Labour’s programme for government a snub to SMEs


Wales’ biggest business bracket annexed in government plans

Plaid Cymru has hit out at Labour’s snub to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in its Programme for Government document.

The programme, which was described by the First Minister as a “fresh approach” and as a “Road map… to steer the government machine in the right direction” doesn’t mention SMEs at all - with only one single mention in the 62 page annex.

‘Small firms’ only make it into the Programme for Government once in the context of support for entrepreneurship, and micro business only appear in a reference to an on-going review.  Furthermore there is no mention of Business Rates or the relief scheme funded by the previous government in order to lessen the burden on small businesses. 

Plaid Cymru has already strongly criticised the Labour Welsh government for failing to respond to the growing economic crisis – with no plans included in the Programme for Government to deal with increasing pressure on business and jobs.

Plaid Cymru Economy Spokesperson Alun Ffred Jones AM said:

“Labour is in complete denial about the state of the economy and seems oblivious to the need for swift action to save jobs and businesses. 

“The vast majority of Welsh businesses are SMEs, yet this vital central pillar of the Welsh economy seems to be completely ignored by Labour.  There is no commitment to continuing support for SMEs through the business rate relief scheme which was provided when Plaid was in government.

“It is Welsh SMEs that are currently suffering the brunt of the economic conditions as well as the effects of the UK government’s cuts.  That begs the question, why on earth is Labour ignoring their plight in their programme for government.

“Instead of doing what it can for Welsh business during this economic crisis, the Labour Welsh Government has decided to sit back and formulate a raft of new strategies.  Jobs will be lost, and businesses will go under if this self-delusion continues.”