FURIOUS language campaigners have accused the Assembly Government of breaking its promises after it announced a cash deal for a new Welsh newspaper well below what they wanted.
Heritage Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas last week announced a £600,000 package as he invited bids to publish a Welsh-language daily newspaper.
The Plaid Cymru minister said publishers could follow the example of Lá Nua, an Irish-language daily newspaper launched last month.
But the three-year funding package fell far short of the funding hoped for in some quarters with Dyddiol – the group which aims to launch Welsh-language daily Y Byd – wanting an annual grant of between £600,000 and £1m.
Now campaigners Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg have written to Mr Thomas, accusing him of breaking a promise after a pledge to pay for a Welsh-language daily was included in the One Wales document agreed by the Labour-Plaid coalition.
“The commitment to a daily newspaper in Welsh is clear in the agreement,” said Cymdeithas chair Hywel Griffiths.
“Many people in Wales supported the Labour/Plaid coalition based on the commitments made in the One Wales agreement.
“A few months later, both Plaid and Labour have broken their promise to the people of Wales.”
A report written for the Assembly Government by author Tony Bianchi had concluded that Dyddiol had made “a strong case in principle” but noted “the viability of a Welsh-language daily newspaper has not been fully demonstrated nor can it be fully demonstrated on the basis of market research or the performance of comparable initiatives elsewhere.”