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Commenting on the publication today of the OECD’s report on the future of regional development and public investment in Wales, Shavanah Taj, General Secretary of the Wales TUC said:

“Today’s report from the OECD is a timely and important contribution to the debate on how governments at all levels in Wales can set about delivering a more productive and inclusive economy.”

“The report rightly highlights the extent to which more than a decade of UK Government austerity has held back the productivity of the Welsh economy, and calls for greater investment in skills and R&D.

“The OECD has also underlined the need for a clear and coherent vision for investment and regional development. The UK Government’s Internal Market Bill represents an unjustifiable power grab in this area and threatens to undermine Wales’ ability to deliver such a vision.

“We would fully expect that the economic development governance arrangements that Welsh Government look to introduce on the back of this report properly reflect the commitments that they have made on embedding social partnership across government. Workers in Wales must be fully involved in making the decisions that will impact on their working lives.

“Getting the governance right for regional development is important. But ultimately restructuring and organisational changes cannot solve Wales’ productivity challenges.

The key to a more productive and equal Welsh economy is pursuing a ruthless focus on Fair Work for all -  where workers are fairly rewarded, heard and represented, secure and able to progress in a healthy, inclusive environment where rights are respected.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on those workers and communities that have faced long-standing socio-economic inequality and exclusion. Now is the time to level-up and ensure every worker realises a genuine and real benefit from regional development.