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Fairer future planned for Welsh economy after crisis

Welsh Economy Minister Ken Skates told a briefing he wants to narrow the gap and boost well-being

The Welsh economy and Transport Minister Ken Skate has shared his message that fairness and well-being needs to be at the heart of plans to help the Welsh economy adapt to the “new normal” as the pandemic continues.

“Four Nations approach”

At the start of his address Ken Skates called for continued four nations discussions around shaping the economy when lockdown eases.

Although Wales is still in lockdown,  he said four nations discussions needed to start now.

He said only the UK Government had the “fiscal firepower” to support the furlough scheme and that Wales had the highest proportion of businesses– 74 percent -applying for support.

We also have the highest proportion of businesses applying for more general UK Government support schemes.

Public transport plans

The Welsh Government is continuing to insist that it is still too early to lift lockdown restrictions but that we have to prepare for the future. Transport, businesses and public places all need to be prepared.

Ken Skates said he is meeting unions and Transport for Wales later today. He said that failing to reinstate decent public transport would put those without cars at risk, but that social distancing pressures needed to be considered.

They will be looking at measures including priority use for key workers, better planning and staggering shift patterns as well as good remote working.

How the Welsh Economy can get fairer and smarter

In the longer term Ken Skates said economic resilience funding will not be given to businesses registered in tax havens.

He said he was going to set up a new panel of businesses and union representatives to input on the a fairer and more equal economy that priorities the economy and the environment.

The Minister said they wanted to narrow the gap between rich and poor as they shaped the post-coronavirus economy and protect the environment.

The least well-off will be at the front of the Welsh Government’s minds as they “build back better”.

Tourism and Hospitality

Mr Skates accepted that tourism and hospitality had been particularly hard hit by restrictions designed to protect against the virus and that they would need extra support for longer.

Discussions with UK government continue and the Development Bank of Wales are continuing about how these businesses can be supported.

Listen to the full briefing here:

 

 

 

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