Commenting on today’s statement on Enterprise Zones by Edwina Hart, Shadow Business Minister Eluned Parrott said:
“ The Minister has yet again been unwilling or unable to answer simple questions about her interaction with Westminster over the funding available to our Enterprise Zones. Progress towards establishing those zones – and actually getting real people into real jobs – has been painfully slow here in Wales by comparison with England and Scotland, and now we see the reason why.
“While Assembly Members were being told that negotiations were ongoing with the UK Treasury as early as January, the Minister’s request for cash for our Enterprise Zones was apparently made just 9 days before the UK Government ‘s budget on 12 March.
“The Minister wants AMs to join with her to seek an 'early, positive response' in her liaison with Westminster, but to get an early, positive response she should have made an early positive request to the UK Government in the first place. She has singularly failed to do so.
“By going down to the wire, the Welsh Labour Government have failed to get the best deal for Wales – in stark contrast to the success of the Scottish Government. By being quick to act, professional and timely in its own negotiations with Westminster, the Scottish Government have stood up for the people of Scotland in a way that the Welsh Government can only dream of. The contrast is frankly shaming, and yet again, Wales risks being left behind.
“Edwina Hart has given no specific or substantive answers in the past and has again refused to answer direct questions today. I will be writing to the Minister with these important questions and asking for an early, positive response from her on this occasion.”
[First published here.]