Following the draft Budget, Dyfodol i’r Iaith are calling the Welsh Government to reveal more information regarding expenditure on the Welsh language. The organization specifically wishes to know how the language will take its place within the Government’s various plans, and in particular:
- Childcare: how will the Government ensure adequate language training for providers?
- Further education: the same question applies – how will the Government provide adequate language training and support for students who will be staying in Wales and contributing to the local economy?
Heini Gruffudd, the organization’s Chair said:
“Dyfodol i’r Iaith will press for further financial details regarding these matters, since these are the very areas which will provide a firm basis for using the Welsh language within education, the community and the workplace.”
Following the Westminster Government’s decision to suspend Parliament in order to force a no-deal Brexit, Dyfodol i’r Iaith has declared that such a development would be disastrous for rural Wales. Since these are the very areas which continue to support the Welsh langugage as the natural, default medium, it would also be iniquitous to the Welsh language.
Heini Gruffudd, Cadeirydd Dyfodol’s Chair said:
“There is now a clear consensus that leaving the European Union without a deal would be a disaster for the rural Welsh economy. These areas, of course, contain the very communities which continue to support Welsh as a living language, and if the economy of these areas is decimated, then the language loses its backbone.
It should also be noted that the European Union supports minority languages and promotes economic links for rural areas.
Acknowledging the essential relationship between the economy, language and culture, we would call on the Welsh Government and all who would wish to see the Welsh language flourish to make it plain to the Government in Westminster that we are not willing to accept such unprincipled and destructive conduct.”
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has welcomed the recent announcements made by the Welsh Government that over two and a half million pounds are to be spent on promoting the Welsh language within families, and that a further two million will go towards developing the economy of north and west Wales, the main strongholds of the language.
The organisation believes that both schemes address priorities that are essential to the future of the language.
Encouraging Welsh-speaking households is a challenge that must be addressed; indeed, Dyfodol argue that this is the main priority, since establishing Welsh as the family’s medium sets a linguistic pattern for children for the rest of their lives.
At the same time, the wider context must be considered, and the importance of a sound economy has to be acknowledged as a key factor in protecting the language as a natural medium within the community. This is essential if we are to avoid the outmigration of young people and create a social and cultural environment which favours and encourages the Welsh language.
The organisation has written to the Welsh Language Minister, looking forward to “seeing the Welsh Government developing these two essential areas as part of their long-term policy in relation to the Welsh language.”