Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has said that the Welsh Government has an opportunity to make devolution count as Wales faces the biggest industrial crisis since the Assembly was established. Leanne Wood said that her party had put options on the table to support the industry and help secure a lasting future for the steel industry in Wales.
Plaid Cymru has called for Welsh Government support through investment in the plant and business rates, for the Welsh Government to draw down European funding to support the plant, and for all options to be considered – including the possibility of entering into a joint venture with the company.
Leanne Wood said that Wales is facing the worst industrial crisis since the 1980s, but unlike last time Wales now has its own government. She said:
“Plaid Cymru is committed to working for an outcome where steel remains a core industry in this country, and I want the people of Wales and everyone involved in the steel industry to know that the Party of Wales will do everything it can to make that happen.
“There are serious questions for the Welsh Government to answer. The last time we faced an industrial crisis of this nature, there was no devolution. A Tory Government in Westminster freely allowed the de-industrialisation of so many of our communities back then, with no plan to provide alternative work to replace those jobs lost.
“And now, they are prepared for the sequel.
“This time, the Welsh Government has an opportunity to make devolution count. Labour promised that if elected, it would stand up for Wales against the Tories in Westminster. It is more important than ever that we have a Welsh Government fighting in the interests of Wales. Why is that not happening?
“Until now the Welsh Government has done little to secure the future of steel production here, and has failed to stand up to the UK Government as it presides over the de-industrialisation of our communities.
“Plaid Cymru has been constructive and proactive in this process from the outset. We will work to ensure a future for the steel industry. The Welsh Government and UK government have sat back for too long, it’s time for them to stand up, to prove the worth of devolution, and to join with Plaid Cymru and take action to save our steel industry.”