'Work with us to secure Wales' recovery'


Plaid leader calls on UK Government to work with Wales ahead of this week's budget

Ahead of tomorrow's (Wednesday) UK budget, Plaid Cymru Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones says that the UK government needs to 'Work with Wales' to secure the Welsh economic recovery. The Plaid Leader has warned that a continuation of current UK Government's economic actions could further endanger Wales' economic recovery.

He has also outlined a number of proposals he said would assist Wales' ability to recover and grow the economy in the coming years, including a range of key policies that will become central to the party's 2011 election campaign.

Plaid Leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones AM said:

"The new devolution decade brought about by the emphatic Yes vote should have signalled a new era of respect and cooperation between the governments of these islands.

"As we approach a crucial budget for the UK and Wales this week the UK Government should work with us to ensure that Wales' economic needs are fully considered in the coming budget.

"We have recently seen a number of actions by the UK Government which have added even further pressure to the Welsh Government and its ability to secure Wales' economic recovery in the crucial months ahead.

"A few weeks ago, the UK Government announced that it would claw back £385m from Wales in End Year Flexibility. This decision must be overturned to give us the flexibility to act in the best interests of Wales- surely this is what the 'Respect Agenda' is all about.

"On top of this, the Westminster Government's steadfast refusal to take action on the issue of fair funding for Wales and the effects of the huge public sector cuts will further endanger Wales' recovery.

"The budget this week will be an opportune time to show that the Westminster Government is ready to work proactively with us to ensure Wales' recovery – a truly UK-wide budget would begin to address the huge disparities in wealth across the nations and regions of the UK with decisive actions.

"One way the UK Government can help us is to change the criteria for access to the UK-wide Growth Fund which will enable Welsh SME's to qualify."

Commenting on his party's business and economic proposals, Ieuan Wyn Jones added:

"Our priority in Wales is to deliver tangible improvement to allow the private sector to grow and to thrive. Plaid has always believed that the best way to recover from recession is to invest in economic growth – to create that economic stimulus which is necessary to sustain and create jobs to therefore boost the tax intake of the treasury."

"Our proposals as a party for our upcoming manifesto would help create up to 50,000 new jobs through a £500 million Build for Wales funding vehicle to underpin economic growth.

"Our Small Business Bonus proposal would create a growth fund of up to £90million for business loans as well as continued business tax relief to help develop our town centres and small businesses.

"We will also be placing raising skills at the heart of a Plaid Government's plan for economic growth with the aim of boosting basic skills in the workplace to support at least 1,000 employers and 30,000 employees.

"The UK Government must work with us and ensure their actions are aiding our efforts to secure Wales' recovery."