- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
Joyce hails “historic” farm wages Supreme Court ruling
A Supreme Court ruling that empowers Welsh ministers to protect farm workers’ wages has been greeted by Joyce Watson AM.
It comes after a dispute between the Welsh and UK governments over whether Wales had the power to set minimum wages.
Labour Mid and West AM Joyce Watson described the ruling as “historic”.
“The Supreme Court’s decision is a significant milestone on the devolution roadmap. It is an unequivocal vote of support for our interpretation of Welsh law-making powers,” she said.
Last year the National Assembly for Wales passed a Bill to set the minimum wages of more than 13,000 farm workers in Wales, after the UK government abolished the Agricultural Wages Board that previously set wages in England and Wales.
However, UK Attorney General Dominic Grieve blocked the decision, arguing that it was not in the Assembly’s powers. The case was referred to the Supreme Court.
Mrs Watson continued:
“It means we can better protect farm workers in Wales – not only set fair wages, but safeguard conditions like holiday and sick pay.
“For people who own farms, who depend on farm work and the income it brings to rural communities, it is vital that it pays to work the land.”
Both the Scottish and Northern Irish parliaments have already implemented plans to retain regional agricultural boards.
The agricultural Sector Bill, which will allow the Welsh Government to create an Agricultural Advisory Panel, is expected to receive Royal Assent later this month.
For more information about Joyce Watson’s work contact her office on 02920 898972 / www.joycewatson.co.uk