Welsh Government sets out plan for green post-Covid economy

Economy Minister Ken Skates

The Welsh Government is setting out its plan for a green post-Covid economy.

It is publishing its Economic Resilience and Reconstruction Mission today, which aims to rebuild the Welsh economy in a way that it says prioritises wellbeing, drives prosperity, is environmentally sound, and helps every person in Wales to realise their potential.

The plan includes making available an additional £270m to support business through the Development Bank of Wales, and the Government says this will operate alongside other support.

Plaid Cymru has criticised the plan and says that it is a “a pale imitation of the £6bn Welsh Green Deal” that it has put forward.

The Welsh Government’s priorities include strengthening the everyday sectors of the Welsh economy, increasing the incidence of fair work across Wales and reinvigorating town centres.

It also says there is a focus on supporting firms to innovate and diversify, speeding up business decarbonisation and investing in climate resilient infrastructure.

‘Incredibly difficult’ 

Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “This last year has been incredibly difficult for everyone and while our vital work to combat the virus goes on, it is important to consider what comes next.

“We have an opportunity to look to the future and reconstruct the economy with the fundamental goal of achieving long term well-being with dignity and fairness for people.

“We will do this by strengthening the everyday economy, delivering on our Covid Commitment to support people in improving skills and gaining employment, and by helping businesses meet the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow. We will also maximise sustainable investment in Wales and fortify our pursuit of fair work and social value with businesses and organisations who receive public funding.

“The additional £270m funding for the Development Bank will support businesses the length and breadth of Wales, creating and protecting thousands of jobs for individuals as we seek to deal with the long-term challenges of Covid and Brexit.”

Responding to Welsh Government’s economic plan, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for the Economy, Helen Mary Jones MS said: “Twenty years of a Labour government in Wales has been characterised by a failure of delivery. Stagnant wages, and missed targets in health, education and the environment has had a profound effect on the standard of living.

“The Welsh Government’s plan is a pale imitation of the £6bn Welsh Green Deal already announced by Plaid Cymru – a transformational plan for the economy which will create 60,000 new jobs. There is little in Labour’s record that suggests they are fit to govern for another 5 years.”

Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said: “The goal to deliver a competitive and sustainable economy that raises living standards, promotes higher pay, and delivers the revenues we need to support public priorities is the right one for Wales.

“But the Welsh Government can’t do that alone. From promoting diversity and inclusion to improving mental health, championing green behaviours to inspiring the next generation; business must continue to be a true partner of government. At its best, business is an engine of progress that will play a crucial role in overcoming the pandemic and building a better Welsh economy.

“Additional sources of accessible finance are welcome and represent an important investment in the Welsh business community, one that will be repaid through jobs, growth and, ultimately, delivering a more prosperous Wales.”

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