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Jeremy Miles pledges ‘overnight shift’ to focus on economy and create new jobs

11 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Jeremy Miles MS

Leadership candidate Jeremy Miles has pledged that a Welsh Labour Government under his leadership will be a champion for employees, employers and the economy.

The current education minister is hoping to replace Mark Drakeford as First Minister of Wales.

Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Miles are the only two candidates in the race with the result to be announced in less than a week.

Mr Miles says his twin ambitions for the Welsh economy are to enhance prosperity and increase solidarity between the people of Wales.

Strategic policies

Later today, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown will call on the next UK Labour Government to create an influential National Economic Council to focus on economic growth.

Mr Miles says in his first week as First Minister he would direct the establishment of a new National Economic Council to advise the Welsh Government on strategic policies to deliver sustainable economic prosperity and solidarity.

He believes that good businesses, employers and trade unions are partners for the Welsh Government in delivering this vision.

His top economic pledge is to establish a Green Economy Stimulus package, which will involve targeting all Welsh Government capital and procurement spending – alongside new funding models in partnership with local government – to create quality, sustainable jobs and tackle climate change.

The leadership hopeful says he will look for every opportunity to take advantage of Wales’ relatively small size as a devolved nation to move more quickly and more boldly than others can.

He has pledged to use devolved powers and position to help create the right conditions for risk taking and invention to make it easier to run a business, to establish and grow rooted companies and allow the spirit of Welsh enterprise to flourish.

He has committed to improving experience and participation in the workforce.

He says he will prioritise interventions – including expanding childcare and employer support around the menopause – that will help people play the part they want to in Wales’ economic life.

Other commitments in his manifesto include:

Draw on recent international evidence and experience to consider the case for economic development – focused on sustainable growth, investment, entrepreneurship, productivity support and creating good jobs – to be delivered at arms length from government, and extend the Development Bank for Wales’ remit for supporting green investment.

Support deeper cross-border economic co-operation in particular in north east Wales, and capitalise on the investment in the Heads of the Valleys.

Ensure that our universities and colleges, the investor community, businesses, entrepreneurs and the Welsh Government are closely aligned on national economic priorities, including innovation.

Encourage our successful medium sized firms to stay rooted in their communities.

A “Make it in Wales” campaign to attract talent to Wales and bring Welsh diaspora home, including exploring new financial incentives for our new and recent graduates to set up businesses and work in Wales.

Help businesses navigate the regulatory environment to support compliance, and build planning capacity across Wales to speed up decision-making.

Introduce Marcora-inspired legislation and guidance that supports employee ownership to the full extent of our devolved powers, to bring about a step change.


Mr Miles said:“There is no route to the more compassionate country that we want to be which doesn’t pass through the more prosperous country that we need to be.

“Wales is still too poor a country, and so creating a more prosperous economy will be my number one priority as First Minister.

“It is good to see Gordon Brown making similar calls on how the UK Government responds to the broader needs of the economy which have such an impact on Wales. However, I know that we can take more action here in Wales too.

“A more enterprising, start-up economy will need a Welsh Government to match. I know what this means, having worked globally for twenty years in commercial law before entering politics.

“The OECD and others have suggested the Welsh Government can sharpen its approach to economic development. I will bring an overnight shift in government attitude, and we will be a champion for employees, good employers and the economy.

“A high-energy, can-do government that instinctively speaks and understands the language of invention and innovation, risk taking and commerce, and is fast and simple to deal with – that becomes itself a source of competitive advantage in attracting and retaining investment to Wales.”

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Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
1 month ago

Fine words,
We shall see, although judging by the last 25 years I won’t hold my breath.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
1 month ago

I don’t agree with how this is being done. Probably less that 30,000 people are voting for an individual in charge of 3.5m people, that doesn’t sound right. Yes, the argument is we vote for a party, not an individual, however that is not entirely true. Many chose the Conservatives and Johnson, in 2019, over Labour because they did not like Corbyn. There is also the fact that when a new individual is elected by a party, that person generally has new ideas, ideas that were often not in the manifesto we voted for. It’s happened numerous times with the… Read more »

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
30 days ago

Sounds good, hopefully decent social housing for all who need it and a well regulated, cheap and reliable transport system will form part of the plan. Nothing works without a home and good public transport

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
30 days ago

Nearly 25 years in powers Jeremy. Why hasn’t Welsh Labour achieved those goals already promised by you or Vaughan Gething? You forget, Wales only has a legislative Senedd because it was a Plaid Cymru policy to hold a referendum you had to realise in coalition as part of the “One Wales” agreement in 2006. And I know Jeremy that Gordon Brown & New Labour only agreed to this referenda because they knew the writing was on the wall and his tenure as PM was terminal and the New Labour project was in in its deaththrows in government and they wanted… Read more »

30 days ago

Good ideas are nothing without the power to control and enforce them, and the fiscal powers that are required currently are held by Westminster. That is what has been holding back the devolved Govs since their inception, so to really change the country, we must have full control, and that can come through independence. We were not even allowed by the UK Treasury to spend the money we had to alleviate problems during the pandemic, nothing can change, untill we change, permanently.Labour here need to acknowledge this and start the process.

Why vote
Why vote
30 days ago

So! Set up a new national economic council? And who is on this Council what real life experience have these experts to advise a government and at what cost to the public. Stimulate the economy is that by supporting large foreign based companies to make large profits or supporting welsh based companies in all sectors of the economy. Removing speed restrictions on roads since September 2023 to allow travel for business to be competitive with other economies, stop all these fantasy laws being forced upon the electorate, pay per mile, CAZ. LEZ. Before you stifle business with legislative costs and… Read more »

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