Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb hit the ground running this week with a major speech on the Welsh economy.
He set out his vision for Wales, explaining how the UK Government will continue to support businesses to generate growth and outlined what is at stake in 2015.
He told business leaders in Cardiff today (7 January 2015) that the UK Government’s long term economic plan is working for Wales. He said that whilst in the past, London and the South East’s dominance has sucked in talent, investment and political energy, this Government’s long-term plan has seen Wales grow faster than any other part of the UK.
Stephen Crabb said:
“In Wales there was a bigger increase in the number of new businesses starting up than anywhere else in the UK in 2014….Last year Wales attracted its highest number of inward investment projects for nearly a quarter of a century. And the number the number of people claiming unemployment benefits is at a six year low.”
He also said that Wales now needs a 21st century economic vision for skills and infrastructure investment.
“Success in the 21st century belongs to those economies that can harness technology and innovation.
“Long-term shouldn’t mean talking about the same project for decades, but setting about an ambitious and deliverable plan. Our deals on the M4, on electrification, Wylfa and Wrexham Prison to name just a few, demonstrate that we are a government that understands infrastructure and wants Wales to get its fair share.”
Mr Crabb told business leaders that we need to stick to the plan in 2015, so that we can maintain long-term stable growth that closes the gap between Wales and other parts of the UK.
He said that he was determined that growth and ambition are seen and felt in all sectors and corners of our nation.
A full version of the speech as delivered can be viewed here