Supporting jobs and the economy must become government priority
In response to the GDP figures announced today which reveal that the UK economy has shrunk by 0.3% in the last quarter, the Party of Wales Shadow Economy Minister Alun Ffred Jones said:
“It is clear that the severe austerity measures being forced upon the economy by the UK Government are having no effect. Still the economy shrinks, unemployment increases and families struggle to get by. A triple-dip recession seems inevitable unless a radical policy rethink happens.
“Plaid Cymru has called many times for more focus to be put on helping SMEs. At the moment there are 50,000 more unemployed people in Wales than there were before the recession, and tackling this problem should be a priority. We have put forward proposals for a business rate relief scheme, for better procurement practice, and for the establishment of a national bank to lend money to such businesses, to help them in this severe economic climate.
“However we also note that it is regrettable that we don’t know the full extent of the problem in Wales. Plaid Cymru has called many times for the publication of GDP figures relating to Wales. As it stands, the jigsaw puzzle of the Welsh economy is not complete, and we are forced to make estimates on Wales’ performance with no hard data. It is important for economic policy makers to have a greater understanding of the economic performance of the Welsh economy in order to make decisions to benefit the Welsh economy.”