Mark Drakeford was in the Siambr this afternoon, fielding questions from Senedd members.

Here's a round-up of the day's headlines:

Emergency visa scheme for EU drivers is 'exploitative'

The first minister described as "derisory" Boris Johnson's government's efforts to bolster the number of HGV drivers, saying it was "exploitative" of EU nationals.

Westminster has announced it will give emergency visas to 5,000 lorry drivers and 5,500 poultry workers in a bit to avoid supply-chain problems in the run-up to Christmas.

But the plans to relax immigration rules for those workers has been cricitised by opposition parties, industry leaders and drivers themselves – the visas would only be valid for 12 weeks and will not attract enough workers to make a difference, they said.

Today, Drakeford criticised the Conservative Party for "a problem of their own creation", blaming the party's support for Brexit as contributing to the current shortfall in HGV drivers.

"When we were in a single market and the customs union, people were able to move freely across the continent of Europe and to do jobs here in this country," he told the Senedd. "Those people are no longer available to us.

"The idea that people are going to be willing to uproot themselves, and come back and work in this country for a matter of weeks, only to be told by the UK Government they will be discarded again on Christmas Eve, when they no longer have any use for them... Well, the arrogance of it is breathtaking, but it just isn't going to work."

No plans to cancel large-scale autumn events

Welsh Labour may have called off its autumn party conference due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus, but Drakeford said organisers of other large-scale events should decide for themselves whether to go ahead with their plans.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price suggested to Drakeford that the "clear implication" in Welsh Labour's decision – based on scientific predictions of a November peak of infections – "is that others should follow your example".

But the first minister said that while that modelling informed the decision to cancel the conference, "it is for individuals and organisations then to weigh up the position for themselves".

Modelling now predicted Covid-19 infections would "plateau, and hopefully begin to reduce" in October, he said, adding: "We will make – and are making – all that advice that we see available to others, and then I think there will be decisions that others will make, but as I say, in the specific contexts that they themselves are facing."

Gov to push ahead with criminalising fake test results

People who submit false test results to the government will soon be committing an offence in Wales, when the Senedd passes the latest round of Covid regulations.

Drakeford told the Siambr today that the Senedd will have an opportunity to debate the new rules next week.

Currently, the system for reporting the results of self-administered Lateral Flow Tests relies on people's goodwill – there is no check in place other than asking people to click 'negative' or 'positive' on the government website.

Drakeford said those tests "could be vulnerable to exploitation" and said that in the new rules for Wales "we will make it a specific offence, a criminal offence, knowingly to falsify the results of a lateral flow device, to make it clear to people that to do so is to put other people directly in danger".

But there are no current plans to use technology to prove a reported test is negative, Drakeford told Plaid leader Price.

"I'm aware of the technology [Price] raises," he told the Senedd. "We've been in some discussions with the UK Government about it as well, and if it becomes possible, through technology, to move lateral flow devices beyond self-certification, then I agree that that would certainly be an important step forward."

Ministers accused of picking 'gutter fight' with Westminster

Tory MS Paul Davies accused the Welsh Government of being too "focused" on Westminster, noting today's order of business in the Siambr included three matters directly involving the UK Government: intergovernmental relations, the Levelling-Up Fund, and a request for more funding for coal tip safety.

The Welsh Government should instead be focusing on its own responsibilities,such as supporting the NHS, businesses and schools, Davies added.

"As these sectors call for leadership and support, the Welsh Government instead turns its attention to party politics and fighting with the UK Government, and a fight that has sunk so low in the gutter this week that the deputy leader of the Labour Party now resorts to name calling," Davies told the first minister, referring to reports Angela Rayner called senior Tories "scum".

He asked Drakeford to condemn Rayner's remarks "and instead of your Government focusing its attention on Westminster ...tell us when the Welsh Government will be bringing forward plans on the people's priorities, such as tackling NHS backlogs, driving innovation, and creating jobs".

The first minister did not offer a comment on the "scum" reports but defended Welsh Labour's record, noting the party had outperformed the Conservatives in May's Senedd elections.

"People in Wales didn't think that Labour had run out of ideas, and they voted for us in larger numbers than at any point in the whole of devolution," he told Davies. "If you think that that is the way to persuade them to vote for you, constantly saying that their judgment was suspect, then it's never going to succeed."

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