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F.O.I reveals WAG inaction over help to struggling businesses - Kirsty

June 9, 2009 1:22 PM

Information obtained by the Welsh Liberal Democrats has revealed that it took nearly a year for the Labour-Plaid government to meet with the banking sector to discuss lending to struggling businesses in Wales, proving that the Welsh government is 'no talk as well as no action'.

As Wales was deep in recession and businesses were going bust all across Wales, the Labour-Plaid government only arranged a meeting with the banks to discuss lending after insistence by Welsh Lib Dem opposition leader Kirsty Williams.

It was only in March 2009, nearly a year after a major bank had been nationalised, that the Deputy First Minister met with banks to discuss lending to struggling businesses in Wales.

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"I am appalled to discover what I had been suspecting for a long time. It is only in the last three months that this Labour-Plaid government met with the banks to discuss lending to struggling businesses in Wales. This should have been one of their main priorities when they saw banks like Northern Rock and Bradford and Bingley nationalised.

"Having spoken to many companies over the last year about the economic downturn and the effect its having on their businesses, I know that having access to credit is vital for some them to survive. Having access to this flow of credit could have made the difference between sink or swim for some businesses.

"The flow of credit in Wales is key to getting us out of this financial mess that's crippling the Welsh economy.

"I am deeply concerned that the Labour-Plaid government and particularly Ieuan Wyn Jones have been slow in approaching the banks to discuss lending to businesses.

"It seems that only after my insistence on this issue that the Labour-Plaid government decided to take action. While I am flattered that they saw fit to implement a suggestion from the opposition, this should have been one of priorities a long time ago. The people and businesses of Wales expects the Economy Department to be way ahead of the game, not waiting to be prodded by the opposition.

"I am reiterating my concerns that Ieuan Wyn Jones is incapable of running the Transport and Economic departments of the Welsh government at this difficult time in the Welsh economy."