Firms 'Still Scratching Their Heads' over Economic Policy; WAG'S FLAGSHIP PROGRAMME 'LACKING IN DETAIL', SAY AMS
Byline: RHODRI EVANS
THE implementation of the Welsh Assembly Government's flagship economic policy "lacks essential detail", a committee of AMs has warned.
The National Assembly's Enterprise and Learning Committee warned that WAG must communicate better with stakeholders to ensure its Economic Renewal Programme is delivered effectively.
Following an inquiry into the ERP, the cross-party committee has written to Economy and Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones, making a number of recommendations.
Evidence received by the Committee demonstrated that there is little detail available to businesses about changes to policy brought in by the new Programme.
The letter recommends the Government should channel resources into schemes for encouraging more productive collaborations between higher and further education institutions and commercial advisers. The Committee also recommends more innovative public and private partnerships for delivering a next-generation broadband network for Wales and encourages the Government to consider the merits of establishing a bond market and business community bank for the Welsh economy.
It said there was a need for clarification from the Government as to how it will support Welsh businesses to export into new markets abroad.
The committee also said it was unclear how the delivery of the ERP would be any different to what had gone before if WAG's senior management team essentially remained the same.
Committee chair, Gareth Jones AM, said: "If we are to continue to nurture and support a more favourable environment for business growth then we need a significant change in the culture and mindset of Welsh Government Ministers and officials and their methods of working.
"As an initiative, the Economic Renewal Programme has the potential to encourage a strong and sustainable Welsh economy.
"Yet our inquiry showed that its implementation still lacks essential detail.
"We accept that the Programme is in its early stages but hope that our recommendations will help to integrate its delivery with wider policy objectives and create a stronger business environment for the future."
Criticism of a lack of detail in the ERP is nothing new. …