From Wales, For Wales: A Smarter Economy

Wales has one of the lowest levels of local business ownership of any advanced economy, that must change. Time and time again public money has been spent to attract new investment and either the investor then exports the profits or simply walks away. This has been the story of economic development in Wales for over 50 years.

Instead, we aim for a smarter economy will be based on expanding, supporting, and protecting domestic businesses.

Local First

We will adopt a new Local First policy built around local ownership of the economy, infrastructure, and business, and a sustainable skills base for a revived workforce and economy.

As part of this we will create a Welsh model of local public procurement built on the foundational economy.

Using the Welsh Government’s own £6.3 billion procurement budget and by working in close partnership with other public sector bodies, we would set a target of increasing the level of public sector procurement from 52 per cent to 75 per cent of the total spend, creating an estimated 46,000 additional jobs.

We would:

  • Seek urgent public sector wide agreement to extend contracts with Welsh businesses in key sectors such as food for a minimum of two years to give increased economic security during Covid recovery.
  • Identify and approach potential Welsh suppliers of products and services currently procured outside Wales to plug the leakages to the Welsh economy.
  • Use to the maximum the new freedoms post-Brexit to give preference to Welsh businesses in public procurement.
  • Pass a Public Procurement Act placing a statutory duty on public bodies to adhere to national procurement guidelines.
  • Further drive up the number of jobs created by increasing the level of Welsh content purchased by the public sector’s first and second tier suppliers.
  • Break up contracts where possible into the smallest possible lots to enable small companies to bid.
  • Strip out the bureaucracy from public sector tendering processes.
  • Commit to ending and reversing outsourcing in the public sector, bringing activities back in-house or at least under local control and delivery.
  • Use social procurement to drive forward other objectives including supporting self employment by, and employment for, under represented groups including women and people of colour, the growth of co-operative businesses and the use of the Welsh language in the workplace.

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