A Wealthier Wales
Rhun ap Iorwerth AM
Shadow Minister for Economy,Enterprise and Transport
Plaid Cymru has put the country’s economic wellbeing at the forefront of all we do. That’s because we know that a healthy economy, a fair economy leads to a healthier and fairer society.
Everyone recognises that Wales is underperforming. We have low wages, below average growth, high economic inactivity and low productivity levels.
But we also know that our poverty, our under-performance is not inevitable.
We know we can do better, because we’ve historically performed better.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of our economy, and must be nurtured and given help to grow. Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales believes a new Bank of Wales should help these indigenous businesses invest in their long-term growth and prosperity. Public sector spending should be targeted at Welsh companies. Increased foreign trade and export needs to be developed alongside a new approach to attracting outside investment – Wales can once again become a destination of choice for investors. Our vision is of a taxation system that encourages and supports business growth, with more small businesses helped with or exempt from business rates.
Larger and multinational businesses and industry – both new and existing - should feel confident in the skills of our workforce and the quality of Wales-based supply chains and so be encouraged to invest.
Our small size is a huge asset. We can focus on our strengths. There is no reason other than lack of ambition why an agile nation of Wales’ size cannot aspire to, and succeed in closing the current growth gap between Wales and the rest of the UK.
We are a nation rich in natural resources which are in great demand. We are already a net exporter of electricity. We can be self-sufficient in renewables. All our resources should be used for the benefit of our people, with exports contributing to the public purse. Our low population means our wealth of resources can go a lot further and can be a significant source of revenue for the Welsh treasury. I want to see us becoming innovators and leaders in marine energy and other green technologies.
Wales has historically been a nation of innovators. Alongside new and established high-tech industries, our Universities should be helped to be catalysts for growth through research and development. We must also ensure Wales is a nation with digital connectivity fit for the 21st century.
All parts of Wales should be well-connected. Integrating rail and road means successfully connecting our communities, increasing the opportunity our people have to contribute to the Welsh economy. Efficient and affordable public transport is a vital both economically and environmentally.
Our vision is of a nation with excellent external links, connecting Wales with global hubs, through road, rail, sea and air. Less than two hours from London by rail and major European capitals by air, Wales can be a business gateway to Europe.
Wales has got what it takes to be an economic powerhouse once again.
Click here to read ‘Plan C’ - our seven point plan to create jobs and increase the value of the Welsh workforce.