This morning Plaid launched our policy response to the economic downturn.
While Plaid in the Welsh government has received wide praise for the action taken to date, the main responsibilities and levers of the economy lie with the UK Government. The UK economy is heavily dependent on the financial sector- a senior government advisor was quoted this week as saying that the City of London was all-important to New Labour and that “the rest of the country can be turned over to tourism”. Today Plaid called for the need for a balanced economy instead of New Labour's 'eggs in one basket' approach. We also believe that sustainability is the key to job creation. I have said this many times before and I have raised it again in the Assembly this week with Rhodri Morgan. There is a great opportunity to create green manufacturing jobs and to ensure that the new affordable houses being built across Wales are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The green technology sector already accounts for 9% of Wales' GDP - I look forward to seeing that percentage grow.
There is a growing consensus in support of the need to increase public expenditure to reduce the effects of the recession. The planned £500m cut to the Assembly's block grant in 2011 following major private sector job losses will be nothing short of a catastrophe for our nation.