Plaid Cymru have today welcomed the findings of a Welsh Government consultation on the establishment of a National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) in late 2017, but also highlighted some specific concerns.
The Plaid Cymru proposed NICW policy would aim to improve public infrastructure in Wales, aimed at creating jobs and boosting the economy. As part of the 2016 compact between Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government to move Wales Forward, the government agreed to look into developing the policy.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy Adam Price speaking during the debate welcomed the report, but also highlighted some of his party’s concerns on the Welsh Government version of NICW.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy Adam Price said:
“Plaid Cymru’s original policy for a National Infrastructure Commission for Wales would lead to a significant boost for the economy through increased investment in projects across the nation.
“However the role and remit of NICW outlined today by the Welsh Government fundamentally fails to address the very problems that the Infrastructure Commission was set up to solve.
“During the consultation on the Government’s proposals, calls were made by industry bodies for the commission to be established on a statutory footing in order to ensure that it will be able to fulfil its role as a truly independent body.
“Calls were also made by industry experts to include social infrastructure within the Commission’s remit in order to provide a holistic approach to infrastructure development in Wales.
“The Cabinet Secretary for the Economy also refused to include in the Commission’s remit letter a duty as part of a wider process of the equalisation of infrastructure spending in Wales, to include in the Commission’s remit a duty to ensure equal levels of infrastructure spending throughout Wales.
“However, the Welsh Government’s reluctance to listen to the industry will inevitably mean that this body will not be able to fulfil its potential in delivering lasting economic and social impacts through, for the betterment of the people of Wales.
“On this occasion, the Welsh Government have fundamentally failed to deliver a National Infrastructure Commission that is truly worthy of the name.