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Leanne Wood, Bae watch (June 2013)

(June 01, 2013)

Bae Watch; with Leanne WoodLeanne Wood - Senedd

Transforming the Welsh economy is my number one priority and has been since I became leader of Plaid Cymru in March 2012. It will continue to be.

Plaid Cymru wants to create a Wales which is better and more equal for our people. To do that Wales must become a country that can support and maintain new jobs, develop sustainable industry and employment.

The Party of Wales has drawn up a seven point action plan – Plan C (Cymraeg, English). The aim is simple: to create more jobs in response to the many economic problems facing Wales. We cannot sit back and hope all will turn out alright. We have to act now.

Plaid Cymru wants to see a "buy local" campaign, including legislation to boost local public procurement, as well as improving opportunities for Welsh based business. The Welsh public pound should be made to work for the Welsh public good. Our recruitment plans have the potential to create up to create up to 50,000 jobs.

A business bank for Wales would assist small companies in Wales. The difficulty of obtaining finance is something that has been raised with me by local businesses. They are keen to grow but need a helping hand.

Our greatest resource is our people and so we must make the most of our talents. Young people should have the skills they need to compete for jobs. Underemployment is a growing issue which can be tackled by measures like supporting people into work, flexible working patterns and childcare.

Providing high quality training and skills opportunities in all sectors will ensure people can reach their full potential. That is why Plaid Cymru helped to create 5,600 new apprenticeships as part of the Budget deal with the government last year. It is why we pushed to secure money for a £10m science park which will be built in the north-west, near Bangor, and it is why the Party of Wales believes that we should receive our fair share of research funding through a Welsh Research Council.

Plan C includes support for new infrastructure projects, such a Valleys Metro rail service, which will create jobs now and improve transport links. Plaid Cymru wants to see a step change in the quality of public transport through the introduction of new electric trains.

Infrastructure investment is a key driver of growth in the economy, but only if we make it so. The construction sector employs around 100,000 people in Wales. Investment in facilities and connectivity will provide further opportunities for more job creation in this sector.

Wales needs a Green New Deal, including a Green Skills Technical College, to help re-focus towards sustainable industry and employment. Wales has vast opportunities to produce hydro-power. Full implementation of the Silk Commission Part 1 recommendations would also give a future Welsh Government greater tools to improve our economy.

Plaid Cymru’s plans show that there are solutions available to improve and shape the Welsh economy, if we are prepared to be ambitious enough and creative enough.

Plan C stresses the inter-linked nature of economic renewal and recovery in Wales. Plaid Cymru has the ideas and the plans for Wales to pull away from the financial crisis that was caused by the banking sector. We are developing an alternative to economic stagnation, which is the only option being offered elsewhere.

The Party of Wales has been consistent in our vision for recovery since the very start of the crisis. Renew, Recover, Reform was published at the beginning of the economic crisis in 2009. For five years now, we have called for investment in jobs and skills to avoid the scourge of long term and deep unemployment.

Using public procurement is about locking our money into Wales to stimulate the local economy means that jobs are supported locally, with money more likely to be circulating within the community, being spent in local cafes, pubs and shops. Local public procurement rates can be improved through the use of community benefit clauses, Welsh language clauses traineeships and apprentices created for local people and by unbundling contracts and improving the skills of procurement officers.

Increasing our public procurement to 75% from its current rate of around 52% would create tens of thousands of jobs in Wales. According to Value Wales, for each 1% increase in goods or services procured from Wales, around 2,000 jobs are created.

Our small businesses need support in a variety of ways – they must be supported if we want them to create jobs. The ideas we have put forward in Plan C include: extending business rate relief; boosting internet connectivity; and strategies to improve town centres across Wales, to help our medium, small and micro businesses, as well as the creation of our Welsh public business bank.

Plaid Cymru is also keen to look at alternative business models for Wales; maximising the potential of the co-operative and social enterprise sectors to grow and develop business and business skills in our communities. Support for, and expansion of, credit unions is also important to develop community organisation.

With innovative ideas we can make Wales a better country for all.

Leanne Wood AC/AM, 1 June 2013



Also from Leanne Wood:
     Bae Watch; March 2013

     Bae Watch; December 2012
     Bae Watch; September 2012

     Bae Watch; June 2012

     Bae Watch; March 2012

     Bae Watch; December 2011

     Bae Watch; September 2011

     Bae Watch; June 2011


Leanne Wood's contact details:


     Facebook: Leanne Wood

     Twitter: @LeanneWood




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