Wednesday, 17 August 2011

122,000 unemployed in Wales. Time for a radical plan.

Todays news that unemployment in Wales has risen by 10,000, taking the total to 122,000,  comes as no surprise .

The jobless rate is now 8.4%, which means Wales continues to have the highest percentage of the four UK nations, according to Labour Market Statistics.

The figures are even more worrying when you consider that Wales' is so highly dependent on the public sector and the full effect of the coalition cuts have not be felt yet.

This story coincides with the government has announcement of  locations for new "enterprise zones" in England to try to boost economic growth.

Ministers said 30,000 new jobs would be created by 2015 by giving cheaper business rates, superfast broadband and lower levels of planning control.

New zones were announced at sites in Cheshire, Cornwall, Gosport, Norfolk, Hereford, Kent and Oxfordshire.

So two of these Zones plus the Zones which have already announced for Bristol and Liverpool will have a direct effect  on the Welsh economy as they will attract industries that may have come closer to home.

Don't get me wrong. I have very little faith  that enterprise Zones do not so much as  move jobs from area to another and have very little influence in raising unemployment in the UK as a whole. But clearly unless our Lethargic Assembly doesn't come with an ambitious and radical strategic plan for creating jobs in Wales then we will lose out to the English enteprise Zones in the the near future at least for a decade.

Could the reason for this lethargy be because the Labour Welsh Government have no idea what to do. If this is so then its time to bring in coalition partners to beef things up.

Of course it could well be that with a ConLib government in Westminster then Labour, have reasoned that it  the Westminster government  who will get the blame for the rise in unemployment and rather than come up with ideas that may be controversial the best option for Labour is to nothing.

But what of potential coalition partners? Neither Plaid nor the Liberal Democrats have really advanced radical ideas to bring employment to Wales and the unemployment blackspots and we may have to wait for the former to elect its new leader before it gets into gear.

Whatever any of the Welsh parties do creating enterprise Zones which bring in companies for a few years  only for them to move again when the subsidies end  and they move off to a country with a better offer.

As this Blog as argued from its beginning  we need to create cooperative movements throughout Wales based on local needs . Indeed we need a minster for Coopratives who will lead  a department that wil aid those wishing to enter a venture. Now would't that be the perfect post for Leanne Wood in a Lab/Plaid coalition?

At first this will not result in a dramatic rise in employment, but it will be sustainable growth and is not preferable to create 50000 jobs over 10 years that not only remain but are steadily growing or 10000 jobs over 5 years of the type that LG promised that are gone with a change in the market in the same time?


  1. But even if jobs were created Plaid Cymru's left wing would complain that 'Valleys People' were 'forced' to travel 20 mile a day to those jobs whilst people who've travelled 1,000 from Poland get on with it without complaint.

    The Left demand the right to work and than demand the right the work when a Tory MP suggest people should travel to those jobs.

    Can't win.

  2. Good piece. The jobless rate is more than 8.4% by a long way. Disable people not counted, just like life itself .

    My solution is since wales gets £50 Billion or so a year from the chancellor

    i) Cut the councils to 4 in Wales . Nonsense in having 22.
    ii) With the Billions saved , the Welsh govt could pay 50% of the wages to all new co's for first 3 years.
    iii) this would make Wales as attractive as the far east for international investment, new start ups could survive and prosper, existing businesses could expand

    Wales would have near full employment and a high GDP

  3. The trouble with being the minority partner in a coalition is failure to get the credit for any success, and all too often the blame for failure.

    Wales' slide into greater deprivation and stagnation might, I repeat might, be arrested by such an arrangement, but it wouldn't be reversed, given the Assembly and the Welsh Government's absence of fiscal and monetary levers.

    Plaid would also need to persuade Labour to adopt its policies in full - unlikely given Labour's near control of the Assembly in terms of votes.

    All this would be at the cost of sentencing Plaid, imho, to decimation at the next election. It would forever be seen as Labour's lapdog, giving voters no reason to vote for it.

    So, for the very slight possibility of ameliorating Wales' economic plight to a small degree, Wales would lose the only party which gives it any real hope for prosperity, through self-determination, after centuries of exploitation, and decay.

    Having said that, I am coming round to the idea that Leanne Wood could be the leader that Plaid needs in its present circumstances, given the absence of really heavyweight contenders.

    I hope she throws her hat into the ring. She would be a break with the past in terms of her background, and political/republican convictions - which in many ways would be an advantage - and linguistic abilities. That for me, a Welsh speaker, would pose no problem at all.

    The last thing Wales or Plaid needs is another coalition with Labour. I don't think that I could support the party in such a role.

  4. Annonymous:15:00.

    Yes well 20 miles is easy to get to if you have access to your own transport. But try this as an exercise select a town 20 miles from you and by use traveline Cymru see if you can get there by 8:00 AM. Maybe you can but plenty can't and shift working could prove impossible.

    maen_tramgwydd .

    I accept your argument about coalitions but surely there must be an occasion where the needs of Wales and its people outweighs political advantage?

    At any rate Employers will look at how a applicant would travel to work and look at those who can guarantee puncuality.

  5. Glyn

    Yes well 20 miles is easy to get to if you have access to your own transport. But try this as an exercise select a town 20 miles from you and by use traveline Cymru see if you can get there by 8:00 AM. Maybe you can but plenty can't and shift working could prove impossible.

    ... which of course is the reason I'm served by Polish workers in so many shops, restaurants, pubs etc etc across Wales, cos, as we know Poland is less than 20 miles from Wales.

    How about moving to find a job? Yes, mad isn't it! I did, I'm sure you have ... but no 'Valleys People' have a god-given right to have the very exact job they want down their street. The world nor the state owes any one a job.