“Borrow to invest to recover” - Emergency Economic Renewal Plan launched for ‘Rebooting Wales’
Plan sets out a three-pronged approach to tackle the immediate crisis facing Wales over the coming 18 months.
Plaid Cymru have today launched their Emergency Economic Renewal Plan to “re-boot” Wales.
Introducing the plan, Plaid Cymru MS and Shadow Minister for the Economy, Tackling Poverty and Transport, Helen Mary Jones, said the plan contained “radical proposals” that should be adopted to “protect livelihoods, re-boot the economy” and “build back better”.
Ms Jones said the Coronavirus crisis was both a health and an economic crisis and had highlighted “societal inequalities” and the “instability” of Wales’ current “lifeboat” economy.
Ms Jones said an expansion of economic powers devolved to Wales was needed with “especially increased capacity” for the Welsh Government to borrow to “invest our way” to recovery.
The Emergency Economic Renewal Plan proposes:
- An Employment Guarantee Scheme for 18-24-year-olds – with a Future Wales Fund which would offer a job to every unemployed 18-24 year-old in Wales.
- A plan to “reskill” Wales by giving every unemployed person over 24 years old a one-off, tax-free payment of £5,000 designed to help them reskill and find employment.
- An All-Wales Renewal Fund to support activity to:
- Transform sectors identified as being hit hardest by Covid-19.
- Build a sustainable Wales, paving the way to a Carbon free nation by 2030.
- Develop a new sense of ‘localism’ which values public services.
Beyond the first five years, the All-Wales Renewal Fund should be boosted by a long-term £20 billion bond, repayable over thirty years. This would enable us to invest in building the Wales of the future, creating:
- A National Endowment Fund: Giving our universities the income to transform Welsh science and R&D generating new ideas for a new economy and innovations in health and public services.
- A Green New Deal: Thousands of new jobs through infrastructure investment in clean energy, energy efficient homes and sustainable transport.
- Supporting local business: Extra support for the Development Bank of Wales to lend to small businesses, new and old, to create post-Covid jobs.
- Social Infrastructure: Immediate benefits to daily life through new housing and improved health and education facilities.
Returns from the All Wales Renewal Fund would repay the costs of investment. It would secure a more sustainable country for future generations and share prosperity and opportunity equally.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for the Economy, Helen Mary Jones MS said,
“The Coronavirus isn’t just a health crisis – it is an economic crisis. It has also highlighted societal inequalities and the vulnerabilities of day to day living for many people in Wales – and the instability of our current ‘lifeboat’ economy.
“Plaid Cymru’s Renewal Plan includes radical proposals that should be adopted without delay to protect livelihoods, re-boot the economy and ensure that we build back better. These proposals are just the start. But we need that start to be made now.
“Plaid Cymru is calling for a three-pronged Emergency Renewal Plan to tackle the immediate crisis facing Wales over the coming 18 months which includes an Employment Guarantee Scheme for 18-24-year-olds; a one-off, £5,000 tax-free re-training payment for the unemployed aged over 24; and an all-Wales Renewal Fund to begin a longer-term invest in green infrastructure.
“The current devolution settlement cannot cope with the economics of Covid-19 nor the hard Brexit that is imminent. We need an expansion of economic powers devolved to Wales, especially increased capacity for the Welsh Government to borrow to invest our way to recovery.”