.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Push for growth

As the Secretary of State for Wales comes to the Senedd to try and sell the Queen's speech to AMs, today's Guardian reports that Nick Clegg has signalled that the coalition has plans for a "massive" increase in state-backed infrastructure investment.

They say that the deputy prime minister has said that instructions have been issued to the Treasury setting out the government's plan to use its balance sheet to inject credit into the economy, with a "massive" increase in housing and infrastructure and schemes to reduce youth unemployment in a new emphasis on growth:

In an interview with the Financial Times, Clegg said the government's "absolute priority" was to use its balance sheet to inject credit into the economy.

He denied that the plans in the pipeline signified a "plan B", stressing that the government's deficit-reduction plan had earned Britain market credibility.

Though he insisted the coalition initially had no choice but to set out "in very lurid terms the state of the emergency we were facing", he went on to concede that "that kind of language over a prolonged period of time can have a dampening effect on mood, which is very important in an economy".

Clegg admitted the use of state balance sheets to assume additional risks on major schemes was not popular with all Treasury officials.

"From the top of government, a few weeks ago we decided this was the route we're going to take," he added. "That's the instruction we've issued to the Treasury."

Downing Street said Clegg's comments reflected what David Cameron set out last week in a speech on the economy. The government was able to do this thanks to the "credible fiscal policies" that allowed it to use the balance sheet to help the economy grow and support investment, said a Downing Street spokesman.

That is very welcome news and is a stark contrast to the reheated package put forward by the Welsh Government yesterday.
Did Mr Clegg say if the "massive" increase in state-backed infrastructure investment included the electrification of GWML as far as Swansea?
Have you raised it?
Of course I have raised it as have my party. The development of a business case is being considered on electrifying as far as Swansea.
All I know is that the Welsh Assembly Government, its staff and politicians, are not tuned into growth or how it happens.

Two examples come to mind.

(1) Rang up a business development person at WAG and got voice mail which told me they knocked off at 5PM; and
(2) in contrast to the prevalent anti-fracking attitude of WAG - the US chemical industry is making great use of cheap gas which is used as a feed-stock to make added-value chemicals generating huge profits and jobs, something that could easily happen in Wales but for WAG.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?