Llyr Gruffydd MS calls for urgent action to address “startling statistics”
Increases in unemployment figures and the number of those economically inactive are a “double whammy reflecting badly on the laissez faire attitude of the UK and Welsh governments”, Plaid Cymru Acting Leader Llyr Gruffydd has said.
Figures published by the Office of National Statistics last week suggest Wales has seen the largest year-on-year increase in unemployment in the UK. The picture is compounded by economic inactivity in Wales being the second highest of all UK Nations and Regions.
Speaking ahead of his first session of First Ministers Questions as Plaid Cymru’s Acting Leader, Llyr Gruffydd outlined a ‘Four Wales Plan’ to boost employment and strengthen the Welsh economy.
An independent review of the Welsh Government’s ‘Working Wales’ programme, the devolution of economic levers, membership of the single market and the creation of ‘Prosperity Wales’ – an economic development agency for the 21st century, would put Wales’s economy “on the road to recovery”, Mr Gruffydd argued.
Plaid Cymru Acting Leader Llyr Gruffydd said:
“These are startling statistics from the ONS which represent a double whammy for Wales.
“One in four people in Wales are economically inactive with a worrying 159,000 suffering long-term sickness.
“This reflects badly on the laissez-faire attitude of the UK and Welsh governments who are either doing too little or taking too long to put measures in place to help both workers and those looking for work.
“Plaid Cymru’s ‘Four Wales Plan’ proposes an independent review of the Welsh Government’s ‘Working Wales’ programme, the devolution of economic levers from Westminster, re-joining the EU single market, and the creation of ‘Prosperity Wales’ – an economic development agency for the 21st century.
“Wales cannot fully realise its economic potential until it has all the necessary tools to enable us to tailor policies to meet our unique challenges such as low wages and an ageing population.
“These four proposals would help put Wales’s economy on the road to recovery and inject ambition into the Welsh and UK Government’s approaches to creating jobs and generating growth.”