The Welsh Government has announced that Vaughan Gething, Economy Minister, is to urge the UK Government to urgently provide a stable, long term strategy to begin tackling urgent economic challenges that are facing Wales.
This comes ahead of 2023’s first UK Interministerial Group for Business and Industry meeting, where ministers and senior officials from the governments in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland alongside the central UK Government.
Over the coming months, the Economy Minister is to launch a number of initiatives to support the Welsh economy. These include:
- A new net zero skills action plan, setting out how the Welsh Government will work with businesses and workers to embrace the skills that will drive a low carbon economy
- A new innovation strategy, with clear missions, from better health outcomes to stronger business, designed to win more investment in a more innovative Wales
- A new green business loan scheme, providing low-cost loans with consultancy support to help businesses lower their energy costs for good
- A refreshed manufacturing action plan, setting out their ambitions for a Welsh manufacturing sector with a truly global reach that supports good jobs in local communities.
Gething, speaking ahead of the meeting, said;
“The UK economy is now in a worse position than any other G7 nation and economic centralism is part of the problem. Forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility and the Bank of England indicate unemployment in Wales increasing between 20,000 and 40,000 over the next 18 months. Inflation is expected to remain at around 10% over the first half of this year, and productivity is weak.
“The impact of soaring energy bills and inflation was intensified by the UK Government’s disastrous early autumn mini-budget which baked in preventable harm at the worst conceivable time.,
“Last week’s announcement by Liberty Steel demonstrates UK Government action is now essential, not optional.
“Wales and the rest of the UK needs the UK government to develop a responsible and coherent strategy for sustainable economic recovery and growth.
“The lessons are clear – good engagement has the power to deliver stronger economic outcomes. It is time for the UK Government to invest in partnership to develop a stronger Welsh economy in a fairer, more secure UK economy.”