Tory Budget cut proposals endanger Wales' economic future


Conservative plans would lead to £118million additional cuts for economy

Plaid Cymru's director of policy, Nerys Evans AM, has warned that Tory plans would endanger the economic future of Wales. Reacting to the launch of the party's economic report, the Plaid AM described the Tories' proposals for economic development as empty rhetoric in light of their plans to slash the economic development budget by an additional £118m.

Nerys Evans, who is standing in the Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire seat in May's elections, said that government investment is essential in tackling the systemic challenges faced by the Welsh economy such as broadband infrastructure. Referring to the party's call for a cut in corporation tax for Wales, Ms Evans welcomed the party's conversion to a long standing Plaid policy. She called for the Conservatives in Wales to obtain a firm commitment from their party hierarchy in London that this policy would be delivered at the earliest opportunity.

Plaid Cymru Director of Policy Nerys Evans AM said:

"Unsurprisingly, what the Tories don't seem to be talking about today is the fact that if they had their way they'd slash an additional £118m from the economic development budget which would have catastrophic consequences for many businesses in Wales. While of course the private sector plays an integral and crucial role in the development of the economy, we know from experience that they cannot, and should not, be relied upon to tackle the systemic challenges that we face as a nation. Access to broadband is essential for businesses, especially those in rural areas like Carmarthenshire, in order to enable them to compete at a global level. Had it been left to private sector investment huge areas of Wales would still be left without broadband. Instead the Welsh government has invested and is ensuring the eradication of not-spots across Wales. Furthermore, Plaid Economy Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones, as part of his Economic Renewal Programme, has committed to delivering Next generation Broadband across the whole of Wales by 2016.

"Plaid has long called for cuts to corporation tax in Wales in order to stimulate economic growth, particularly in the Convergence Fund region. It is something that appeared in our manifestos in both 2003 and 2007. It is to be welcomed that the Tories have now come round to our way of thinking on this, but of course it is something that would have to be delivered by the Westminster government. Therefore, I call on the Tories here in Wales to get a firm commitment from their bosses in London that they will deliver this cut in Corportaion Tax for Wales in order to kick-start business growth and transform the prospects of some our most disadvantaged areas."