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Welsh Government dither and delay over manufacturing strategy – Eluned Parrott

2012 Mehefin 26 3:09 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are today calling for the Welsh Labour Government to stop dithering and delaying over the publication of a manufacturing strategy for Wales and get on with publishing a strategy that provides leadership for the manufacturing sector in Wales.

Early last year, the Welsh Government welcomed the publication of the Wales Manufacturing Forum's own manufacturing strategy and in May last year, the Minister for Business said that work was on going on the publication of a Welsh Government manufacturing strategy. Carwyn Jones also stated in March 2011 that the Welsh Government's manufacturing strategy will be produced in the autumn. To date, no such strategy has been published by the Welsh Government.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that this dither and delay is yet further evidence of a government that has run out of ideas on how to support business in Wales.

Eluned Parrott, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Business and Enterprise, commented:

"The Welsh Labour Government's handling of the manufacturing strategy has been nothing short of inept. Wales needs a clear and coherent approach to manufacturing from the Welsh Government. Instead, all that has been offered is misinformation, confusion and smokescreens -something that we have come to expect from this Labour Welsh Government.

"Last week in the chamber, I explicitly asked the First Minister when we could expect to finally see the government's manufacturing strategy, a question he decided not to answer. The manufacturing sector needs leadership and clear direction from this Welsh Government. Either there is a Strategy in the works or there isn't, and we've now reached the absurd situation where not even the First Minister seems to know.

"In Carwyn Jones manifesto to become leader of his party, he said that he wanted "a modern, long-term manufacturing strategy" - and yet years after winning that contest, he doesn't even know whether he's working on one of his stated goals.

"Without a clear strategic focus on nurturing and supporting manufacturing in Wales, we will fall further behind our competitors. How can Welsh Government officials know what their priorities are if their targets have never been stated? The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that Wales is in desperate need of a Manufacturing Strategy. We need a fresh approach to creating and protecting jobs as manufacturing is essential for Wales' economic growth and prosperity.

"This lethargic approach to business is costing Wales jobs and growth. As we all know, the Welsh Labour Government was incredibly slow off the mark when it came to Enterprise Zones, while the Manufacturing Strategy's future is still unclear. Manufacturing is essential for Wales' economic growth and prosperity, sadly we are witnessing yet further dithering and delay from this Welsh Government."