaf hefyd yn gwneud cyhoeddiad ar ddechrau cynllun pont newydd afon Dyfi cyn bo hir, gan fod rhaglen adeiladu ddiwygiedig bellach wedi’i chytuno.

Thank you, Minister. I'm very pleased to hear about the Dyfi bridge. I know that's a question that's been asked for some time, and I hope we do get that firm commitment and detail that we need on that.

My specific question really concerns delays around the Cefn bridge in Trewern, causing huge congestion and disruption for people living in the area and across Wales. This is bridge that's been hit a number of times. Prior to Christmas, traffic lights were in operation sadly yet again on the bridge. I've certainly conducted my own survey through using my engagement fund through the Senedd facilities, and what people have said is that we do need some significant road improvements on the A458 Welshpool to Shrewsbury route. I would be grateful, Minister, if you could perhaps discuss this with officials. I think there were a number of issues around speed restrictions, et cetera, that need to be looked at. So, can you, Minister, confirm when the Cefn bridge will be repaired again, and can the Minister also forward me proposals for any road improvement schemes on the A458? 

Diolch, Weinidog. Rwy'n falch iawn o glywed am bont afon Dyfi. Gwn fod hwnnw'n gwestiwn sydd wedi’i ofyn ers peth amser, ac rwy'n gobeithio y byddwn yn cael y manylion a’r ymrwymiad cadarn rydym eu hangen mewn perthynas â hynny.

Mae fy nghwestiwn penodol yn ymwneud ag oedi ger pont Cefn yn Nhre-wern, sy’n achosi tagfeydd enfawr ac yn tarfu ar bobl sy'n byw yn yr ardal honno a ledled Cymru. Mae’r bont hon wedi cael ei tharo nifer o weithiau. Cyn y Nadolig, roedd goleuadau traffig ar waith ar y bont unwaith eto, yn anffodus. Yn sicr, rwyf wedi cynnal fy arolwg fy hun gan ddefnyddio fy nghronfa ymgysylltu drwy gyfleusterau'r Senedd, a'r hyn y mae pobl wedi'i ddweud yw bod angen gwelliannau ffordd sylweddol ar yr A458 rhwng y Trallwng a'r Amwythig. Byddwn yn ddiolchgar pe gallech drafod hyn gyda swyddogion o bosibl. Credaf fod nifer o faterion yn codi y dylid edrych arnynt mewn perthynas â chyfyngiadau cyflymder ac ati. Felly, Weinidog, a allwch gadarnhau pa bryd y bydd pont Cefn yn cael ei hatgyweirio eto, ac a all y Gweinidog anfon cynigion ataf hefyd ar gyfer unrhyw gynlluniau gwelliannau ffordd ar yr A458?

14:25

Can I thank Russell George for his question? And with regard to the Cefn bridge, I do apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of the work that is required, and I will write to the Member with a full response. With regard to the A458 Welshpool to Shrewsbury road, of course, we're working with counterparts across the border on improvement schemes to routes that cross Wales and England's border. Of course, I'll be keen to ensure that the Member is notified whenever there is any progress on any of those cross-border schemes and, again, I'll write to him with further details.FootnoteLink

A gaf fi ddiolch i Russell George am ei gwestiwn? Ac mewn perthynas â phont Cefn, rwy'n ymddiheuro am unrhyw anghyfleustra a achoswyd o ganlyniad i'r gwaith y mae angen ei wneud, a byddaf yn ysgrifennu at yr Aelod gydag ymateb llawn. O ran ffordd yr A458 rhwng y Trallwng a’r Amwythig wrth gwrs, rydym yn gweithio gyda swyddogion cyfatebol dros y ffin ar gynlluniau i wella llwybrau sy'n croesi ffin Cymru a Lloegr. Wrth gwrs, byddaf yn awyddus i sicrhau bod yr Aelod yn cael ei hysbysu pan fydd unrhyw gynnydd ar unrhyw un o'r cynlluniau trawsffiniol hynny, ac unwaith eto, byddaf yn ysgrifennu ato gyda manylion pellach.FootnoteLink

2. Cwestiynau i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol a'r Gweinidog Pontio Ewropeaidd (yn rhinwedd ei gyfrifoldebau fel y Gweinidog Pontio Ewropeaidd)
2. Questions to the Counsel General and Minister for European Transition (in respect of his European Transition responsibilities)

Yr eitem nesaf, felly, yw'r cwestiynau i'r Gweinidog sydd â chyfrifoldeb am bontio Ewropeaidd, ac mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Helen Mary Jones.

The next item is questions to the Counsel General and Minister for European transition, and the first question is from Helen Mary Jones. 

Diwydiant Dur Cymru
The Welsh Steel Industry

1. Pa asesiad y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'i wneud o'r effaith y bydd y cytundeb masnach rhwng y DU a'r UE yn ei chael ar ddyfodol diwydiant dur Cymru, yn enwedig gwaith Trostre yn Llanelli? OQ56175

1. What assessment has the Counsel General made of the impact that the trade agreement between the UK and EU will have on the future of the Welsh steel industry, particularly the Trostre works in Llanelli? OQ56175

We understand the steel industry and unions have cautiously welcomed the EU-UK trade co-operation agreement. We welcome the tariff-free quotas agreed for GB steel exports to the EU, but share the concerns of the industry about the capacity of sales to Northern Ireland counting against these quotas.  

Rydym yn deall bod y diwydiant dur ac undebau wedi rhoi croeso gofalus i’r cytundeb cydweithredu masnachol rhwng yr UE a’r DU. Rydym yn croesawu’r cwotâu di-dariff y cytunwyd arnynt ar gyfer allforion dur Prydain i’r UE, ond rydym yn rhannu pryderon y diwydiant fod capasiti gwerthiannau i Ogledd Iwerddon yn cyfrif yn erbyn y cwotâu hyn.

I'm grateful to the Counsel General for his answer. Obviously, the future of the industry depends on being able to move towards a decarbonised future, and I wonder if the Counsel General can inform of us today of any further discussions that have taken place between the Welsh Government and the UK Government with regard to their support for the future of the industry in Wales in that regard. And can he tell us whether the Welsh Government will be able to make further support available for the company in areas such as skills and research and development, bearing in mind that if we are to have a successful steel industry in future, and to be able to take advantage of that tariff-free arrangement, there'll be an extensive need to update the industry and how it operates? 

Rwy'n ddiolchgar i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol am ei ateb. Yn amlwg, mae dyfodol y diwydiant yn dibynnu ar allu symud tuag at ddyfodol wedi'i ddatgarboneiddio, a tybed a all y Cwnsler Cyffredinol roi gwybod inni heddiw ynglŷn ag unrhyw drafodaethau pellach a gafwyd rhwng Llywodraeth Cymru a Llywodraeth y DU mewn perthynas â'u cymorth i ddyfodol y diwydiant yng Nghymru yn hynny o beth. Ac a all ddweud wrthym p'un a fydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn gallu sicrhau bod cymorth pellach ar gael i'r cwmni mewn meysydd fel sgiliau ac ymchwil a datblygu, gan gofio, os ydym am gael diwydiant dur llwyddiannus yn y dyfodol, a gallu manteisio ar y trefniant di-dariff, y bydd angen mawr i ddiweddaru'r diwydiant a sut y mae'n gweithredu?

Well, in terms of the updating of the industry on the operation of the tariff-free arrangements, obviously, she will know that there is a moment in June of this year when the safeguard arrangements need to be clarified, and we are pressing as a Government for immediate clarification from—[Inaudible.]

Wel, o ran diweddaru’r diwydiant ar weithrediad y trefniadau di-dariff, yn amlwg, bydd yn gwybod y bydd adeg ym mis Mehefin eleni pan fydd angen egluro’r trefniadau diogelu, ac rydym yn pwyso fel Llywodraeth am eglurhad ar unwaith gan—[Anghlywadwy.]

Ataliwyd y Cyfarfod Llawn am 14:28.

Plenary was suspended at 14:28.

14:35

Ailymgynullodd y Senedd am 14:38, gyda'r Llywydd yn y Gadair.

The Senedd reconvened at 14:38, with the Llywydd in the Chair.

Jeremy Miles, felly, i barhau gyda'i ateb i gwestiwn Helen Mary Jones. 

Jeremy Miles to continue with his response to the question from Helen Mary Jones. 

Diolch, Llywydd. In terms of supporting the steel sector in Wales, in order to respond to the new arrangements, one of the first considerations that we need clarity on with the sector is in relation to the safeguard measures that currently apply to protect certain quantities of steel exports into the EU. Those safeguards expire, as the Member may be aware, in June of this year, and we're seeking immediate clarification from the UK Government about the status at that point. We recognise, certainly, in Wales, that an announcement coming close to the wire would not be in the interests of the sector in Wales.

In terms of the other kind of support that the Member was asking about, obviously we've funded skills support in the sector for a number of years, and continue to do that, including in relation to the workforce at Tata. And, indeed, there's a significant amount of work happening in the sector in relation to decarbonisation, which the industry itself is keen to ensure happens in a way that can support and sustain the industry into the future. And I know in her own—. She mentioned Trostre in Llanelli in her question, and I know from my discussions with Lee Waters, the Member of the Senedd for Llanelli, that he is closely in touch with the works in relation to those sorts of issues as well. 

Diolch, Lywydd. O ran cefnogi'r sector dur yng Nghymru, er mwyn ymateb i'r trefniadau newydd, un o'r ystyriaethau cyntaf rydym angen eglurder yn ei gylch gyda'r sector yw'r mesurau diogelu sy'n berthnasol ar hyn o bryd i ddiogelu symiau penodol o allforion dur i'r UE. Daw'r mesurau diogelu hynny i ben, fel y gŵyr yr Aelod efallai, ym mis Mehefin eleni, ac rydym yn gofyn am eglurhad ar unwaith gan Lywodraeth y DU ynglŷn â'r statws bryd hynny. Rydym yn cydnabod, yn sicr, yng Nghymru, na fyddai cyhoeddiad munud olaf o fudd i'r sector yng Nghymru.

O ran y math arall o gymorth roedd yr Aelod yn gofyn amdano, mae'n amlwg ein bod wedi ariannu cymorth sgiliau yn y sector ers nifer o flynyddoedd, ac yn parhau i wneud hynny, gan gynnwys mewn perthynas â'r gweithlu yn Tata. Ac yn wir, mae cryn dipyn o waith yn digwydd yn y sector mewn perthynas â datgarboneiddio, ac mae'r diwydiant ei hun yn awyddus i sicrhau bod y gwaith hwnnw'n digwydd mewn ffordd a all gefnogi a chynnal y diwydiant i'r dyfodol. A gwn, yn ei—. Soniodd am Trostre yn Llanelli yn ei chwestiwn, a gwn o  fy nhrafodaethau gyda Lee Waters, yr Aelod o'r Senedd dros Lanelli, ei fod mewn cysylltiad agos â'r gwaith ynglŷn â'r mathau hynny o faterion hefyd.

Thank you, Minister, for that clarity, particularly on the safeguarding agenda, because it is important that we look at how we protect steel imports and exports, and the trade agreement is looking at that. I'm also concerned about, perhaps, how steel comes in and is stored in bonded warehouses or steel stockholders, and the concern is that, when people then say, 'We're using British steel', they're particularly talking about British-sourced steel, not British-produced steel. Now, it's important, therefore, that we go through this next step to ensure that we use Welsh- and British-produced steel, and not simply steel that's sourced in the UK. Will you therefore have discussions with your colleagues in the Cabinet, and with the UK Ministers, to ensure that they now start reflecting upon British-produced steel to ensure that, when they put in their procurement, they are supporting our steel industry and not simply using bonded warehouses to get steel in from elsewhere, which is going to damage our steel industry?

Diolch am yr eglurder hwnnw, Weinidog, yn enwedig ynglŷn â'r agenda ddiogelu, oherwydd mae'n bwysig inni edrych ar sut rydym yn diogelu mewnforion ac allforion dur, ac mae'r cytundeb masnach yn edrych ar hynny. Rwyf hefyd yn pryderu ynglŷn â sut y mae'r dur yn dod i mewn, efallai, ac yn cael ei storio mewn warysau bond neu lefydd cadw stoc ddur, a'r pryder yw, pan fydd pobl yn dweud wedyn, 'Rydym yn defnyddio dur Prydain', maent yn sôn yn benodol am ddur o ffynonellau Prydeinig, nid dur a gynhyrchir ym Mhrydain. Nawr, mae'n bwysig, felly, ein bod yn gweithredu'r cam nesaf hwn i sicrhau ein bod yn defnyddio dur o Gymru a Phrydain, ac nid dur sy'n a gyrchir yn y DU yn unig. A wnewch chi drafod gyda'ch cyd-Weinidogion yn y Cabinet felly, a chyda Gweinidogion y DU, i sicrhau eu bod yn dechrau ystyried dur a gynhyrchir ym Mhrydain nawr i sicrhau, pan fyddant yn gwneud eu caffael, eu bod yn cefnogi ein diwydiant dur yn hytrach na defnyddio warysau bond i gaffael dur o fannau eraill, gan niweidio ein diwydiant dur?

14:40

Absolutely. I take very much the point that David Rees raises in his question. It's absolutely essential that we do all that we can, and continue to do all that we can, to support British-produced steel, and in our case, of course, Welsh-produced steel. One of the considerations that we are anxious about is that one of the consequences of the safeguarding arrangements currently in place is that the quota that protects British-produced steel effectively is eaten up, if you like, by transit of steel into Northern Ireland. And so that is one of the concerns—you want to make sure that should not reduce the overall availability of the protection available to British steel. 

Yn sicr. Rwy'n sicr yn derbyn y pwynt y mae David Rees yn ei godi yn ei gwestiwn. Mae'n gwbl hanfodol ein bod yn gwneud popeth yn ein gallu, ac yn parhau i wneud popeth yn ein gallu, i gefnogi dur a gynhyrchir ym Mhrydain, a dur a gynhyrchir yng Nghymru yn ein hachos ni wrth gwrs. Un o'r ystyriaethau rydym yn bryderus yn ei chylch yw mai un o ganlyniadau'r trefniadau diogelu sydd ar waith ar hyn o bryd yw bod y cwota sy'n diogelu dur a gynhyrchir ym Mhrydain yn cael ei lyncu i bob pwrpas, os mynnwch, gan ddur tramwy i Ogledd Iwerddon. Ac felly dyna un o'r pryderon—rydych eisiau sicrhau na ddylai hynny leihau argaeledd cyffredinol y diogelwch sydd ar gael i ddur Prydain.

Hawliau Gweithwyr
Workers' Rights

2. Pa drafodaethau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'u cynnal gyda Llywodraeth y DU ynghylch hawliau gweithwyr ers diwedd y cyfnod pontio? OQ56180

2. What discussions has the Welsh Government held with the UK Government about workers' rights since the end of the transition period? OQ56180

We have consistently said to the UK Government, through the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) and in bilateral discussions, that the UK must commit to non-regression from existing standards and employment rights. The UK must stick to the obligations it has entered into in the EU-UK trade and co-operation agreement. 

Rydym wedi dweud yn gyson wrth Lywodraeth y DU, drwy'r Cyd-bwyllgor Gweinidogion (Negodiadau'r UE) ac mewn trafodaethau dwyochrog, fod yn rhaid i'r DU ymrwymo i gadw at y safonau a'r hawliau cyflogaeth presennol. Mae'n rhaid i'r DU gadw at y rhwymedigaethau y mae wedi cytuno iddynt yn y cytundeb masnach a chydweithredu rhwng yr UE a'r DU.

Thank you, Minister, and can I welcome the First Minister's robust defence of workers' rights in response to questions in the Senedd yesterday, because news that the UK Tory Government is again planning to attack workers' rights should shock no-one? We know our history, and we know the price that was paid to secure and improve the rights of workers, and it should make people angry, and I hope make them organise in resistance through their trade unions. 

Minister, there are less than 100 days to the Senedd elections and we can now clearly see that workers' rights are on the ballot paper. So, to avoid any more broken Tory promises, promises that are now as smelly as the rotting fish in our sea ports, can I ask you to assure me that the Welsh Government, and the party that we represent here in this Senedd, will challenge any attempt by the Tories to sacrifice workers' rights on the altar of their free market dogma?

Diolch, Weinidog, ac a gaf fi groesawu amddiffyniad cadarn y Prif Weinidog o hawliau gweithwyr mewn ymateb i gwestiynau yn y Senedd ddoe, oherwydd ni ddylai'r newyddion fod Llywodraeth Dorïaidd y DU yn bwriadu ymosod ar hawliau gweithwyr unwaith eto fod yn syndod i neb? Gwyddom ein hanes, a gwyddom y pris a dalwyd i sicrhau a gwella hawliau gweithwyr, a dylai wneud pobl yn ddig a'u paratoi i wrthsefyll, gobeithio, drwy eu hundebau llafur.

Weinidog, mae llai na 100 diwrnod nes etholiadau'r Senedd a gallwn weld yn glir yn awr fod hawliau gweithwyr ar y papur pleidleisio. Felly, er mwyn osgoi rhagor o addewidion toredig y Torïaid, addewidion sydd bellach mor ddrewllyd â'r pysgod sy'n pydru yn ein porthladdoedd, a gaf fi ofyn ichi fy sicrhau y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru, a'r blaid a gynrychiolwn yma yn y Senedd hon, yn herio unrhyw ymgais gan y Torïaid i aberthu hawliau gweithwyr ar allor eu dogma marchnad rydd?

I thank Dawn Bowden for that supplementary, and for her longstanding advocacy of the cause of trade union membership as well. Workers across Wales and the UK will be utterly dismayed, I think, that, at the height of a pandemic and economic crises, the UK Government think that it's remotely appropriate to consider taking an axe to basic protections on working time and holiday pay entitlements. We want work to be fairer, safer and more secure, and we will absolutely resist the Conservative and the Brexiteer fantasy that our future lies in a deregulated and exploitative workplace. The UK Government says it's committed to maintaining existing protections, and, if that is true, then why is it undertaking a review? I agree with Dawn Bowden—faced with a UK Government that seems determined to strip away their rights at work, it's more important than ever that workers should join a trade union, and we will use every lever to mitigate the damaging impact of any UK Government attempt to dilute workers' rights and protections. Whether that's the power of the public purse or our social partnership approach, we are absolutely committed, as a Welsh Labour-led Government, to justice in the workplace and to fair work practices. 

Diolch i Dawn Bowden am y cwestiwn atodol hwnnw, ac am ei chefnogaeth hirsefydlog i achos undebaeth lafur hefyd. Credaf y bydd gweithwyr ledled Cymru a'r DU yn gwbl siomedig fod Llywodraeth y DU, ar anterth pandemig ac argyfyngau economaidd, yn credu ei bod yn briodol mewn unrhyw fodd o gwbl i ystyried torri amddiffyniadau sylfaenol ar amser gweithio a hawliau tâl gwyliau. Rydym eisiau i waith fod yn decach ac yn fwy diogel, a byddwn yn llwyr wrthwynebu ffantasi'r Ceidwadwyr a chefnogwyr Brexit sy'n honni bod ein dyfodol yn gorwedd mewn gweithle camfanteisiol wedi'i ddadreoleiddio. Dywed Llywodraeth y DU ei bod wedi ymrwymo i gynnal amddiffyniadau sy'n bodoli eisoes, ac os yw hynny'n wir, pam y mae'n cynnal adolygiad? Rwy'n cytuno â Dawn Bowden—yn wyneb Llywodraeth y DU sy'n ymddangos fel pe bai'n benderfynol o ddileu eu hawliau yn y gwaith, mae'n bwysicach nag erioed fod gweithwyr yn ymuno ag undeb llafur, a byddwn yn defnyddio pob dull o liniaru effaith niweidiol unrhyw ymgais gan Lywodraeth y DU i wanhau hawliau ac amddiffyniadau gweithwyr. Boed hynny drwy bŵer pwrs y wlad neu ein dull partneriaeth gymdeithasol, rydym wedi ymrwymo'n llwyr, fel Llywodraeth Cymru dan arweiniad y Blaid Lafur, i gyfiawnder yn y gweithle ac i arferion gwaith teg.

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

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd Plaid Cymru, Dai Lloyd. 

Questions now from the party spokespeople. Plaid Cymru spokesperson, Dai Lloyd. 

Diolch yn fawr, Llywydd, a phrynhawn da, Gweinidog. 

Thank you, Llywydd, and good afternoon, Minister.

It was good to see a written statement from you, Minister, last week, informing Members that you'd issued formal proceedings in the administrative courts seeking permission for a judicial review to the UK internal market Act. Now, Plaid Cymru supports this endeavour. As we've stated before many times, the Act undermines Welsh democracy and drives a coach and horses through the devolution settlement. I hope that the Minister will keep Members continuously informed over the developing situation with regard to this legal action. In the meantime, however, could the Minister update us on whether or not he has discussed this legal action with counterparts in the other devolved administrations? Could he perhaps outline to us what efforts are being made to include the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive, as supporters of this legal action, which, as I'm sure he would agree with me, will undoubtedly bolster the credibility of the case in favour of a judicial review into this latest power grab?

Roedd yn dda gweld datganiad ysgrifenedig gennych chi yr wythnos diwethaf, Weinidog, yn hysbysu'r Aelodau eich bod wedi dwyn achos cyfreithiol yn y llysoedd gweinyddol i geisio caniatâd i gynnal adolygiad barnwrol o Ddeddf marchnad fewnol y DU. Nawr, mae Plaid Cymru yn cefnogi'r ymgais hon. Fel rydym wedi'i ddweud droeon o'r blaen, mae'r Ddeddf yn tanseilio democratiaeth Cymru ac yn gyrru ceffyl a throl drwy'r setliad datganoli. Rwy'n gobeithio y bydd y Gweinidog yn parhau i ddarparu'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf i'r Aelodau am y sefyllfa sy'n datblygu mewn perthynas â'r camau cyfreithiol hyn. Yn y cyfamser, fodd bynnag, a allai'r Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf inni ynglŷn ag a yw wedi trafod y camau cyfreithiol hyn gyda chymheiriaid yn y gweinyddiaethau datganoledig eraill? A allai amlinellu wrthym, efallai, pa ymdrechion sy'n cael eu gwneud i gynnwys Llywodraeth yr Alban a Gweithrediaeth Gogledd Iwerddon, fel cefnogwyr i'r camau cyfreithiol hyn, gan y byddai hynny, fel y bydd yn cytuno rwy'n siŵr, yn sicr o gryfhau hygrededd yr achos o blaid cynnal adolygiad barnwrol i'r ymdrechion diweddaraf hyn i gipio pŵer?

14:45

Certainly. Well, the Member will obviously understand that I would not wish to disclose the detail of conversations between law officers in different parts of the UK. However, I can obviously say that he will perhaps have noted from the pleadings that we have acknowledged that both the law officers of Scotland and Northern Ireland are interested parties in the sense of having an interest in the outcome. The Scottish Government, as he may also have seen, has issued more than one statement of support for the course of action that we are taking as a Government. We are now at a stage where the initial application will be for the court to decide whether we have leave to bring a judicial review before an actual hearing takes place. And I think if, as we hope, the court does grant us leave to take the action forward, then I think it's at that point that the decision of other devolved Governments would crystallise about their relationship to the legal proceedings.

Yn sicr. Wel, bydd yr Aelod yn amlwg yn deall na fyddwn eisiau datgelu manylion sgyrsiau rhwng swyddogion y gyfraith mewn gwahanol rannau o'r DU. Fodd bynnag, gallaf ddweud wrth gwrs y bydd wedi nodi o'r plediadau o bosibl ein bod wedi cydnabod bod gan swyddogion y gyfraith yn yr Alban a Gogledd Iwerddon ddiddordeb yn yr ystyr bod ganddynt ddiddordeb yn y canlyniad. Mae Llywodraeth yr Alban, fel y gwelodd hefyd efallai, wedi cyhoeddi mwy nag un datganiad o gefnogaeth i'r camau rydym yn eu cymryd fel Llywodraeth. Rydym bellach ar y cam lle mai'r cais cychwynnol fydd i'r llys benderfynu a gawn gyflwyno adolygiad barnwrol cyn i wrandawiad gael ei gynnal. Ac os bydd y llys yn caniatáu i ni fwrw ymlaen â'r achos, fel rydym yn gobeithio, credaf mai ar y pwynt hwnnw y byddai penderfyniad Llywodraethau datganoledig eraill yn ymffurfio ynglŷn â'u perthynas â'r achos cyfreithiol.

Thank you for that, Minister. Moving on, buried deep within the UK-EU trade and co-operation agreement is an article that states that the European Parliament and UK Parliament,

'may establish a Parliamentary Partnership Assembly'

consisting of MPs and MEPs. My understanding is that there is already talk within the UK and European Parliaments as to how to get this moving, but nothing's been formalised yet. As we know, the UK-EU agreement covers many areas of policy that are in fact devolved. Does the Minister agree with me, therefore, that we cannot just accept that only MPs from Westminster would be allowed to be represented on such a committee, and may I ask that, given that the establishment of this partnership committee has yet to be formalised, whether the Welsh Government, if they haven't already, could make representations and work with others to ensure that parliamentarians from across the devolved administrations are represented on this committee?

Diolch ichi am hynny, Weinidog. Gan symud ymlaen, wedi'i gladdu'n ddwfn o fewn y cytundeb masnach a chydweithredu rhwng y DU a'r UE ceir erthygl sy'n nodi y caiff Senedd Ewrop a Senedd y DU,

sefydlu Cynulliad Partneriaeth Seneddol

sy'n cynnwys Aelodau Seneddol ac Aelodau o Senedd Ewrop. Yn ôl yr hyn a ddeallaf, mae trafodaethau eisoes ar y gweill yn Senedd y DU a Senedd Ewrop ynglŷn â sut i sicrhau bod hyn yn digwydd, ond nid oes dim wedi'i ffurfioli eto. Fel y gwyddom, mae cytundeb y DU-UE yn cwmpasu llawer o feysydd polisi sydd wedi'u datganoli mewn gwirionedd. A yw'r Gweinidog yn cytuno â mi, felly, na allwn dderbyn mai dim ond Aelodau Seneddol o San Steffan a fyddai'n cael eu cynrychioli ar bwyllgor o'r fath, ac a gaf fi ofyn, o gofio nad yw'r gwaith o sefydlu'r pwyllgor partneriaeth hwn wedi'i ffurfioli eto, a allai Llywodraeth Cymru, os nad ydynt eisoes wedi gwneud hynny, gyflwyno sylwadau a gweithio gydag eraill i sicrhau bod seneddwyr o bob rhan o'r gweinyddiaethau datganoledig yn cael eu cynrychioli ar y pwyllgor hwn?

Dai Lloyd raises a very important point in that question. The agreement makes a number of provisions in relation to the future governance of the relationship. Generally speaking, apart from, I think, in one context, the devolved institutions aren't expressly included in that. And one of the points that I've made already myself to UK Ministers relates to making sure that Wales has that role in the governance structures, going forward, which reflects exactly the point about the devolved nature of many of the areas under discussion through those governance frameworks. We're developing what we would regard as a detailed ask in relation to that, but the principle point has already been made: that Wales needs to be properly represented in that set of structures in the way that, when we were part of the European Union, the Council of Ministers' arrangements made provision for that sort of engagement.

Mae Dai Lloyd yn codi pwynt pwysig iawn yn ei gwestiwn. Mae'r cytundeb yn gwneud nifer o ddarpariaethau mewn perthynas â llywodraethu'r berthynas yn y dyfodol. Yn gyffredinol, ar wahân i un cyd-destun, rwy'n credu, nid yw'r sefydliadau datganoledig wedi'u cynnwys yn benodol yn hynny. Ac mae un o'r pwyntiau rwyf wedi'i wneud eisoes i Weinidogion y DU yn ymwneud â sicrhau bod gan Gymru'r rôl honno yn y strwythurau llywodraethu wrth symud ymlaen, sy'n adlewyrchu'r union bwynt am natur ddatganoledig llawer o'r meysydd sy'n cael eu trafod drwy'r fframweithiau llywodraethu hynny. Rydym yn datblygu'r hyn y byddem yn ei ystyried yn ofyniad manwl mewn perthynas â hynny, ond mae'r pwynt o egwyddor eisoes wedi'i wneud: fod angen i Gymru gael ei chynrychioli'n briodol yn y set honno o strwythurau yn yr un ffordd ag yr oedd trefniadau Cyngor y Gweinidogion yn darparu ar gyfer y math hwnnw o ymgysylltiad pan oeddem yn rhan o'r Undeb Ewropeaidd.

Thank you. Finally, I raised the issue of the UK shared prosperity fund with you, Minister, back in December and how this will impact the Welsh Government's ability to implement their own framework for regional investment in Wales. You stated, in response to my question, Minister, that,

'the UK Government ought to engage with us about how we can, even at this late hour, make sure that the people in Wales have the promises they were made kept, both with regard to how the funds are spent, but also crucially what those funds are.'

Last week, the UK Government announced that they intended to plough ahead and bypass the devolved administrations and replace European structural funds with a centrally controlled fund in Whitehall. Where does this leave, therefore, the Welsh Government's own framework for regional investment, given that you yourself have said that the delivery of this framework is dependent on positive engagement with the UK Government—your words. Are these plans now dead in the water?

Diolch. Yn olaf, codais fater cronfa ffyniant gyffredin y DU gyda chi yn ôl ym mis Rhagfyr a sut y bydd hyn yn effeithio ar allu Llywodraeth Cymru i weithredu eu fframwaith eu hunain ar gyfer buddsoddi rhanbarthol yng Nghymru. Dywedasoch, mewn ymateb i fy nghwestiwn, Weinidog, y dylai

'Llywodraeth y DU ymgysylltu â ni, hyd yn oed ar yr awr hwyr hon, ynglŷn â sut y gallwn sicrhau bod yr addewidion a wnaed i bobl Cymru yn cael eu cadw, o ran sut y caiff yr arian ei wario, ond hefyd, yn hollbwysig, o ran beth yw'r arian hwnnw.'

Yr wythnos diwethaf, cyhoeddodd Llywodraeth y DU ei bod yn bwriadu bwrw ymlaen heibio i'r gweinyddiaethau datganoledig a chael cronfa wedi'i rheoli'n ganolog yn Whitehall yn lle cronfeydd strwythurol Ewropeaidd. Ble mae hyn yn gadael fframwaith Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer buddsoddi rhanbarthol felly, o gofio eich bod chi eich hun wedi dweud bod cyflawni'r fframwaith yn dibynnu ar ymgysylltiad cadarnhaol â Llywodraeth y DU—eich geiriau chi. A yw'r cynlluniau hyn bellach wedi mynd i'r gwellt?

They are not dead in the water; they are the fruit of very considerable joint working with the private sector, public sector, third sector, universities, and so on, right across Wales, and they remain the Welsh Government's ambition for supporting regional investment in Wales through the shared prosperity fund and, indeed, in any other way. We are working with stakeholders to understand, obviously, what is a shifting landscape in Westminster in relation to this. What I would say to the Member is that we have not had the close discussions we would have expected to have at this stage, even, as it were, at this late stage, with the relevant Whitehall department. I think there has been a woeful lack of ministerial engagement with us around that. My understanding is that there has been a delay in the piloting—in the prospectus for the pilots—which won't now, obviously, be happening in January, and I think may not even happen in February. I do want to reiterate that the framework provides an approach for the future that has a broad base of support in Wales, which the UK Government would, I think, do well to engage, because that represents what businesses, local government and, as I say, other public bodies across Wales want to see as the future of regional funding in Wales. We have a plan. It's a plan that has been consulted on and co-designed and co-developed, and that is the framework that I think best represents the way for the shared prosperity fund to be put to work, and that should be done in partnership with us, rather than attempting to circumvent the Welsh Government.

Nid ydynt wedi mynd i'r gwellt; maent yn ffrwyth cydweithredu sylweddol iawn â'r sector preifat, y sector cyhoeddus, y trydydd sector, prifysgolion, ac yn y blaen, ym mhob rhan o Gymru, ac maent yn parhau i fod yn uchelgais Llywodraeth Cymru i gefnogi buddsoddiad rhanbarthol yng Nghymru drwy'r gronfa ffyniant gyffredin, ac mewn unrhyw ffordd arall yn wir. Rydym yn gweithio gyda rhanddeiliaid i ddeall, yn amlwg, yr hyn sy'n dirwedd newidiol yn San Steffan mewn perthynas â hyn. Yr hyn y byddwn yn ei ddweud wrth yr Aelod yw nad ydym wedi cael y trafodaethau agos y byddem wedi disgwyl eu cael ar y cam hwn, hyd yn oed mor hwyr â hyn yn y dydd fel petai, gyda'r adran berthnasol yn Whitehall. Credaf fod diffyg ymgysylltiad gweinidogol truenus wedi bod â ni ynghylch hynny. Yn ôl yr hyn a ddeallaf, bu oedi cyn treialu—yn y prosbectws ar gyfer y cynlluniau peilot—na fyddant yn digwydd nawr ym mis Ionawr, yn amlwg, ac rwy'n credu efallai na fyddant yn digwydd ym mis Chwefror hyd yn oed. Hoffwn ailadrodd bod y fframwaith yn darparu dull ar gyfer y dyfodol sydd â sylfaen eang o gefnogaeth yng Nghymru, a byddai o fudd i Lywodraeth y DU ymgysylltu â hi, oherwydd mae'n cynrychioli'r hyn y mae busnesau, llywodraeth leol, a chyrff cyhoeddus eraill ledled Cymru, fel y dywedais, eisiau ei weld fel dyfodol cyllid rhanbarthol yng Nghymru. Mae gennym gynllun. Mae'n gynllun yr ymgynghorwyd arno ac mae'n gynllun sydd wedi'i gyd-gynllunio a'i gyd-ddatblygu, a dyna'r fframwaith sy'n cynnig y ffordd orau i weithredu'r gronfa ffyniant gyffredin yn fy marn i, a dylid gwneud hynny mewn partneriaeth â ni, yn hytrach na cheisio mynd heibio i Lywodraeth Cymru.

14:50

Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr, Janet Finch-Saunders.

The Conservative spokesperson, Janet-Finch Saunders.

Diolch, Llywydd. To my delight, the UK Government has announced that seafood exporters across the UK will now receive Government funding of up to £23 million. That funding is to support businesses that have been most adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges of adjusting to new requirements for exporting. So, I hope, Counsel General, you will join with me in welcoming the action taken by the UK Government to support our Welsh fisheries. In fact, alongside money, the UK Government is, for example, providing clear guidance on the required IT forms, working closely with the individual businesses to help them get used to the new procedures required, and they are co-operating with French authorities and the EU Commission to ensure that minor administrative issues associated with export health certificates have not prevented goods from entering the market. Now, contrast this with the Welsh Government approach. The Minister, Ken Skates MS, wrote to me on 22 January, noting that the Welsh Government are continuing to monitor the difficult market situation for the Welsh seafood industry and what other options there might be for supporting the sector. So, will you advise, please, what steps you will be taking, through your capacity as the Minister for European transition, to provide support for the Welsh fisheries sector in addition to what the UK Government is already offering?

Diolch, Lywydd. Er mawr lawenydd i mi, mae Llywodraeth y DU wedi cyhoeddi y bydd allforwyr bwyd môr ledled y DU yn cael cyllid o hyd at £23 miliwn gan y Llywodraeth yn awr. Mae'r cyllid hwnnw ar gyfer cefnogi busnesau sydd wedi cael eu heffeithio fwyaf gan y pandemig coronafeirws a'r heriau o addasu i ofynion newydd ar gyfer allforio. Felly, Gwnsler Cyffredinol, rwy'n gobeithio y gwnewch chi ymuno â mi i groesawu'r camau a gymerwyd gan Lywodraeth y DU i gefnogi ein pysgodfeydd yng Nghymru. Yn wir, ochr yn ochr ag arian, mae Llywodraeth y DU, er enghraifft, yn darparu canllawiau clir ar y ffurflenni TG angenrheidiol, gan weithio'n agos gyda'r busnesau unigol i'w helpu i ddod i arfer â'r gweithdrefnau newydd sydd eu hangen, ac maent yn cydweithredu ag awdurdodau Ffrainc a Chomisiwn yr UE i sicrhau nad yw mân faterion gweinyddol sy'n gysylltiedig â thystysgrifau iechyd allforio wedi atal nwyddau rhag dod i mewn i'r farchnad. Nawr, cyferbynnwch hyn â dull Llywodraeth Cymru o weithredu. Ysgrifennodd y Gweinidog, Ken Skates AS, ataf ar 22 Ionawr, gan nodi bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn parhau i fonitro sefyllfa anodd y farchnad i ddiwydiant bwyd môr Cymru a pha opsiynau eraill a allai fod ar gyfer cefnogi'r sector. Felly, a wnewch chi ddweud, os gwelwch yn dda, pa gamau y byddwch yn eu cymryd, yn rhinwedd eich swydd fel y Gweinidog pontio Ewropeaidd, i ddarparu cymorth i sector pysgodfeydd Cymru ar ben yr hyn y mae Llywodraeth y DU eisoes yn ei gynnig?

Can I first welcome Janet Finch-Saunders to her new responsibilities? What I want to say at the start is that we obviously welcome the availability of this sum of money. It isn't a fund that has been co-designed, as it ought to have been, with the devolved Governments, and the detail on eligibility and roll-out remain, I think, at this point very vague, so we are working and hope to work with the UK Government to understand that better. What I should say, though, is that the challenge that the fisheries sector is under is entirely the responsibility of the UK Government in relation to the decisions it has taken as a matter of political choice in the negotiations with the European Union. We as a Government were fearful that this would come to pass, and hence our call for the UK Government to prioritise smooth access to markets, which they have failed to do. Many people prioritise their Ruritanian sense of sovereignty above the livelihoods of fishers and others, and those people will have to account to those sectors for having taken that view, and I include the Member in that. Fishers deal with products that are very perishable, and I suspect that the political reputations of those who have been complicit in the deal, which has undermined the well-being of the fishing sector, will find their own political positions perishable as well, in due course.

A gaf fi groesawu Janet Finch-Saunders yn gyntaf i'w chyfrifoldebau newydd? I ddechrau, hoffwn ddweud ein bod yn amlwg yn croesawu argaeledd y swm hwn o arian. Nid yw'n gronfa sydd wedi'i chyd-gynllunio, fel y dylai fod, gyda'r Llywodraethau datganoledig, ac mae'r manylion ynglŷn â chymhwysedd a chyflwyno yn parhau, rwy'n credu, i fod yn amwys iawn ar hyn o bryd, felly rydym yn gweithio ac yn gobeithio gweithio gyda Llywodraeth y DU i ddeall hynny'n well. Yr hyn y dylwn ei ddweud, serch hynny, yw mai cyfrifoldeb Llywodraeth y DU yn llwyr yw'r her sy'n wynebu'r sector pysgodfeydd mewn perthynas â'r penderfyniadau y mae wedi'u gwneud fel mater o ddewis gwleidyddol yn y negodiadau gyda'r Undeb Ewropeaidd. Roeddem ni fel Llywodraeth yn ofni y byddai hyn yn digwydd, a dyna pam y gwnaethom alw ar Lywodraeth y DU i flaenoriaethu mynediad llyfn at farchnadoedd, ac maent wedi methu gwneud hynny. Mae llawer o bobl yn rhoi blaenoriaeth uwch i'w hymdeimlad Rwritanaidd o sofraniaeth nag i fywoliaeth pysgotwyr ac eraill, a bydd y bobl hynny'n atebol i'r sectorau dan sylw am fod wedi mabwysiadu'r fath safbwynt, ac rwy'n cynnwys yr Aelod yn hynny. Mae pysgotwyr yn trin cynhyrchion sy'n ddarfodus iawn, ac rwy'n tybio y bydd enw da gwleidyddol y rhai a fu'n gefnogol i'r cytundeb sydd wedi tanseilio llesiant y sector pysgota, yn gweld bod eu statws gwleidyddol hwy eu hunain yn ddarfodus hefyd maes o law.

Thank you. One example of action you could take is to encourage the Welsh Government to review the exclusion of crew members employed on a share-of-catch basis from the ERF sector-specific grant. Now, it will come of no surprise to you that I am again pleased that the Prime Minister's trade deal does allow UK goods and components to be sold without tariffs and without quotas in the EU market. However, I do acknowledge that the Farmers Union of Wales have raised concerns about the impact of trade friction on the agriculture sector. Now, during the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) on the trade and co-operation agreement on Tuesday 29 December, you called for the UK Government to put in place new support measures for the economy to help businesses through the transition. And the UK Government is now taking that action. I'm aware that farming Minister Victoria Prentis has been undertaking discussions with the French, the Irish and the Dutch, so will you clarify what further steps you will take to assist the agriculture sector with mitigating trade friction?

Diolch. Un enghraifft o rywbeth y gallech ei weithredu yw annog Llywodraeth Cymru i adolygu'r ffaith bod aelodau o griwiau a gyflogir ar sail cyfran o'r ddalfa yn cael eu heithrio o grant sector-benodol y gronfa cadernid economaidd. Nawr, ni fydd yn syndod i chi fy mod i'n falch unwaith eto fod cytundeb masnach Prif Weinidog y DU yn caniatáu i nwyddau a chydrannau'r DU gael eu gwerthu heb dariffau a heb gwotâu ym marchnad yr UE. Fodd bynnag, rwy'n cydnabod bod Undeb Amaethwyr Cymru wedi mynegi pryderon am effaith gwrthdaro masnach ar y sector amaethyddol. Nawr, yn ystod y Cyd-bwyllgor Gweinidogion (Negodiadau'r UE) ar y cytundeb masnach a chydweithredu ddydd Mawrth 29 Rhagfyr, galwasoch ar Lywodraeth y DU i roi mesurau cymorth newydd ar waith ar gyfer yr economi i helpu busnesau drwy'r cyfnod pontio. Ac mae Llywodraeth y DU bellach yn cymryd y camau hynny. Rwy'n ymwybodol fod y Gweinidog ffermio, Victoria Prentis, wedi bod yn cynnal trafodaethau gyda'r Ffrancwyr, y Gwyddelod a'r Iseldirwyr, felly a wnewch chi egluro pa gamau pellach y byddwch yn eu cymryd i gynorthwyo'r sector amaethyddol gyda lleddfu gwrthdaro masnach?

14:55

Well, we continue to work with the agriculture sector and, indeed, every other to understand the new barriers to trade that the UK Government's political choices have imposed upon them. I think it's important for the Member, in acknowledging the existence of a zero-tariff, zero-quota deal, to be quite clear sighted about the fact that the complexity in the trading relationship between our exporters and the European Union is vastly greater than it was on 31 December, and that will impose significant costs that those businesses are now wrestling with. We will do all that we can to support businesses in Wales in all sectors to continue exporting and to understand the new red tape that the Boris Johnson agreement has imposed upon them. But let us be clear that the root cause of that is the deal, and no amount of UK Government action or Welsh Government action can change, unfortunately, the fundamentals of that new relationship, which impose new barriers.

Wel, rydym yn parhau i weithio gyda'r sector amaethyddol, a chyda phob sector arall yn wir, i ddeall y rhwystrau newydd i fasnachu y mae dewisiadau gwleidyddol Llywodraeth y DU wedi'u gorfodi arnynt. Wrth gydnabod bodolaeth cytundeb heb dariffau a heb gwotâu, rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n bwysig i'r Aelod fod yn eithaf clir ynglŷn â'r ffaith bod cymhlethdod y berthynas fasnachu rhwng ein hallforwyr a'r Undeb Ewropeaidd yn llawer mwy na'r hyn ydoedd ar 31 Rhagfyr, a bydd yn gosod y costau sylweddol y mae'r busnesau hynny'n ymgodymu â hwy erbyn hyn. Byddwn yn gwneud popeth yn ein gallu i gefnogi busnesau ym mhob sector yng Nghymru i barhau i allforio ac i ddeall y fiwrocratiaeth newydd y mae cytundeb Boris Johnson wedi'i gorfodi arnynt. Ond gadewch inni fod yn glir mai'r cytundeb sydd wrth wraidd hynny, ac yn anffodus, ni all unrhyw gamau gweithredu gan Lywodraeth y DU na Llywodraeth Cymru newid hanfodion y berthynas newydd honno, sy'n gosod rhwystrau newydd.

Thank you, but again, my questions, really, are trying to ascertain what you are actually doing, rather than saying, 'Oh, this is for the UK Government' or, 'It's for those who wanted Brexit'. I'm trying to establish what you are doing in your capacity. Now, I appreciate that the Welsh Government has urged all hauliers and freight companies that transport goods from Welsh ports to Ireland to familiarise themselves with the process. In fact, there is some hope that the pressure of paperwork will ease with practice and familiarity, and, hopefully, in the short term.

Now, with regard to sailings from Wales to the EU, you will be aware of concerns that there could be a shift away from Holyhead, particularly in terms of weekend and off-peak traffic. Now, Wales office Minister, David T.C. Davies, has highlighted that there are issues that could be some teething problems, and I am very aware that our Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart MP, is keeping a very wary eye on this matter. So, I hope that this situation is only a temporary dip, especially as the fact remains that Welsh ports are the quickest and most efficient route between Ireland and the UK and then onward to the EU. So, what steps, please, will you commit to taking to promote the benefit to EU businesses of continuing to use our Welsh ports? You have a role to play in this, Counsel General, and I'm asking you not only to step up to the plate, but actually to tell the Senedd exactly what you are doing. Diolch.

Diolch, ond eto, mae fy nghwestiynau'n ceisio canfod beth rydych yn ei wneud mewn gwirionedd, yn hytrach na dweud, 'O, mater i Lywodraeth y DU yw hwn' neu, 'Mater i'r rhai a oedd eisiau Brexit yw hwn'. Rwy'n ceisio sefydlu'r hyn rydych chi'n ei wneud yn rhinwedd eich swydd. Nawr, rwy'n sylweddoli bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi annog yr holl gludwyr a chwmnïau cludo llwythi sy'n cludo nwyddau o borthladdoedd Cymru i Iwerddon i ymgyfarwyddo â'r broses. Yn wir, mae rhywfaint o obaith y bydd pwysau gwaith papur yn lleddfu drwy ymarfer ac ymgyfarwyddo, a hynny, gobeithio, yn y tymor byr.

Nawr, o ran hwylio o Gymru i'r UE, fe fyddwch yn ymwybodol o bryderon y gallai fod pethau'n symud o Gaergybi, yn enwedig o ran traffig penwythnos ac allfrig. Nawr, mae Gweinidog swyddfa Cymru, David T.C. Davies, wedi tynnu sylw at y ffaith bod rhai problemau cychwynnol, ac rwy'n ymwybodol iawn fod Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru, Simon Hart AS, yn cadw llygad barcud ar y mater hwn. Felly, rwy'n gobeithio mai dim ond gostyngiad dros dro yw hwn, yn enwedig gan mai porthladdoedd Cymru yw'r llwybrau cyflymaf a mwyaf effeithlon o hyd rhwng Iwerddon a'r DU ac yna ymlaen i'r UE. Felly, pa gamau, os gwelwch yn dda, y byddwch yn ymrwymo i'w cymryd i hyrwyddo'r budd o barhau i ddefnyddio ein porthladdoedd yng Nghymru i fusnesau'r UE? Mae gennych rôl i'w chwarae yn hyn, Gwnsler Cyffredinol, ac rwy'n gofyn i chi nid yn unig i wneud yr hyn sydd ei angen, ond dweud wrth y Senedd hefyd beth yn union rydych chi'n ei wneud. Diolch.

I'd be glad to take up Janet Finch-Saunders's invitation, and, forgive me, I was assuming that she was aware of the contents of the end of transition action plan, which stipulates in quite close detail everything that we're doing. But, anyway, I'll refer her to the contents of that for detail.

On the specific point that she makes, I myself found it rather offensive to describe these as 'teething troubles', actually; these are consequences of a freely negotiated agreement that were foreseeable and, indeed, foreseen. So, it is incumbent on governments to support port operators and freight companies and hauliers as well. We are doing that, as a Welsh Government. We're working with the UK Government and with the Irish Government, in fact. We've managed to ensure that the turnarounds at Holyhead, for example, have reduced from around 20 per cent of vehicles to something in the order of 5, 6 or 7 per cent—it varies, obviously. We've participated and led on detailed webinars with hauliers and freight companies, with many people coming on board to understand the new barriers that they face. We work closely with the ports, closely with HMRC and closely with the Irish Government in relation to this. What I want to see and what the Welsh Government wants to see is the land bridge protected. It is the fastest route, in ordinary circumstances, and it's certainly more effective and efficient, and we want to make sure that hauliers recognise that and support it. What we do not accept is that these can be dismissed as teething troubles, as UK Government Ministers have done. We think it requires a proactive approach of working together to solve the problem and explain to hauliers, and that is a much better approach than simply brushing them off as teething problems.

Byddwn yn falch o dderbyn gwahoddiad Janet Finch-Saunders, a maddeuwch imi, roeddwn yn tybio ei bod yn ymwybodol o gynnwys cynllun gweithredu diwedd y cyfnod pontio, sy'n nodi popeth rydym yn ei wneud yn eithaf manwl. Ond beth bynnag, fe'i cyfeiriaf at gynnwys hwnnw am fanylion.

O ran y pwynt penodol y mae'n ei wneud, roeddwn yn ystyried ei disgrifiad o'r rhain fel 'trafferthion cychwynnol' braidd yn sarhaus mewn gwirionedd; canlyniadau cytundeb a negodwyd yn rhydd yw'r rhain, canlyniadau a oedd yn bosibl eu rhagweld ac yn wir, fe gawsant eu rhagweld. Felly, mae'n ddyletswydd ar lywodraethau i gefnogi gweithredwyr porthladdoedd a chludwyr a chwmnïau cludo llwythi hefyd. Rydym yn gwneud hynny, fel Llywodraeth Cymru. Rydym yn gweithio gyda Llywodraeth y DU a chyda Llywodraeth Iwerddon, mewn gwirionedd. Rydym wedi llwyddo i sicrhau bod y gyfradd wrthod yng Nghaergybi, er enghraifft, wedi gostwng o tua 20 y cant o gerbydau i tua 5, 6 neu 7 y cant—mae'n amrywio, yn amlwg. Rydym wedi cymryd rhan ac wedi arwain gweminarau manwl gyda chludwyr a chwmnïau cludo llwythi, gyda llawer o bobl yn ymuno i ddeall y rhwystrau newydd y maent yn eu hwynebu. Rydym yn gweithio'n agos gyda'r porthladdoedd, Cyllid a Thollau Ei Mawrhydi a Llywodraeth Iwerddon mewn perthynas â hyn. Rwyf fi a Llywodraeth Cymru eisiau sicrhau bod y bont dir yn cael ei diogelu. Dyma'r llwybr cyflymaf, mewn amgylchiadau cyffredin, ac mae'n sicr yn fwy effeithiol ac effeithlon, ac rydym eisiau sicrhau bod cludwyr yn cydnabod hynny ac yn ei gefnogi. Nid ydym yn derbyn y syniad y gellir diystyru'r rhain fel trafferthion cychwynnol, fel y mae Gweinidogion Llywodraeth y DU wedi'i wneud. Credwn fod angen dull rhagweithiol o gydweithio i ddatrys y broblem ac egluro'r sefyllfa i gludwyr, ac mae hwnnw'n ddull llawer gwell na'u diystyru fel trafferthion cychwynnol.

15:00
Telerau Masnach Newydd
New Terms Of Trade

If you can start again, David; I'm sorry, the microphone wasn't unmuted in time.

Os gallwch ddechrau eto, David; mae'n ddrwg gennyf, nid oedd y meicroffon wedi cael ei agor mewn pryd.

I was a bit quick off the mark.

Roeddwn braidd yn gyflym.

3. Pa fesurau sydd ar waith i helpu allforwyr Cymru i bontio i'r telerau masnach newydd gyda marchnad sengl yr Undeb Ewropeaidd? OQ56182

3. What measures are in place to help Welsh exporters transition to the new terms of trade with the European Union's single market? OQ56182

We recently published a new export action plan, which sets out the support available to Welsh exporters to help them understand and navigate the new barriers to exporting to the EU as a result of the decision to leave the customs union and the deal negotiated by the UK Government.

Yn ddiweddar, cyhoeddwyd cynllun gweithredu newydd gennym ar gyfer allforio, sy'n nodi'r cymorth sydd ar gael i allforwyr Cymru i'w helpu i ddeall a llywio'r rhwystrau newydd i allforio i'r UE o ganlyniad i'r penderfyniad i adael yr undeb tollau a'r cytundeb a negodwyd gan Lywodraeth y DU.

Thank you for that answer. I'm particularly concerned about small and medium-sized enterprises that export, or have done, into the single market in the past. These SMEs are often sector leaders, they're highly innovative—some of our best businesses—and also have great potential for growth. But now, many of them, to get through the thicket of certification and other bureaucracy, which is going to run into billions of pounds, I'm told, from the UK economy, need, for instance, to employ export brokers. What sort of help are you going to give so that they can at least contract with people who are reputable and operate at reasonably low cost?

Diolch ichi am yr ateb hwnnw. Rwy'n pryderu'n benodol am fusnesau bach a chanolig sy'n allforio i'r farchnad sengl neu sydd wedi gwneud hynny yn y gorffennol. Mae'r busnesau bach a chanolig hyn yn aml yn arweinwyr sector, maent yn arloesol iawn—rhai o'n busnesau gorau—ac mae ganddynt botensial mawr ar gyfer twf hefyd. Ond nawr, er mwyn sicrhau eu bod yn mynd drwy ddrysni tystysgrifau a biwrocratiaeth arall, sy'n mynd i fod yn filiynau o bunnoedd allan o economi'r DU yn ôl yr hyn a ddywedir wrthyf, mae llawer ohonynt angen cyflogi broceriaid allforio er enghraifft. Pa fath o gymorth rydych chi'n mynd i'w roi fel y gallant o leiaf gontractio gyda phobl sydd ag enw da ac sy'n gweithredu am gost weddol isel?

Well, I thank David Melding for that question that highlights a very important issue. He will be aware, of course, of the equivalent to the trusted trader schemes that have been introduced as part of the new arrangements. However, generally speaking, those tend to be larger companies rather than many of the smaller and medium-sized companies that his question is concerned about and that, obviously, represent a large percentage of the Welsh economy.

The export action plan highlights a few practical things that we are doing to tackle the challenge that his question highlights. The economy Minister recently wrote an open letter to businesses setting out the support and guidance that we have available, including some that is available through the EU transition portal. There is, in addition to that, a new online export hub, which provides very practical advice around the kind of customs procedures, the paperwork and the finding of new clients that he refers to in his question. 

Alongside that, we've developed a series of webinars, which aim to walk exporters through the new rules of origin requirements, export certification requirements and so on. In addition to that, the economy Minister has expanded capacity through the recruitment of international trade advisers, who are able to work directly with businesses referred on from Business Wales. They provide very bespoke support and advice to particular businesses about how they can navigate some of these challenges in their particular sectors, which offers a very practical and hands-on function to support them.

Wel, diolch i David Melding am y cwestiwn hwnnw sy'n tynnu sylw at fater pwysig iawn. Fe fydd yn ymwybodol, wrth gwrs, o'r hyn sy'n cyfateb i'r cynlluniau masnachwyr dibynadwy sydd wedi'u cyflwyno fel rhan o'r trefniadau newydd. Fodd bynnag, yn gyffredinol, mae'r rheini'n tueddu i fod yn gwmnïau mwy yn hytrach na llawer o'r cwmnïau llai a chanolig eu maint y mae ei gwestiwn yn cyfeirio atynt ac mae rheini, yn amlwg, yn cynrychioli canran fawr o economi Cymru.

Mae'r cynllun gweithredu ar allforio yn tynnu sylw at ychydig o bethau ymarferol rydym yn eu gwneud i fynd i'r afael â'r her y mae ei gwestiwn yn tynnu sylw ati. Yn ddiweddar, ysgrifennodd Gweinidog yr economi lythyr agored at fusnesau yn nodi'r cymorth a'r canllawiau sydd ar gael gennym, gan gynnwys rhai sydd ar gael drwy borth pontio'r UE. Yn ogystal â hynny, ceir hwb allforio newydd ar-lein, sy'n rhoi cyngor ymarferol iawn ar y math o weithdrefnau tollau, y gwaith papur a'r gwaith o ganfod cleientiaid newydd y mae'n eu crybwyll yn ei gwestiwn.

Ochr yn ochr â hynny, rydym wedi datblygu cyfres o weminarau ar gyfer egluro'r gofynion rheolau tarddiad newydd, a gofynion tystysgrifau allforio ac yn y blaen, i allforwyr. Yn ogystal â hynny, mae Gweinidog yr economi wedi ehangu capasiti drwy recriwtio cynghorwyr masnach rhyngwladol, sy'n gallu gweithio'n uniongyrchol gyda busnesau a atgyfeirir gan Busnes Cymru. Maent yn rhoi cymorth a chyngor pwrpasol iawn i fusnesau penodol ynglŷn â sut y gallant lywio'u ffordd drwy rai o'r heriau hyn yn eu sectorau penodol, sy'n ffordd ymarferol iawn o'u cefnogi.

Minister, I've received an e-mail from the owner of a substantial transport company in my constituency, and he writes to me,

'We are currently in a crisis in relation to exports to Ireland. We were under the impression that once the Christmas Eve deal was finalised, procedures would be immediately put in place to allow exports to Ireland, but we're still unable to export to Northern Ireland, which we believe is still part of Great Britain. Our company specialises in exporting essential medical equipment to Dublin and various areas of Belfast—equipment, we would add, which is tax-paid, and would allow patients to leave hospital, freeing up beds for those in desperate need at this current time. The bureaucracy of the new system is flawed, overcomplicated and inadequate, and no-one seems to want to accept responsibility for what measures need to be put in place to enable the exports to continue as they have previously.'

Minister, who is responsible for this economic shambles?

Weinidog, rwyf wedi derbyn e-bost gan berchennog cwmni trafnidiaeth sylweddol yn fy etholaeth, ac mae'n dweud,

Rydym mewn argyfwng ar hyn o bryd mewn perthynas ag allforion i Iwerddon. Roeddem o dan yr argraff, pan fyddai cytundeb Noswyl Nadolig wedi'i gwblhau, y byddai gweithdrefnau'n cael eu rhoi ar waith ar unwaith i ganiatáu allforion i Iwerddon, ond nid ydym yn gallu allforio i Ogledd Iwerddon o hyd, y credwn ei fod yn dal i fod yn rhan o Brydain. Mae ein cwmni'n arbenigo mewn allforio offer meddygol hanfodol i Ddulyn a gwahanol ardaloedd o Belfast—offer y mae treth wedi'i dalu arno, carwn ychwanegu, ac a fyddai'n caniatáu i gleifion adael yr ysbyty, gan ryddhau gwelyau i'r rhai sydd eu hangen yn daer ar hyn o bryd. Mae biwrocratiaeth y system newydd yn ddiffygiol, yn rhy gymhleth ac yn annigonol, ac nid yw'n ymddangos bod neb eisiau derbyn cyfrifoldeb am ba fesurau y mae angen eu rhoi ar waith i alluogi'r allforion i barhau fel o'r blaen.

Weinidog, pwy sy'n gyfrifol am y llanast economaidd hwn?

Well, the responsibility for the new obstacles to export and freight through our ports is the direct consequence of the UK Government's political priorities in the trade and co-operation agreement with the European Union. There obviously were new obstacles to trade introduced on 1 January. What I would say though is that we've put in place, as a Government, plans to handle the transport and traffic impact of that on our ports, and indeed are working with the UK Government and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and the Irish Government to ensure that there are as smooth as possible arrangements in place for freight passing through Holyhead and through our ports in the south-west in particular. And that is absolutely having an effect in making that journey smoother. But the point that he makes in his question is that these are, essentially, matters of political choice. They are new barriers to trade that, obviously, we very much regret having seen imposed on Welsh hauliers.

Wel, mae'r cyfrifoldeb am y rhwystrau newydd i allforio a chludo llwythi drwy ein porthladdoedd yn ganlyniad uniongyrchol i flaenoriaethau gwleidyddol Llywodraeth y DU yn y cytundeb masnach a chydweithredu gyda'r Undeb Ewropeaidd. Mae'n amlwg fod rhwystrau newydd i fasnachu wedi'u cyflwyno ar 1 Ionawr. Yr hyn y byddwn yn ei ddweud serch hynny yw ein bod wedi rhoi cynlluniau ar waith fel Llywodraeth i ymdrin ag effaith hynny ar drafnidiaeth a thraffig ein porthladdoedd, ac yn wir rydym yn gweithio gyda Llywodraeth y DU a Chyllid a Thollau Ei Mawrhydi a Llywodraeth Iwerddon i sicrhau bod trefniadau mor llyfn â phosibl ar waith ar gyfer cludo llwythi drwy Gaergybi a thrwy ein porthladdoedd yn y de-orllewin yn arbennig. Ac mae hynny'n sicr yn cael effaith ar wneud y daith honno'n fwy llyfn. Ond y pwynt y mae'n ei wneud yn ei gwestiwn yw bod y rhain, yn y bôn, yn faterion o ddewis gwleidyddol. Maent yn rhwystrau newydd i fasnach ac rydym yn amlwg yn gresynu'n fawr eu bod yn cael eu gorfodi ar gludwyr Cymru.

15:05
Deddf Marchnad Fewnol y Deyrnas Unedig 2020
The United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020

4. Pa ddadansoddiad mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi ei wneud o'r cyfyngiadau all Deddf Marchnad Fewnol y Deyrnas Unedig 2020 eu rhoi ar allu'r Senedd i ddeddfu nawr fod y cyfnod pontio wedi dod i ben? OQ56192

4. What analysis has the Counsel General made of the restrictions the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 places on the Senedd's ability to legislate now that the transition period has come to an end? OQ56192

Mae'n glir bod y Ddeddf yn creu ansicrwydd yn nhermau gallu'r Senedd i ddeddfu. Felly, yn sgil hynny, rwyf wedi dechrau achos llys yn y llys gweinyddol yma yng Nghaerdydd am gydsyniad y llys i edrych ar effaith y ddeddfwriaeth ar ein Senedd ni. 

It's clear that the Act creates uncertainty in terms of the Senedd's ability to legislate. Therefore, I have issued formal proceedings in the administrative court here in Cardiff seeking permission for judicial review in terms of its impact on our Senedd.

Dwi'n ddiolchgar i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol am yr ateb yna. Mae'n amlwg yn annerbyniol ein bod, ar hyn o bryd, wedi colli'r pŵer i wahardd gwerthiant plastigau un-defnydd a deddfu yn y maes, felly rwy'n gobeithio bydd y Cwnsler Cyffredinol yn llwyddiannus yn yr achos llys.

Mae gen i ddiddordeb yn y ffaith bod y Cwnsler wedi dweud mewn araith allanol diweddar ynglŷn â sail yr achos llys, y byddai'r sail i wrthod yr ymgais i gipio'n pwerau yn anatebol, hyd yn oed petai Llywodraeth San Steffan o ddifrif ynghylch gwarchod safonau amgylcheddol a hawliau gweithwyr. Dywedoch chi hefyd eich bod chi o blaid cynyddu pwerau'r Senedd. Mae hon yn ddadl o blaid yr egwyddor y dylai'r pwerau y mae'r Senedd hon eu hangen orwedd yma, doed a ddelo, er mwyn rheoleiddio mewn ffordd sy'n cyd-fynd â dymuniadau dinasyddion Cymru. A yw hyn yn golygu eich bod chi bellach o blaid setliad cyfansoddiadol conffederal, gyda Senedd Cymru yn penderfynu pa bwerau i'w cadw a pha rai i'w rhannu gyda gweddill y Deyrnas Gyfunol?

I'm grateful to the Counsel General for that response. It's clearly unacceptable that we have now lost the power to ban the sale of single-use plastics and to legislate in this area, so I do hope that the Counsel General is successful in the court proceedings.

I'm interested in the fact that the Counsel General said in an external address recently, on the basis of the proceedings, that the basis to take our powers would be unaccountable, even if the Westminster Government were serious about safeguarding environmental standards and workers' rights. You also said that you were in favour of increasing the powers of this Senedd. Now, this is an argument in favour of the principle that the powers that this Senedd needs should lie here, come what may, so that we can regulate in a way that accords with the aspirations of the people of Wales. Does this mean that you are now in favour of a confederal constitutional settlement, with the Welsh Parliament deciding which powers to retain and which to share with the rest of the UK?

Wel, dwi wedi bod yn glir am hyn mewn amryw o gyd-destunau, fy mod i'n credu y dylem ni gael cymaint o bwerau ag y mae pobl Cymru eisiau eu cael yng Nghymru o dan reolaeth y Senedd ac o dan reolaeth y Llywodraeth, o ran Gweinidogion ac ati, yma yng Nghymru. Felly, mae hynny yn sicr yn egwyddor, buaswn i'n dweud, sydd ddim yn un dadleuol iawn bellach. Beth rŷn ni wedi'i weld yn sgil ymgais y Llywodraeth yn San Steffan yn y Ddeddf ddiweddar hon yw bod ein setliad cyfansoddiadol ni o dan bwysau penodol, oherwydd mae gennym ni Lywodraeth Geidwadol yn San Steffan sydd yn sicr yn ceisio tanseilio'r setliad datganoli, ac mae'n rhaid i ni i gyd sydd yn gefnogol i hynny, ac yn bleidiol i weld mwy o bwerau yn dod yma i Gymru, ymateb mewn ffordd addas i hynny.

Well, I've been clear on this in many contexts, that I believe that we should have as many powers as the people of Wales aspire to have in Wales under the control of this Parliament and this Government, in terms of ministerial responsibilities, here in Wales. So, that's certainly a principle, I would say, that is non-contentious these days. What we have seen after the efforts of the Westminster Government in this recent legislation is that our constitutional settlement is placed under specific pressures, because we have a Conservative Government in Westminster who are certainly trying to undermine the devolution settlement, and all of us who are supportive of it, and want to see more powers coming to Wales, must respond appropriately to that.

Counsel General, I see questions like this, and I hear the answers, and I understand completely why this place is called 'a bubble'. We are still in the middle of a pandemic, people have lost their lives and livelihoods, they've lost hope, and we appear in this Senedd to be navel gazing. That being said, I'd be grateful to know what is the Welsh Government prevented from doing by this Act that it could do unfettered previously? And what difference does it actually make to our constituents? Thank you.

Gwnsler Cyffredinol, rwy'n gweld cwestiynau fel hyn, ac rwy'n clywed yr atebion, a deallaf yn iawn pam y gelwir y lle hwn yn 'swigen'. Rydym yn dal i fod ynghanol pandemig, mae pobl wedi colli eu bywydau a'u bywoliaeth, maent wedi colli gobaith, ac mae'n ymddangos ein bod yn bogailsyllu yn y Senedd hon. Wedi dweud hynny, hoffwn wybod beth y mae'r Ddeddf hon yn rhwystro Llywodraeth Cymru rhag ei wneud y gallai ei wneud yn ddilyffethair o'r blaen? A pha wahaniaeth y mae'n ei wneud mewn gwirionedd i'n hetholwyr? Diolch.

Well, she may feel that she works and lives in a bubble; I certainly don't feel that. The point about the Act is it makes a very real difference to people's weekly shop. So, if you're interested in making sure that food is of the standard that Welsh producers and Welsh consumers are accustomed to, this Act poses a threat to that. If you're interested in making sure that we don't pollute our environment with excessive use of plastics, this Act represents a threat to that. If you want to make sure that there are proper regulations in relation to service providers in Wales, this Act is a threat to that. These are not, as it where, simply constitutional matters; they affect the daily lives of all our constituents, and I think that is why it is of such significance that people should be aware of what this Act contains, and I would ask her to help us extend some of that outside the bubble that she describes.

Wel, efallai ei bod hi'n teimlo ei bod yn gweithio ac yn byw mewn swigen; yn sicr, nid wyf fi'n teimlo hynny. Y pwynt am y Ddeddf yw ei bod yn gwneud gwahaniaeth gwirioneddol i restr siopa wythnosol pobl. Felly, os oes gennych ddiddordeb mewn sicrhau bod bwyd o'r safon y mae cynhyrchwyr Cymru a defnyddwyr Cymru yn gyfarwydd â hi, mae'r Ddeddf hon yn fygythiad i hynny. Os oes gennych ddiddordeb mewn sicrhau nad ydym yn llygru ein hamgylchedd gyda defnydd gormodol o blastigau, mae'r Ddeddf hon yn fygythiad i hynny. Os ydych eisiau sicrhau bod rheoliadau priodol ar waith mewn perthynas â darparwyr gwasanaethau yng Nghymru, mae'r Ddeddf hon yn fygythiad i hynny. Nid materion cyfansoddiadol yn unig yw'r rhain; maent yn effeithio ar fywydau bob dydd ein hetholwyr ni i gyd, a dyna pam ei bod yn hollbwysig fod pobl yn ymwybodol o'r hyn y mae'r Ddeddf hon yn ei gynnwys, a gofynnaf iddi ein helpu i ymestyn rhywfaint o hynny y tu hwnt i'r swigen y mae'n ei disgrifio.

Llwybrau Llongau Uniongyrchol
Direct Shipping Routes

5. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'u cael gyda Gweinidog yr Economi, Trafnidiaeth a Gogledd Cymru ynghylch effaith ehangu llwybrau llongau uniongyrchol o Iwerddon i'r UE ar economi Cymru? OQ56168

5. What discussions has the Counsel General had with the Minister for the Economy, Transport and North Wales regarding the impact of the expansion of direct shipping routes from Ireland to the EU on the Welsh economy? OQ56168

15:10

Well, until December, Welsh ports were the easiest route for traffic between Ireland and mainland Europe. The new regulatory barriers resulting from the UK Government's deal with the European Union have changed that, and we are pressing the UK Government to improve transit procedures to restore the competitive advantage of Welsh ports.

Wel, tan fis Rhagfyr, porthladdoedd Cymru oedd y llwybr hawsaf ar gyfer traffig rhwng Iwerddon a thir mawr Ewrop. Mae'r rhwystrau rheoleiddiol newydd sy'n deillio o gytundeb Llywodraeth y DU â'r Undeb Ewropeaidd wedi newid hynny, ac rydym yn pwyso ar Lywodraeth y DU i wella gweithdrefnau tramwy er mwyn adfer mantais gystadleuol porthladdoedd Cymru.

I welcome, genuinely, that constructive engagement by the Minister with UK counterparts, but, you know, I've got to call a spade a spade here. Minister, those people who said that we would have, after EU withdrawal, frictionless trade that would allow these land routes across the UK to continue were either too daft to realise what they were saying to the public in Wales, and across Britain, or they were outright telling porky pies. And, in fact, the UK bureaucracy that we currently have is exactly what Boris Johnson railed against previously, when he pointed his arrows at the European Union. So, I wonder, Minister, I see commercial operators out of Ireland now espousing the benefits of long-term diversion, away from the land link across the UK, and by going direct from Ireland to the EU. Will he push UK Ministers to redress the damage that they have done and to make sure that this is as temporary as possible and that they get this trade going back through our ports in Wales?

Mewn gwirionedd, rwy'n croesawu'r ymgysylltiad adeiladol rhwng y Gweinidog â chymheiriaid yn y DU, ond wyddoch chi, mae'n rhaid i mi siarad yn ddi-flewyn ar dafod yma. Weinidog, roedd y bobl a oedd yn dweud y byddai gennym fasnach ddirwystr ar ôl ymadael â'r UE a fyddai'n caniatáu i'r llwybrau tir hyn ledled y DU barhau naill ai'n rhy wirion i sylweddoli'r hyn roeddent yn ei ddweud wrth y cyhoedd yng Nghymru, ac ar draws Prydain, neu roeddent yn dweud celwyddau noeth. Ac mewn gwirionedd, mae'r fiwrocratiaeth sydd gennym yn y DU ar hyn o bryd yn union yr un fath â'r hyn y cwynai Boris Johnson amdano yn y gorffennol, pan oedd yn lladd ar yr Undeb Ewropeaidd. Felly, Weinidog, rwy'n gweld gweithredwyr masnachol o Iwerddon nawr yn arddel manteision dargyfeirio hirdymor, i ffwrdd o'r cyswllt tir ar draws y DU, a thrwy fynd yn uniongyrchol o Iwerddon i'r UE. A wnaiff bwyso ar Weinidogion y DU i unioni'r niwed y maent wedi'i wneud a sicrhau mai dros dro yn unig fydd hyn a'u bod yn cael y fasnach hon yn ôl drwy ein porthladdoedd yng Nghymru cyn gynted â phosibl?

Well, that is a top priority for us as a Government. These barriers, if you like, to trade and to transit weren't just foreseeable, they were foreseen. Now, what we want to make sure is that the speed and convenience of routes through Wales will start to attract hauliers back as soon as possible, and we are certainly pressing the UK Government, in the way that he suggests, to do everything possible to help traders navigate this new border and then to limit the economic impact that it's having. And the Minister for the economy, as you will have heard in earlier exchanges in the Chamber today, has written to the Secretary of State for Transport yesterday to highlight our concerns most recently. Obviously, we're particularly worried about the fact that those routes are costlier and take longer, and that tells us, of course, that the land bridge remains the best option, effectively. What we want to do is make sure that we are working with other Governments to persuade the hauliers of that, and that involves UK Government doing everything it can to minimise the practical implications of those checks and so on at the border.

Wel, mae honno'n brif flaenoriaeth i ni fel Llywodraeth. Nid yn unig fod y rhwystrau hyn, os hoffech, i fasnachu a thramwy yn bethau y gellid eu rhagweld, fe gawsant eu rhagweld. Nawr, yr hyn rydym eisiau ei sicrhau yw y bydd cyflymder a chyfleustra llwybrau drwy Gymru yn dechrau denu cludwyr yn ôl cyn gynted â phosibl, ac rydym yn sicr yn pwyso ar Lywodraeth y DU, yn y ffordd y mae'n awgrymu, i wneud popeth posibl i helpu masnachwyr i lywio'r ffin newydd hon ac yna i gyfyngu ar yr effaith economaidd y mae'n ei chael. Ac mae Gweinidog yr economi, fel y byddwch wedi'i glywed mewn trafodaethau cynharach yn y Siambr heddiw, wedi ysgrifennu at yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol dros Drafnidiaeth ddoe i dynnu sylw at ein pryderon mwyaf diweddar. Yn amlwg, rydym yn poeni'n arbennig am y ffaith bod y llwybrau hynny'n gostus ac yn cymryd mwy o amser, ac mae hynny'n dweud wrthym, wrth gwrs, mai'r bont dir yw'r opsiwn gorau o hyd, i bob pwrpas. Yr hyn rydym eisiau ei wneud yw sicrhau ein bod yn gweithio gyda Llywodraethau eraill i berswadio'r cludwyr ynglŷn â hynny, ac mae'n golygu bod angen i Lywodraeth y DU wneud popeth yn ei gallu i leihau goblygiadau ymarferol yr archwiliadau ac yn y blaen ar y ffin.

Those whose jobs depend on the port of Holyhead will pay the price if changing trading patterns leads to a loss of trade permanently, shifting to direct passage. Whilst December stockpiling may be a part of the reasons for what's happened, the pandemic also, the elephant on that near-empty vehicle deck is the huge increase in trade on those direct routes. I think trade through Rosslare is up some 500 per cent. And, yes, it's longer, but there's no bureaucracy going that way, and whilst the Holyhead route has traditionally been cheaper as well as being more convenient, it doesn't take a genius to work out what a big increase in direct traffic is likely to mean for prices on those direct routes either. Now, I'm grateful for being copied into that letter that's been mentioned, from the economy Minister to UK Government, calling for support, both financial and otherwise, to deal with those significant new non-tariff barriers. But will the Minister update us on how Welsh Government can assist further now, including through establishing the kind of long-term border infrastructure we need to help trade flow freely and which UK Government have failed to deliver?

Bydd y rhai y mae eu swyddi'n dibynnu ar borthladd Caergybi yn talu'r pris os bydd patrymau masnachu newidiol yn arwain at golli masnach yn barhaol, gan newid i lwybr uniongyrchol. Er y gall pentyrru mis Rhagfyr fod yn un o'r rhesymau dros yr hyn sydd wedi digwydd, a'r pandemig hefyd, yr eliffant ar y dec cerbydau hanner gwag hwnnw yw'r cynnydd enfawr mewn masnach ar y llwybrau uniongyrchol hynny. Credaf fod masnach drwy Rosslare wedi cynyddu tua 500 y cant. Ac ydy, mae'n hwy, ond nid oes unrhyw fiwrocratiaeth ynghlwm wrth y llwybr hwnnw, ac er bod llwybr Caergybi wedi bod yn rhatach yn draddodiadol yn ogystal â bod yn fwy cyfleus, nid yw'n cymryd athrylith i gyfrifo beth y mae cynnydd mawr mewn traffig uniongyrchol yn debygol o'i olygu i brisiau ar y llwybrau uniongyrchol hynny chwaith. Nawr, rwy'n ddiolchgar am y copi o'r llythyr sydd wedi'i grybwyll, gan Weinidog yr economi i Lywodraeth y DU, yn galw am gymorth, yn ariannol ac fel arall, i ymdopi â'r rhwystrau newydd sylweddol nad ydynt yn dariffau. Ond a wnaiff y Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf i ni ynglŷn â sut y gall Llywodraeth Cymru ddarparu mwy o gymorth yn awr, gan gynnwys drwy sefydlu'r math o seilwaith hirdymor ar y ffin sydd ei angen arnom i helpu masnach i lifo'n rhydd mewn modd y mae Llywodraeth y DU wedi methu ei gyflawni?

Well, what we are doing is very practical, really, in terms of working with the other two Governments and bringing those together. We've been absolutely at the forefront, really, of discussions, both with the UK Government and the Irish Government, as I mentioned earlier, but also with local authorities, including his own, and port stakeholders in relation to these matters, to make sure that we have the latest intelligence of what is happening, as far as possible, in real time to freight. We have seen some action on some of the issues that we've been highlighting, including some of the short-term easements, effectively, that the Irish Government have put in place in relation to the pre-boarding notification procedures, and, as I mentioned in passing earlier, some of those very practical things around webinars and so on.

In relation to the infrastructure that he speaks about, the Welsh Government's new responsibilities, effectively, start from the beginning of July, both in Holyhead and in the south-west, but we are working with HMRC and the UK Government to identify the best locations as near as possible to the port for that infrastructure to be placed. We want it to be as near as possible to the port, for reasons that I think are obvious, and there are a small number of options for us, which we are now homing in on. What I would say to him, though, is that it's almost impossible to imagine circumstances where that could be delivered now by 1 July, given the time we lost last year in the UK Government properly engaging us. So, we are now pressing the UK Government for an understanding of what contingency measures can be put in place so that Holyhead and other ports in Wales, and, indeed, across the UK, are able to do this in an orderly fashion, given the time we lost last year.

Wel, mae'r hyn rydym yn ei wneud yn ymarferol iawn mewn gwirionedd, o ran gweithio gyda'r ddwy Lywodraeth arall a dod â'r rheini at ei gilydd. Rydym wedi bod yn flaenllaw yn y trafodaethau gyda Llywodraeth y DU a Llywodraeth Iwerddon mewn gwirionedd, fel y soniais yn gynharach, ond hefyd gydag awdurdodau lleol, gan gynnwys ei randdeiliaid ei hun, a rhanddeiliaid porthladdoedd mewn perthynas â'r materion hyn, i sicrhau bod gennym y wybodaeth ddiweddaraf cyn belled ag y bo modd am yr hyn sy'n digwydd mewn amser real i gludo llwythi. Rydym wedi gweld rhywfaint o weithredu ar rai o'r materion y buom yn tynnu sylw atynt, gan gynnwys rhai o'r hawddfreintiau tymor byr, i bob pwrpas, y mae Llywodraeth Iwerddon wedi'u rhoi ar waith mewn perthynas â'r gweithdrefnau hysbysu cyn mynd ar long, ac fel y crybwyllais yn sydyn yn gynharach, rhai o'r pethau ymarferol iawn hynny gyda gweminarau ac yn y blaen.

O ran y seilwaith y mae'n siarad amdano, mae cyfrifoldebau newydd Llywodraeth Cymru, i bob pwrpas, yn dechrau o ddechrau mis Gorffennaf, yng Nghaergybi ac yn y de-orllewin, ond rydym yn gweithio gyda CThEM a Llywodraeth y DU i nodi'r lleoliadau gorau mor agos â phosibl at y porthladd ar gyfer lleoli'r seilwaith hwnnw. Rydym eisiau iddo fod mor agos â phosibl at y porthladd, am resymau sy'n amlwg yn fy marn i, a cheir nifer fach o opsiynau rydym wrthi'n eu hystyried. Yr hyn y byddwn yn ei ddweud wrtho, serch hynny, yw ei bod bron yn amhosibl dychmygu amgylchiadau lle y gellid cyflawni hynny erbyn 1 Gorffennaf, o gofio'r amser a gollwyd y llynedd pan nad oedd Llywodraeth y DU yn ymgysylltu'n briodol â ni. Felly, rydym yn pwyso ar Lywodraeth y DU yn awr am ddealltwriaeth o ba fesurau wrth gefn y gellir eu rhoi ar waith fel bod Caergybi a phorthladdoedd eraill yng Nghymru, a ledled y DU yn wir, yn gallu gwneud hyn mewn modd trefnus, o gofio'r amser a gollwyd gennym y llynedd.

15:15
Deddf Marchnad Fewnol y Deyrnas Unedig 2020
The United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020

6. Pa asesiad y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'i wneud o effaith Deddf Marchnad Fewnol y Deyrnas Unedig 2020? OQ56178

6. What assessment has the Counsel General made of the impact of the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020? OQ56178

The UK internal market Act seeks to hollow out the Senedd's legislative competence in a number of areas. That is why I have initiated legal action. It also gives the UK Government financial assistance powers, as they're called, which are already being used to circumvent devolved competence, most blatantly through the so-called shared prosperity fund. 

Mae Deddf Marchnad Fewnol y DU yn ceisio dileu cymhwysedd deddfwriaethol y Senedd mewn nifer o feysydd. Dyna pam y rhoddais gamau cyfreithiol ar waith. Mae hefyd yn rhoi pwerau cymorth ariannol, fel y'u gelwir, i Lywodraeth y DU, ac maent eisoes yn cael eu defnyddio i osgoi cymhwysedd datganoledig, yn fwyaf amlwg drwy'r gronfa ffyniant gyffredin fel y'i gelwir.

I absolutely support the actions that you've taken, and I hope that everybody here will as well. We find ourselves—and I'll use the terminology of the right wing—in splendid isolation in terms of the ports in the areas that I represent actually not having any trade. However, there is nothing splendid in being isolated in a way that threatens jobs and threatens the economy. People are being left stranded with nothing to do and no future to look forward to. So, could I ask you if you will continue with the conversations, but also implore the Secretary of State for Wales, who represents this area, to be a louder and clearer voice in supporting those businesses in his own community?

Rwy'n llwyr gefnogi'r camau rydych wedi'u cymryd, a gobeithio y bydd pawb yma'n eu cefnogi hefyd. Rydym mewn sefyllfa—ac rwyf am ddefnyddio terminoleg yr adain dde—o arwahanrwydd gogoneddus yn yr ystyr nad oes gan y porthladdoedd yn yr ardaloedd rwy'n eu cynrychioli unrhyw fasnach mewn gwirionedd. Fodd bynnag, nid oes unrhyw beth yn ogoneddus ynglŷn â bod ar wahân mewn ffordd sy'n bygwth swyddi ac yn bygwth yr economi. Mae pobl yn cael eu gadael heb ddim i'w wneud a heb ddyfodol i edrych ymlaen ato. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn i chi barhau â'r sgyrsiau hynny, ond hefyd i erfyn ar Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru, sy'n cynrychioli'r ardal hon, i fod yn llais cryfach a chliriach yn ei gefnogaeth i'r busnesau hynny yn ei gymuned ei hun?

I would echo Joyce Watson's concerns in relation to this. What we will do as a Government is continue the efforts that we've been engaged in to make sure that the economic impact on the ports in the region that she represents, and, indeed, businesses right across Wales—that they are able to respond to these new barriers that the trade and co-operation agreement have introduced. There is no doubt that there are many challenges for businesses that lie ahead. We are working on understanding the implications of what is still a very new set of arrangements, and we'll be hoping to provide some further specific guidance to businesses in Wales in the coming weeks in relation to that. I'm sure the Secretary of State for Wales will have heard Joyce Watson's pleas on behalf of the part of the world they both represent.

Byddwn yn adleisio pryderon Joyce Watson ynglŷn â hyn. Fel Llywodraeth byddwn yn parhau â'n hymdrechion i sicrhau bod yr effaith economaidd ar y porthladdoedd yn y rhanbarth y mae'n ei chynrychioli, a busnesau ledled Cymru yn wir—eu bod yn gallu ymateb i'r rhwystrau newydd hyn y mae'r cytundeb masnach a chydweithredu wedi'u cyflwyno. Nid oes amheuaeth y bydd llawer o heriau'n wynebu busnesau yn y dyfodol. Rydym yn gweithio i geisio deall goblygiadau'r hyn sy'n dal i fod yn set newydd iawn o drefniadau, a byddwn yn gobeithio darparu canllawiau penodol pellach i fusnesau yng Nghymru yn ystod yr wythnosau nesaf mewn perthynas â hynny. Rwy'n siŵr y bydd Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru wedi clywed apêl Joyce Watson ar ran y rhan o'r byd y mae'r ddau ohonynt yn ei chynrychioli.

Fframweithiau Cyffredin y DU
UK Common Frameworks

7. A wnaiff y Cwnsler Cyffredinol roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am gynnydd fframweithiau cyffredin y DU? OQ56171

7. Will the Counsel General provide an update on the progress of the UK common frameworks? OQ56171

Certainly. I have now endorsed the vast majority of common frameworks of relevance to Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government. These are provisionally operational pending development and scrutiny by the Senedd and by the other legislatures. I anticipate being able to endorse the organic production framework shortly as well. Two further frameworks—the professional qualifications and services frameworks—will be developed this year.

Yn sicr. Rwyf bellach wedi cymeradwyo'r mwyafrif helaeth o fframweithiau cyffredin sy'n berthnasol i Gymru ar ran Llywodraeth Cymru. Mae'r rhain yn weithredol dros dro wrth aros i'r Senedd a'r deddfwrfeydd eraill eu datblygu a chraffu arnynt. Rwy'n rhagweld y gallaf gymeradwyo'r fframwaith cynhyrchu organig cyn bo hir hefyd. Bydd dau fframwaith arall—y fframweithiau cymwysterau a gwasanaethau proffesiynol—yn cael eu datblygu eleni.

As you will remember, the EU withdrawal Bill, which received legislative consent from this Senedd, agreed that UK-wide frameworks to replace the EU rulebook will be freely negotiated between the four UK Governments in many areas, some of which you mentioned, and also including, for example, food, animal welfare and the environment. As your colleague the Minister for environment and rural affairs said in her statement on the inter-ministerial group for environment, food and rural affairs last autumn, 

'I insisted frameworks had been designed to help understand and manage divergence between the four administrations'.

Indeed, the inter-ministerial group at this meeting agreed a refreshed approach to the finalisation of frameworks to ensure all reached a provisional and usable level by the end of 2020. Last month, in a positive response to the House of Lords, UK Ministers unveiled new amendments to the UK internal market Bill that will protect the common frameworks agreed with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, preventing barriers to internal trade within the UK that would disadvantage Welsh consumers and businesses. Why, therefore, are you using public resources to take legal action against the UK Government when these agreed frameworks enable current levels of flexibility to be maintained within agreed common approaches?

Fel y cofiwch, roedd y Bil ymadael â'r UE, a gafodd gydsyniad deddfwriaethol gan y Senedd hon, yn cytuno y bydd fframweithiau ar gyfer y DU gyfan i gymryd lle rheolau'r UE yn cael eu negodi'n rhydd rhwng pedair Llywodraeth y DU mewn sawl maes, ac rydych wedi sôn am rai ohonynt, a hefyd yn cynnwys, er enghraifft, bwyd, lles anifeiliaid a'r amgylchedd. Fel y dywedodd eich cyd-Aelod, Gweinidog yr amgylchedd a materion gwledig, yn ei datganiad ar grŵp rhyng-weinidogol yr amgylchedd, bwyd a materion gwledig yr hydref diwethaf,

'Pwysleisiais fod fframweithiau wedi’u dylunio i helpu i ddeall a rheoli gwahaniaethau rhwng y pedair gweinyddiaeth'.

Yn wir, cytunodd y grŵp rhyng-weinidogol yn y cyfarfod hwn ar ddull newydd o gwblhau fframweithiau er mwyn sicrhau bod pob un yn cyrraedd lefel dros dro a defnyddiadwy erbyn diwedd 2020. Fis diwethaf, mewn ymateb cadarnhaol i Dŷ'r Arglwyddi, datgelodd Gweinidogion y DU welliannau newydd i Fil marchnad fewnol y DU a fydd yn diogelu'r fframweithiau cyffredin y cytunwyd arnynt gyda'r Alban, Cymru a Gogledd Iwerddon, gan atal rhwystrau i fasnach fewnol yn y DU a fyddai'n rhoi defnyddwyr a busnesau Cymru dan anfantais. Felly, pam rydych yn defnyddio adnoddau cyhoeddus i roi camau cyfreithiol ar waith yn erbyn Llywodraeth y DU pan fo'r fframweithiau hyn y cytunwyd arnynt yn ei gwneud hi'n bosibl cynnal y lefelau presennol o hyblygrwydd o fewn dulliau cyffredin y cytunwyd arnynt?

15:20

I think the Member may possibly have misunderstood exactly the impact of the amendments made by the House of Lords in relation to this. I'd like to pay tribute, if I may, to Lord Hope, who led on amendments on this particular issue, but also Lords across the Chamber, including some Conservative peers, who recognise, as perhaps the Member does not, the threat that the Act represents to devolution. I should just say that the amendments had the effect, simply, of giving the Secretary of State the discretion to amend the devolution settlement where a framework has been agreed. When one says that out loud, I think the challenges with that are transparent enough: firstly, that the devolution settlement should be capable of being amended by UK Government Ministers in any event, and secondly, that it should be a matter of discretion. Those are two of the examples why we think the Act needs to be challenged in court, and part of the rationale for us doing so.

Credaf y gallai'r Aelod fod wedi camddeall union effaith y gwelliannau a wnaed gan Dŷ'r Arglwyddi mewn perthynas â hyn. Hoffwn dalu teyrnged, os caf fi, i'r Arglwydd Hope, a arweiniodd ar welliannau ar y mater penodol hwn, ond hefyd Arglwyddi ar draws y Siambr, gan gynnwys rhai arglwyddi Ceidwadol, sy'n cydnabod, yn wahanol i'r Aelod o bosibl, bygythiad y Ddeddf i ddatganoli. Dylwn ddweud mai effaith y gwelliannau, yn syml, oedd rhoi disgresiwn i'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol ddiwygio'r setliad datganoli lle cytunwyd ar fframwaith. Pan fydd rhywun yn dweud hynny'n uchel, credaf fod yr heriau sydd ynghlwm wrth hynny'n ddigon amlwg: yn gyntaf, y dylai'r setliad datganoli allu cael ei ddiwygio gan Weinidogion Llywodraeth y DU, ac yn ail, y dylai fod yn fater o ddisgresiwn. Dyna ddwy enghraifft sy'n dangos pam ein bod yn credu bod angen herio'r Ddeddf yn y llys, a rhan o'r rhesymeg dros wneud hynny.

3. Cwestiynau Amserol
3. Topical Questions

Rŷn ni'n dod nawr at y cwestiynau amserol. Mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf y prynhawn yma i'w ateb gan y Prif Weinidog ac i'w ofyn gan Dai Lloyd.

That brings us to the topical questions. The first question this afternoon is to be answered by the First Minister and asked by Dai Lloyd.

COVID-19: Achosion yn yr Asiantaeth Trwyddedu Gyrwyr a Cherbydau
COVID-19: Cases in the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

1. A wnaiff y Prif Weinidog ddatganiad am nifer yr achosion o COVID-19 yn y DVLA yn Abertawe? TQ533

1. Will the First Minister make a statement on the number of COVID-19 cases at the DVLA in Swansea? TQ533

Mae'n destun gofid bod dros 500 o achosion COVID wedi eu cofnodi ymysg staff y DVLA ers mis Medi. Cafod tîm rheoli y digwyddiad ei sefydlu ar ddechrau mis Hydref i gefnogi'r ymateb amddiffyn iechyd. Rwyf wedi codi pryderon sawl gwaith gyda Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig ynglŷn â nifer yr achosion a'r arferion yn y gweithle.

It's a cause of concern that there have been over the 500 COVID cases recorded among DVLA staff since September. An incident management team was established at the beginning of October to support the health protection response. I've raised concerns on a number of occasions with UK Government on the number of cases and working practices at the DVLA.

Thank you, First Minister for that answer. Obviously, the current situation at the DVLA is inexcusable. The number of staff that have contracted COVID, as you've outlined, is a huge worry, reflecting the concerns expressed by workers at the site with regard to poor working practices and COVID safeguarding practices. Can I just quote from a recent e-mail received from a staff member? 'On my floor, there are still 100 staff on the floor, sharing kitchens, toilets, no windows to open on the whole floor. I imagine this is the same on the 15 other floors'—for those of you who know the DVLA building in Swansea.

I've written directly to the DVLA on three separate occasions since the start of the pandemic. The first time was back in March 2020, as these concerns were expressed to me then, also in October 2020, and earlier this month, with replies from the chief executive. So, I've written three times. Many people were and still do—who are employed by the DVLA—they were contacting me, stating they did not feel safe, as we've heard, with the measures that were in place and in terms of what management were asking of them. Unfortunately, therefore, it appears that the situation has not improved at all—[Inaudible.]—help us in Swansea trying to reduce the spread of the virus within our local communities. We need firm action to be taken on this, and I'd be grateful for further details, First Minister, in terms of how the Welsh Government plans to step up their actions—obviously, the DVLA is a non-devolved issue—working with the UK Government and Swansea council and looking at all possible legal avenues to ensure that the DVLA is a safe working environment.

So, could you outline what further action you could take, particularly around the legal enforcement of Welsh law in this matter? Are you looking at strengthening the law in this area or strengthening the sanctions? If any employer, private or public, cannot guarantee the safety of their employees at this time, then quite simply they should be shut down until appropriate measures are in place. Employees of the DVLA and residents of Swansea certainly want to see further action, and I would urge you to do all that you can to ensure that Welsh law, in this instance, is adhered to. Diolch yn fawr. 

Diolch am yr ateb hwnnw, Brif Weinidog. Yn amlwg, mae'r sefyllfa bresennol yn y DVLA yn anfaddeuol. Mae nifer y staff sydd wedi dal COVID, fel yr amlinellwyd gennych, yn bryder enfawr, sy'n adlewyrchu'r pryderon a fynegwyd gan weithwyr ar y safle mewn perthynas ag arferion gwaith gwael ac arferion diogelu rhag COVID. A gaf fi ddyfynnu o e-bost diweddar a ddaeth i law gan aelod o staff? 'Ar fy llawr, mae 100 o staff ar y llawr o hyd, yn rhannu ceginau, toiledau ac nid oes unrhyw ffenestri i'w hagor ar y llawr cyfan. Rwy'n dychmygu bod hyn yr un fath ar y 15 llawr arall'—i'r rheini ohonoch sy'n adnabod adeilad y DVLA yn Abertawe.

Rwyf wedi ysgrifennu'n uniongyrchol at y DVLA ar dri achlysur gwahanol ers dechrau'r pandemig. Yn ôl ym mis Mawrth 2020 oedd y tro cyntaf, gan i'r pryderon hyn gael eu dwyn i fy sylw bryd hynny, hefyd ym mis Hydref 2020, ac yn gynharach y mis hwn, gydag atebion gan y prif weithredwr. Felly, rwyf wedi ysgrifennu deirgwaith. Roedd llawer o bobl sy'n cael eu cyflogi gan y DVLA yn cysylltu â mi, ac maent yn dal i wneud hynny, i ddweud nad oeddent yn teimlo'n ddiogel, fel y clywsom, gyda'r mesurau a oedd ar waith ac o ran yr hyn roedd y rheolwyr yn gofyn iddynt ei wneud. Yn anffodus, felly, mae'n ymddangos nad yw'r sefyllfa wedi gwella o gwbl—[Anghlywadwy.]—helpu ni yn Abertawe i geisio lleihau lledaeniad y feirws yn ein cymunedau lleol. Mae angen rhoi camau pendant ar waith ar hyn, a byddwn yn ddiolchgar am ragor o fanylion, Brif Weinidog, o ran sut y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn bwriadu gwneud mwy—yn amlwg, mae'r DVLA yn fater sydd heb ei ddatganoli—gan weithio gyda Llywodraeth y DU a chyngor Abertawe ac edrych ar bob llwybr cyfreithiol posibl i sicrhau bod y DVLA yn amgylchedd gwaith diogel.

Felly, a allech chi amlinellu pa gamau pellach y gallech eu cymryd, yn enwedig o ran gorfodi cyfraith Cymru yn gyfreithlon yn y mater hwn? A ydych yn ystyried cryfhau'r gyfraith yn y maes hwn neu gryfhau'r sancsiynau? Os na all unrhyw gyflogwr, boed yn breifat neu'n gyhoeddus, warantu diogelwch eu gweithwyr ar yr adeg hon, dylid eu cau hyd nes y bydd mesurau priodol ar waith. Yn sicr, mae gweithwyr y DVLA a thrigolion Abertawe eisiau gweld gweithredu pellach, a byddwn yn eich annog i wneud popeth yn eich gallu i sicrhau cydymffurfiaeth â chyfraith Cymru yn yr achos hwn. Diolch yn fawr. 

15:25

Dr Lloyd raises a series of very important concerns relayed to him by members of the workforce. They chime exactly with the concerns that our colleague Mike Hedges has regularly conveyed to me over recent weeks. I pay tribute to Mike's work and the assiduous way in which he has pursued this matter. In answer to Dr Lloyd's questions, first of all, he will be aware, I'm sure, that the law has been strengthened during the current three-week cycle. We have placed into regulations a set of requirements that all workplaces must observe to reflect the additional risks caused by the new variant of COVID-19. I wrote twice to the Minister responsible for the DVLA in December and in January. I received assurances from her that Welsh law will be complied with at the DVLA, including the changes in requirements announced for employers in Wales on 15 January. In the meantime, the incident management team that operates in relation to the DVLA continues to meet and to provide both advice and to require action from that non-devolved authority. Members will be, I know, glad to hear that Public Health Wales's records show that, as of Friday of last week, there were only five DVLA staff from across its workforce isolating as a result of the virus.  

Mae Dr Lloyd yn nodi cyfres o bryderon pwysig iawn a fynegwyd wrtho gan aelodau o'r gweithlu. Maent yn cyd-fynd yn llwyr â'r pryderon y mae ein cyd-Aelod, Mike Hedges, wedi'u mynegi'n rheolaidd dros yr wythnosau diwethaf. Rwy'n talu teyrnged i waith Mike a'r ffordd weithgar y mae wedi mynd ar drywydd y mater hwn. Wrth ateb cwestiynau Dr Lloyd, yn gyntaf oll, fe fydd yn ymwybodol, rwy'n siŵr, fod y gyfraith wedi'i chryfhau yn ystod y cylch tair wythnos presennol. Yn y rheoliadau, rydym wedi cynnwys cyfres o ofynion y mae'n rhaid i bob gweithle eu dilyn i adlewyrchu'r risgiau ychwanegol a achosir gan yr amrywiolyn newydd o COVID-19. Ysgrifennais ddwywaith at y Gweinidog sy'n gyfrifol am y DVLA ym mis Rhagfyr ac ym mis Ionawr. Cefais sicrwydd ganddi y cydymffurfir â chyfraith Cymru yn y DVLA, gan gynnwys y newidiadau yn y gofynion a gyhoeddwyd ar gyfer cyflogwyr yng Nghymru ar 15 Ionawr. Yn y cyfamser, mae'r tîm rheoli digwyddiadau sy'n gweithredu mewn perthynas â'r DVLA yn parhau i gyfarfod a darparu cyngor ac i fynnu bod yr awdurdod hwnnw nad yw wedi'i ddatganoli yn gweithredu. Gwn y bydd yr Aelodau'n falch o glywed bod cofnodion Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru yn dangos, ddydd Gwener diwethaf, mai dim ond pum aelod o staff y DVLA ar draws ei weithlu oedd yn ynysu o ganlyniad i'r feirws.

Mike Hedges has been raising this in our weekly meetings with the local health board for as long as I can remember, so I'm glad that we're having the opportunity to discuss it today. It's not the only big operation in South Wales West that's been dealing with big figures, though; we have had some difficult news from Tata and from Amazon as well, which have also seen a rise in cases. I've had correspondence very similar to Dai Lloyd with questions about what should be going on at the site, but I've also had correspondence saying that DVLA managers are overzealous in imposing and insisting upon enforcement. So, I think the picture is a bit mixed there, but nevertheless we are in a situation where the figures have been poor. First Minister, have you had any direct representation from workers at the DVLA, or indeed the other two businesses I've heard from? And have you considered any changes to the guidance as a result of those representations? I'm sure they'd be of interest to any big site operators in any part of Wales. Thank you.  

Mae Mike Hedges wedi bod yn codi hyn yn ein cyfarfodydd wythnosol gyda'r bwrdd iechyd lleol cyhyd ag y gallaf gofio, felly rwy'n falch ein bod yn cael cyfle i'w drafod heddiw. Fodd bynnag, nid dyma'r unig waith mawr yng Ngorllewin De Cymru sydd wedi bod yn ymdrin â niferoedd mawr; rydym wedi cael newyddion anodd gan Tata a chan Amazon hefyd, sydd hefyd wedi gweld cynnydd yn nifer yr achosion. Rwyf wedi cael gohebiaeth debyg iawn i Dai Lloyd gyda chwestiynau ynglŷn â beth ddylai fod yn digwydd ar y safle, ond rwyf hefyd wedi cael gohebiaeth yn dweud bod rheolwyr DVLA yn rhy frwd wrth orfodi a mynnu gorfodaeth. Felly, credaf fod y darlun braidd yn gymysglyd yno, ond serch hynny rydym mewn sefyllfa lle mae'r niferoedd wedi bod yn wael. Brif Weinidog, a ydych wedi cael unrhyw sylwadau uniongyrchol gan weithwyr yn y DVLA, neu'n wir, y ddau fusnes arall y clywais ganddynt? Ac a ydych wedi ystyried unrhyw newidiadau i'r canllawiau o ganlyniad i'r sylwadau hynny? Rwy'n siŵr y byddent o ddiddordeb i unrhyw weithredwyr safleoedd mawr mewn unrhyw ran o Gymru. Diolch.

I do indeed get direct representation from workers in many settings across Wales. In the case of the DVLA, for example, by some strange route, a member of staff at the DVLA phoned me at home. Now, I was here in work and my wife ended up speaking to a lady, as my wife thought, in her fifties and living alone who was acutely distressed at what she believed to be the conditions under which she was required to work at the DVLA. And, of course, those concerns were relayed to me and followed up. So, yes, indeed, I do hear directly and, as Suzy Davies said, the DVLA is not the only workplace where workers have concerns. And it's as a result of that direct, ground-floor evidence, fed through to us, and discussed at the new national health and safety forum that we have here in Wales, attended by trade unions, employers and regulators, that we made the decision to strengthen the law here in Wales so that workers' voices are heard, individually and collectively, by the Welsh Government, and, where necessary, we act on their concerns.

Rwy'n sicr yn cael sylwadau uniongyrchol gan weithwyr mewn llawer o leoliadau ledled Cymru. Yn achos y DVLA, er enghraifft, drwy ryw lwybr rhyfedd, ffoniodd aelod o staff y DVLA fi gartref. Nawr, roeddwn yma yn y gwaith a bu'n rhaid i fy ngwraig siarad â menyw, y tybiai fy ngwraig ei bod yn ei phum degau, a oedd yn byw ar ei phen ei hun ac a oedd yn ofidus iawn ynglŷn â'r amodau y credai fod gofyn iddi weithio oddi tanynt yn y DVLA. Ac wrth gwrs, cafodd y pryderon hynny eu mynegi wrthyf a'u harchwilio. Felly, ydw, yn wir, rwy'n clywed y pethau hyn yn uniongyrchol ac fel y dywedodd Suzy Davies, nid y DVLA yw'r unig weithle lle mae gan weithwyr bryderon. Ac o ganlyniad i'r dystiolaeth sylfaenol, uniongyrchol honno, a gafodd ei rhoi i ni, a'i thrafod yn y fforwm iechyd a diogelwch cenedlaethol newydd sydd gennym yma yng Nghymru, fforwm a fynychir gan undebau llafur, cyflogwyr a rheoleiddwyr, penderfynasom gryfhau'r gyfraith yma yng Nghymru fel bod lleisiau gweithwyr yn cael eu clywed, yn unigol ac ar y cyd, gan Lywodraeth Cymru, a'n bod yn gweithredu ar eu pryderon lle bo angen.

15:30

As the First Minister is aware, I've been talking about the DVLA for a very long time, and I also spoke about it in a Senedd debate last month. I've also raised it with the health board regularly, as Suzy Davies pointed out. In the first lockdown, after the initial problems, most people at the DVLA worked from home. If you access the distributed system or main network, location is not important. Here are some extracts from three of the many e-mails I've received:

'DVLA are aware of health problems and also that I care for family with health problems.'

'I'm struggling being in the workplace, and I'm hyper-aware of the conditions and the volume of people surrounding me in the office.'

'I have asked to work from home, but unfortunately the DVLA have required me to attend the office.'

I thank the First Minister for the letters he's sent. And I think that, really, I find difficulty asking the First Minister to do any more, because I can't think of much more that he can do. But I think what I would say is that, in the first pandemic, working from home was the norm amongst people in the DVLA; since the second shutdown, it has not been the norm. And I would ask him again to write to Baroness Vere, telling her that you expect that, where people can work from home, they do—it's the law in Wales.

Fel y gŵyr y Prif Weinidog, rwyf wedi bod yn siarad am y DVLA ers amser maith, a siaradais amdano hefyd mewn dadl yn y Senedd fis diwethaf. Rwyf hefyd wedi'i godi gyda'r bwrdd iechyd yn rheolaidd, fel y nododd Suzy Davies. Yn ystod y cyfyngiadau symud cyntaf, ar ôl y problemau cychwynnol, roedd y rhan fwyaf o bobl yn y DVLA yn gweithio gartref. Os ydych yn defnyddio'r system wasgaredig neu'r prif rwydwaith, nid yw'r lleoliad yn bwysig. Dyma rai dyfyniadau o dair o'r negeseuon e-bost niferus rwyf wedi'u cael:

Mae'r DVLA yn ymwybodol o broblemau iechyd a hefyd fy mod yn gofalu am deulu sydd â phroblemau iechyd.

Rwy'n ei chael hi'n anodd bod yn y gweithle, ac rwy'n ymwybodol iawn o'r amodau a nifer y bobl o'm cwmpas yn y swyddfa.

Rwyf wedi gofyn am gael gweithio gartref, ond yn anffodus mae'r DVLA wedi mynnu fy mod yn dod i'r swyddfa.

Diolch i'r Prif Weinidog am y llythyrau y mae wedi'u hanfon. Ac rwy'n credu mewn gwirionedd fy mod yn ei chael hi'n anodd gofyn i'r Prif Weinidog wneud mwy, gan na allaf feddwl am lawer mwy y gall ei wneud. Ond rwy'n credu mai'r hyn y byddwn i'n ei ddweud yw mai gweithio gartref, yn y pandemig cyntaf, oedd y norm ymhlith pobl yn y DVLA; ers yr ail gyfnod o gyfyngiadau symud, nid dyna yw'r norm. A hoffwn ofyn iddo ysgrifennu eto at y Farwnes Vere, i ddweud wrthi, lle gall pobl weithio gartref, eich bod yn disgwyl eu bod yn gwneud hynny—dyna yw'r gyfraith yng Nghymru.

Well, Llywydd, may I thank Mike Hedges for that? And I'm very happy to write again to Baroness Vere, as a result of these concerns expressed on the floor of the Senedd. Llywydd, as I said, I wrote to the baroness, as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, on 22 December. I got a reply dated 23 December. And I must say that, by the standards of correspondence I sometimes see from Whitehall, this was a detailed and engaged reply that did respond to the issues raised in my letter of the twenty-second. I wrote again on 12 January, because I still felt that that first reply left unanswered a series of issues that had been raised directly with us as a Government, including the proportion of staff expected physically to attend the workplace in relation to those working from home. The reply that I subsequently received did deal directly with the issue of the number of people working from home, together with issues of cleaning, ventilation, staff engagement, and a number of other issues that I had set out in my letter. My concern is that there is a gap between the advice that the Parliamentary Under Secretary receives from managers and others on the spot, compared to the evidence that is provided directly to Members here by people who work in the various offices of the DVLA. And I'm very happy to write to her again, relaying Members' concerns, and asking her once again to be sure that the advice that she relies on, or the—[Inaudible.]—that she provides to the Welsh Government, would stand up to examination by those working at the front line.

Wel, Lywydd, a gaf fi ddiolch i Mike Hedges am hynny? Ac rwy'n hapus iawn i ysgrifennu eto at y Farwnes Vere, yn sgil y pryderon a fynegwyd ar lawr y Senedd. Lywydd, fel y dywedais, ysgrifennais at y farwnes, fel yr Is-ysgrifennydd Gwladol Seneddol yn yr Adran Drafnidiaeth, ar 22 Rhagfyr. Cefais ateb dyddiedig 23 Rhagfyr. A rhaid imi ddweud, yn ôl safonau'r ohebiaeth a welaf weithiau gan Whitehall, roedd hwn yn ateb manwl a pharod a oedd yn ymateb i'r materion a godwyd yn fy llythyr dyddiedig 22 Rhagfyr. Ysgrifennais eto ar 12 Ionawr, am fy mod yn dal i deimlo nad oedd yr ymateb cyntaf wedi ateb cyfres o faterion a godwyd yn uniongyrchol gyda ni fel Llywodraeth, gan gynnwys cyfran y staff y disgwylir iddynt fynychu'r gweithle yn y cnawd o gymharu â'r nifer sy'n gweithio gartref. Roedd yr ateb a gefais wedyn yn ymdrin yn uniongyrchol â nifer y bobl sy'n gweithio gartref, ynghyd â materion yn ymwneud â glanhau, awyru, ymgysylltu â staff, a nifer o faterion eraill a nodais yn fy llythyr. Fy mhryder i yw bod bwlch rhwng y cyngor y mae'r Is-ysgrifennydd Seneddol yn ei gael gan y rheolwyr ac eraill yn y fan a'r lle, o'i gymharu â'r dystiolaeth a ddarperir yn uniongyrchol i Aelodau yma gan bobl sy'n gweithio yn swyddfeydd amrywiol y DVLA. Ac rwy'n hapus iawn i ysgrifennu ati eto, i gyfleu pryderon yr Aelodau, a gofyn iddi unwaith eto i sicrhau bod y cyngor y mae'n dibynnu arno, neu'r—[Anghlywadwy.]—y mae'n ei ddarparu i Lywodraeth Cymru, yn ddilys o graffu arno gan y rhai sy'n gweithio yn y rheng flaen.

Diolch i'r Prif Weinidog. A'r ail gwestiwn atodol nesaf i'w ateb gan y Gweinidog Tai a Llywodraeth Leol. Mi fyddaf i'n trosglwyddo'r gadair i Ann Jones yn y funud, ond dwi'n galw'n gyntaf ar David Rees i ofyn ei gwestiwn amserol. David Rees.

Thank you, First Minister. The second topical question is to be answered by the Minister for Housing and Local Government. I will hand the chair to Ann Jones in just a moment, but I first of all call on David Rees to ask his topical question. David Rees.

Daeth y Dirprwy Lywydd (Ann Jones) i’r Gadair.

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Ann Jones) took the Chair.

Llifogydd yn Sgiwen
Flooding in Skewen

2. Pa gamau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu cymryd i gefnogi trigolion a gafodd eu symud o'u cartrefi yn Sgiwen yn dilyn llifogydd a achoswyd gan ddŵr sy'n deillio o hen safle glofaol? TQ534

2. What action is the Welsh Government taking to support residents who were evacuated from their homes in Skewen following flooding caused by water emanating from old mine workings? TQ534

Thank you, David. I want to put on record again my thanks to local authority and emergency services, who are working so hard to support people across Wales who have been impacted by storm Christoph and other extreme events. I certainly recognise the impact on those evacuated from their homes in Skewen, particularly during the current pandemic. And I'm very pleased to confirm that those evacuated for more than 24 hours will be supported in the same way as householders flooded out of their homes during the earlier lockdowns.

Diolch, David. Hoffwn gofnodi eto fy niolch i'r awdurdod lleol a'r gwasanaethau brys, sy'n gweithio mor galed i gefnogi'r bobl ledled Cymru y mae storm Christoph a digwyddiadau tywydd garw eraill wedi effeithio arnynt. Rwy'n sicr yn cydnabod yr effaith ar y rhai a gafodd eu symud o'u cartrefi yn Sgiwen, yn enwedig yn ystod y pandemig presennol. Ac rwy'n falch iawn o gadarnhau y bydd y rhai y bu'n rhaid iddynt adael eu cartrefi am fwy na 24 awr yn cael eu cefnogi yn yr un modd â deiliaid tai a ddioddefodd lifogydd yn eu cartrefi yn ystod y cyfyngiadau symud cynharach.

Thank you for that, Minister. And can I also put on record my thanks to the workers of the local authority and other agencies who worked tirelessly during that flooding on the Thursday and since? Can I also put on record my appreciation for the community, who have pulled together in Skewen to help residents who have been evacuated, working with The Salvation Army and the local councillor, Mike Harvey, who's been outstanding during this?

You indicated that the funding for flooding is going to be available to all those—can you confirm to all those evacuated, not just to those affected by flooding? Because several residents were evacuated because of safety fears, but were not flooded out as a consequence of this, and they may be some of the ones who will not be allowed back into their homes for weeks to come yet. So, it is important that we look at that. 

Can you also tell us how you're discussing with the local authority extra funding to help them? Because they are going above and beyond and making sure that residents are supported both through social services and other means, as they are still—some are out and some are going back today into their homes, but they face devastation in their house, they're being assessed, they won't be able to stay in their homes because some of the damage that's been caused. So, it is important we look at how we support the local authority in that agenda. 

Can you tell us as to how you will look at those who are uninsured? Not everyone was insured, and there are several homes that were uninsured and they are going to be facing some serious difficult times ahead of them, particularly during the pandemic, as they can't go and get other places and accommodation will be difficult to find as well.

Can you also tell us as to what discussions you're having with the Coal Authority as to their responsibility and liability in funding aspects in relation to this? I know that they have taken tremendous efforts to fix the mine full of water and the actions—. But that's going to be up to six months. But there are people who have had their homes devastated, and had their lives turned upside down in this process, and we need to know how they're going to be helped, and who is responsible, and who is accountable and who is liable for the financial aspects of that help. And those residents need to know that now, and they need to know that in the future. They want to be able to have the confidence that they know exactly who is going to be helping them and how that help will come. 

Diolch ichi am hynny, Weinidog. Ac a gaf fi hefyd gofnodi fy niolch i weithwyr yr awdurdod lleol ac asiantaethau eraill a weithiodd yn ddiflino yn ystod y llifogydd ddydd Iau ac ers hynny? A gaf fi hefyd gofnodi fy ngwerthfawrogiad i'r gymuned, sydd wedi dod at ei gilydd yn Sgiwen i helpu trigolion y bu'n rhaid iddynt adael eu cartrefi, gan weithio gyda Byddin yr Iachawdwriaeth a'r cynghorydd lleol, Mike Harvey, sydd wedi bod yn rhagorol yn ystod hyn?

Fe ddywedoch chi y bydd y cyllid ar gyfer llifogydd ar gael i bawb—a allwch gadarnhau mai i bawb a gafodd eu symud o'u cartrefi a olygwch, nid yn unig i'r rhai yr effeithiwyd arnynt gan y llifogydd? Oherwydd cafodd nifer o breswylwyr eu symud oherwydd ofnau diogelwch, ond ni wnaethant ddioddef llifogydd yn sgil hyn, ac efallai na chaiff rhai ohonynt ddychwelyd i'w cartrefi am wythnosau. Felly, mae'n bwysig ein bod yn edrych ar hynny. 

A allwch ddweud wrthym hefyd sut rydych yn trafod cyllid ychwanegol i'w helpu gyda'r awdurdod lleol? Oherwydd maent yn gwneud popeth yn eu gallu i sicrhau bod preswylwyr yn cael eu cefnogi drwy'r gwasanaethau cymdeithasol a ffyrdd eraill, gan eu bod yn dal—mae rhai allan o'u cartrefi ac mae rhai'n mynd yn ôl i'w cartrefi heddiw, ond maent yn wynebu difrod yn eu tai, maent yn cael eu hasesu, ni fyddant yn gallu aros yn eu cartrefi oherwydd peth o'r difrod sydd wedi'i achosi. Felly, mae'n bwysig inni edrych ar sut rydym yn cefnogi'r awdurdod lleol gyda'r agenda honno. 

A allwch ddweud wrthym sut y byddwch yn edrych ar y rhai sydd heb yswiriant? Nid oedd pawb wedi'u hyswirio, ac mae nifer o gartrefi heb eu hyswirio a byddant yn wynebu cyfnod difrifol o anodd, yn enwedig yn ystod y pandemig, gan na allant fynd i leoedd eraill a bydd dod o hyd i lety'n anodd hefyd.

A allwch ddweud wrthym hefyd pa drafodaethau rydych yn eu cael gyda'r Awdurdod Glo ynglŷn â'u cyfrifoldeb a'u rhwymedigaeth i ariannu agweddau ar hyn? Gwn eu bod wedi gwneud ymdrech aruthrol i atgyweirio'r pwll sy'n llawn dŵr a'r camau gweithredu—. Ond mae hynny'n mynd i gymryd hyd at chwe mis. Ond mae cartrefi pobl wedi cael eu dinistrio, a'u bywydau wedi'u troi wyneb i waered yn y broses, ac mae angen inni wybod sut y byddant yn cael eu helpu, a phwy sy'n gyfrifol, a phwy sy'n atebol am agweddau ariannol y cymorth hwnnw. Ac mae angen i'r trigolion wybod hynny nawr, ac mae angen iddynt wybod hynny yn y dyfodol. Maent am allu cael hyder eu bod yn gwybod yn union pwy fydd yn eu helpu a sut y daw'r cymorth hwnnw. 

15:35

Thank you, David. I'm really pleased to say that all residents will be covered. You don't have to have been flooded, but you do have to have been evacuated for 24 hours to access the funding. And, as you rightly say, many of the residents will have been affected for much longer periods of time than that.

We're also activating the issue of an additional payment for people who are without insurance. I know the argument is made that this might encourage people not to have insurance, but it's a £500 payment and I can assure anyone who is worried about that that that is not enough to cover your uninsured losses, but it is a help to just get people back on their feet in the extreme circumstances of the first day or so out of their homes. 

Exceptionally, because of other pressures on councils at this time, the eligible cost of responding to flooding by councils during tier 4 restrictions will be covered entirely by the Welsh Government funding under the terms of our existing local government hardship fund. There's an additional fund of £6.5 million being made available from now until 31 March for councils for those costs. There are a number of places around Wales that have found themselves in similar situations. So, I'm pleased to say that that's, of course, a pan-Wales fund for everyone who's been affected. 

In terms of the Coal Authority, we've had a series of discussions with the Coal Authority and the UK Government. As David rightly said, investigations are being carried out by the Coal Authority to determine exactly what happened in Skewen last week, and we look forward to their findings with concern. And the First Minister is convening a summit with UK Ministers and key partners to help ensure that the devastating incident is not repeated, and we understand, once we've got the report from the Coal Authority, how to take that forward. That will be a summit specifically on the issue in Skewen, but there is a series of conversations with the Coal Authority and the UK Government going on about the fact that the responsibility isn't devolved to Wales. The Coal Authority should be taking responsibility for a large part of the coal tips. That responsibility, of course, lies with my colleague, Lesley Griffiths, but I am part of the discussion group that the First Minister convenes on coal tip safety. 

Diolch, David. Rwy'n falch iawn o ddweud y bydd yr holl breswylwyr yn cael eu cynnwys. Nid oes raid i chi fod wedi dioddef llifogydd, ond mae'n rhaid i chi fod wedi gorfod gadael eich cartref am 24 awr i gael y cyllid. Ac fel y dywedwch yn gywir, bydd llawer o'r trigolion wedi cael eu heffeithio am gyfnodau llawer hwy na hynny.

Rydym hefyd yn gweithredu taliad ychwanegol i bobl sydd heb yswiriant. Rwy'n gwybod bod yna ddadl wedi'i gwneud y gallai hyn annog pobl i beidio â chael yswiriant, ond taliad o £500 ydyw a gallaf sicrhau unrhyw un sy'n poeni nad yw hynny'n ddigon i dalu am eich colledion sydd heb eu hyswirio, ond mae'n help i gael pobl yn ôl ar eu traed o dan amgylchiadau eithafol y diwrnod cyntaf neu fwy allan o'u cartrefi. 

Mewn amgylchiadau eithriadol o'r fath, oherwydd yr holl bwysau ar gynghorau ar hyn o bryd, bydd cyllid Llywodraeth Cymru yn talu'r holl gost gymwys o ymateb i lifogydd yn ystod cyfyngiadau haen 4 o dan amodau ein cronfa galedi bresennol ar gyfer llywodraeth leol. Mae cronfa ychwanegol o £6.5 miliwn ar gael o hyn tan 31 Mawrth i gynghorau ar gyfer y costau hynny. Mae nifer o leoedd ledled Cymru mewn sefyllfaoedd tebyg. Felly, rwy'n falch o ddweud bod honno, wrth gwrs, yn gronfa ar gyfer Cymru gyfan i bawb yr effeithiwyd arnynt. 

Ar fater yr Awdurdod Glo, rydym wedi cael cyfres o drafodaethau gyda'r Awdurdod Glo a Llywodraeth y DU. Fel y dywedodd David yn gywir, mae ymchwiliadau'n cael eu cynnal gan yr Awdurdod Glo i benderfynu beth yn union a ddigwyddodd yn Sgiwen yr wythnos diwethaf, ac edrychwn ymlaen yn eiddgar at eu canfyddiadau. Ac mae'r Prif Weinidog yn cynnal uwchgynhadledd gyda Gweinidogion y DU a phartneriaid allweddol i helpu i sicrhau na chaiff digwyddiad dinistriol o'r fath ei ailadrodd, a phan gawn yr adroddiad gan yr Awdurdod Glo,  byddwn yn gwybod sut i fwrw ymlaen ar hynny. Bydd honno'n uwchgynhadledd benodol ar y broblem yn Sgiwen, ond mae cyfres o sgyrsiau gyda'r Awdurdod Glo a Llywodraeth y DU yn digwydd yn sgil y ffaith nad yw'r cyfrifoldeb wedi'i ddatganoli i Gymru. Dylai'r Awdurdod Glo ysgwyddo cyfrifoldeb am ran helaeth o'r pyllau glo. Fy nghyd-Aelod, Lesley Griffiths, sydd â'r cyfrifoldeb am hynny wrth gwrs, ond rwy'n rhan o'r grŵp trafod y mae'r Prif Weinidog yn ei gynnull ar ddiogelwch pyllau glo.

Minister, the fact that it will take at least six months to rectify the cause of the blowout will mean that residents will need long-term help, particularly if there are other adverse weather events. What additional support will the Welsh Government be providing to the local authority who are already dealing with the fallout of other repercussions of the region's mining past? From landslides to flooding, homeowners in my region are being put at risk. And what discussions has the Welsh Government held with the UK Government about ensuring no other homes or lives are threatened as a result of former mining activity? Diolch. 

Weinidog, bydd y ffaith y bydd yn cymryd o leiaf chwe mis i unioni'r hyn a achosodd y gorlif yn golygu y bydd angen cymorth hirdymor ar breswylwyr, yn enwedig os ceir digwyddiadau tywydd garw eraill. Pa gymorth ychwanegol y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei roi i'r awdurdod lleol sydd eisoes yn ymdrin â chanlyniadau sgil-effeithiau eraill o orffennol glofaol y rhanbarth? O dirlithriadau i lifogydd, mae perchnogion tai yn fy rhanbarth yn cael eu rhoi mewn perygl. A pha drafodaethau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'u cael gyda Llywodraeth y DU ynglŷn â sicrhau nad oes unrhyw gartrefi neu fywydau eraill yn cael eu bygwth o ganlyniad i weithgarwch mwyngloddio blaenorol? Diolch.

15:40

Deputy Presiding Officer, as I just said in my answer to David Rees, we were giving £6.5 million additional to local authorities through the hardship fund to claim for the additional costs of these extreme weather events. The Skewen incident will be covered with that, except that we wait on the Coal Authority's investigation to see what else may need to be done in the longer term. We have a continuous set of discussions, as I also said in my answer to David Rees, with the Coal Authority and the UK Government, to get to the bottom of the extent of the difficulties in Wales, and to plan for the future, so we that we can ensure that all our residents are safe. 

Ddirprwy Lywydd, fel rwyf newydd ei ddweud yn fy ateb i David Rees, roeddem yn rhoi £6.5 miliwn ychwanegol i awdurdodau lleol drwy'r gronfa galedi i hawlio costau ychwanegol yn sgil y digwyddiadau tywydd eithafol hyn. Bydd digwyddiad Sgiwen yn cael ei gynnwys yn hynny, ond ein bod yn aros am ymchwiliad yr Awdurdod Glo i weld beth arall y gallai fod angen ei wneud yn fwy hirdymor. Mae gennym gyfres barhaus o drafodaethau, fel y dywedais hefyd yn fy ateb i David Rees, gyda'r Awdurdod Glo a Llywodraeth y DU, i fynd at wraidd a chanfod maint yr anawsterau yng Nghymru, ac i gynllunio ar gyfer y dyfodol, fel y gallwn sicrhau bod ein holl drigolion yn ddiogel.

Can I just associate myself with David Rees's remarks and the thanks that he conveyed? I think we've all been amazed by the response to this, not least by the community. Anyone who's been through a flooding experience knows how distressing it is, and when you've got all this dirty water, it genuinely is heartbreaking. This local authority, of course, has had to deal with the Aberdulais floods last year, and two years ago. They've had lots to deal with, actually, in recent years despite cuts to the environment budget in Cardiff Bay. But while immediate relief is obviously needed now in Skewen, I wonder if you can tell me either what legislative powers you've got, or a bit more about those conversations you're having with the UK Government about ensuring that landowners whose infrastructure fails, shall we say, because this is not just about the Coal Authority; we're talking about owners of land where there are waterways, for example, and what can be done to make sure that they not only recognise their responsibility and liabilities, but that they're suitably financed in order to meet those liabilities? Is there anything that you can tell us at this stage that can give us some reassurance on that point? I'm very pleased by your answer that Neath Port Talbot will be getting emergency funds to cover the immediate costs of the Skewen situation. 

A gaf fi ategu sylwadau David Rees a'r diolch a roddodd? Rwy'n credu ein bod i gyd wedi rhyfeddu at yr ymateb i hyn, yn enwedig gan y gymuned. Mae unrhyw un sydd wedi bod drwy brofiad o lifogydd yn gwybod pa mor ofidus ydyw, a phan fydd gennych gymaint o ddŵr brwnt, mae'n wirioneddol dorcalonnus. Mae'r awdurdod lleol hwn, wrth gwrs, wedi gorfod ymdrin â llifogydd Aberdulais y llynedd, a ddwy flynedd yn ôl. Maent wedi gorfod ymdrin â llawer yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf er gwaethaf toriadau i gyllideb yr amgylchedd ym Mae Caerdydd. Ond er bod angen cymorth ar unwaith yn Sgiwen nawr wrth gwrs, tybed a allwch ddweud wrthyf naill ai pa bwerau deddfwriaethol sydd gennych, neu ychydig mwy am y sgyrsiau rydych yn eu cael gyda Llywodraeth y DU ynglŷn â sicrhau bod tirfeddianwyr y mae eu seilwaith yn methu, ddywedwn ni, oherwydd nid mater sy'n ymwneud â'r Awdurdod Glo yn unig yw hwn; rydym yn sôn am berchnogion tir lle ceir dyfrffyrdd er enghraifft, a beth y gellir ei wneud i sicrhau eu bod nid yn unig yn cydnabod eu cyfrifoldeb a'u rhwymedigaethau, ond eu bod yn cael eu hariannu'n briodol i gyflawni'r rhwymedigaethau hynny? A oes unrhyw beth y gallwch ei ddweud wrthym ar hyn o bryd a all roi rhywfaint o sicrwydd inni ar y pwynt hwnnw? Rwy'n falch iawn o glywed y bydd Castell-nedd Port Talbot yn cael arian brys i dalu costau uniongyrchol y sefyllfa yn Sgiwen.

Well, as I said, the fund is open to all authorities who have residents affected by extreme weather events. The one in Skewen, of course, is a particular issue caused by the collapse of mine workings, and, as we've already said several times, the Coal Authority is currently investigating the exact cause of that, but no doubt, it was exacerbated by the particularly high levels of rainfall.

We've been very well served by the good partnership between the Welsh Government and local authorities right through the pandemic, but the idea that their funding is restricted by Cardiff Bay after 10 years of Conservative austerity is a real piece of chutzpah that I think the Conservatives really need to get over, because the 10 years of the cutback of the so-called back office services that people feel are unnecessary turn out to be the very planning officers and environmental health officers who risk their lives going out in these weathers to make sure that people are well served. So, I'm really not putting up with that kind of remark. 

We've had a series of extensive discussions with the Coal Authority and the UK Government. When the mining industry closed in the early 1990s, the Coal Industry Act 1994 transferred responsibility for disused mines to the UK Government. At the same time, the Coal Authority was established and given the responsibility for managing the effects of past coal mining and dealing with the myriad of environment and safety-related issues that are a legacy of the coal-mining industry. And although the response by the emergency services, the local authority and the local community has been absolutely exemplary, we do need the UK Government and the Coal Authority to step up to the plate of their responsibilities. As I said, the First Minister is convening a summit to make sure that this happens in this particular instance, but we have had a series of ongoing conversations with the Coal Authority and the UK Government about the need for proper funding for the Coal Authority in Wales, which clearly cannot be part of any devolved Government settlement given the extensive nature of it, and the fact that it's not devolved to the UK. My colleague, Lesley Griffiths, leads those discussions in combination with the First Minister, and I'm sure there will be opportunities for Members to ask her more extensively about that in the days to come. 

Wel, fel y dywedais, mae'r gronfa'n agored i bob awdurdod sydd â phreswylwyr yr effeithiwyd arnynt gan dywydd eithafol. Mae'r un yn Sgiwen, wrth gwrs, yn fater penodol a achosir gan gwymp mwynfeydd, ac fel rydym eisoes wedi dweud sawl gwaith, mae'r Awdurdod Glo ar hyn o bryd yn ymchwilio i union achos hynny, ond mae'n siŵr ei fod wedi'i waethygu gan lefelau glawiad arbennig o uchel.

Rydym wedi cael ein gwasanaethu'n dda iawn gan y bartneriaeth dda rhwng Llywodraeth Cymru ac awdurdodau lleol drwy gydol y pandemig, ond mae'r syniad fod eu cyllid yn cael ei gyfyngu gan Fae Caerdydd ar ôl 10 mlynedd o gyni'r Ceidwadwyr yn hyfdra y credaf fod gwir angen i'r Ceidwadwyr roi'r gorau iddo, oherwydd gwelir mai'r hyn y mae 10 mlynedd o doriadau i wasanaethau swyddfa gefn fel y'u gelwir y teimla pobl eu bod yn ddiangen yn ei olygu mewn gwirionedd yw'r union swyddogion cynllunio a swyddogion iechyd yr amgylchedd sy'n peryglu eu bywydau drwy fynd allan yn y math hwn o dywydd i sicrhau bod pobl yn cael eu gwasanaethu'n dda. Felly, nid wyf yn mynd i oddef y math hwnnw o sylw. 

Rydym wedi cael cyfres o drafodaethau helaeth gyda'r Awdurdod Glo a Llywodraeth y DU. Pan gaeodd y diwydiant glo ar ddechrau'r 1990au, trosglwyddodd Deddf y Diwydiant Glo 1994 gyfrifoldeb am byllau segur i Lywodraeth y DU. Ar yr un pryd, sefydlwyd yr Awdurdod Glo i ysgwyddo cyfrifoldeb am reoli effeithiau hen weithfeydd glo ac i ymdrin â'r llu o broblemau'n ymwneud â'r amgylchedd a diogelwch a etifeddwyd yn sgil y diwydiant glo. Ac er bod ymateb y gwasanaethau brys, yr awdurdod lleol a'r gymuned leol wedi bod yn gwbl ragorol, mae angen i Lywodraeth y DU a'r Awdurdod Glo ysgwyddo eu cyfrifoldebau. Fel y dywedais, mae'r Prif Weinidog yn cynnull uwchgynhadledd i sicrhau bod hyn yn digwydd yn yr achos penodol hwn, ond rydym wedi cael cyfres o sgyrsiau parhaus gyda'r Awdurdod Glo a Llywodraeth y DU am yr angen am gyllid priodol i'r Awdurdod Glo yng Nghymru, ac mae'n amlwg na all hynny fod yn rhan o unrhyw setliad i lywodraeth ddatganoledig o ystyried pa mor helaeth yw'r gwaith, a'r ffaith nad yw wedi'i ddatganoli i'r DU. Mae fy nghyd-Aelod, Lesley Griffiths, yn arwain y trafodaethau hynny ar y cyd â'r Prif Weinidog, ac rwy'n siŵr y bydd cyfleoedd i Aelodau ei holi'n fwy eang am hynny yn y dyddiau i ddod. 

4. Datganiadau 90 Eiliad
4. 90-second Statements

Thank you very much, Minister. Item 4 on our agenda this afternoon is the 90-second statement. I call on David Melding. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Weinidog. Eitem 4 ar ein hagenda y prynhawn yma yw'r datganiad 90 eiliad. Galwaf ar David Melding.

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day. This year, we are called to be a light in the darkness, and at 8 p.m. to light a candle and display it carefully. The Senedd will be lit purple to mark the memorial. To be a light in the darkness, we are called to remember those who were murdered for who they were and stand against hatred and prejudice today. As a Senedd, it is our duty to ensure that all people in Wales recognise the shared responsibility we have to prevent genocide in the future. We must be a light in the darkness, in public, in the workplace, at home and online. 

On this day in 1945, Primo Levi wrote the following, while at Auschwitz:

'Dawn. On the floor, the shameful wreck of skin and bones, the Sómogyi thing. There are more urgent tasks: we cannot wash ourselves, so that we dare not touch him until we have cooked and eaten.... The Russians arrived while Charles and I were carrying Sómogyi a little distance outside. He was very light. We overturned the stretcher on the grey snow.

'Charles took off his beret. I regretted not having a beret.'

Dirprwy Lywydd, we are all called to be a light in the darkness.

Heddiw yw Diwrnod Cofio'r Holocost. Eleni, gelwir arnom i fod yn oleuni yn y tywyllwch, ac am 8 p.m. i oleuo cannwyll a'i harddangos yn ofalus. Bydd y Senedd yn cael ei goleuo'n borffor i nodi'r cofio. I fod yn oleuni yn y tywyllwch, cawn ein galw i gofio'r rhai a lofruddiwyd am bwy oeddent a sefyll yn erbyn casineb a rhagfarn heddiw. Fel Senedd, ein dyletswydd ni yw sicrhau bod pawb yng Nghymru yn cydnabod y cyfrifoldeb a rannwn i atal hil-laddiad yn y dyfodol. Rhaid inni fod yn oleuni yn y tywyllwch, yn gyhoeddus, yn y gweithle, gartref ac ar-lein.

Ar y diwrnod hwn yn 1945, ysgrifennodd Primo Levi y canlynol tra oedd yn Auschwitz:

Gwawr. Ar y llawr, llanastr cywilyddus o groen ac esgyrn, y peth Sómogyi. Mae yna dasgau mwy pwysig: ni allwn olchi ein hunain, fel na feiddiwn ei gyffwrdd nes ein bod wedi coginio a bwyta.... Cyrhaeddodd y Rwsiaid tra bo Charles a finnau'n cario Sómogyi ychydig bellter y tu allan. Roedd e'n ysgafn iawn. Fe wnaethom droi'r stretsier ar yr eira llwyd.

Tynnodd Charles ei feret. Roeddwn yn difaru nad oedd gennyf feret.

Ddirprwy Lywydd, gelwir arnom oll i fod yn oleuni yn y tywyllwch.

15:45
5. Penodi Ombwdsmon Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus Cymru Dros Dro
5. Appointment of an Acting Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

Item 5 on our agenda is the appointment of an acting Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, and I call on the Chair of the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee to move that motion—John Griffiths.

Eitem 5 ar ein hagenda yw penodi Ombwdsmon Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus dros dro i Gymru, a galwaf ar Gadeirydd y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb, Llywodraeth Leol a Chymunedau i wneud y cynnig hwnnw—John Griffiths.

Cynnig NDM7559 John Griffiths

Cynnig bod y Senedd, yn unol â pharagraff 4 (1) o Atodlen 1 i Ddeddf Ombwdsmon Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus (Cymru) 2019 a Rheol Sefydlog 10.5, yn enwebu Nick Bennett i’w benodi gan Ei Mawrhydi fel Ombwdsmon Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus Cymru Dros Dro ar gyfer tymor sy’n dechrau ar 1 Awst 2021 ac yn dod i ben ar 31 Mawrth 2022.

Motion NDM7559 John Griffiths

To propose that the Senedd in accordance with paragraph 4 (1) of Schedule 1 to the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019 and Standing Order 10.5 nominates Nick Bennett for appointment by Her Majesty as Acting Public Services Ombudsman for Wales for a term starting on 1 August 2021 and ending on 31 March 2022.

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd. I am pleased to move this motion and recommend to the Senedd that Nick Bennett is appointed as the acting Public Services Ombudsman for Wales for an eight-month term.

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales is an important public role. The appointment to the post is significant. In the normal course of these matters, the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee would have held a process to recruit a successor for the full seven-year term. Unfortunately, following the initial lockdown in March last year, the committee responded to the pandemic by prioritising work on the effects of the pandemic, of the crisis, on the committee's remit, and that subsequently meant that factors around a full recruitment process would be very precarious in terms of timings and due process. Therefore, we carefully considered the range of options available to us as a committee before coming to a decision. We unanimously believe that this acting appointment was the most pragmatic and prudent approach in the current situation. 

As the short report that we published last week outlined, there was a real and significant risk that, if we had embarked on recruitment for the substantive post, we would have been unable to complete it before the scheduled date for dissolution in April. This could have led to the very real possibility of there not being someone in post to replace Nick Bennett when his substantive term of office ends in July of this year. As the committee that has been responsible for scrutinising the current public services ombudsman for much of his term, we have been satisfied with his and his office's performance. Our first preference was therefore to approach Nick Bennett to see if he was in a position to continue in post for a time-limited period. We were pleased that he was able and willing to do so. We also believe this will provide some stability, as the ombudsman's office, along with all other organisations, continues to deal with the challenges of the pandemic. We hope that by the time the sixth Senedd undertakes the recruitment of the next substantive postholder we will be starting to move out of the immediate crisis. 

I therefore call on the Senedd to support this motion and appoint Nick Bennett as acting Public Services Ombudsman for Wales for a limited eight-month term, ending in March 2022. Diolch yn fawr.

Diolch, Ddirprwy Lywydd. Rwy'n falch o wneud y cynnig hwn ac o argymell i'r Senedd y dylid penodi Nick Bennett yn Ombwdsmon Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus Cymru dros dro am gyfnod o wyth mis.

Mae Ombwdsmon Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus Cymru yn rôl gyhoeddus bwysig. Mae'r penodiad i'r swydd yn arwyddocaol. Yn y materion hyn fel arfer byddai'r Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb, Llywodraeth Leol a Chymunedau wedi cynnal proses i recriwtio olynydd am y tymor llawn o saith mlynedd. Yn anffodus, yn dilyn y cyfyngiadau symud cychwynnol ym mis Mawrth y llynedd, ymatebodd y pwyllgor i'r pandemig drwy flaenoriaethu gwaith ar effeithiau'r pandemig, yr argyfwng, yng nghylch gwaith y pwyllgor, ac roedd hynny wedyn yn golygu y byddai ffactorau sy'n ymwneud â phroses recriwtio lawn yn ansicr iawn mewn perthynas ag amseru a'r drefn briodol. Felly, gwnaethom ystyried yn ofalus yr ystod o opsiynau a oedd ar gael inni fel pwyllgor cyn dod i benderfyniad. Credwn yn unfrydol mai'r penodiad dros dro hwn oedd y dull mwyaf pragmatig a darbodus yn y sefyllfa bresennol.

Fel yr amlinellodd yr adroddiad byr a gyhoeddwyd gennym yr wythnos diwethaf, roedd perygl gwirioneddol a sylweddol, pe baem wedi dechrau recriwtio ar gyfer swydd barhaol, na fyddem wedi gallu cwblhau'r broses cyn y dyddiad a drefnwyd ar gyfer diddymu ym mis Ebrill. Gallai hyn fod wedi arwain at y posibilrwydd gwirioneddol na fyddai neb yn y swydd i gymryd lle Nick Bennett pan ddaw ei dymor parhaol yn y swydd i ben ym mis Gorffennaf eleni. Fel y pwyllgor sydd wedi bod yn gyfrifol am graffu ar yr ombwdsmon gwasanaethau cyhoeddus presennol am y rhan fwyaf o'i dymor, rydym wedi bod yn fodlon ar ei berfformiad ef a'i swyddfa. Ein dewis cyntaf felly oedd cysylltu â Nick Bennett i weld a oedd mewn sefyllfa i barhau yn ei swydd am gyfnod cyfyngedig. Roeddem yn falch ei fod wedi gallu ac yn barod i wneud hynny. Credwn hefyd y bydd hyn yn cynnig rhywfaint o sefydlogrwydd, gan fod swyddfa'r ombwdsmon, ynghyd â phob sefydliad arall, yn parhau i ymdrin â heriau'r pandemig. Erbyn i'r chweched Senedd recriwtio'r penodiad parhaol nesaf i'r swydd gobeithiwn y byddwn yn dechrau cefnu ar yr argyfwng uniongyrchol. 

Galwaf felly ar y Senedd i gefnogi'r cynnig hwn a phenodi Nick Bennett yn Ombwdsmon Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus Cymru dros dro am gyfnod cyfyngedig o wyth mis, gan ddod i ben ym mis Mawrth 2022. Diolch yn fawr.