Ramsay: Labour isn't working


Addressing the Welsh Conservative Party conference in Swansea’s Liberty Stadium, Nick Ramsay AM, Shadow Minister for Business, said: 

Mae fe'n bleser bod yma yn Abertawe, dinas sy'n gyfoethog ei treftadaeth a'i diwylliant. Ac wrth gwrs ei bêl-droed!

It's great to be here in Swansea, a city rich in heritage that has often led the way and made many sacrifices over the years. And a city that, thanks to the UK Coalition Government is soon to be connected to one of the fastest and most modern electrified railway network’s in Western Europe.

We’re getting there Swansea! Although of course in the case of your football team, you're already there...

If only the same could be said for the Welsh Labour Government. To be fair to Welsh Labour, times are tough and the job of government is no bed of red roses.

Gordon Brown’s extravagant borrowing  legacy means that cuts have to be made, there is no quick fix that can magic away Britain’s economic problems overnight. This is going to take time.

But as we all know, when you haven’t got much money it’s even more important that you spend wisely. And this is something the Welsh Government has never quite got.

Just take a look at one recent example. Genesis 2, no not a biblical sequel but 36 million pounds of taxpayers money intended to help the jobless back into work. Great stuff, good intentions.

But there’s a catch - it’s quite difficult to find anyone who ever actually found a job from the scheme.

The original Genesis was rapidly followed by an Exodus and at this rate there’ll be another one – across the border!

And then there’s the airport. Believe me, few decisions by the Welsh Government have got people’s backs up more than the purchase of that airport.

They can’t afford to properly fund the NHS but they can find 50 million quid to pay off a private company. To be fair to the Welsh Government , there was no lack of speed in buying it. In fact they rushed into it faster than an Airbus taking off from Bristol Airport.

It was as if they were picking it up on EBay! Although at least on Ebay they’d have got a bargain, rather than paying twice what it’s actually worth.

One thing they eventually have got right thanks to Welsh Conservative persistence is Enterprise Zones. Admittedly it’s taken a while.

But I’m all for giving a bit of encouragement. It would have been simply disastrous not to have had any enterprise zones here in Wales with them springing up just across the border.

They were our idea and perhaps fittingly the Minister Edwina Hart has even asked a Conservative to take charge of the new enterprise zone in the Haven in Pembrokeshire. Our very own Nick Bourne.

Yes Nick, it’s clearly not just  the Welsh Conservative Group who are missing you! When you want a job done well get a Conservative to do it.

It’s not just enterprise zones that we’ve put forward. Our Invest Wales initiative mentioned by Paul Davies earlier. Our High Street Regeneration strategy and, of course, our commitment to upgrade the M4.

It’s not enough for us to sit on the sidelines criticising. We have to put forward a vision that will make life in Wales better.

Wasn’t the recent reshuffle strange? No one left the cabinet.

The Welsh cabinet’s become a bit like a revolving hotel door. the Ministers, collect their bags and head for it,  spin  round and round for a few seconds before being flung back into the lobby to book a new room!

The number of people in the cabinet just grows. A bit like Labour’s public sector in Wales.

But meanwhile, out there in the real world, there is no reshuffle planned for the 22 percent of young people under 24 in  Wales are not in Employment, Education or Training, one fifth of all our young people are being left to languish on the shelf in Labour’s creaking land of milk and honey.  That’s just not on.

Friends, Welsh labour isn’t working, in the words of the late, great Ian Macleod, we have the work to do. Let’s do it.

Diolch yn fawr.