According to the latest data released by the ONS Wales is the only UK nation to see its economy shrink.
According to the data Welsh GDP declined by 0.3% in the third quarter of 2021, while it grew in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland by 0.6%, 0.9% and 1.4% respectively.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have argued that the figures show more needs to be done in Wales to support small businesses and the self-employed as well as encourage private sector investment which has long lagged behind other UK nations.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS.
Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:
“While the last two years have been economically turbulent for the whole of the UK and indeed the world, it is disappointing to once again see Wales lag behind the other UK nations. Weekly wages also continue to be lower in Wales than they are in Scotland.
“Wales, under Labour, has historically struggled to attract the levels of private sector investment and foreign direct investment it needs to move into a vibrant post-industrial economy. We need to see much more action from the Welsh Government in supporting small and medium-sized businesses in Wales alongside the self-employed and entrepreneurs.
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats are continuing to call for business rates to be frozen in Wales until 2026 and in the long-term, replace business rates with a fairer, more supportive system.
“We also want to see planning rules reformed to accelerate change of use applications for commercial premises and introduce a Community Right to Buy to bring empty shops in town centres, high streets, and city centres back into use.
“Finally we continue to call for a Job Creation Premium to be introduced which would offset the initial costs of recruitment and training for businesses looking to grow.
“Wales has the potential to be a high investment and high growth economy, we just need Labour to be willing to take action to work with the private sector.”