Monday, July 19, 2010


Before I start, I think that Nerys Evans has been one of the better new AMs and, regardless of political persuasion, is exactly the type of individual that we should see within our National Assembly. Her recent intervention on Communities First was both insightful and long overdue.

However, I would like to know how she could have lent her name to the following press release which beggars belief and stretches incredulity to its limit.

According to Nerys,

"Plaid Cymru has long argued that small businesses are the lifeblood of the Welsh economy and that town centres are the heart of our communities. Since the start of the recession, as a part of the Welsh government, Plaid has worked hard to protect small businesses in Wales from the worst of the economic storm. Now that Wales is coming out of the economic crisis, Plaid leader and Economy Minister, Ieuan Wyn Jones has launched the Economic Renewal Programme which will see significant investment in infrastructure and a move away from the traditional grant culture for big business to a culture of investment . This will benefit all areas and all types and sizes of business".

Unfortunately, the Welsh Assembly Government, of which Plaid Cymru is a part, did very little to help small businesses during the recession, especially in rural areas such as Pembrokeshire:
Of course, when Nerys states that there is "a move away from the traditional grant culture for big business to a culture of investment", what she has carefully omitted to say is that there will be no grants for any type of business, big or small, and that all but six sectors of the economy will not even be getting repayable grants from the government.

WAG has even managed to omit food and drink from their list of important Welsh sectors, even though it is one of the growth industries in the Pembrokeshire economy.

Does she really think, in her heart of hearts, that the businesses of Tenby and the rest of Pembrokeshire are going to be dancing in the streets when they hear that all the business support and funding has been cut but they can have faster broadband which most will never need?

I very much doubt it but if you are the Director of Policy of one of the coalition partners, what can you do?

As Jeff Jones has said previously on this blog, if you are in a hole, stop digging.

It is time that this line about helping small firms, and which no-one seriously believes, is dropped otherwise whatever dwindling credibility WAG has left in economic development will disappear very quickly.