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Rise in unemployment against UK trend shows Cardiff needs control of job creating levers


Plaid Cymru's Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, warned that unemployment in Wales is far from being solved by the Conservatives in London or Labour in Wales as latest ONS figures showed a small rise for the March to May period, against the UK downward trend.

Welsh unemployment figures remain at 9%, compared to a UK average of 8.1%, with 133,000 unemployed in the latest quarterly figures, a rise of 2,000 people on December to February.

Mr Edwards said that, despite the UK’s overall figures showing a small drop, the slashing of the IMF's UK 2012 growth forecast from 0.8% to 0.2% this week shows that the Coalition has no control over the direction in which the economy is heading.

He added that it was time for job-creating taxation powers over the Welsh economy to lie in Cardiff, not Westminster, as backed by the ICM poll for the Silk Commission earlier this week.

Mr Edwards said:

"This small rise in Welsh unemployment shows the continued government complacency from the Conservatives in London and Labour in Cardiff in dealing with the economy.

"The ConDems claim to be in control of the economy, but every statistic suggests otherwise. Just this week, the IMF slashed the UK growth forecast for this year from 0.8% to 0.2% - the biggest downgrade of any developed nation – threatening future job and investment prospects.

“In Wales, the private sector is the responsibility of the Labour government, but an unemployment rate of 9%, higher than almost every other part of the UK, shows that they have no solutions.

"The rise in Welsh unemployment to 133,000 shows Wales yet again lagging behind the rest of the UK and proves that the London parties cannot be trusted to secure an economic recovery in Wales.

“As the ICM poll for the Silk Commission showed earlier this week, people in Wales think that we can make a difference to the economy if we have the tools to do the job in Cardiff, but both Labour and the Conservatives will not grasp the nettle of taking control of those job-creating levers.

“While these powers remain in Westminster, the interests of Wales will never come first and we will continue to suffer as a consequence of the out of sight and out of touch government in London."