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Building Back Well: How it will be achieved by a Plaid Cymru Government?

Elin Llŷr
Elin Llŷr

As part of Plaid Cymru’s Virtual Conference last weekend, we were delighted to host a fringe session, kindly sponsored by CIPD Wales. We were joined by Plaid Cymru's Shadow Economy Minister Helen Mary Jones MS, where she outlined how a Plaid programme of government aims to rebuild Wales' economy in light of Covid-19. With rising unemployment, changes to the labour market, and a reduction in economic productivity and output – Director of Deryn and former Plaid AM Nerys Evans questioned Helen Mary on the measures Plaid Cymru would introduce in Government to ensure economic growth and prosperity that embeds sustainability and equality across Wales.



Helen Mary floated some of the party’s key economic policies a day ahead of her conference speech, focusing on their aim of creating prosperity in order to share wealth. She announced plans to produce a “national road map” for ending poverty in Wales, pledging to ensure that no child will be living in poverty by the end of the next Senedd term.



On transport, she noted that the National Transport Plan needs a big re-think and also challenged the metro concept, arguing that it doesn’t work for post-industrial and rural communities. She spoke of the need to establish local hubs, working with businesses such as Lloyds Bank to ensure that people can both live and work in their local communities across Wales.



She touched on the party’s “Big Green Revolution” in order to help tackle the threat of climate change – focusing on de-carbonisation and green growth. Helen Mary also mentioned the party’s plans to build 50,000 homes during the next Senedd term – affordable, high quality and of the highest environmental standards.



On digital infrastructure, she highlighted the party’s plans to establish a National Connectivity Plan – pledging to end digital inequality, stating that a reliable internet connection is as important as electricity and running water.



Helen Mary agreed on the need to increase productivity within the Welsh workforce, focusing on innovation as a key area – and believes that this could attract some of our best entrepreneurs back to Wales to thrive and grow their businesses.



In a discussion about the food and drink sector, Helen Mary noted that more should be done to add value to products in Wales. She believes that there's a role for government to work with the sector to see what investment is needed - ensuring that businesses can grow and thrive more sustainably.



Finally, she touched on the party’s taxing pledges, stating that "we cannot expect to have Scandinavian style public services when also expected to pay American style taxes." She called for a rethink of council tax and business rates, and the need to tax wealth in a fair and proportionate way.



Helen Mary Jones’ full conference speech at the party’s virtual conference can be watched here – where she discusses some of the above policies in further detail. The speech starts at 1:33:35 into the video.



 

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