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Welsh manifestos support credit unions


22 Apr 16

All the main parties in Wales have backed credit unions ahead of the Welsh Assembly Election.

Credit unions in Wales have been boosted by the news that all four of the political parties represented in the last Assembly have made manifesto pledges to support the development of the sector.

Welsh Labour – the party that has led the Welsh Government since devolution in 1999 – has committed to: “assisting credit unions in increasing their capacity and reach” over the next five year term. This assistance will include implementing the new Financial Inclusion Strategy for Wales – a strategy that has credit unions at its core – plus support for credit union marketing and further active promotion of payroll savings schemes.

The Welsh Conservatives manifesto focuses on the issue of sustainability for the sector and states that the party will: “support credit unions to ensure their sustainability, working with them to improve financial inclusion and access to affordable finance.”

The Plaid Cymru manifesto gives a clear statement that a Plaid-led government would: “support credit unions as a means to tackle financial exclusion”, and says that the party would also work to improve and standardise the role of local authorities in promoting local credit unions.

Finally, the Welsh Liberal Democrats published a series of commitments related to credit unions including support for projects to: “boost credit union enterprise and growth”, such as modernised IT capacity and a national shared services hub. They also pledged support for future mergers, payroll savings schemes and the establishment of a new ministerial advisory group on credit unions.

ABCUL Policy Officer for Wales Joseph Allen said: “This level of support is a big endorsement of the work that credit unions have been doing across Wales.

“Taken together, the manifestos demonstrate that whatever the results on 5 May, Welsh credit unions can be confident that they will have a government that is going to actively support the development and growth of the sector.”

The Welsh Assembly Election is held on Thursday 5 May.

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