Plaid Cymru outlines £1bn stimulus package


Actions not words needed from Labour government to create economic boost 

Plaid Cymru will today (Wednesday 7th March) outline a radical and ambitious vision for a £1bn short term fiscal stimulus package for the Welsh economy in a debate in the Senedd.  The party’s economy spokesperson, Alun Ffred Jones AM, said that the proposed package, which includes capital investment sourced from funding streams outside the block grant, has the potential to provide a much needed economic boost.

Alun Ffred Jones said that the short term stimulus package should include:

  • A Build4Wales style investment vehicle as proposed by Plaid Cymru which could carry about £500m worth of projects.

  • An urgent commitment to revise and expand the local authority borrowing scheme to £350m.

  • A similar programme for tapping into Housing Association borrowing powers must be drawn up, which should aim to generate around £150m.

The Plaid Cymru AM for Arfon also renewed calls for other Plaid Cymru initiatives in order to safeguard jobs and boost job creation throughout Wales.  These would include increasing local procurement up to 75% - which would result in a further £1bn pumped into the Welsh economy; increasing direct government support to small businesses to help with business rates (costing £45m per year); and pursuing borrowing and taxation powers in order to enable the Welsh Government to continue to invest in infrastructure to stimulate sustainable economic growth in the future.

Mr Jones said that it is essential that the Labour government takes much needed action if the potential of this economic boost is to become a reality.  He added that Plaid’s focus during the economic crisis was on measures to create and protect jobs; help small businesses; and invest in schools, hospitals, housing and infrastructure. 

Plaid Cymru Economy spokesperson, Alun Ffred Jones AM, said:

"What Plaid Cymru is proposing today is a radical and ambitious package of fiscal stimulus designed to boost the Welsh economy.  We want to see investment now to boost the economy and help people through these difficult times, but the measures we are proposing will also help to ensure that our economy is fit for purpose in the longer term.

"Investment not austerity is the way out of this economic crisis, but the Labour government’s current plans are totally inadequate.  Unemployment here in Wales remains stubbornly above the UK average and there are no signs of dynamism in the economy as things stand. Therefore the onus must be on the Labour government to act to boost the economy. 

"In light of the cuts to the Welsh budget by the ConDems, we are repeating our calls for the Labour government to look for alternative sources to fund capital investment and boost the economy. What Labour has announced doesn’t even make up the shortfall the Tories have inflicted on Wales. We have repeatedly called for extra funding – such as our Build4Wales proposal – to be sourced in order to plug, and go beyond, the 40% gap in the capital budget.  This spending is essential and action is needed now from the Labour government – simply sitting back and acknowledging that there is a problem as they have done up until now is not good enough."