‘Make the Welsh economy matter in May’ – Leanne Wood
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood will tomorrow (Wednesday) address a group of business leaders in the North and will say only Plaid Cymru is truly on the side of Wales’ small businesses. She will outline the steps her party will take to make Wales a business success story and unleash Wales economic potential.
Ms Wood will meet with business leaders at Bangor Business School and is expected to say:
“The campaign for May’s election is well underway and it is a sad indictment on the Westminster parties that they have embroiled themselves in a race to the bottom on austerity. The yardstick being set now is who can cut deeper, faster and more cruelly after the next election.
“Plaid Cymru refuses to engage in that damaging kind of politics and nor will we involve ourselves in that reckless sort of economics. The austerity agenda has failed; the UK’s debt is rising every day and all we have to show for it is yet more pain being felt in our communities. There are parts of Wales that are yet to recover from previous recessions – let alone the last one – and they require investment and hope.
“Plaid Cymru want to rebalance the UK’s economy; away from the financial sector in the City of London, into new industries in communities that most need renewal.
“As election day draws closer, we know that more and more people in Wales are fed up of Westminster promises of further pain and are searching for an alternative only Plaid Cymru can offer.”
She will add:
“Plaid Cymru is ambitious for Wales and knows that for our country to emerge as an economic success, we need to support our small and medium sized businesses. That’s why Plaid Cymru will take businesses with a rateable value of less than £10,000 out of rates system altogether – that would give Welsh businesses the ability to recruit more staff and invest in expansion.
“In Gwynedd for example, we know that over 200 businesses had liability orders issued against them for non-payment of rates and that the total outstanding rates debt in Gwynedd stands at over £1.4 million. Taking the smallest businesses out rates altogether will lift a significant burden in Gwynedd and across Wales. That means 70,000 Welsh businesses taken out of the rate system.
“Among the biggest threats to Welsh businesses is the continuation of the failed austerity experiment by the Westminster parties. Billions have been taken out of local economies and public services have been recklessly slashed. Welsh businesses that seek public contracts will have noticed the squeeze on public finances and public contracts become more scarce. Plaid Cymru want the proportion of public contracts awarded to Welsh business to at least match that of other countries in the UK.
“If that were to be achieved, even by adding 25% to our current procurement level of 52% we would be able to create nearly 50,000 jobs much-needed jobs across the country.
“Plaid Cymru is committed to ending Wales’ fiscal dependence and by strengthening Welsh businesses we can begin that process.”