A ‘Buy Welsh’ policy would boost Welsh economy by £400m, new figures show Labour Government lacking economic "ambition and imagination" argues Adam Price AM.
Figures obtained by Plaid Cymru's Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Adam Price AM reveal that the Labour Welsh Government is failing to make the most of its procurement policy meaning that the economy is missing out on up to £400m.
The figures have been revealed in response to a written question submitted by Adam Price AM, showing that the percentage of purchases procured from the Welsh Government, the NHS and Further Education providers had fallen between 2015-16 and 2016-2017.
During exchanges in the Senedd at Finance Questions today, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford incorrectly claimed that public procurement levels in Wales had increased, following a direct question from Adam Price.
The Welsh Government’s own figures show that his claims are incorrect. Adam Price AM said that the figures highlighted "a failure of ambition and imagination" on the part of the Labour Welsh Government when it comes to optimising procurement policy for the benefit of Welsh businesses and job creation.
Plaid Cymru's Adam Price AM said:
"When used effectively, public procurement is a strategic tool which can be utilised to bring real economic benefits to people in Wales.
"However, with a Labour Welsh Government devoid of real ambition and imagination at the helm, the percentage of Welsh purchases has fallen across the public sector.
"In 2015-16, 41% of all Welsh NHS purchases were made in Wales but by last year the figure had fallen to 39%. Similarly, the percentage of Welsh Government spend dropped from 44% to 41% in a year and in Further Education, from 62% to 55%.
“In response to a direct question from me during today’s Finance Questions in the Senedd, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance incorrectly claimed that public procurement levels in Wales had gone up. The Welsh Government’s own figures proves that is not the case which either shows a severe lack of understanding from the Cabinet Secretary, or an appalling attempt at misleading the Assembly.
"If the Welsh Government's own procurement levels, and the NHS' were on par with Local Government levels then this would lead to an additional £400m being spent on businesses in Wales.
"Plaid Cymru has repeatedly stood on a platform of raising procurement levels in Wales with a view to creating quality jobs and generating economic growth. I urge the Labour Welsh Government to show some leadership on this matter and to put a proper procurement policy in place that will harness our country's substantial economic potential."