Best practice must become common practice
Plaid Cymru has called for legislation in procurement best practise in order to create almost 50,000 jobs in Wales.
As part of Plaid’s ‘Buy Local’ campaign, the party believes that raising procurement levels from Welsh companies will ensure that workers in Wales benefit from public spending and their wages will then circulate in the local economy.
According to the latest figures only 52% of Welsh public spending goes to companies based in Wales. Value Wales calculate that every additional 1% increase means 2000 more jobs in Wales. Improving Welsh procurement to reach 75% would mean an increase of 46,000 jobs in Wales.
The Party of Wales says that Wales should follow the example of Scotland which is consulting on legislation to ensure that best practice in some areas becomes common practice across the public sector. This was recommended in the McClelland Report for the Welsh Government published last Summer.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said:
“Public sector procurement in Wales has had some great successes in recent years to make sure that our Welsh pound is spent on jobs and skills in Wales.
“For example, 80% of money spent on the Arbed programme for home and energy efficiency improvements goes to companies located in Wales.
“That money means food on the table and a roof over the head for skilled Welsh workers and their families, and more money circulating within the local economy to be spent down the high street at the butchers, the hairdressers and the bakers.
“In contrast, money which goes to firms outside Wales is lost to our local economies – and that’s every one pound in two.
“There are ways of improving this at all levels, and it needn’t cost more.
“For example, professionally trained and specialised procurement staff in local authorities, such as those introduced by Caerphilly Council when Plaid Cymru were in charge, can generate both financial savings for the council and secure local jobs.
“Another good example is where Gwynedd Council agreed that the slate for improving Bangor High Street must come from local quarries, supporting 200 jobs in Penrhyn Quarry.
“However, the figures alone show that we can do better.
“If we can improve our procurement practices to increase from 51% to 75% of Welsh public spend to go to Welsh companies then that could create almost 50,000 jobs in Wales.
“The McClelland Report released last Summer suggested that, if best practice wasn’t being followed, then we should be legislating to make it happen.
“The Party of Wales believes that this legislation should be brought forward to ensure that this becomes common practice, not best practice.
“Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has also called for the EU to simplify and relax their procurement rules to help Welsh businesses.”