Welsh budget must respond to economic crisis


Plaid leader calls for urgent action from Labour government

Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones has said that his party will demand action to stimulate the economy in today’s budget announcement.  Speaking ahead of the publication of the Labour government’s draft budget, Mr Wyn Jones said that urgent action is needed to save jobs, help businesses and support the manufacturing sector in Wales.

The Plaid Cymru leader said that he would be calling on the Labour government to invest in capital infrastructure; to channel more resources into training and apprenticeships; and to extend the business rate relief scheme. 

Speaking ahead of the publication of the government’s draft budget, Plaid Cymru leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones, said:

“It is imperative that this afternoon’s budget responds to the deepening economic crisis that is facing our communities.  It is critical that the government refocuses resources in order to be able to stimulate the economy.  Urgent action is needed in order to save jobs, help businesses and support the manufacturing sector in Wales. 

“Last time we were in this situation, with Plaid in government, companies that were struggling were offered financial aid, those who were looking for jobs were offered skills training and an economic stimulus was provided through public sector infrastructure projects.  But now, under Labour, none of this is happening. 

“Plaid Cymru wants to see investment in capital infrastructure in order to stimulate the economy and create jobs.  The Welsh Government must press the Treasury to release funds for this purpose. We also want to see more money going into training and apprenticeship schemes, into schemes like ReAct, in order to ensure that where people aren’t in work, their skills are not lost.

We should also consider reintroducing ProAct - a scheme that successfully saved jobs in the recent recession. Help for manufacturing is also vital as sluggish growth is damaging the prospects of a real and lasting recovery. During these difficult economic times, Wales’s small businesses also need the support of government and that is why we want to see an extension of the current business rate relief scheme right up to the end of December 2012. 

“We will judge this budget on the support it provides to businesses and the need to create jobs.”