The party’s economy spokesperson, Luke Fletcher MS, has criticised the Labour Welsh Government’s economic plan, at a time when the Welsh economy is facing vast job losses, high costs and a squeeze on wages.
Plaid Cymru's economy spokesperson, Luke Fletcher MS, accused the Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething MS of offering ‘nothing new’ against a background of rising costs, following the announcement by the Minister of four ‘economic priorities’ for Wales. Mr Fletcher said that Labour Government’s plan was ‘wafer-thin on policy detail and targets’.
Responding to the announcement, Luke Fletcher MS said:
“The Welsh economy is crying out for support and leadership from the Welsh Government. However, we have recently seen a recurring trend from the Economy Minister of issuing statements that are wafer thin on policy detail, measurable targets and other key issues of substance. Today, we’ve seen yet another. This one is especially disappointing considering prior anticipation and the way that this has been trailed as the Government’s masterplan for the economy.
“The Minister talks about a ‘mission-based’ approach to the economy, but this doesn’t go beyond a set of vague claims about economic nice-to-haves. What Wales needs to see is a holistic and far-reaching approach to political and economic transformation.
“When we set the Minister’s proposals and rhetoric against the backdrop of his record on the economy, a picture starkly different from the one he espouses becomes readily apparent. Under his stewardship, the Minister has shepherded the Welsh economy from job loss to job loss, offering his regrets and sympathies, but no real solutions, no plan for a way out, no ambition for Wales.
“Tata, roughly 3,000 jobs potentially at risk; 2 Sisters in Llangefni, over 700 jobs lost; Avara Foods, Abergavenny, 400 jobs lost; Tillery Valley Foods, 250 jobs lost; Biomet in Bridgend, 540 jobs at risk and UK Windows and doors in the Rhondda, 500 jobs at risk.
“Under the Welsh Government’s watch, the state of Welsh economy is more precarious now than it’s ever been – and the bar was set very low to begin with. The Government seems incapable of springing into action until the damage is already done. Rather than simply respond to existing demand, the Government must secure markets and shape the economic landscape.
“The productivity gap with the UK average has widened since 1997. Of all the UK Countries and regions, Wales is ranked 12th - last in terms of economic output. We are also ranked 11th out of 12 UK countries and regions in terms of GVA per capita at 74.1% of the UK average. A failure to get to grips with this issue has kept Wales mired in a low wage and a low skills spiral.
“So much has been foisted on Wales by the UK Government and by Westminster, much to its detriment, but Welsh Labour have had almost a quarter of a century in Wales to deliver a stronger economy – but on practically every single metric they’ve failed.”
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