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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Economic troubles

We have sat in Plenary for the last five years or so listening to a whole litany of statistics from Labour Ministers on how well the Welsh Economy is doing. Now official UK Government figures have confirmed what we knew all along, that we have been trailing behind the rest of the UK for the whole of the last decade:

Official UK Government figures included in a report on competitiveness in Northern Ireland place Wales at the bottom of the economic performance league behind all other 11 UK regions. The table is headed by London, followed by the south-east of England. Northern Ireland is in third position and Scotland is seventh.

Some would call this a major failure, the Welsh Government however prefer to think of it as 'a challenge'. Surely it is time that they met that challenge head-on.
absolutely correct peter. If you delve into the stats you will find that Wales has the weakest economy per person in the EU (excluding new states).
Rhodri glyn-thomas recent announcement that all companies offering public services in wales has to have bi-lingual lit is a awful move ont he chess board of international commerce...
Peter, this "they met" language is indicative of how badly all the political factions in the Welsh Assembly have failed to focus on solving either in government or in opposition. There are plenty of common sense things that can be done. For example, Wales had without doubt a world class university system, but there has been a consistent failure to harness the Welsh university system to generate well-paid jobs and wealth creation (and future tax base) for Wales. Unless all the parties work together to build the private sector in Wales then in another 10 years the Welsh economy will still be trailing behind the rest of the UK and more importantly trailing behind international competition and will still be overly reliant on European handouts and the public sector for jobs. It’s really important that all political parties in Wales work in unison to build the private sector in Wales, it can be done.
I agree completely with Dr Wood. So many good projects have been scrapped in Wales because of our backward looking attitude. For example, a proposed theme park in Newport would have put Wales on the World map, and brought in much-needed revenue, but "green fields" ruled the day. I am not suggesting that we build on ALL our green and pleasant land, but tourists want something more, and Wales needs something more. We can't run a country solely on public sector projects. Private investments and innovation in much needed.
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