Wednesday, 20 January 2010
From the Record - Bosch
Leanne Wood: Thank you for your statement on these job losses, Deputy First Minister. There is no doubt that this news is a severe blow to people living in the communities around Llantrisant and the surrounding Valleys. In the Rhondda where I live, everyone knows someone that is connected with Bosch in one way or another. For far too many communities, this news is nothing short of a disaster. Will you confirm, again, that the Assembly Government has left no stone unturned in trying to persuade Bosch to continue production at the site?
Will you also confirm that, regardless of what was offered to the company, the reality is that Bosch decided to close the plant and relocate to Hungary? How confident are you that everything possible was done to try to persuade the company to stay? What steps can be taken to ensure that the site is utilised in the future for green manufacturing?
There is little that the Welsh Assembly Government can do about the downturn in the global automotive industry, and as many Members have said, this closure will create big ripples. Many people are reliant upon car-part firms which have supplied Bosch or other car-related manufacturers. The future of some of those firms now looks uncertain.
Bosch was established at that site with millions of pounds from the Welsh Development Agency. It was part of the failed inward investment strategy which was designed to provide cash incentives for firms to set up in areas which had been decimated by the pit closures that were carried out by the last Conservative Government. The news confirms that a strategy which competed on the basis of low wages could never be a success. Therefore, can you give an assurance that everything will be done to ensure that jobs are available for all those affected by the Bosch decision?
Furthermore, will you give an assurance that never again will firms be offered taxpayers’ cash on the basis of cheap labour? After all, the firms will only up sticks as soon as the incentives run out and when labour becomes cheaper elsewhere.