Writing in today’s (Sun 30 June) Sunday Times, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy and Finance Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth AM has said that Labour has failed to live up to its promises on the economy.
His call for Labour to make way follow comments by the Labour Welsh Government’s deputy economy minister and Llanelli AM Lee Waters earlier this week, who said of Labour: “We’ve pretended we know what we’re doing on the economy” for twenty years, “and the truth is, we don’t really know what we’re doing on the economy.”
Mr ap Iorwerth said that growth had stalled under Labour, with child poverty rising, and life expectancy falling faster in Wales than anywhere else in Europe.
Following Mr Waters’ comments at an event for cooperative sector leaders earlier this week – in which he also appeared to concede defeat in the 2021 Welsh election – the First Minister acknowledged that automation and Brexit were big challenges for the economy.
However, Mr ap Iorwerth pointed out that Labour had failed to get to grips with both these issues – firstly, by allowing the taskforce set up to protect jobs at Ford’s Bridgend plant to not meet for eight months before Ford announced the plant’s closure; and secondly, by failing to bring any meaningful pressure on the Prime Minister or the Labour leadership to back a second public vote on Brexit.
Writing in today’s Sunday Times, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Economy and Finance Minister Rhun ap Iorwerth AM said:
“Since the very beginning of devolution, it is Labour that has led the Welsh Government.
“And as the Minister says, during that time, growth has stalled. He blames economic orthodoxy. But I also blame it on a lack of innovation from his party in government.
“Growth in Wales has stalled, people’s incomes no longer match the cost of living, and we’re all having to work harder and longer for less reward.
Mr ap Iorwerth added:
“The Deputy Economy Minister said that some people were disappointed that devolution hadn’t achieved its potential.
“The truth as I see it is that people are disappointed that Labour hasn’t lived up to its promises.
“It is Labour – tired and lazy – that has failed. And if they’re not up to the job, they should step out of the way so that a party that is can take charge.
“My party, Plaid Cymru, is ready to do just that, working with the people of Wales to kick-start the kind of economic renaissance the country desperately needs.”