'Before the Assembly Wales Had the Highest Unemployment Rate in the UK, Today It's the Lowest' ECHO Readers Have Been Given the Chance to Quiz the Four Main Party Leaders Ahead of Thursday's National Assembly Elections. Today It's the Turn of Welsh Labour Leader Rhodri Morgan

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Byline: Rhodri Morgan

Q. How can we expect Labour to deliver what it promises when it failed to meet clearly specified waiting list targets?

A. Of 83 promises we made in 1999 manifesto 82 have been met or are underway. In many cases, such as free bus travel for over 60s and the disabled, we have actually done more than we said.

The majority of people in Wales get their hospital treatment within an acceptable time. The only way to treat those who are waiting too long is to put more doctors and more nurses into the NHS.

That's why we will put an extra 400 doctors and 3,000 nurses in place by 2007, on top of the thousands of extra NHS staff already in post with Labou r.

Q. I'm a Labour voter but it seems the Liberal Democrats have had all the credit for the assembly government's policies. Why should I vote for you again on May 1?

A. You just need to look at what Labour is offering for the next four years - all prescription charges scrapped, pounds 100m to fight crime, free breakfasts for primary school children, a massive programme to repair schools and do up hospital wards and GP surgeries. People aren't stupid.

With a pounds 1bn hole in their manifesto, the Liberals need to explain what they will cut to fund their pledges.

Q. Labour's devolution project is costing us hundreds of millions of pounds. What has the assembly done that couldn't have been achieved by a Secretary of State and the Westminster government? A. Labour's devolution project has gained us hundred of millions of pounds - pounds 421m to be precise.

That's the extra money for Objective One we negotiated from Gordon Brown. No Secretary of State for Wales has ever got a penny over and above the usual Barnett Formula money for Wales, or Scotland. We did.

Q. I am not a pensioner, student, or a school child. What has Labour's assembly ever done for me?

A. You have a better chance of a getting a job than you have for 28 years, with low mortgage repayments, too.

Before the assembly, Wales had the highest unemployment rate of any country in the UK, today we have the lowest. Throughout South Wales new jobs are being created all the time. …