Leading trade unionist Mark Serwotka has spoken out against the pro-cuts consensus amongst the main London parties, backing calls for a hung parliament to enable Plaid to push a more progressive line.
He made his call at a fringe meeting at Plaid's pre-election conference in Cardiff, stating that:
"the idea you can have painless cuts in public services is absurd".
Mr Serwotka, who leads the PCS civil servants' union and is from Aberdare, congratulated Plaid Cymru for its distinctive position on public services. He said:
"In England you cannot vote for a pro-public services party. It's really a case of the least worst option. We have to look to parties like Plaid Cymru and the trade union movement to make the arguments that 30 years ago would have been made by Labour."
He pointed out that 26% of Welsh workers are employed in the public sector and that a great many of them - 83% of PCS members - work for below the average wage.
His call was echoed by Plaid's candidate for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Jonathan Edwards, who explained that Plaid was offering a distinctively different line from the big London parties:
"The election is being fought on a false premise - a dutch auction amongst the London parties about who can cut the most. What this election should be about is how do we deal with the human cost of the recession, how do we re-balance the economy to be less reliant on the financial sector and how do we create a more equal society and redress 30 years of Tory-Labour wealth polarisation. In failing to tackle these key issues the London parties are failing the people of Wales."
Chairing the meeting, which was organised by Plaid's trade union section Undeb, was Leanne Wood AM. She chairs the PCS Assembly group and was delighted that a senior trade unionist like Mark Serwotka had taken part in the Plaid meeting. She said:
"The PCS is leading the way among public sector unions and I hope we can continue to cooperate with trade unionists."