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|<p align="center"> <strong>CBI ANNUAL LUNCH, CARDIFF MARRIOTT HOTEL</strong></p> <p align="center"><strong>18 JUNE 2010</strong></p> <p align="left"> </p> <p align="left"><strong>Introduction</strong><strong> </strong></p> <p>I am delighted to be here today – not only as the first ever woman to hold the office of Secretary of State for Wales but sharing the platform with the first female President of the CBI.</p> <p>You are the leading voice of the business community and I want to pay tribute to all the work the CBI and its members have done in Wales. Having been a business woman myself, I know that all of us owe a huge debt of gratitude to your members and companies, working across Wales, providing jobs and investing in our economy and its future. Indeed it is through events such as this that politicians can get to hear the stories behind the figures, and the real issues that people are facing day in day out.</p> <p>It is you, the members here who deal with the realities of profit and loss, of wage bills and of staffing decisions, rather than the often abstract figures of GDP and production indices.</p> <p>And you are at the sharp end. You are the people who must choose whether to expand or not, whether to recruit or not, whether to borrow or not or whether to close down an operation or not. So, our philosophy in Government is to be supportive rather than imposing new burdens on business; to reduce regulation and bureaucracy and recognise innovation and enterprise.</p> <p>And it is through a good dialogue with organisations such as the CBI that I can ensure that I have the information that can help me reflect Wales’ business voice at all levels of Government. The main message I want to give you today is that we will deliver a new kind of Government. This is indeed a fresh start.</p> <p>The new architecture of government means a changed relationship between Westminster and Cardiff, with four political parties now involved in Government in Wales. Though of course the concept of a coalition government is already a well established feature of the Welsh political landscape, a coalition in Westminster is in itself both novel and exciting.</p> <p>We believe our old political system was broken, and our Government is not shying away from its responsibility to restore public trust in our democracy. We are determined to rebalance the relationship between the citizen and the state. However, you will be pleased to know that our key priority has to be ensuring the economic recovery, whilst tackling the enormous public deficit left by our predecessors; and we recognise the leading role that business will play in bringing this about.</p> <p><strong>The Welsh economy</strong></p> <p>After the longest and deepest recession since the Second World War, Britain needs to build a new economic model founded on the principles of freedom, fairness and responsibility. As many of our leading economists and financial experts have commented, the most urgent priority must be to tackle the record budget deficit.</p> <p>It is only by doing this that we can restore confidence in our economy and support the recovery.</p> <p>The Bank of England, the OECD and the international community, in the form of the G20, have all endorsed our plans and believe they are the right ones to tackle the deep seated problems that we inherited. These problems have led us to a very fragile recovery, never more so than in Wales.</p> <p>Despite a modest fall, the latest employment statistics highlight that Wales still has an unacceptable and heartbreakingly high rate of unemployment. We have the lowest Gross Value Added or GVA figures of any of the UK nations and over the past two years have seen some businesses disappear completely from the country.</p> <p>In addition, we have UK wide problems in our banking system, and an unbalanced economy. An economy that has been built on public sector spending rather than private sector growth. So this Government will do everything it can to support a private sector recovery and encourage growth.</p> <p>But you know and I know getting this economy back on track will not be a walk in the park.</p> <p>Let me be very straight with you – this is the legacy we have inherited and these are the very real challenges that we face. As a country we simply cannot afford to continue to increase public debt at a rate of £3 billion each week – that’s half of the Welsh health and social services budget for the entire year, and over seven times the annual budgets for the four Welsh police forces put together.</p> <p>The economic failure of the last government has now been laid bare. It is all very well to leave a letter saying the money has run out – but the real challenge is having an answer to that letter.</p> <p>Sometimes in politics there are no easy choices. The tough decisions we make will affect every single person in our country. However these are decisions that have to be taken, because reducing the deficit is a necessity.</p> <p>This is why yesterday we announced the cancellation of a number of projects that were not affordable or did not represent good value for money. </p> <p>These are the tough decisions we will make so we can build an economy that works for everyone and send the message out that the UK and Wales is open for business. We need to move into the sunlight of confidence and stability, rather than living in the shadow of debt and uncertainty. And strong and decisive action will create the environment in which you can create the wealth we need in Wales.</p> <p><strong>Our policies </strong></p> <p>The coalition Government has made reducing the fiscal deficit our top priority, starting this year. This is the first step to restoring confidence in the UK economy.<strong> </strong></p> <p>Last year our budget deficit was the largest it has ever been in our peacetime history, and this year it is set to be amongst the largest in the world. Earlier this week we received the report from the Office of Budget Responsibility, established by us to determine independent growth and fiscal forecasts. They reported lower growth forecasts, but more worryingly, also announced that the UK structural deficit would be £12 billion higher than previously suggested.</p> <p>Britain would have to pay for its debts. £42 billion of debt interest payments this year rising to £67 billion by 2014-15. This means that over the course of this Parliament, more than a quarter of a trillion pounds will come from the pockets of taxpayers simply to service the debt left by the previous Government.</p> <p>I’m sure you will agree that a responsible government cannot let this happen; the coalition Government will ensure it does not.</p> <p>I know that the big question is – how are we going to tackle this?</p> <p>Next week’s Budget will set out a comprehensive blue print to eliminate the bulk of the deficit over the course of this Parliament, providing the country with a credible plan to live within its means, just as businesses around the country are doing. The detail is for the budget but I can re-assure you that the main burden of deficit reduction will be borne by reduced government spending rather than increased taxes.</p> <p>Our Budget will also set out a five-year roadmap for a major reform of corporation tax. We will cut corporation tax rates by simplifying reliefs and allowances and tackling avoidance, while protecting manufacturing industries. This is vital as I know the importance of the manufacturing industry to Wales – and this is just one of our many proposed signals that Britain, and indeed Wales, is looking for business.</p> <p>This will be followed with a full Spending Review, reporting in the autumn, following consultation with all tiers of Government and the private sector.</p> <p>There are difficult choices ahead, but, given our legacy, they are unavoidable. The prize of turning our economy around is well-paid jobs, thriving businesses and rising living standards which provide more for our families and let us move forward as a country. These are all things that Wales desperately needs.</p> <p>By tackling the deficit early, we are able to reverse the National Insurance increases that would have increased the tax burdens on businesses and put jobs at risk – particularly in the small and medium sized enterprises that are the backbone of the Welsh economy.</p> <p>We recognise that the flow of credit to businesses is vital – the banking system should serve business, not the other way around. That is why we are considering ways to improve loan guarantees and lending agreements, so that businesses can access the credit they need to drive their future growth.</p> <p>A banking levy will be introduced and robust action will be taken to tackle unacceptable bonuses. We are determined to create a more competitive banking industry.</p> <p>The private sector must be given the room to grow without direct Government intervention, in order that we build real and long-lasting prosperity for this country. We plan to free business from the stranglehold of excess regulation which costs businesses in the UK over £80 billion a year.</p> <p>That is why we are introducing the “one-in, one-out” rule so that Ministers can only impose a new regulation on business if they can identify one that can be removed. Similarly, we are introducing “sunset clauses” to ensure no regulation outlives its need.</p> <p>Beyond this, we intend to make our corporate tax regime one of the most competitive in the G20 through reform and simplification, whilst raising the threshold at which people pay income tax – ultimately to £10,000.</p> <p>As somebody proud of my Welsh roots and optimistic about Wales’ future, my vision is of a prosperous Wales, where companies want to do business and want to base themselves. However I recognise that government cannot create businesses but you can.</p> <p>To ensure that the country really drives forward entrepreneurship, we will make it easier and quicker to put money behind a business and easier and quicker to start a business. Any changes to Capital Gains Tax will include exemptions for entrepreneurial business activities, encouraging people to set up new businesses and employ people.</p> <p>From my time, over four and a half years, as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales and my visits across Wales in only my first month in this job, I have seen for myself the drive and commitment that Welsh businesses and their workforces have to succeed and grow. From cider making to sheep farming, from power stations to wing production, from social enterprises to multinationals our businesses are impressive.</p> <p>From fledgling enterprises housed within the Technium Optic in the North, to Corus, the internationally recognised manufacturer in the South, I have been very impressed by the talent and skills we have in Wales and the cooperation between management and workers. Having served on the Science and Technology Select Committee, I know the value of a strong science base and as the daughter of a man who ended up as a director of a steel firm, I know the value of manufacturing. With an Uncle who is a Welsh farmer I know the value of enterprise in the rural economy. We have all these advantages in Wales and we need to attract more.</p> <p>I use these opportunities of visits to observe and to hear firsthand experiences, and the hopes and fears for the future. As Secretary of State for Wales I am looking forward to visiting more of our businesses so I can promote and develop.</p> <p>My vision for the Welsh Office is an Office that works for Wales across all for a, a bridge between Westminster in London and Cardiff. Thousands of people cross the border between England and Wales every day – without thinking and certainly without seeing the border as a barrier. We need to ensure that businesses do not see devolution or government in Westminster or Cardiff Bay as a barrier, but as an asset.</p> <p>But to do this, I need your help. These are early days, but I am keen to ensure that there are open channels of communication between my office and the Welsh business community. I promise to be a strong voice in Westminster, ensuring Wales and Welsh business receives a fair deal and to be a proud partner in government with the Assembly rather than a carping neighbour.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong><strong> </strong></p> <p>Therefore it is fitting that our coalition Government values are Freedom, Fairness and Responsibility. These values drive our efforts to deal with our deficit. They are also the values that will underpin our work to turn our economy around. </p> <p>We are taking our first steps in a long road to restoring good management of our public finances, after years of Labour extravagance and mismanagement.</p> <p>We are all in this together but by working in our different roles I believe we can emerge from this recession with a stronger economy and a leaner, fitter Government, prepared to create the environment in which you can do business and create wealth. I therefore look forward to hearing more from the CBI, and your individual members, both today and in the future. </p> <p align="left">This is because only by working together we can deliver a stronger, fairer society. A society that strengthens and unites this proud nation.</p> <p align="center"> </p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2010/06/18/secretary-of-state-for-wales-cbi-speech/||Cheryl Gillan||Secretary of State for Wales speech – CBI annual lunch||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2010-06-18||Wales Office||CBI ANNUAL LUNCH, CARDIFF MARRIOTT HOTEL|
|<p><strong>Introduction</strong></p> <p>Diolch Llywydd. Thank you Presiding Officer. I would like to begin by saying what a pleasure it is to be here today in the National Assembly for Wales at my first debate as Secretary of State.</p> <p>I am Welsh, born and bred, and as someone with proud Welsh roots it is a great honour to have been appointed Welsh Secretary, and to be the first woman in this office. The coalition Government knows the value of this great nation to the United Kingdom. And as you all know, in his first week in the job, the Prime Minister became the first serving Prime Minister to visit the Senedd.</p> <p>It is a privilege to be able to report to you on the Queen’s Speech, and I look forward to hearing contributions from many Assembly Members this afternoon so that their views can be taken into account as we implement the legislative programme.</p> <p>Before I talk about the programme in detail, I would, on this, my first appearance in the Senedd, first like to pay tribute to the brave Welsh men and women serving in our armed forces across the world, and especially in Afghanistan. I am delighted to be here in Cardiff later this month to celebrate their commitment at Armed Forces Day, which I understand the First Minister will also be attending. We owe a great debt of gratitude to our service personnel and their families and we must never forget that. I would also like to offer my congratulations to the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, on his recent appointment as a Privy Councillor – a fitting recognition of his contribution to the Assembly.</p> <p><strong>The New Architecture of Government </strong></p> <p>Politics at Westminster has entered a new era. We have made a fresh start. We have a new kind of government leading a new type of politics, where the national interest trumps party interest and where mature attitudes of co-operation and compromise are signs of strength not weakness.</p> <p>Now, the changed architecture of government means the opportunity for a renewed relationship between Westminster and Cardiff, with four political parties in Wales involved in government. Coalition government is of course a well established feature of the Welsh political landscape, so there is much we in Westminster can learn from Welsh experiences here in the Assembly.</p> <p>During his visit here last month, the Prime Minister made it clear that this Government’s relationship with the Welsh Assembly Government should be built on the firm foundation of mutual respect:</p> <p>I look forward to playing my part in this new agenda of co-operation and optimism, and hope all Members of this Chamber will do the same. I believe<a name="OLE_LINK2" title="OLE_LINK2"></a><a name="OLE_LINK1" title="OLE_LINK1"></a> people want to see constructive politics rather than destructive politics.</p> <p><strong>The Legislative Programme</strong></p> <p>The coalition Government’s First Legislative Programme, as announced by Her Majesty last month, builds on our programme for Government, and is based on the key principles of freedom, fairness and responsibility. It sets out a wide-ranging programme of twenty new Bills; a programme that will significantly benefit the people of Wales whilst taking decisive action to put Britain’s economy back on a firm footing by reducing the deficit and restoring economic growth.</p> <p>The programme is strategic and efficient. The modest number of Bills ensures that Parliament can scrutinise the legislation fully, without being over-burdened. This is not legislating for the sake of it.</p> <p>The coalition Government has made a good start in implementing the programme. We have introduced three Bills so far. The Identity Documents Bill had its Second Reading in the House of Commons last week, and will restore freedoms and civil liberties by abolishing identity cards and repealing unnecessary laws. That is good news for Wales, and indeed for the whole of the United Kingdom. The two other Bills introduced so far deal with academies and local government restructuring, and do not impact directly on Wales.</p> <p>But as the Programme of legislation proceeds, let me assure you all here today that devolution is an important ingredient in the coalition Government’s policy making. We respect devolution. Each department of Government must take account of devolution in implementing Government policy. So my door is always open to any Assembly Member who wishes to discuss the coalition Government’s programme, and how we shall deliver it in Wales. And in my Office, we have a small but determined department working within Whitehall on Wales’s behalf.</p> <p>The legislative programme is of course in its early stages, and we have much work to do. Many Bills in the programme have implications for Wales, and my Office is working together with other Whitehall Departments, and wants to work with the Welsh Assembly Government, to ensure that Welsh interests are fully taken into account as the legislation is developed.</p> <p><strong>Constitutional Reform</strong></p> <p>Constitutional reform is a major pillar of the programme. Our political system is broken, and this Government will not shirk from its responsibility to restore public trust in our democracy. The Deputy Prime Minister has laid out the overarching principle of the reforms: rebalancing the relationship between the citizen and the state. Handing power back so that people have far more control over the state than they do now.</p> <p>That means radical reform of our political institutions so that people’s trust in our democracy is revived:</p> <p>These changes will make our political system more transparent and accountable, and will benefit people across the whole of the United Kingdom. We are thinking carefully about the effects of these changes in Wales and, as we move forward, I will work to ensure that the proposals do not have a negative impact on the National Assembly.</p> <p><strong>Welsh Referendum</strong></p> <p>In the context of this wider political reform the coalition Government is also committed to working constructively and co-operatively with the devolved institutions and to a referendum on additional powers for the National Assembly.</p> <p>Let me make our position clear. A referendum is a priority – for the coalition Government, and for me as Secretary of State. I know that Members of this Assembly share my eagerness to hold the referendum: that was evident from the resolution passed in this Chamber in February. But the referendum must be carried out properly. We must ask an understandable question, and ensure the people of Wales have good information in order that they can make an informed decision. The preparation work needs to be thorough to minimise the risk of legal challenge.</p> <p>Following my appointment, the preparation work for the referendum began in earnest. In consultation with the First Minister, I have been working to identify a date when the referendum can be held without compromising the integrity of the process. We need to ensure the Electoral Commission has the time it has determined it needs to test the referendum question. It is only right that full and proper consideration is given to the question, and that sufficient time is built into the process to ensure proper preparation for the poll.</p> <p>I am now of the opinion that a referendum should be held, all things being equal, in the first quarter of 2011, subject to the approval of Parliament. That ensures we do the job properly. No cutting corners, but rather working co-operatively to afford the people of Wales a clear choice, made through well informed judgement. This is a major constitutional proposal; we owe people in Wales nothing less than to follow the procedures laid down in the legislation.</p> <p><strong>Cutting the Deficit to Secure the Recovery</strong></p> <p>The other key pillar of the programme is of course the economy. The coalition Government has made reducing the fiscal deficit our top priority. Starting to reduce the deficit this year is essential to ensure our economic recovery, and is the first step to restoring confidence in the UK economy.<strong> </strong></p> <p>The need to take decisive action to reduce the deficit is a necessary consequence of the previous government’s reckless economic management. We have, in the words of the outgoing Chief Secretary, <em>run out of money</em>. Last year our budget deficit was the largest it has ever been in our peacetime history and, according to the IMF, is the largest budget deficit in the G20. Everybody knows what happens when you ignore the bills coming in and don’t pay them. The problem just gets worse. The previous government “maxed out” on the country’s credit card. I am sorry to say, that is why we must act decisively, so that we come through these tough times as fast as possible without jeopardising the recovery.</p> <p>Only last week the Prime Minister spelt out that the deficit is worse than we thought, and that unless action is taken we would be paying around £70bn a year in interest on Britain’s national debt by 2015. A responsible Government cannot let this happen; the coalition Government will ensure it does not.</p> <p>That is why last month the Chancellor announced the first £6 billion of the savings we must make, barely a fortnight after the coalition Government took office.</p> <p>Following the announcement, I read unfounded reports in the press suggesting that Wales was being “hit the hardest” in the savings we will have to find. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, the percentage cut to the Wales Departmental Expenditure Limit – or DEL – is below the average percentage cut in the DEL for the United Kingdom as a whole.</p> <p>But Wales must play its part, and it is of course for the Welsh Assembly Government to decide where, and when, to make the savings. I welcome<strong> </strong>the comments made in this Chamber by the Assembly Government’s Budget Minister on 25 May, that the Welsh Assembly Government “will be responsible partners in contributing to the reduction of the deficit over coming years.”</p> <p>At the same time the savings were announced, we also announced a further £24 million for Wales, which reflects the Barnett consequentials of recycled savings, used by the Government on targeted measures such as social housing, further education, apprenticeships and business rates.</p> <p>I spoke earlier of this Government respecting the different choices that Wales can make, and we have followed through on our promise to allow the Assembly Government the flexibility to defer all or part of the savings until next year, if they wish to.</p> <p>But what is clear is that we cannot afford to continue increasing public debt at the rate of £3bn each <u>week</u> – that’s half of the Welsh health and social services budget for the entire year, and over seven times the annual budgets for the four Welsh police forces put together.</p> <p>The crippling public debts which threat our financial stability and, if not addressed, will derail our economic recovery. Public borrowing is, after all, only a deferred form of taxation, and it would be irresponsible of us to continue to accumulate vast debts that would have to be paid off by our children and our grandchildren for decades to come. That would be a form of intergenerational theft.</p> <p><strong>Tackling Unemployment</strong></p> <p>Cutting the deficit, whilst a priority, is not the only way that the coalition Government will drive forward the recovery. We will also create a simpler and fairer tax and benefits system.</p> <p>The UK recession has left over 120,000 people unemployed and nearly 430,000 economically inactive in Wales. The previous Government’s programmes clearly aren’t working, which is why we are scrapping all of the existing programmes and introducing a new, single welfare to work programme to help all unemployed people get back to work.<strong> </strong></p> <p>The existing system trapped on benefits the very people it is supposed to help – for life in far too many cases – and that has got to change.</p> <p>It is wrong that someone can actually be worse off by taking a job compared to being on benefits; instead, we will reward those who go out to work by making work pay.</p> <p>Similarly, those looking for an easy ride without looking for work can expect to see their benefits curtailed.</p> <p>However the coalition Government is under no illusion how damaging unemployment is for the country, and the real hardship it brings to families throughout Wales. That is why I want to work together with the Welsh Assembly Government to help people and families affected by job losses.</p> <p><strong>Support for Business</strong></p> <p>The coalition Government is also fully committed to supporting sustainable growth and promoting enterprise.</p> <p>By tackling the deficit early we will be able to reverse the National Insurance increases that would have increased the tax burdens on businesses, particularly the small and medium sized enterprises that are the backbone of the Welsh economy.</p> <p>We will also reform the corporate tax structure to simplify reliefs and allowances so that we can create the most competitive corporate tax regime in the G20.</p> <p>Access for finance is important for businesses and we recognise that the flow of credit to businesses is vital – the banking system should serve business, not the other way around. That is why we are considering both a major loan guarantee scheme and the use of net lending targets for the nationalised banks, so that viable businesses have that access to the credit they need to drive their future growth</p> <p>We are committed to securing the recovery by improving the business environment for the private sector so they can provide strong and sustainable growth.</p> <p>But we can only do this by working together. Westminster and Cardiff must work co-operatively to lead Wales in the recovery. It is essential that we engage to ensure our policies deliver for the people of Wales and, when there are differences in approach, we ensure they support our common endeavour.</p> <p>The Government wants to work with the Assembly Government to deliver its programme for government in Wales. On welfare reform, for example, you have important responsibilities in areas such as further and higher education, training and skills and social care which will prove crucial in ensuring successful reform of the system.</p> <p>We are already putting this principle into practice. During his visit here last month, the Prime Minister repeated his offer to come to Assembly to answer Members’ questions, an offer that has been warmly welcomed by the Presiding Officier. Early next month, I am meeting the Welsh Assembly Government cabinet. I am also also looking forward to meeting Gerry Holtham to discuss the Holtham Commission’s final report and, following its publication, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury will be meeting him to discuss its findings.</p> <p>One of the changes we have made also indicates the way in which we wish to approach devolved priorities. The Joint Ministerial Committee met earlier this month at a successful meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, and has now agreed to meet regularly to consider matters of common mutual interest.</p> <p>This is solid proof of the Government’s commitment to work in collaboration with the devolved institutions, and to integrate devolution into our policy making.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <p>The legislative programme put forward by our new Government is the first step towards putting right the appalling legacy which the last Government left us. The cavalier approach to taxpayers’ money is no more. From now on, the UK will get the exact opposite: spending public money wisely, and saving it wherever possible – not profligacy and ever increasing debt. Bottom-up change, with more personal, civic and corporate responsibility; not top-down control and big government. Power back in the hands of the people; not power for politicians.</p> <p>That is good news for Britain. And it is good news for Wales.</p> <p>I welcome the spirit of collaboration and co-operation between Westminster and Cardiff which has permeated my first weeks as Welsh Secretary. However, we face a real challenge in restoring our economy.</p> <p>The difficult choices we must make to reduce public spending and rebalance taxes will be underpinned by the values of compassion, reasonableness and concern for the most disadvantaged. I am sure all of us here today share those values. And I hope we will continue to work together to build a confident and more prosperous Wales.</p> <p>I commend the Queen’s Speech today, and in thanking you for the opportunity to address you, I also wish this Assembly well. I look forward to hearing your contributions and suggestions on how we can improve the governance of the country.</p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2010/06/16/cheryl-gillans-address-to-the-national-assembly-for-wales-on-the-queen%e2%80%99s-speech/||Cheryl Gillan||Cheryl Gillan’s address to the National Assembly for Wales on the Queen’s Speech||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2010-06-16||Wales Office||None|
|<p align="center"><strong>CALLAGHAN LECTURE, St David’s Hotel and Spa, Cardiff Bay</strong></p> <p align="center"><strong>Tuesday 21 September 2010</strong></p> <p><strong><em>Introduction</em></strong></p> <p>Ladies and Gentlemen</p> <p>It is a great pleasure to speak to you today and to support the ninth Chambers of Commerce Business Week.</p> <p>Events such as this are an important reminder of the vital contribution you all make in building a strong economy and in creating jobs across Wales.</p> <p>Before I start I would like to say a few words on behalf of my colleague Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills.</p> <p>I know many of you will be disappointed that Vince has had to withdraw from speaking to you later this week.</p> <p>He too is disappointed not to keep this engagement as he tells me Lord Callaghan was a very influential figure in his life.</p> <p>But I am pleased to say Vince intends to come to Wales shortly and my office will be working on his programme.</p> <p>For me, it is a particular pleasure to be speaking here at the St. David’s hotel on the edge of Cardiff Bay.</p> <p>I spent the first ten years of my life in Llandaff.</p> <p>What brought my family to Wales – as it did many others – was trade and commerce in the shape of the docks down here in the Bay, out of which my grandfather and great grandfather sailed.</p> <p>Of course, the view today from the shores of the Bay is very different from their time.</p> <p>Though, naturally, they would recognise the Pierhead building – just across the water from here – as a lasting symbol of Cardiff’s maritime and industrial heritage.</p> <p>Cardiff Bay today is largely unrecognisable from the area Lord Callaghan represented with such distinction as the local Member of Parliament for 42 years.</p> <p>Private enterprise provided the drive and energy for the thriving commercial centre that was the old Cardiff Bay,</p> <p>And in recent years it has been transformed through private investment, in partnership with the UK Government, the Assembly, and the local authority.</p> <p>What is still an area of work and enterprise is now also a place of leisure, where the people of Cardiff and beyond come to relax and enjoy time with their families.</p> <p>I never cease to be amazed by the scale of the change in Cardiff Bay.</p> <p>It truly is a symbol of the modern Wales.</p> <p>Vibrant.</p> <p>Progressive.</p> <p>Outward looking.</p> <p>True to its past, but optimistic about its future.</p> <p>It serves as testament to the ability of areas such as these, where traditional industries have declined, to regenerate.</p> <p>To diversify.</p> <p>And to emerge, phoenix-like, to a new and successful future.</p> <p>It illustrates, too, what can be achieved when Governments – national and local – agencies and the private sector work together.</p> <p>It is a lesson that will serve us well in the months and years ahead as we strive for sustained economic growth, built on firm financial foundations and decisions taken in the national interest.</p> <p><strong><em>Economic backdrop</em></strong></p> <p>We need to be honest about the scale of the challenge we face here in Wales.</p> <p>Wales is still the poorest part of the United Kingdom.</p> <p>Our average wages are lower.</p> <p>Our unemployment rate is still unacceptably high and over half a million people in Wales are classed as economically inactive.</p> <p>We have nearly 100,000 children growing up in severe poverty</p> <p>And at the same time, the UK as a whole faces staggering financial difficulties.</p> <p>Such is the legacy that was bequeathed to us by the previous Government that for every four pounds we currently spend, one is borrowed.</p> <p>Increasing our national debt by £3bn a week.</p> <p>We are already spending in debt interest around three times as much as the Welsh Block Grant</p> <p>It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the more government borrows the more it has to repay.</p> <p>This erodes confidence in the markets, and ultimately the economy as a whole.</p> <p>Without confidence there can be no growth.</p> <p>We risk higher interest rates</p> <p>Hurting every individual, every family, and every business in the country.</p> <p>With that comes higher mortgages and lower employment.</p> <p>Doing nothing is simply not an option.</p> <p>Even the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer acknowledged this when he spoke to you last year.</p> <p>And Labour now find themselves in the rather bizarre position of opposing every reduction in public spending.</p> <p>Whilst still being signed up to a policy of cutting an unspecified £44bn over the next four years.</p> <p>I look forward to hearing what their new leader has to say about the financial mess they left us in when he or she is named on Saturday.</p> <p>Because up until now they haven’t told the country where the cuts they were planning were going to be made.</p> <p>We do not relish having to take these difficult decisions.</p> <p>But we certainly will not shy away from them.</p> <p>Whilst we may have inherited the problem, to fail to address it would be irresponsible.</p> <p>And we would only have ourselves to blame.</p> <p>We are not going to make that mistake and jeopardise this country’s future.</p> <p>So in the first four months since taking office we have taken the unavoidable, but tough decisions the Governor of the Bank of England and the G20 called for.</p> <p>Our long term approach is building confidence in our future.</p> <p>It’s not just about cuts.</p> <p>We know the debts are huge.</p> <p>Unchecked they would double to £1.4 trillion in five years.</p> <p>£22,000 for every man, woman and child in the country.</p> <p>That’s why we established the independent Office for Budget Responsibility.</p> <p>It has set out independent forecasts that show the scale of the problem.</p> <p>So people can see an independent assessment of the nation’s finances.</p> <p>The Chancellor’s emergency Budget in June set out a comprehensive blueprint to eliminate the bulk of the deficit over the course of this Parliament.</p> <p>The Comprehensive Spending Review next month will take this further.</p> <p>Now, I speak to you at a time of some uncertainty.</p> <p><strong><em>CSR</em></strong></p> <p>We should be in no doubt that when the Chancellor stands up on 20<sup>th</sup> October to deliver the outcome of the Spending Review, there will be profound consequences for all sectors and for all parts of the country, including Wales.</p> <p>But we will not allow the books to be balanced at the expense of those most in need.</p> <p>The injustice of the failure to manage our economy means the poorest are often the most dependent on public services.</p> <p>So we have been looking at the welfare bill and at individual benefits as part of our spending review.</p> <p>We have done so in such a way that protects those protects those in genuine need.</p> <p>That protects those with disabilities.</p> <p>And protects those who can’t work.</p> <p>But also encourages those who can work to get into work. </p> <p>That is the purpose behind our welfare reform. </p> <p>Likewise, we will not allow the problems we already face in Wales to be exacerbated by the tougher spending climate.</p> <p>We will carry out the unavoidable deficit reduction plan in a way that works towards strengthening and uniting the country.</p> <p>The Chancellor is right when he says Britain can get back on the road to economic recovery without sacrificing growth or becoming an unfair society.</p> <p>Yes, the days of bottomless public funding streams and unfunded policy commitments are at an end.</p> <p>In tough economic times it is vital we live within our means.</p> <p>Those of you working in the private sector know that only too well.</p> <p>So why should government and the public sector be any different?</p> <p>Like recent developments here at Cardiff Bay, with Governments and agencies working hand in hand and with, most importantly a strong private sector, we can rebuild our economy.</p> <p>And emerge from the Spending Review period stronger than ever before.</p> <p>The spending review will be focused on fairness and deficit reduction.</p> <p>At the weekend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury announced further measures to meet these twin goals.</p> <p>This includes making £900mn available to tackle tax avoidance, evasion and fraud.</p> <p>Doing so will raise an extra £7bn each year by 2014/15 from those who currently avoid paying their fair share of tax.</p> <p><strong><em>The changing economy</em></strong></p> <p>The stories of economic rebirth in Wales do not, of course, begin and end with the Cardiff Bay development.</p> <p>History has shown how adaptable the Welsh economy is, as sectors have declined and others have risen in their place.</p> <p>A largely agrarian economy up until the early 18<sup>th</sup> century, gave way to small scale industries.</p> <p>From textiles and milling, to slate mining and, in the 19<sup>th</sup> century on to the heavier industries of coal mining and, later, steel and tinplate.</p> <p>Wales was the cradle of the industrial revolution – a fact recognised when Blaenavon, not too far from here, was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO.</p> <p>I strongly support Merthyr Tydfil’s bid for World Heritage status because I believe it is right we recall its place in history and how in the 1800s it was the iron capital of the world.</p> <p>We should remember too the miners, the steelmen, the labourers, the farmers, and the factory workers, who helped shape the world around us.</p> <p>The decades since the Second World War saw a significant shift into service industries with many of these jobs, for the first time held by women.</p> <p>And in recent decades we have seen growth in other sectors, with an influx of foreign investment during the 1980s and 90s leading to further employment in high-technology, in aerospace and others.</p> <p>Here, as in my own world of politics, women are making progress.</p> <p>I was pleased to meet the apprentice of the year at Airbus last year-a very capable woman making a contribution to a great industry.</p> <p>Today, further areas are gaining prominence.</p> <p>Tourism.</p> <p>Energy.</p> <p>The first shoots of green technology.</p> <p>As well as the burgeoning creative industries, which I had a chance to see firsthand on my recent visit to the new BBC drama village just across the water from here – as well as to the studios of all our broadcasters operating in Wales.</p> <p>It is clear there is a wealth of talent in Wales and the Welsh workforce has shown itself to be supremely adaptable over the years.</p> <p>The ingredients for rebirth and regeneration are there.</p> <p>We need to do all we can to encourage businesses to see what I see – a country ready for investment and ready for work.</p> <p>To put an end to the scourge of long term unemployment that has blighted so many families and communities for far too long.</p> <p>It is vital, not only to get through these tough economic times but also to emerge stronger from them.</p> <p>And that the companies responsible for creating the jobs of the future are given the right conditions to grow and to flourish.</p> <p><strong><em>Support for business</em></strong></p> <p>I believe our recovery needs to be led by you, the private sector</p> <p>The public sector is a vital employer. And I have no wish to denigrate the fantastic job that our public servants do</p> <p>But with over a quarter of the Welsh population employed by the state, everyone must acknowledge that the size of the public sector in Wales is unsustainable.</p> <p>It is only by growing and developing our private sector that we can rebalance our economy.</p> <p>And at the same time reverse the years of social and economic decline.</p> <p>We already have some real success stories in the private sector in Wales.</p> <p>Recently I visited the liquefied natural gas terminal at South Hook near Milford Haven.</p> <p>The company estimates the terminal injects in excess of £1bn into the local economy and has created significant job opportunities in Pembrokeshire and the surrounding community.</p> <p>Its value cannot be overstated.</p> <p>Nor can that created by firms such as Ultrapharm.</p> <p>A company which relocated from England to Pontypool and has doubled its workforce in two years.</p> <p>And which recently landed a lucrative contract to provide gluten-free products to Marks and Spencer.</p> <p>Firms like Admiral lead the way in what Wales can achieve.</p> <p>A model employer.</p> <p>With record profits.</p> <p>And ambitious plans for the future, including a new HQ in Cardiff housing 3,000 staff.</p> <p>We should celebrate the fact Admiral is a FTSE 100-listed company.</p> <p>But we should also be asking why it is Wales’ <em>ONLY</em> FTSE 100-listed company.</p> <p>We should also be asking why major investors like Bosch have moved out of Wales after contributing so significantly to our economy for more than a decade.</p> <p>Asking what more could have been done to keep them here.</p> <p>And creating the right economic conditions to make sure we retain investor confidence in Wales.</p> <p>We need to nurture our home-grown businesses with an environment that helps them to succeed as well as attracting companies from abroad by making Wales a truly great place to do business.</p> <p>This is why we are reforming the corporate tax structure, aiming to have one of the most competitive tax regimes in the G20 within the next four years.</p> <p>It is why we are simplifying business regulation with a ‘one in, one out’ rule that means new regulations can only be introduced if another is removed.</p> <p>And why we are looking at “sunsetting clauses” to ensure that regulations only stay in force as long as they are needed.</p> <p>It is why we are reforming the banking system, to ensure that viable SMEs have access to the vital flows of credit they need to compete and to expand.</p> <p>However, it concerns me that only this week it was reported that the amount of bank lending to UK manufacturers has barely changed in the past two months.</p> <p>This despite the Government and business leaders stepping up calls for banks to relax borrowing to business.</p> <p>Inward investment can, as in the 80s and 90s, be a vital part of our recovery too, providing sustainable, highly skilled work.</p> <p>The likes of Airbus, Corus, Sharp have made a huge contribution to Wales and we need to do all we can to send out the message that Wales is open for business.</p> <p>I am certainly encouraged by the 3,400 jobs created in Wales last year directly as a result of foreign investment, but we need to do more.</p> <p>I will be meeting shortly with Lord Brittan, the government’s new trade adviser, to discuss how we can bring new investment into Wales.</p> <p>And working with Business Secretary Vince Cable, the Foreign Office, and the Deputy First Minister to further define how we maximise opportunities for Wales of foreign investment, business and trade.</p> <p>We must also look to increase our export market.</p> <p>At its peak, Cardiff was the largest coal exporting port in the world.</p> <p>It is said the first £1mn cheque was written at the Coal Exchange building not far from here during a transaction at the turn of the 20<sup>th</sup> century.</p> <p>No-one can deny that the days of large-scale coal and steel exports have gone.</p> <p>But that doesn’t mean we can’t look to export.</p> <p>We also need to ensure that more is done to encourage entrepreneurs and start-ups in Wales.</p> <p>It is frankly unacceptable that levels of business start-ups in Wales are not only amongst the lowest in the UK, but that they have been falling since 2004.</p> <p>In the Budget, the Chancellor set out certain measures to address this issue.</p> <p>Such as a freeze in National Insurance on the first ten employees of start-ups outside London and the South East.</p> <p>And the extension of the Entrepreneurs’ relief rate from the first £2mn to the first £5mn.</p> <p>But we need to go further, engendering a real entrepreneurial spirit in Wales, capable of creating jobs and wealth for the future.</p> <p>We need events like the Fast Growth 50, which celebrates the success of rapidly growing Welsh businesses.</p> <p>And we need to ensure this spirit and belief exists not just amongst our current business community.</p> <p>But also amongst our young people, as the recent Skillscymru event at the Millennium Stadium highlighted.</p> <p>It must filter through our universities, through our schools and our local communities.</p> <p>There is a role here too for businesses who can often reap the benefits of in-house training and apprenticeship programmes.</p> <p><strong><em>Working together</em></strong></p> <p>Now, you will know that we as a Government do not hold all the levers in this regard.</p> <p>Education, as well as a good deal of business support, is a matter for the Welsh Assembly Government.</p> <p>It is absolutely vital, therefore, that the relationship between the UK Government and WAG remains strong.</p> <p>That we work together, setting aside political differences, to really deliver for Wales.</p> <p>My first phone call after the release of last week’s unemployment statistics, was to the Deputy First Minister.</p> <p>To discuss not only the welcome fall in the unemployment rate, but how best to tackle the slight rise in Jobseekers Allowance claimants.</p> <p>A matter on which I am also engaged with the Secretaries of State for Work and Pensions, as well as for Business Innovation and Skills.</p> <p>Almost every issue affecting Wales requires, to a greater or lesser degree, interaction between Governments and Government departments</p> <p>And I made clear in Opposition that I believe the Wales Office has a vital role to play in this</p> <p>In my first few months as Secretary of State, I have tried to ensure the Wales Office takes on a far more active role in facilitating relations between Governments, and also between the UK Government and Wales more broadly.</p> <p>It should lubricate and simplify relations.</p> <p>It should ensure that policies on either side of the border dove-tail, while accepting that devolution <em>CAN</em> mean doing things differently.</p> <p>Or that policies instigated by the UK Government in non-devolved areas are properly targeted and deliver for Wales.</p> <p>I have a vision, too, for the Wales Office as a facility for the Welsh people and Welsh businesses, large and small.</p> <p>To help champion their cause and to be a voice for them in the heart of Government.</p> <p><strong><em>Conclusion</em></strong></p> <p>We are all aware that we face some difficult challenges in the coming months.</p> <p>The unavoidable action the Government is taking will, of course, lead to far more straitened times in the public sector.</p> <p>But as a Government, we have been clear from the outset that we want to act not just for the short term but for the medium and long term good of the country.</p> <p>There is a horizon beyond the immediate pain of the Spending Review.</p> <p>And we have an opportunity to once again rebalance our economy in Wales</p> <p>Away from public subsidy.</p> <p>And towards successful and sustainable enterprise.</p> <p>We all have a role to play in that.</p> <p>The UK Government.</p> <p>The Welsh Assembly Government.</p> <p>Councils.</p> <p>Communities.</p> <p>And you, the business community.</p> <p>As a Government we will want to provide conditions for businesses to flourish, creating wealth and employment.</p> <p>And to provide incentives for people to get off benefits and back into work.</p> <p>Like Lord Callaghan knew, I also know we have the talent and drive in this country</p> <p>Our capacity for rebirth and regeneration is without question.</p> <p>Just look outside.</p> <p>I have no doubt if we all work together towards this goal, we will rise to the challenge of the times ahead and emerge to a strong and successful future.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2010/09/21/secretary-of-state-for-wales-speech-callaghan-lecture/||Cheryl Gillan||Secretary of State for Wales speech – Callaghan Lecture||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2010-09-21||Wales Office||CALLAGHAN LECTURE, St David’s Hotel and Spa, Cardiff Bay|
|<p><strong> Made in Wales Award Dinner</strong></p> <p><strong>20 October 2011</strong></p> <p><strong>Introduction</strong></p> <p>Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to be here today at the inaugural ‘Made in Wales’ Award Dinner.</p> <p>I congratulate Wales Business Insider for having the vision to bring this event together to celebrate the many and varied products that we produce here in Wales.</p> <p><strong>Wales Looking Outwards </strong></p> <p>It is right that we draw attention to what we are producing in Wales. I am a strong believer in Wales talking to the world and promoting itself in the global marketplace. We need to do more of this.</p> <p>Global brands like Airbus and GE, based here in Wales, are already doing this. But I want to see more smaller business doing it too. Wales is already a good place to do business, and we are committed to making Wales an even better place to do business.</p> <p>But we cannot do that without our plan to reduce the deficit and restore the UK’s credibility on international markets. Earlier this month, the rating agency Standard and Poor reaffirmed the UK’s AAA rating, whilst downgrading a number of other countries.</p> <p>This confirms that we must stay committed to our programme of fiscal consolidation and the reduction of the deficit. This is a highly competitive market place and a tough economic climate. But our plan was designed in tough times, for tough times.</p> <p>Our plan has brought stability and confidence to the economy. It has held down the costs of borrowing for businesses and homeowners. Abandoning the plan now would put all that has been achieved at risk.</p> <p>We recognise that it will be the private sector, like you, who will lead the economic recovery in the UK. We are committed to a pro-business, pro growth agenda – this was outlined in our Plan for Growth published earlier this year.</p> <p>We are building on the Plan for Growth through direct action such as the further cut to corporation tax we have already implemented. Over the next four years, we will cut the rate annually, bringing it to 23% – the lowest in the G7. We are securing access to finance for businesses through our Project Merlin agreement with the big UK High Street banks and we are investing in infrastructure – £1 billion to electrify the Great Western Mainline into South Wales and £56.9 million to expand and improve broadband infrastructure across Wales.</p> <p><strong>Welsh Brand </strong></p> <p>That is what we are doing to help make the economic environment right for businesses – and in Wales we need to build on that. Let us capitalise on the Welsh brand, now and over the next twelve months whilst Wales, and the rest of the UK, is in the global spotlight.</p> <p>Globally, the economic recovery is fragile, particularly given the instability in the Eurozone. But, as we proved in Auckland last weekend, we are a small nation that can stage an epic fight back in times of adversity.</p> <p>We need to be positive about what we have in Wales rather than looking to what we don’t have. As the Prime Minister said when he opened the Airbus North Factory last week, we need to go back to “making things” in Wales.</p> <p>Tonight’s Award Ceremony is that concept personified. We need more businesses in Wales like yours – and we need more products like yours out in the global marketplace.</p> <p><strong>Exporting Welsh Products </strong></p> <p>That is the core of our UK Trade and Investment Strategy, ‘Britain Open for Business’ that we published in May. It is our long-term strategic vision for how Government can help companies do what they do best – expand and grow – through overseas trade.</p> <p>We have set out how UKTi will work with you to identify the barriers faced in high growth markets, and how we will make sure our diplomatic resources and ministerial visits focus on eliminating these barriers to trade.</p> <p>I recognise that many of you here tonight are already highly successful in the export market, and there is much that smaller companies in Wales can learn from. That is why we want to target UKTI’s services at innovative and high growth SMEs to encourage more companies to export, as well as helping existing exporters reach more of the high growth and emerging markets.</p> <p>And we want to win high value opportunities in overseas markets for UK businesses of all sizes. For my part, I am passionate about telling the world about the great products and creative innovation that we have in Wales. And I am working with the Welsh Government so that together we can promote Wales and show the world that Wales is truly open for business.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion </strong></p> <p>We are striving to be the most pro-growth Government in living memory and we want businesses like yours to be at the heart of this. You are proof that we can still ‘make things’ in Wales and that we intend to continue to be at the cutting edge of innovation in the future.</p> <p> These new Awards, along with the Fast Growth 50 Awards, are a perfect opportunity to celebrate what is good in Wales. They allow us to showcase the brightest and the best of what Welsh Businesses have to offer.</p> <p>I am so very proud to be able to support you in this inaugural awards ceremony and to be a part of this initiative from the very start. I have huge confidence, and pride, in Welsh Businesses and I am looking forward to the exciting evening.</p> <p>Thank you for inviting me to speak this evening and I wish you all every success, both in these awards tonight, and in the year ahead.</p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2011/10/24/secretary-of-state-for-wales-speech-made-in-wales-awards/||Cheryl Gillan||Secretary of State for Wales speech – Made in Wales Awards||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2011-10-24||Wales Office||Made in Wales Award Dinner|
|<p style="text-align: center"><strong>Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan MP</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Fast Growth 50 Annual Gala Dinner</strong><strong> </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Holland House Hotel, Cardiff</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>16 September 2011</strong></p> <p><strong>Introduction</strong></p> <p>Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It is, as always, an honour to speak to you at this prestigious event to celebrate the achievements of businesses across Wales. My enthusiasm for this event is as strong as ever, as is my admiration for the companies it recognises.</p> <p>Before I begin, I’m sure you will join me this evening in reflecting on the terrible events we have witnessed over the last 48 hours in the Swansea Valley.</p> <p>Earlier today I visited the Gleision Colliery and spoke to the families of Charles Breslin, David Powell, Garry Jenkins, and Phillip Hill – the miners who were trapped underground on Thursday morning.</p> <p>I witnessed the families’ anguish as hope faded of finding them alive.</p> <p>I’ve spoken to the community leaders and local politicians who are supporting all those touched by this tragedy.</p> <p>And I’ve met the men and women of the emergency services who have battled since yesterday morning to try and free Charles, David, Garry and Phillip. We should all be proud of their efforts. Many put their own safety at risk to try and save them.</p> <p>Sadly, the news which has come out of the colliery in the last couple of hours has confirmed our worst fears.</p> <p>I cannot begin to comprehend the pain the families are going through. But I’m sure the support they will continue to receive from friends, the local community and volunteers will be a great comfort to them in the coming days.</p> <p>As the families grieve for their loved ones we will do everything we can to support them. To identify how this terrible incident occurred. And to learn lessons for the future.</p> <p>The human cost of business cannot be measured. And it is incidents such as that in the Swansea Valley today which put what we are recognising here this evening into perspective.</p> <p><strong>A Year of Progress</strong></p> <p>I’d like to thank Professor Dylan Jones-Evans for inviting me here again for this, my fifth consecutive year, and for his sterling work in recognising innovation and success at this awards ceremony, now in its 12<sup>th</sup> year.</p> <p>When I spoke at this event last year, we were in the process of establishing our plans to reduce the deficit left by the last Government.</p> <p>I told you then that we are committed to a pro-business agenda, and over the last twelve months we have proved just how central businesses are to our efforts to stimulate economic growth.</p> <p>But if a week is a long time in politics, a year is a lifetime!</p> <p>We warned repeatedly that the recovery would be choppy. But our economy is stable at this time because this Government has taken the difficult decisions to get to grips with Britain’s debts. Abandoning that now, as some argue we should, would only risk British jobs and growth. But it’s fair to say the economic climate remains volatile, and European developments provide almost daily challenges. However, I think we can point to some encouraging signs which give us cause for optimism.</p> <p>In the first half of this year, for example, the UK economy has grown faster than the US economy – despite the latter’s massive fiscal stimulus. What’s more, the private sector has created over half a million extra jobs across the UK, many here in Wales. And borrowing costs have fallen to record lows, while businesses have invested £91 billion across the economy – nine per cent higher than the year before.</p> <p>I have spent the past year talking to businesses and listening to what they have to say and one priority is the need to access finance. That is why the Government agreed with the five biggest banks that they will increase lending to small businesses to £76 billion this year, £10 billion more than in 2010.</p> <p>Banks still need to do more to get finance flowing but figures released last month show the Banks lent £20.5 billion to companies like yours in the second quarter of this year; and we’ll be keeping a close eye on their performance over the rest of the year.</p> <p>Last year, we launched the Growth Review – this radical approach will force all parts of Government to create the right climate for business.</p> <p>And we are cutting the corporation tax threshold. Over the next four years we will reduce it to 23% – the lowest in the G7.</p> <p>In Wales, businesses are reliant not just on the actions of the UK Government, but also on the Welsh Government. Key areas of economic policy are now devolved, so it is essential Ministers in Cardiff act quickly to make sure that Welsh Businesses have the same competitive advantages as those just across the border.</p> <p>For example, in England, we have introduced Enterprise Zones which will make it easier for new businesses to be created in areas with growth potential and I strongly hope we can do the same in Wales.</p> <p>Enterprise Zones will benefit both businesses and local communities with business rate discounts worth £275,000 over a 5 year period, and receipts kept locally for reinvestment. In addition, we have simplified planning within the zones and support the roll out of superfast broadband – essential to ensure the infrastructure that businesses need is in place.</p> <p>So far, we have announced the locations of 21 zones in England. Some are just across the border: in Bristol and in Birkenhead, in Daresbury near Warrington and in Hereford. But we are still waiting to hear from the Welsh Government about their plans. I think you would all agree that the sooner they explain what they intend to do the better.</p> <p>Companies in Wales must have the same (or better) opportunities. And I am passionate that Wales should be more attractive than England as an investment destination that attracts private sector growth. Devolution should be working to make that happen – not holding Wales back.</p> <p>But it’s not just about what we can do to help business. It’s also about how Government can stop doing the things that are getting in your way. Our Red Tape Challenge invited you to tell us about regulations that impact on your business with a commitment that we would act on your views.</p> <p>We have already published the conclusions of the review of the retail sector and announced that we will simplify, improve or abolish more than 160 rules and regulations.</p> <p>To give an example, we will replace twelve overlapping pieces of consumer rights legislation with one. We will abolish the out of date and redundant Trading with the Enemy Act, and its 98 linked regulations that are now unnecessary but which previous Governments had not removed. And we will get rid of the impractical current provisions such as requiring a shop to have an alcohol licence to sell chocolate liqueurs.</p> <p>The spotlight is currently on environmental legislation, and we will scrutinize employment law in the next few weeks. I would encourage you all to take part in it.</p> <p>Whilst looking inwards at what is happening in the rest of the UK we also need to look at the opportunities available beyond our shores. It is time for us to look outward.</p> <p><strong>Time to Look Outward</strong></p> <p>I am immensely proud of what Welsh businesses have to offer. Today’s Awards Ceremony confirms that, despite the difficult economic climate, Welsh businesses are still innovating in search of growth.</p> <p>But this is not just about what we are doing here in the UK. Whilst we have concentrated on sticking to our Plan A, maintaining our Triple A rating, reducing the deficit and increasing confidence in our markets, not everywhere in the world has been moving in the right direction. We are facing a difficult time with the overseas markets. It will be tough. It <strong>is</strong> tough. <strong>It may get tougher.</strong></p> <p>Despite these challenges I would like to see our businesses, whatever their size, look outward to the global marketplace. We should not hide what we have to offer but be proud of our successes and compete on the international stage.</p> <p>Only yesterday I met with the Welsh Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce as they launch their first Trade Mission. I wish them luck in their efforts to put Wales on the international map and ensure that the message is clear: Wales is open for business.</p> <p>It is astounding to me that if we, in the UK, were to boost the proportion of SMEs that export from the current 1 in 5, to 1 in 4, we would generate an additional £40 billion of trade and wipe out our overseas trade deficit at a stroke.</p> <p>That is a powerful incentive both for us as a Government and for you as businesses.</p> <p>Some of you here tonight are no strangers to exporting overseas and many companies on last year’s Fast Growth 50 list owe some of their growth to exports.</p> <p>A great example is one of last year’s successful companies – Cats and Pipes – whom I visited in May.</p> <p>They are the only company in the UK with the capability to build a complete catalytic converter and are exporting across the world, finding new markets through hard work and innovation.</p> <p>Do not forget that we are here to help you succeed in these markets – our efforts must not be isolated.</p> <p>In May, we published for the first time ever our UK Trade and Investment Strategy. UKTi will work with you to identify the barriers that your companies face in high growth markets and make sure our diplomatic resources and ministerial visits focus on eliminating these barriers to trade.</p> <p>And the door to the Wales Office is always open – we are your resource too. We are actively working with Ambassadors and Embassies to ensure that Wales benefits fully from UK Government efforts to increase overseas trade.</p> <p>To deliver this in Wales, we need to reach out to the global marketplace and as a Government we are here to help make that easier for you.</p> <p><strong>Closing Remarks</strong></p> <p>I am pleased to see so many new faces here tonight, as well as the continued success of businesses from last year’s list who are here again.</p> <p>I hope that this year’s Fast Growth 50 can continue in the footsteps of previous winners. Laura Tenison, founder of JoJo Maman Bebe – this years Women in Public Life’s Business Woman of the year – and Nathan Bowles – whose continued success I have read of recently in the Western Mail – are excellent examples of Welsh people putting Welsh companies firmly on the map as up-and-coming businesses in the UK market.</p> <p>And I am delighted to meet the many sponsors of this evening – Capital Law, Santander Bank, Hays Recruitment, Venture Wales, Media Wales and Logicalis. We are very grateful to you all for your generosity, and for helping to showcase the best of Welsh enterprise, which has made this Annual Gala Dinner one of the most prestigious events in the Welsh business calendar.</p> <p>Thank you once again for inviting me to speak. I wish you all every success in the year ahead. And good luck to all the companies nominated this evening.</p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2011/09/16/secretary-of-state-for-wales-speech-fast-growth-50-2011/||Cheryl Gillan||Secretary of State for Wales speech – Fast Growth 50 2011||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2011-09-16||Wales Office||Fast Growth 50 Annual Gala Dinner|
|<p style="text-align: center"><strong>Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan MP</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS WALES INFRASTRUCTURE CONFERENCE</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Copthorne Hotel, Cardiff</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Monday 12<sup>th</sup> September 2011</strong></p> <p><strong>Introduction</strong></p> <p>Prynhawn da.</p> <p>Good afternoon and thank you for the kind invitation to address you today. </p> <p><strong>The importance of the Construction Industry in Wales</strong></p> <p>I don’t think I need to say to this audience that the UK Government is committed to and recognises the contribution and importance of the construction industry to the UK economy and of course to Wales. </p> <p>Despite the challenging economic news elsewhere, and believe you me it is challenging, I would like you to know in the first quarter of this year the Index of Construction for Wales showed a rise of 2.6 percent. You probably all know this very well. That is a testament to the hard work of businesses here and particularly when you compare that figure to the UK wide position which showed a decline of 4 percent. So I think that we did better than average here in Wales.</p> <p>And I am also incredibly proud that Welsh Architects and builders have been responsible for so many of our iconic Welsh landmarks. Jonathan Adams inspired the Wales Millennium Centre here in Cardiff and I don’t know how many of you have been to, for example, Mostyn Gallery in Llandudno. I visited some time ago and I think it’s lovely. Of course, Hafod Eryri, perched high up on Snowdon, which I have still to visit. Unfortunately I have had to cancel (inaudible).</p> <p>But I think w have to be confident in bringing forward new, innovative and bold designs. We should not suppress or inhibit creative talent in Wales. I think we have talent in our country here which is to be applauded.</p> <p>Not only have we got talented designers and builders to our credit but we also have some of the world’s best materials to work with – right on our doorstep.</p> <p>You only have to look at the roof tops across the country – and some of our iconic buildings, the Millennium Centre and of course the Senedd. You can see the versatility and practicality of fine Welsh slate and that provides a great material for designers, and the construction and building industry.</p> <p>Our builders of the past are also well recognised. I recently had the privilege of travelling along the Llangollen canal and conducting a very long business meeting in a canal barge over the Aqueduct there.</p> <p>Welsh waterways are a credit to the built environment history in Wales and I think the aqueduct truly deserves its recognition as a UNESCO world heritage site. And visiting it showed me that innovation, vision and creativity are not new ideals, I think the design and construction industry in Wales has benefited from these specialist skills for many, many years. (inaudible)</p> <p>A number of you will be involved in projects and programmes that require innovation, vision and creativity. And your contributions have a direct and lasting impact on our towns and cities, and on the infrastructure that links them together. This morning we were talking about roads, bridges, rail networks, ports, airports and everyone in this room represent a vital role, a role that is played in the physical and social development of our society for today and in the future, and in the quality of life that people enjoy.</p> <p>The Infrastructure underpinning our Society is key. And we need innovative solutions to create new telecommunications and broadband networks, alternative energy hubs, power stations and even alternative transport routes.</p> <p><strong>Challenges facing Construction Industry</strong></p> <p>But of course there are challenges facing the construction industry right across the country. The economic situation we inherited is well known. (inaudible) Our aim is to ensure however that the private sector grows. And working with the Welsh Government, our aim is to lock-in long term economic stability, job creation and prosperity, so that we open up opportunities for individuals and companies.</p> <p>It is of course Government’s role to create the right environment for your industry to grow. But never make the mistake thinking that Government creates jobs. It is your businesses that create the jobs. We just have to create that more beneficial environment.</p> <p>And it’s not all doom and gloom. </p> <p>In the first six months of this year, the UK economy has grown faster than the US economy – despite the latter’s massive fiscal stimulus. The private sector has created over half a million extra jobs. Our borrowing costs have fallen to record lows showing that UK government debt is seen as a safe haven in the global debt storm and saving money for taxpayers, businesses and families. </p> <p>Despite what you read in the press there has also been record investment. Businesses have invested £91.4 billion across our economy – that’s up 9 per cent on the previous year. Britain’s credit rating, which was put on negative outlook under the last Government, has been restored to its highest possible level. Those are all positives.</p> <p>However, we have acknowledged that the current economic climate risks a shortfall in finance for capital projects, and that there are many conflicting priorities within the sector itself.</p> <p>At the last Budget we set out measures to improve the environment for business. And so we are cutting tax for businesses and entrepreneurs, and we are scrapping burdensome regulations which hold companies back. All areas I know you have been discussing here at this mornings conference.</p> <p>But I’ve also heard from private sector businesses that getting access to finance has been an issue for many viable projects. This issue let me assure you continues to be a priority for the Government and we are working to improve access to finance through the Business Growth Fund.</p> <p>The latest lending figures show that the Banks are broadly on track to meet the £190billion target we set them for lending. </p> <p>And I can only re-emphasise to you in this room that the message is if the Banks are not meeting agreed targets then we will take further action to bring this lending about. So I would be interested to hear if the lending situation (inaudible).</p> <p>Our ‘Plan for Growth’ sets out a new wave of reforms to restore Britain’s competiveness. And from the very first days of the coalition Government, our strategy for the economy I think has been quite clear; growth must come from the private sector, and we have identified the construction industry as a key part of our Plan for Growth.</p> <p>Now, Phase 1 of the plan which we announced has over 130 reforms all aimed at making life easier for businesses to recruit and grow. Phase 2 is more ambitious – and particularly relevant to you today. It’s going to specifically look at infrastructure: how to eliminate barriers and encourage infrastructure investment across the UK. And I would encourage you to participate.</p> <p>I am keen that the measures we announce as part of the Growth Review benefit Wales from the start. Where responsibility lies with the UK Government, I can ensure you that will happen. I can ensure that it happens. But, where the responsibility lies with Welsh Government we will always offer to work with them. But you as an industry must also participate by providing feedback to all of our consultations.</p> <p><strong>Major Infrastructure Projects</strong></p> <p><strong>Energy</strong></p> <p>Looking briefly at energy.</p> <p>My vision for the future Welsh economy is of a forward looking, innovative Wales that is open to new ideas and takes them out to the rest of the world. And putting Wales at the centre of the green economy I think is at the heart of that and the Green Investment Bank itself will bring new types of investor into infrastructure development.</p> <p>I think there are significant opportunities for investment in our energy infrastructure that will help tackle climate change and secure our country’s energy supplies.</p> <p>Wales is already playing a major role in this, with schemes such as the offshore wind energy development at “Gwynt-y-Mor” and of course the potential for Anglesey. I has been dubbed the energy island and we must never forget that Anglesey has a tremendous amount to offer.</p> <p>The energy sector I believe has a strong future in Wales and I think that we do need a unified planning system that takes account of the needs and demands of the local communities. When it comes to major energy (inaudible)</p> <p><strong>Government Funded Projects</strong></p> <p>On our Government Funded Projects.</p> <p>The UK Government is making significant investment in major infrastructure projects here – with nearly £60million of funding to help deliver super fast broadband, something which I am very keen on, we are now challenging the Welsh Government to match this to ensure that we reach as many areas as possible with match funding. I believe this to be one of the new highway for business growth in the 21<sup>st</sup> century.</p> <p>We have also committed to investing over £1 billion to electrify the Great Western Mainline into the south and are currently working with the Welsh Government to develop the business case for the electrification of the busy commuter routes along the Valleys lines north of Cardiff which I know will be of great interest to some of the delegates today. When we announced the electrification of the line to Cardiff earlier this year we were also sending a very clear message. A message that Wales is open for business and that it is very much a focus of attention of the UK Government.</p> <p>And I am sure that you will also have seen the announcement last week that we are developing proposals for a new rail hub which will provide an essential link between Wales and Heathrow opening up further opportunities for businesses and industries in Wales.</p> <p>Now, my office – both in London and here in Cardiff, plays an active role in ensuring that Wales receives its fair share of the available investment, and it is always working on future plans. And I’m not averse to Wales getting more that its fair share.</p> <p>The case for electrification of the rail line to Swansea remains open, and so I am continuing to work with the Secretary of State for Transport.</p> <p>But that particular element isn’t only a decision for the Government in Westminster. I actually believe that at all levels of Government, including the Welsh Government and the European Union, we must look at what role they have to play in such a project. I think we’ve got to look at the options. Indeed, as we progress with the discussions on the future of the EU Trans-European Networks programme, we will explore whether that would be a viable option for a contribution to a project such as this in future.</p> <p><strong>Planning</strong></p> <p>Now dare I go on to planning? I think you’ve had a good session on planning this morning.</p> <p>I am constantly being told by businesses and industry that Governments need to work together, and that planning systems need to be more closely aligned. </p> <p>We are making changes to the National Planning Policy Framework in England which has introduced a powerful new presumption in favour of sustainable development. </p> <p>I will share with you that I have concerns that the changes we are making to the planning regime in England will not be replicated in Wales but it is of course now a devolved matter.</p> <p>‘Working together’ is one of the main messages that I get from business and industry contacts. I think I can safely say to this and any business audience that you want Government to be seamless. You don’t care where the rules you abide by come from as long as they are the right ones.</p> <p>So I have done what I can. I have established regular meetings with the First Minister and continue to seek a joined up partnership to secure the best interests of Wales.</p> <p>However, many of the growth policies we are putting in place are devolved to the Welsh Government and of course our plans must respect the devolution settlement. The Welsh Government must make the decisions in devolved areas which it considers to be right for Wales.</p> <p>And when it comes to the economy, however, I truly believe the interests of Welsh businesses are strengthened if Governments work together, not against one another. </p> <p>If any of you have heard me speaking before. I have spoken in the past about the dangers of a ‘slate curtain’ along the border between Wales and England. I think people in Business and Industry can not operate successfully in isolation from other markets. Certainly not from the market quarters as close as England is to Wales. For our Governments, our future should be about co-operation and collaboration and not about competition and confrontation.</p> <p>So I think engagement between our two governments is the only way to strengthen the Welsh position. Working together in the national interest to deliver more jobs, more investment and better services and better infrastructure.</p> <p><strong>Enterprise Zones</strong></p> <p>Let me give you an example. You will be aware that in the Budget in March we announced Enterprise Zones, that we were creating Enterprise Zones in England. Now we are setting up 21 New Enterprise Zones and Businesses will benefit from those zones. We announced not one trial (?) but two. In these zones there will be super fast broadband, there will be lower taxes, low levels of regulation, and the business rates collected will be held and used locally<strong>.</strong><strong> </strong> </p> <p>Now I have encouraged the First Minister to use the money that has been passed to the Welsh Government to introduce something similar for Wales. </p> <p>I don’t think we can afford to have investment drain out across the border and I was therefore pleased to hear the First Minister’s statement that he would work with us on this and I hope he will make his proposals public very soon as areas of Wales need the same competitive advantages as their English counter-parts – especially, and I cannot reinforce this too strongly, especially where businesses are sited so close to the border. Especially when those Enterprise Zones are so close to the border.</p> <p><strong>Commission on Devolution in Wales</strong></p> <p>And now shall I say, to the more obscure part of my job.</p> <p>While getting the economy back on track will always be one of the biggest challenges we face, I also need to ensure that the constitutional relationship between Westminster and Cardiff is the right one.</p> <p>Following the ‘Yes’ Vote in the Referendum in March, I’m sure you are all aware that the Welsh Government will be able to make laws in all twenty of the areas devolved to Wales. The people had their say in that referendum and I believe that now is the right time to consider how to make the devolved institutions – both the Assembly and the Welsh Government – more accountable to the people they represent.</p> <p>So in July, I announced the Government’s plans to set up an independent Commission on Devolution in Wales and I am working to establish the Commission this autumn. </p> <p>The Commission will examine the issues of fiscal devolution and accountability and will look to build a consensus around the recommendations it makes. It will of course take into consideration the work that was carried out on the Holtham Commission, that was carried out on behalf of the Welsh Government. We will aim to report on the fiscal and accountability settlement by the end of the autumn 2012.</p> <p>Once we have considered the Commission’s recommendations on financing, we are going to move on. The Commission is going to turn its attention to looking at the boundary between what is devolved and non-devolved in Wales, how well it is working and specifically to consider whether we need to make recommendations to change those boundaries. The Commission will aim to report on that by the end of 2013. And there will be a report (inaudible) in letting people know what works and what doesn’t work. The tidying up of devolution so that we have a better (inaudible).</p> <p>I am consulting the Welsh Government and all parties in the Assembly and trying to move forward and I will be announcing more details on the commission shortly.</p> <p><strong>Closing Remarks</strong></p> <p>Now I have only been able to touch on some of the things that you will get from Government:</p> <p>But having said that I am a realist.</p> <p>And yes – politics can sometimes get in the way but we will work with the Welsh Government to ensure that Wales thrives and prospers. Our economic prospects are too fragile to be messed about by political rhetoric and rigid dogma. I am convinced that continued engagement between our two governments is vital for economic success.</p> <p>We are striving to be the most pro-growth Government in living memory. And we will drive forward a programme with one main purpose – the purpose of creating jobs. </p> <p>The economy is our focus and we will continue to deal with the huge deficit we inherited in our steps towards recovery and growth.</p> <p>But let me also tell you that we are on the side of enterprising business and enterprising people – and there are no ‘forgotten areas of our nation when it comes to growth.</p> <p>Thank you so much for inviting me here today.</p> <p>I hope I have left you with some strong messages from Government. But I very much hope that this will be the start of the (collaboration) between your organisation and my office and if there is anything you need but bring to my attention please do so.</p> <p>Thank you very much.</p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2011/09/12/secretary-of-state-for-wales-speech-the-royal-institute-of-chartered-survayors-wales-infrastructure-conference/||Cheryl Gillan||Secretary of State for Wales speech – The Royal Institute of Chartered Survayors Wales Infrastructure Conference||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2011-09-12||Wales Office||THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED SURVEYORS WALES INFRASTRUCTURE CONFERENCE|
|<p style="text-align: center"><strong>Secretary of State for </strong><strong>Wales</strong><strong>, Cheryl Gillan MP:</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>‘Government and Business:</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Working Together for Growth in Swansea’</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Swansea</strong><strong> Business Club Luncheon Speech</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Village Hotel, Swansea, Friday 16<sup>th</sup> June 2011</strong></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>Introduction</strong></p> <p>Good afternoon and thank you for the kind invitation to address you today. It is a real pleasure to be with you here and to be back in Swansea – a ‘top flight’ city in more ways than one!</p> <p>I am so pleased that we have heard from Robert on the work of the Autism Society. As the sponsor of the Autism Bill, I know how important the issues he raised are.</p> <p><strong>Swansea</strong><strong> Business Club</strong></p> <p>I understand that in 1949 one of the founding principals of the Swansea Business Club was to: “assist the development of the Town and Port of Swansea”.</p> <p>I share those aims and today I would like to outline what the Government is doing to boost the economy – here in Swansea, across Wales and the UK.</p> <p>I would also like to cover our business support activities. For me the two are linked – by supporting and encouraging the private sector we can re-balance the economy and get it back on a sound footing for sustainable growth.</p> <p><strong>First Year in Government</strong></p> <p>The coalition has been in Government for just over a year but we’ve already made significant progress on a number of key issues and I hope our credentials for doing this now speak for themselves.</p> <p>Over the past year the economy has grown by almost two per cent. The private sector has created more than half a million extra jobs, while youth employment across the UK has fallen below the level we inherited from Labour. Businesses have invested £88.6 billion across the economy, up six per cent on the year before. </p> <p>We are clear that future growth is about business. In the end, it is not Government – at any level – which creates growth. It’s business. But you do need some very basic things from us to help you create the wealth and the jobs.</p> <p>On forming a Government last year, we inherited a £890bn deficit that was due to grow to £1.4tn. Our entire economy was unbalanced and our international reputation was at risk; this threatened the financial stability of the whole country.</p> <p>Tough action was needed. And I am pleased to say that this Government grasped the nettle. </p> <p><strong>Plan for Growth</strong></p> <p>From the very first days in Government, our plans for the economy have been clear; growth must come from the private sector. We can (and will) provide the framework – but your businesses, large and small, must invest, hire and export, to ensure the jobs that the people of Wales need.</p> <p>When it comes to restoring our country’s economic credibility I believe we are on the right track. Last year’s Emergency Budget was about rescuing the nation’s finances and paying for past mistakes.</p> <p>My predecessor has argued there was no decade of debt and that borrowing was not out of control under the last Government. The Shadow Chancellor wants us to rip up plan A and consider plan B. The harsh truth is the Shadow Chancellor and the former Prime Minister didn’t leave this country with the luxury of a Plan B.</p> <p>We are sticking to Plan A because it provides credibility, stability and confidence in our economy. It’s been backed by the IMF, the OECD and every major business body in Britain. And it is essential if we are to put the public finances back on track. Only this week the Governor of the Bank of England made clear that it made no sense to change our economic policy.</p> <p>We never said this would be easy. But having started the rescue mission we are now reforming the economy to ensure jobs and growth for the future, and doing what we can to help families with the cost of living. Creating the right conditions for businesses such as yours.</p> <p>Welsh businesses must have the tools to deliver improvements for the economy in Wales and remove the barriers that stifle growth, choke enterprise and suffocate our economy.</p> <p>This includes removing unnecessary layers of regulation and bureaucracy. It is staggering, but there are more than 21,000 regulations active in the UK today, and these rules have the ability to tie us up with red tape day in and day out.</p> <p>It’s why we launched the Red Tape Challenge earlier this year and are asking businesses such as your own to let us know what it is that holds you up and causes you frustration. </p> <p>But what should we focus on to allow you to get on with your job of doing business? You must tell us. I would encourage you to get involved. Have your say. Help shape the regulatory environment you operate in.</p> <p>Business tell me one of the big issues is getting access to the finance you need, particularly for the small to medium sized enterprises that make up so much of our business sector. This remains a priority for Government. The latest lending figures show that the Banks are broadly on track to meet the stretching target that was agreed. I can only re-emphasise the message that if the Banks are unable to meet the agreed targets then we will take further action to bring this lending about.</p> <p>We are starting to see some sort of return to normality. The Chancellor’s announcement on Wednesday that we are looking to return the Northern Rock to private hands is a sign of this. </p> <p>The fact is this Government is dealing with the consequences of Labour’s failure. We are putting in place a new system of regulation, led by the Bank of England, which will lead to a safer banking system. We always said we will look at all the options for Northern Rock’s future. But it’s now time we started to plan the taxpayer’s exit from the banking system. It may take several years but we can start that process.</p> <p>You will be aware that we announced in our Budget in March that we are creating ‘Enterprise Zones’ in England. I have encouraged the First Minister to use the money that has been passed to Cardiff to introduce something similar for Wales. We cannot afford to have investment drain out of Wales and I am pleased with the First Minister’s recent statement that he will work with us on this. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing exactly how his Government intends to do this – and crucially WHEN – so Wales and Welsh Businesses are not disadvantaged.</p> <p>Another key strand to our strategy is export support to companies. That is particularly important in Wales and is at the heart of the recent UKTI strategy: ‘Britain open for Business’. UKTI, in partnership with other Government Departments and business, will work over the next five years to realise our ambition for growth through trade and investment.</p> <p>I am working closely with Lord Green and Welsh Government Ministers to put Wales at the heart of that ambition. We have a shared aim of getting the levels of investment back to the levels they were 20 years ago.</p> <p>I have spoken in the past about the dangers of drawing down a “slate curtain” along the border between Wales and England. You in business know only too well that you cannot operate successfully in isolation from other markets.</p> <p>I am convinced political engagement between our two governments is vital to our economic success. Working together in the national interest to deliver more jobs, more investment, and better services.</p> <p>With many challenges facing Wales today people are looking to Government for bold, decisive action, using every means at their disposal to make a real difference. Not tinker with process. Or complain about what they can’t do.</p> <p>People want to know what you CAN do. And how you’re going to go about doing it. And where we can ministers in London and their counterparts in Cardiff should work together in the interests of Wales. Instead of looking for reasons not to.</p> <p><strong>Electrification</strong></p> <p>I started by saying that the role of Government is about setting the context for you, the business community. </p> <p>There is one more element to how we are cutting the deficit in a way that helps growth. And I know you’d expect me to address it head on today. By that I mean the steps we take to ensure Wales has the right infrastructure that allows businesses to operate and grow and attract new investment.</p> <p> I include electrifying the main line into South Wales as part of that. When we announced the electrification of the line to Cardiff earlier this year, we were sending a message that Wales is open for business. And I know for businesses and communities west of Cardiff that decision did not go far enough.</p> <p>Despite the difficult financial situation we found the money to pay for electrification – to send the right message about Wales as an investment destination. It was a firm commitment, backed by real money, not a hollow promise made on a cheap away day to Wales to score a few easy headlines.</p> <p>And we should not forget that despite the rhetoric from the Government’s political opponents, the previous administration failed to add a single centimetre of electrified rail line in Wales in 13 years in office. If it was as easy as they claim it is, the last Labour Government would have already electrified the line all the way to Swansea. And they know it.</p> <p>I know that to some this announcement confirmed their belief – misplaced as it happens – that the Government’s ambitions for Wales stops at the River Taff.</p> <p>I want investment and economic growth to extend across the whole of Wales, not just limited to the South East. It’s why we are investing millions in superfast broadband – the new highways for business growth in the 21<sup>st</sup> century.</p> <p>And it’s why we’re keeping open the case for electrification of the rail line to Swansea. Even on the basis of the announcement we made in March, journey times from London to Swansea will come down by 20 minutes – the same as under Labour’s proposals made so hastily two years ago. Passengers west of Cardiff will also enjoy the same benefits of those on the electrified line – new, faster, greener, more comfortable trains. And importantly for business, shorter journey times to and from London.</p> <p>We need to talk up the opportunities presented by electrification and modernisation of the main line to South Wales. We need to focus on the positives of this announcement, not dwell on the negatives. And we all need to work together to strengthen the business case for electrifying the line to Swansea. As far as I’m concerned this is unfinished business. And you will no doubt be aware that when he visited Swansea in April the Prime Minister himself said the Government is still looking at the case for electrification here.</p> <p>This is a decision for the Westminster Government but all levels of Government, including the Welsh Government and the European Union have an important role to play. We must look at all options to fund such a project. Indeed, as we progress with the discussions on the future of the EU Trans-European Networks programme – I will explore whether that would be a viable option for a contribution in future.</p> <p><strong>Working with the Welsh Government</strong></p> <p>‘Working together’ is one of the main messages I get from businesses around Wales. You want Government to be seamless: you don’t care where the rules you abide by come from as long as they are the right rules. </p> <p>I give you my assurance to work to smooth the wrinkles that naturally occur with different levels of Government. I meet with the First Minister every month, and I have written to the new Minister for Business to seek the continuation of the joined up relationship I had established with her predecessor that was helping to secure the best interests of Wales.</p> <p><strong>Swansea</strong><strong></strong></p> <p>I could not come to Swansea without saying a bit about how our plans for balanced growth will take effect in this area. Despite the recent times, the evidence is there even as you approach the city. </p> <p>The new SA1 development is the epitome of Swansea’s regeneration over recent years, bringing together quality architecture, quality urban design and a key insight into the community’s vision for the future.</p> <p>I recognise that, as with other parts of Wales, there will be concerns about the impact of re-balancing the economy in favour of the private sector. Earlier this year, speaking at Swansea’s Guildhall the Prime Minister emphasised that we were focusing on delivering for Wales and that public spending cuts would be lower in Wales than in England.</p> <p>I emphasise again that growth needs to come from the private sector – growth from businesses like Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot where the company is investing £185 million to improve efficiency and productivity at the site, and from Ford’s plant in Bridgend where the latest state-of-the-art technology is used in the production of Ecoboost engines and which are now exported across the world.</p> <p>We also need investment in the skills and expertise needed to drive the Welsh economy forward and Swansea is at the forefront of establishing itself as a centre of excellence in this regard. </p> <p>The Institute of Life Science is the innovative research arm of Swansea University’s College of Medicine, and through a unique collaboration between IBM, Swansea University and the Welsh Government, the Institute of Life Science is making progress in finding new solutions to old problems in medical research and has already delivered a state-of-the-art building, housing specialists in medical research, business incubation and technology transfer. </p> <p>More is on its way and I look forward to seeing the extended range of facilities in the near future.</p> <p><strong>Swansea</strong><strong> City</strong><strong> Football Club</strong></p> <p>Of course, I could not fail to mention the Swans promotion to the Premier League. </p> <p>This is fantastic news for the thousands of Swansea City football fans who cheered their club into the Premier League but also for the city as a whole. Promotion is, by some estimates, worth at least £30 million a year to the city in footballing terms alone. </p> <p>Given the English teams that were relegated this is an unexpected example of re-balancing the economy! But it is also priceless in terms of its wider benefit to the local economy. The international exposure promotion to the Premier League gives clubs such as Swansea are an opportunity for every one of you in this room to reach beyond Wales and into new markets.</p> <p>I was fortunate to visit the Liberty Stadium [this morning] and am very aware of the many benefits this promotion will mean, not only for the club itself, but also for the city’s economy and raising Swansea’s profile around the world.</p> <p><strong>Close</strong></p> <p>I have only been able to touch on some of the things you will get from this Government:</p> <p>A plan that brings sense and sustainability to the public finances;<strong></strong></p> <p>An open door from me and my colleagues in the Cabinet to listen to what business needs;</p> <p>And an undertaking to ensure that Wales is at the heart of our plans to re-balance the UK’s economy.</p> <p>We’re striving to be the most pro-growth Government in living memory. We’ll drive forward a programme with one purpose – creating jobs. We’ll show we are on the side of enterprising business and enterprising people – and that there are no ‘forgotten areas’ of the nation when it comes to growth.</p> <p>Abroad we will unashamedly talk Britain up – to improve trade and investment so more jobs are created at home. Our message is clear, Britain is open for business.</p> <p>I don’t promise this will be easy but if we all pull together I believe we can all have a say in a bright future for Wales and for Swansea.</p> <p>Thank you.<strong></strong></p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2011/06/17/secretary-of-state-for-wales-speech-swansea-business-club/||Cheryl Gillan||Secretary of State for Wales Speech – Swansea Business Club||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2011-06-17||Wales Office||‘Government and Business:|
|<p style="text-align: center"><strong>Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan MP: </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>‘Meeting the Energy Challenge’ </strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Renewable UK Conference, Cardiff</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Thursday, 26 May 2011</strong></p> <p>I am here to talk to you about the energy challenge we face today.</p> <p>There is an unstoppable shift towards a low carbon future in the UK. And it’s not just a matter of climate change. Although the science is undeniably clear, it comes at a time when we have to rebuild our ageing energy infrastructure and make the right decisions on investing in low carbon technologies.</p> <p>This shift will take time. Ultimately it will deliver cleaner energy and sustainable, greener growth. And it must do so with public support and without undermining our economic base.</p> <p>So what does this actually mean?</p> <p>It means a more sustainable, more resilient economy, particularly in the face of global uncertainty.</p> <p>It means jobs. Investment coming into the UK, and exports pouring out. Technologies and solutions that can be licensed and can lock-in profits.</p> <p>And it means a skilled workforce. Able to compete in the global marketplace, furthering our reputation for innovation, boosting British enterprise across all sectors.</p> <p>The shift to low carbon offers billions of pounds of savings across the economy to businesses and homeowners and the public sector through better use of our energy and resources.</p> <p>That’s the reality we face today.</p> <p>We must take action on climate change; but we must also change our national economic story, from one of financial speculation, to one of sustainable growth. And we need a green business revolution too.</p> <p>The challenge of delivering our future energy needs in a way which is clean, secure and contributes to carbon reduction is one of the greatest challenges we face today.</p> <p>It also presents challenges AND opportunities here in Wales.</p> <p>If we rise to these challenges and seize these opportunities we can drive the green economy.</p> <p>To deliver green jobs and green growth. And that is what is behind our commitment in our coalition agreement.</p> <p>We want to see Wales at the heart of this approach. After all, if China invested over £20 billion in the low carbon economy in 2009, that shows that the green economy is a viable, and growing, business opportunity. We want Wales, and the UK, to be at the forefront of that and not lose out to competition from abroad.</p> <p>I will explain how, working with colleagues in Cardiff, we plan to do that. We are immensely proud of the progress already made by this Government in one short year since we took office.</p> <p>From day one this Government has sent out a message loud and clear that we are determined to transform Britain permanently into a low carbon economy.</p> <p>This and every future British Government will have to keep pace with and put in place the most effective policies to tackle climate change.</p> <p>We have introduced the Green Deal which will help improve the energy efficiency of our homes and our businesses;</p> <p>We are reforming the electricity market to provide a clearer, stable framework for investors, and incentivise proven and new low carbon technologies.</p> <p>And the Green Investment Bank is an innovative new approach that will bring new investment to support the move towards a green economy. This will be the first of its kind in the world showing how committed we are to thinking differently about these issues. </p> <p>Most recently, we announced the fourth Carbon Budget – sending a clear signal to the international community of our desire to drive the changes needed to turn the UK into a dynamic, low carbon economy that is attractive to investors.</p> <p>But we all know time is not on our side and we know not every decision we take will please the business community but we see low carbon technologies as the way forward to meet our climate change commitments and also to enhance our energy security.</p> <p> I am well-aware of some of the concerns expressed by businesses here in Wales and I am also conscious of the scale of our task on taking office last May.</p> <p>When Labour left office carbon emissions were rising. The previous Government’s manifesto commitments had actually been broken. Carbon emissions had fallen by just two per cent before the recession. Green taxes had fallen as a proportion of tax revenue. The country’s dependence on fossil fuels had risen. And the UK had the lowest contribution from renewable energy of any major EU country.</p> <p>This Government’s approach is different.</p> <p>Back in 2009 the then Leader of the Opposition David Cameron promised to lead an ‘energy revolution’ which would lead to lower carbon emissions, create jobs and reduce our reliance on oil and gas imports. He pledged measures to encourage more people to generate their own power and to boost renewables. I believe we are now taking forward those promises in Government.</p> <p>Our goal is to make Britain the most attractive place to invest in energy and to provide secure, low carbon energy.</p> <p>But we also need to keep the bills affordable And that is why we are engaging with business and, in particular, carbon intensive industries and business to find a constructive way forward. To help create the conditions for UK companies to excel in the low carbon industries of the future. </p> <p>In Wales our past strength and much of our history is based on energy – sourcing and supplying energy for the rest of the UK and far beyond.</p> <p>The needs may have changed, but Wales is still perfectly placed to become the centre of the new green economy. There is already much we can be proud of: new offshore wind developments like North Hoyle, Rhyl Flats and Gwynt y mor show our potential. Opportunities to harness tidal and hydro power must be grasped.</p> <p>Future plans – such as for an Atlantic Array in the Bristol Channel show how much more can be done. And how these developments are integral to our economy: if the Atlantic Array does go ahead it could also bring a much needed boost to local ports.</p> <p>However, we recognise that onshore wind developments can prove controversial. We have seen only this week how strong feelings can be. </p> <p>Our view is that on-shore wind energy does have a role to play in our energy mix. The only way to meet the stretching climate reduction targets we have set is by all low carbon forms of energy playing a role.</p> <p>But that does not mean that politicians or developers can ride roughshod over local opinion. Rather, they should work with communities to ensure that proposals have local support and are sympathetic to the environment around them.</p> <p>The people of Powys made that loud and clear when more than a 1,000 demonstrated outside the Senedd on Tuesday. Theirs is a voice that cannot and should not be ignored.</p> <p>Recently UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry told MPs that there need to be “a new relationship between wind farms and the communities that host them”.</p> <p>He spoke of onshore wind being “one of the most cost-effective and established renewable technologies”. But, he insisted that while it is clear onshore wind “should continue to be part of the solution” to energy security and low carbon challenges it also “needs more democratic legitimacy than it has today”. How right he is.</p> <p>The First Minister, who you’ll hear from later, will no doubt set out the areas where he wants his government to play a part in reducing carbon emissions and to develop more renewable energy sources in Wales.</p> <p>I look forward to studying his comments with interest and am committed to working in partnership with his government to harness Wales’ natural resources to meet the UK’s renewable energy commitments. Because I believe it is through collaboration between government, energy suppliers, and local communities that we can achieve our objectives.</p> <p>We all support initiatives which contribute to carbon reduction, while at the same time deliver much-needed economic growth are required here in Wales. </p> <p>That is why we did not rule out proposals for making use of tidal power in the Severn (despite the conclusions of the recent Government feasibility study) and why we support some of the innovative developments to harness the power of the sun – even in Wales – for energy needs.</p> <p>The excellent work for example that Sharp is doing in Wrexham and their plans to expand production of solar panels are just the sort of development we want to see increase: bringing together innovation, carbon reduction technologies and increasing job opportunities.</p> <p>There is much more innovation in this area that Wales has to offer. For instance, I have seen for myself the development of biofuel from grass at IBERS in Aberystwyth. </p> <p>This is just the sort of project the Government is keen to encourage: using the need to reduce carbon as an opportunity for us to grow our science base and boost Wales’ performance on Research and Development. </p> <p>Low carbon energy of course includes nuclear as part of the mix. Parts of Wales have a long association with nuclear generation – one that I would like to see continue. The skills we have developed include expertise in decommissioning and when the closure of the Trawsfynydd plant is completed – I hope this will be transferred to Wylfa, as I believe these are the sort of skills we need to retain and grow.</p> <p>Wylfa will continue to generate low carbon energy until next year and has been listed as a possible site for new nuclear power generation – a much welcomed decision for the local population and the local economy.</p> <p>Of course we must recognise that some people have concerns about nuclear generation. </p> <p>But Dr Weightman’s recent report suggests that there is no reason for the UK to curtail the operation of nuclear power plants here or stop building new plants which I believe that is good news for Wales And, in particular, very good news for Anglesey, which has a long-held ambition to become an ‘Energy Island’. Anything I can do to assist with this, I will.</p> <p>Delivering a low carbon economy requires active participation at all levels. From global ambition and stretching European targets; to national and local Governments. All need to look at how they can contribute and how they can encourage innovation. </p> <p>That will primarily be done by working closely with businesses – like those here today – to deliver solutions that reduce emissions or increase take-up of renewable energy. </p> <p>Here in Wales it will also require London and Cardiff to work together to ensure that the fact that some responsibilities are devolved does not impact on the scale of our ambition.</p> <p>Now that the new Welsh Government in Cardiff is in place, I will not let political differences stand in the way of effective co-operation in this area. The issues are too important to let that happen.</p> <p>The fact that the First Minister will take on personal responsibility for energy is a positive step and I look forward to working constructively with him in this area. </p> <p>I have already said that innovative businesses have an important role to play. We believe that all levels of Government should seek to remove unnecessary burdens which make it harder for you to do business.</p> <p>I know you will be considering the planning process in more detail later this morning. That is an example of where the businesses that will build a greener economy are asking for the systems to be as simple as possible. And to be as simple in Wales as they are elsewhere.</p> <p>That is why, although the last Government divided the responsibility for energy decisions, so that decisions on projects up to 50mW are taken locally, we currently have no plans to change the current major infrastructure regime. We need to ensure that the decisions we make are consistent across England and Wales. And those affected by these decisions need certainty.</p> <p>We will also work to ensure the regulatory environment for those businesses that want to invest in the green economy is as supportive as possible. </p> <p>The Government’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’ is a root and branch run through the regulations that impact on people and businesses across the UK. </p> <p>Attention will turn to regulations that impact on the energy sector in October and if there are any regulations that are preventing you from moving ahead with projects that will grow the renewables sector and the Welsh economy, I encourage you to tell us what they are. </p> <p>We also need this discussion to be widened to take in Whitehall AND Cardiff Bay so this approach can reduce the burden for businesses in Wales. </p> <p> In conclusion, e are conscious of just how important businesses like those here today are to delivering a low carbon future. We know some of you have concerns about where the renewables industry is heading. </p> <p>I hope the approach I have set out today and, above all, the ambitious business agenda that we are keen to pursue, shows just how committed we are to a bright future for renewable energy.</p> <p>We’re behind it here in Wales and we want to release its full potential, harnessing our natural resources to maximum effect but in a manner which is sympathetic to local views, the local economy, and the local environment.</p> <p>We believe the UK is leading the way, and with the support of Government – at all levels – Welsh businesses can be in a leading position to take advantage of the emerging global opportunities associated with this historic shift. </p> <p>I think the future’s bright, the future’s green.</p> <p>Thank you for listening. I hope I’ve given you an essence of what we’re doing to encourage this shift to a low carbon future that will benefit all our interests in Wales and across the United Kingdom.</p> <p><strong>ENDS</strong></p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2011/05/26/secretary-of-state-for-wales-speech-renewable-uk-conference-cardiff/||Cheryl Gillan||Secretary of State for Wales Speech – Renewable UK Conference, Cardiff||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2011-05-26||Wales Office||‘Meeting the Energy Challenge’|
|<p style="text-align: center"><strong>Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Speech to IoD Wales Inaugural Director of the Year Awards</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Thursday 7<sup>th</sup> April 2011</strong></p> <p><strong>Last 12 months </strong></p> <p><strong>Current position</strong></p> <p><strong>Taxation</strong></p> <p><strong>Regulation</strong></p> <p><strong>The Challenge for Wales</strong></p> <p><strong>A Skilled Workforce</strong></p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2011/04/07/welsh-office-minister-institute-of-directors-inaugural-director-of-the-year-awards/||Cheryl Gillan||Welsh Office Minister – Institute of Directors Inaugural Director of the Year Awards||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2011-04-07||Wales Office||Speech to IoD Wales Inaugural Director of the Year Awards|
|<p><strong>Federation of Small Businesses Annual Dinner Speech – 9<sup>th</sup> February 2011</strong></p> <p>Thistle Hotel, Cardiff</p> <p><strong>Introduction</strong></p> <p>Noswaith, dda.</p> <p>Mae gen i bleser i fod yma heno.</p> <p>Thank you for inviting me to speak this evening.</p> <p>It is a pleasure to be here amongst so many people from different backgrounds, from the business, academic and political world.</p> <p>It is unsurprising that the FSB dinner attracts so many influential guests as it carries out invaluable work not only for its members but for Government as well.</p> <p>It provides a place where concerns can be raised, where support and guidance can be sought, and a place for people doing business to network and share best practice.</p> <p>Our FSB in Wales also gives its members an effective voice with Government and I am delighted that they sit on the Wales Office Business Advisory Group which provides direct feedback to policy makers.</p> <p>It is also a pleasure to be here on the day we have launched our Trade and Investment White Paper. I will talk a little more about this later.</p> <p><strong>Emerging from Difficult Times</strong></p> <p>I want to talk to you this evening about the key role SMEs can play in promoting economic growth.</p> <p>I know times have been tough for businesses over the last few years.</p> <p>The recession meant tough choices for many FSB members. And for too many, it meant the end of good, viable businesses that they had dedicated time, energy and money towards.</p> <p>With my own business background I know how heart-breaking it is when recession puts all of that at risk.</p> <p>No one really wants to see the insolvency practices growing.</p> <p>But it is this energy and commitment which we in Government want to harness as a driving force for economic recovery and growth.</p> <p>We want SME owners to do what you do best – to put everything into building and growing your businesses.</p> <p>We want to create advantageous conditions for small businesses to thrive and prosper which in turn can secure strong and sustainable growth.</p> <p>In Wales this is particularly important given that small and medium size firms employ nearly 60% of all private sector workers. In fact SMEs make up 99.9% of all British businesses and employ around 23 million people.</p> <p><strong>Government Policies</strong></p> <p>So what have we already done to help small business growth.</p> <p>From day one we have prioritised facilitating growth.</p> <p>In the Emergency Budget last June, we cancelled the much criticised jobs tax, proposed by the last Government, and instead raised the employers National Insurance threshold by £21 per week.</p> <p>In Wales this will produce around £140million of savings for businesses.</p> <p>Simultaneously, we started Corporation Tax reform with the ambitious goal of making it one of the most competitive in the G20.</p> <p>So, in four years time, through annual decreases of 1%, the UK will have one of the most competitive rates in the G7. </p> <p><strong>Regulation</strong></p> <p>Regulations can be the enemy of business as many of you will agree.</p> <p>The current cost of regulation to business in the UK is around £88 billion.</p> <p>So we are introducing a “one in, one out” rule for new regulations and sunset clauses for existing ones.</p> <p>At the same time, we are ending the so-called ‘gold-plating’ of EU rules and maximising the influence we bring to bear on the European Commission before it adopts new rules. </p> <p><strong>Entrepreneurs</strong></p> <p>Entrepreneurship is also one of the keys to growing our private sector so to encourage this we’ve also extended the 10 per cent entrepreneurs’ relief rate from the first £2million to the first £5million of gains made over a lifetime.</p> <p>And today we have secured a lending deal with the five biggest banks in the UK under Project Merlin to lend £190 billion to businesses – £76 billion of that to small firms</p> <p><strong>Government Priorities – Growth</strong></p> <p>So what of our immediate priorities.</p> <p>We have set out three key priorities for the first 6 months of 2011 – growth, aspiration and the modernising of public services.</p> <p>Firstly, on growth, supporting people in work, helping people into work, and encouraging business growth are central to our economic agenda.</p> <p>But in order to promote a stable, sustainable economy we also have to tackle the deficit we inherited.</p> <p>We are determined to become the most pro-growth Government in living memory. And over the coming weeks and months we will drive forward a programme with one focus – to help business create and sustain jobs.</p> <p>We will show businesses such as those represented here tonight that if you are committed to being enterprising and innovative then we are on your side. We will not stand in your way.</p> <p>Our Growth Review launched last year will form a key part of this and will dominate all that we do over the next four years.</p> <p>The Review will look at everything Government does, and how we do it and then examine how it can be more focussed on helping our businesses grow.</p> <p>But we need your input.</p> <p>The Review calls on businesses and industry to challenge Government Departments on the measures they are taking to allow the private sector to flourish. </p> <p>We want to work with you, the private sector, to create a business friendly environment and remove any barriers that are preventing you from reaching your full potential.</p> <p>The review’s initial stages will focus on two elements; structural reform, looking into areas such as planning, trade and investment, regulation and access to finance; and removing barriers to growth in key sectors like construction, retail, advanced manufacturing and digital and creative industries. </p> <p>Progress on each of these areas will be reported in the March budget.</p> <p><strong>Growth – Trade and Investment White Paper</strong></p> <p>As I have mentioned we launched our Trade and Investment White Paper today and the figures published earlier showing a record UK trade deficit emphasise the need for an overarching strategy that includes urgent action to address our balance of trade.</p> <p>This is important because it sets out our strategy for creating the best environment in the UK for trade and inward investment.</p> <p>It confirms that removing the barriers that can sometimes prevent smaller businesses from accessing overseas markets will be at the heart of our drive for trade driven economic growth.</p> <p>We are determined when we say that we will re-balance the economy. We can no longer rely on the public sector, or people getting into debt to drive growth. We’ve seen where that leads us. Instead, this Government wants to raise the contribution that trade makes to our economy: that way we achieve the sustainable growth we all need.</p> <p>That is great news for businesses like yours. The economy cannot develop in a vacuum and Wales cannot prosper by looking inwards.</p> <p>Rather, we need to look outwards to seize the opportunities of the global market and we want to work with you to make sure you can do just that.</p> <p>The White Paper focuses strongly on supporting the expansion of SMEs through measures such as improving the finance and insurance products you can access when you seek to export and an online service that will give you access to sales leads around the world.</p> <p>According to a recent FSB member survey, just under a quarter export their goods or services overseas – and 50% of these are to Europe. We want to help more of you to access the global marketplace.</p> <p>This is just the start; the focus on growth will continue to form the basis of this Government’s agenda for the rest of Parliament.</p> <p><strong>Government Priorities – Aspiration</strong></p> <p>Another priority for Government is “aspiration”.</p> <p>This Government is on the side of the people who want to get ahead – those who are willing and able and want the best for themselves and their families. Small business owners invariably fall into this category for the reasons I have outlined.</p> <p>We are already focussing on supporting those most in need of help.</p> <p>But we must also help working families and people struggling to find work.</p> <p>We are encouraging more people to get into work through comprehensive welfare reform and we are supporting those basic rate taxpayers who struggle to make ends meet.</p> <p>For far too long, too many people, many in Wales, have been reliant on state handouts. This coalition Government will try to turn back this trend – through our comprehensive welfare reform and we will ensure that it is always better off to be in work or indeed to run a small business than not.</p> <p><strong>Government Priorities – Modernising Public Services</strong></p> <p>But we must also make changes to our public services so this Government has launched a major programme of public sector modernisation.</p> <p>In Wales, of course, a large part of the public sector is the responsibility of the Welsh Assembly Government.</p> <p>While decisions in those areas are rightly the responsibility of Labour and Plaid Cymru Assembly ministers in Cardiff, there are many areas where Westminster has a role to play.</p> <p>Many of our public services are in need of change. So we are cutting out waste and also bringing choice, encouraging competition and opening up services to new providers.</p> <p>Just as the private sector had to make tough choices during the recession, so must the public sector now we are in a period of recovery.</p> <p>As many small businesses have had to do in recent years, we in the public sector have to reduce spending budgets.</p> <p>We also need to move away from a tick-box, process driven culture to one that is based on results.</p> <p>We have to ask for more to be done for less.</p> <p>Business has done that and the public sector cannot be immune.</p> <p><strong>Future Entrepreneurs</strong></p> <p>I have talked a lot about growth and creating better conditions for business prosperity but beyond that, we want more people to start their own businesses in Wales.</p> <p>Some have accused us of lacking a certain amount of entrepreneurial spirit in Wales. I disagree.</p> <p>As if the FSB membership were not evidence enough, I would ask anyone to look at Jonathan Morgan’s book Rags to Riches for evidence of Wales’s strong pedigree of entrepreneurship.</p> <p>He traces the roots of the families behind global brands such as Lloyds Bank and JP Morgan back to Wales. This should be an inspiration to any entrepreneur. We have innovation in our DNA!</p> <p>We want more home-grown businesses that can become the world-players of the future.</p> <p>That is why we have made a start through the National Insurance Holiday for the first ten employees of new businesses set up outside London and the South East.</p> <p>In November, as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Business Secretary announced the creation of our 40,000 strong network of business mentors.</p> <p>From the Summer of this year, there will be a single online gateway for both mentors and those seeking mentors. As you, in the FSB well know, the best people to advise new entrepreneurs are those who have already started and run successful enterprises.</p> <p>We are also encouraging those who are out of work to start up small businesses through the New Enterprise Allowance and Enterprise Clubs what will help people access support to achieve their ambition of starting their own business. </p> <p>The benefits of small business growth are there for all to see. You form the bulk of the private sector employers in Wales and are at the forefront of building a strong and sustainable recovery.</p> <p>In the last 6 months, 300,000 private sector jobs have already been created in the UK and more jobs will and must follow.</p> <p><strong>Role of the Wales Office</strong></p> <p>I have talked a lot about creating the right conditions for business growth but before I finish, I want to acknowledge the role that many of my fellow politicians in the room must play in this.</p> <p>Devolution means that the levers that will ensure business prosperity and future growth lie with both Cardiff and Whitehall and also with Europe.</p> <p>From the first day of my appointment as Secretary of State I have been committed to working with the Welsh Assembly Government.</p> <p>My office like you is small but we are well placed in Whitehall to promote a coherent approach between our policies as a Government and those of the Welsh Assembly Government.</p> <p>We are working closely with officials and Ministers across both administrations on legislation and on key issues such as broadband, rail infrastructure and trade and inward investment.</p> <p>I know how importantly you regard projects like High Speed Broadband, the electrification of the Great Western Mainline to Wales’s future. I am with you on this and have been spearheading the case for a positive decision to be made.</p> <p>However, ask yourselves if it had been an easy decision then why in 13 years of the last Government was not a single inch of track electrified?</p> <p>We have to make sure our infrastructure keeps pace with the rest of the world if our businesses are to compete in the global marketplace and indeed compete with the rest of the UK.</p> <p>We must make doing business in Wales an attractive and comparatively easy option. And we must never forget we are in competition to attract jobs and retain our businesses.</p> <p>Businesses made to deal with more regulation or backdated taxes in Wales will look at whether they want to remain located here. That is a simple fact of a free market and so I would encourage for example the Welsh Assembly Government to look again at its decision on business rates in ports </p> <p>I would like to ensure that all Welsh Politics work together in the interests of Wales and I remain committed to mature and adult politics with Westminster and Whitehall and working with the Welsh Assembly Government and critical friends to deliver sustainable growth and success for Wales.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong><strong> </strong></p> <p>To close, the messages for me that I want you to take away from here tonight are that this Government is listening to you; this Government is on your side; and this Government wants small businesses to grow and prosper as you do.</p> <p>Wales needs more entrepreneurs, driving forward their business as you do. This is what will create the growth we need, which will form the key to a strong and stable recovery.</p> <p>Once again thank you for providing me with the opportunity to speak this evening, I hope that we can work together to make this year and every year a successful one for Wales.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p><strong>For a link to the press notice on the White Paper for trade and investment, go to</strong>:</p> <p> <a href="http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2011/02/09/government-strategy-to-support-business-growth-will-drive-economic-recovery-across-wales-says-cheryl-gillan/">www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2011/02/09/government-strategy-to-support-business-growth-will-drive-economic-recovery-across-wales-says-cheryl-gillan/</a></p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2011/02/10/secretary-of-state-for-wales-speech-fsb-annual-dinner/||Cheryl Gillan||Secretary of State for Wales speech – FSB Annual Dinner||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2011-02-10||Wales Office||Thistle Hotel, Cardiff|
|<p>I beg to move that the matter of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review and its implications for Wales be referred to the Welsh Grand Committee for its consideration.</p> <p>Mr Caton, may I begin by welcoming you to the chair of this Welsh Grand Committee and say what a pleasure it is to serve under your Chairmanship. I would also like to thank my Hon Friend, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury for taking time to address our Committee and for delivering an assessment of the challenges we face and the impacts of the Comprehensive Spending Review.</p> <p>After having the advantage of questioning a Treasury Minister directly I intend to keep my remarks brief to allow maximum time for members to participate in this debate.</p> <p>As we have just heard, the Spending Review set out how the coalition Government intend to carry out Britain’s unavoidable deficit reduction plan.</p> <p>The spending review settlement for the Welsh Assembly Government was determined by the Barnett formula in the usual way. In fact it was determined in exactly the same way as under the last government and using the same formula the Rt Hon Member for Neath has said “served Wales well”.</p> <p>However, because of the decisions we took to protect spending on health and schools in England, Wales’ overall spending will be reduced by much less than the average for non protected departments.</p> <p>It represents a 7.5 per cent reduction in the Welsh Assembly Government resource budget, which is an average cut of less than 2 per cent each year – less than the 3 per cent year on year revenue reductions that the Welsh Assembly Government have previously said they were planning for.</p> <p>This is a fair settlement by any definition but of course we don not dictate how these monies are spent, it is now for the Welsh Assembly Government to decide how to manage their finances reductions reflecting their own policies and priorities, which they did last month when they published their draft budget.</p> <p>Devolution means the Welsh Assembly Government makes its own choices. In England the coalition Government has decided that total spending on the NHS will increase in real terms in each year of this Parliament. </p> <p>The Welsh Assembly Government however have chosen to freeze NHS spend in cash terms which means a real terms decline of 7.6%.</p> <p>Because of decisions taken by the Labour and Plaid Cymru assembly government, Wales is now the only part of the United Kingdom where health spending will not be protected</p> <p>The UK Government has undertaken to increase the schools budget every year of the spending review in real terms. In Wales education will be cut by 7% in real terms over the next three years.</p> <p>These are of course devolved matters and for WAG to decide. But I hope that WAG’s decisions on where to allocate funding will not see standards of health care and education fall behind in Wales. </p> <p>I also note that the budget on economy and transport will also be cut by 21% over the next three years. I hope that, despite this, the Welsh Assembly Government will remain committed to implementing their economic renewal programme and encouraging investment, promoting Wales as a place to do business, developing the skills base and encouraging innovation.</p> <p>The tough circumstances we face meant that we have had to take a hard look at some of the spending decisions that were planned.</p> <p>It is a Government Ministers responsibility to ensure that all Government commitments are both affordable and achievable. While any decisions of this nature are difficult, this Government has the courage to make sure that money is spent where it offers the best value for the public purse.</p> <p>This was the case with St Athan. We examined closely the plans for the St Athan Defence Training Centre. This will not be going ahead in the form proposed by the last government as it became clear that the contractor could not deliver the project in an affordable and commercially robust way within the time given.</p> <p>Let me assure you, though, that this is not the end for St Athan.</p> <p>It remains an attractive location for potential future training provision and I am committed to working closely with the Secretary of State for Defence, on the case for a training base to be located there. </p> <p>In the current economic climate we also took the view that the Severn barrage – again proposed by the last government but yet another unfunded proposal – could not go ahead. It would have been irresponsible to do so given the economic and environmental implications.</p> <p>My colleague the Secretary of State for Transport believes that Wales has other viable, more cost effective low carbon options including a significant expansion in wind power, which represent a better deal for industry and consumers. </p> <p>However, I am delighted that Wylfa, on Anglesey, has been included on a shortlist of eight sites across the UK where new nuclear power stations could be constructed. And that its operational life has been extended for another two years.</p> <p>After the loss of Anglesey Aluminium under Labour’s watch, this is finally some welcome news for the economies of Anglesey and North Wales – and good news for workers at Wylfa.</p> <p>We are also proceeding with other contracts, though, that will deliver real, affordable benefits for Wales.</p> <p>The A400M, the Strategic Tanker Aircraft and the £500million SCOUT combat vehicles will form vital parts of the British Army’s future capabilities and their development is a further vote of confidence in the work at Airbus in Flintshire and General Dynamics in Gwent.</p> <p>We are also improving rail infrastructure in the Cardiff to Barry corridor and improving the M4-M5 interchange between here and Cardiff.</p> <p>Improved rail infrastructure and lower journey times are vital components for delivering a successful economic recovery in Wales, and I remain fully supportive of rail electrification. Electric trains offer lower carbon emissions than their diesel equivalents, are cheaper to buy, operate and maintain, allow journey time reductions and offer a more comfortable ride for passengers.</p> <p>As a first step, we will electrify the Great Western Main Line from London to Didcot by 2016. For services beyond this, and into Wales, we now need to work with the Welsh Assembly Government to produce a joined up Business Case. My department is holding meetings on this matter, on an almost daily basis, with the Department for Transport, the Welsh Assembly Government and Key Stakeholders.</p> <p>It is not enough to electrify the mainline into Wales, for Wales to fully benefit from electrification we need to work with the Welsh Assembly Government to ensure joined up improvements to commuter lines beyond Cardiff.</p> <p>On a UK level, the latest growth figures fly in the face of most predictions and are a vindication of the decisions we took to cut £6.2 billion of spending this year and the measures we announced in the Budget in June.</p> <p>The economy grew in the last quarter at its fastest 3rd quarter rate for a decade, underpinning confidence in our economy and in this Government’s economic policies so that we can look positively to the future.</p> <p>The Office of Budget Responsibility forecast shows that Britain’s economic recovery is on track, and the Government is on course to balance the books.</p> <p>The economy is growing. More jobs are being created. The deficit is falling.</p> <p>The tough decisions taken by this Government have taken Britain out of the financial danger zone. The Office of Budget Responsibilities forecasts show that we are dealing decisively with the nation’s debts, and showing the world that Britain can live within its means. </p> <p>If we listened to Labour, our debt would be almost £100 billion higher by the end of the Parliament and we would be paying £4 billion more in debt interest alone by the time of the next election.</p> <p>Faced with the worst economic inheritance in modern history, we have made the tough choices and have taken our country back from the brink of bankruptcy.</p> <p>We have secured a fair settlement for Wales, and now we must work together with the Welsh Assembly Government, to build a stronger more prosperous Wales.</p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2010/12/01/welsh-grand-debate-on-the-comprehensive-spending-review/||Cheryl Gillan||Welsh Grand debate on the Comprehensive Spending Review||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2010-12-01||Wales Office||None|
|<p style="text-align: center"><strong>12th Annual Fast Growth 50 Gala Dinner and Awards</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center"><strong>Mercure Holland House Hotel & Spa, Cardiff</strong></p> <p><strong>Introduction</strong></p> <p>Thank you for inviting me here today. </p> <p>This is my third or fourth Fast Growth 50 dinner and it is a pleasure to be invited back this year as Secretary of State to celebrate your success.</p> <p>I would like to start by congratulating Dylan Jones-Evans and his team for organising this event.</p> <p>There is no greater advocate for the entrepreneurial spirit in Wales than Dylan!</p> <p>And it is a pleasure to be surrounded by such a vast range of business talent.</p> <p>Since 1999 some 351 companies have appeared on the Fast Growth 50 list. Between them they have created an estimated 18,000 jobs.</p> <p>This is a remarkable achievement.</p> <p>It shows just what can be achieved in Wales and why we should hold out great hopes for the future.</p> <p>These companies are the living proof that despite the choppy economic situation, businesses in Wales continue to grow. </p> <p>So this evening is a time for celebration. A celebration of all that is best in the business world. </p> <p>And this Government is on your side.</p> <p>We are laying the foundations for economic stability and growth so that you will have the right conditions for your business to thrive.</p> <p><strong>Context – The Deficit</strong></p> <p></p> <p>As you know, when we came into office we inherited a record structural deficit of £109 billion. </p> <p>That is more than 100 times the annual turnover of one of our biggest home grown Welsh businesses – Admiral. </p> <p>Our annual debt interest alone is almost 3 times the total funding given to the Welsh Assembly Government of £15 billion each year.</p> <p>So we have made tackling that debt a priority.</p> <p>The first thing we had to do to restore confidence in the UK economy, was to produce a credible plan to deal with the deficit.</p> <p>First we completed an in-year spending review which will save £6.2billion of government spending this financial year.</p> <p>Then we also created an Office of Budget Responsibility, so we can be clear on the scale of the problem, and ensure Government does not manipulate figures to suit its own political ends.</p> <p>In June we had an emergency budget.</p> <p>And last week, the Comprehensive Spending Review showed where we need to go – and how we intend to reduce the deficit.</p> <p>As businesses you know just how important it is to operate within your means.</p> <p>And last week we set out our plans for the Government to do just that.</p> <p>The CSR is our four year plan for spending and debt reduction.</p> <p>And all parts of the country must play a part.</p> <p>The settlement for Wales is a fair one.</p> <p>The Welsh Assembly Government will face average annual savings of less than 2%, smaller than most Whitehall departments. And better than the UK as a whole.</p> <p>And beyond this, we are also delivering investment commitments to secure Welsh jobs.</p> <p>Commitments to proceed with the A400M and the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft programme will directly benefit our Aerospace industry. And extending the life of Wylfa and its listing for future nuclear build will benefit the energy sector and this week there were two good pieces of economic news. </p> <p>First, we had confirmation that the UK’s economy grew at a faster than expected rate of 0.8%, the fastest 3<sup>rd</sup> Quarter growth since 1999, and second Standard and Poors restored our credit rating as a nation.</p> <p>Ensuring renewed confidence in our economy and delivering is a vote of confidence in the new Government’s economic policies.</p> <p><strong>The Welsh Economy</strong></p> <p>But in Wales, we also have wider issues to tackle than the deficit.</p> <p>Unemployment and economic inactivity are still too high. But we have a willing and increasingly well trained work force.</p> <p>And I was delighted with the recent rise of around 12,000 in the number of people in employment in Wales – and the fall of a similar number in those out of work – we must do all we can to stimulate a jobs and enterprise culture and continue this trend.</p> <p>In comparison to other UK nations and regions, the Welsh economy has not been a star performer.</p> <p>We want Wales to be a driver for economic growth and we want increased employment opportunities, wage levels, and prosperity.</p> <p>But we need more business start-ups.</p> <p>We need to develop key sectors like ICT, Energy Materials and Manufacturing, Creative Industries, Life Sciences and Financial and Professional Services.</p> <p>And we need to do more to attract inward investment to Wales. </p> <p>I am committed to joint working with ministerial colleagues across Whitehall and the Welsh Assembly Government to develop Wales’ economic potential.</p> <p>I will be setting up a Business Advisory Panel to provide advice on the issues facing businesses in Wales that can be addressed by Government. </p> <p>This panel will be made up of Ministers, business leaders and academics in order to benefit from their practical knowledge and expertise. Importantly it will feed in to the work of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Panel and bring a Welsh voice to the table.</p> <p>We know we can help you do business.</p> <p><strong>Private Sector Growth</strong></p> <p>And we want to be a pro-business government.</p> <p>So we have made a start.</p> <p>That is why we are giving National Insurance Holidays for the first ten employees of new businesses outside London, the South East and East.</p> <p>It’s why we are giving Entrepreneurs a helping hand by extending the 10% entrepreneurs’ relief rate from the first £2 million to the first £5 million.</p> <p>And introducing the ‘one in, one out’ rule so that Ministers can only impose a new business regulation if they can identify another that can be removed.</p> <p>Our Corporation Tax regime will be one of the most competitive in the G20 within the next 4 years. Ensuring the UK remains attractive to foreign investment whilst encouraging entrepreneurship within the UK.</p> <p>But we can do more and that is why the Government will be listening carefully to business to see how we can help.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <p>All of you here tonight represent the very best of Welsh business.</p> <p>I am proud that I am able to celebrate your success with you.</p> <p>The last 18 months have been difficult.</p> <p>But you have all met the challenges of the recession head-on by continuing to expand.</p> <p>By creating jobs and new opportunities.</p> <p>And in doing so strengthening the Welsh economy for the future.</p> <p>You will forgive me if I say that next year I want to see 50 different companies on this list.</p> <p>And 50 more in the year after that!</p> <p>Not because I wish you bad fortune.</p> <p>But because I want to see more companies matching and even bettering your achievements as we secure strong growth for Wales.</p> <p>Congratulations again to all of you who have made it onto the short list. </p> <p>I look forward to hearing who the winners are this year.</p> <p>Have a good evening.</p> <p>Thank you.</p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2010/10/29/secretary-of-state-for-wales-speech-fast-growth-50-awards/||Cheryl Gillan||Secretary of State for Wales speech – Fast Growth 50 Awards||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2010-10-29||Wales Office||Mercure Holland House Hotel & Spa, Cardiff|
|<p align="center"><strong>30 September 2010</strong></p> <p align="center"><strong>Ty Hywel, Cardiff Bay</strong></p> <p>Good evening and thank you for inviting me to speak to you today.</p> <p>I want to talk to you about the new politics we are bringing to government and how it will help us deal with the challenges we face here in Wales.</p> <p>As someone with proud Welsh roots it is a great honour to have been appointed Welsh Secretary, and to be the first woman in this office and the first Welsh woman.</p> <p>Politics at Westminster has entered a new era. </p> <p>With our Coalition, we have made a fresh start.</p> <p>And that was right we did.</p> <p>The old way of doing things, the old politics was broken and beyond repair.</p> <p>So now, at Westminster, we have a new kind of government and a new emphasis in our politics, we believe the national interest trumps party interest.</p> <p>And where mature attitudes of co-operation and also believe compromise are signs of strength not weakness.</p> <p>The old adage that two heads – or two parties – are better than one could not be more accurate as we face up to the current challenges of government.</p> <p>The changed architecture of government has meant the chance for a new relationship between Westminster and Cardiff.</p> <p>Uniquely all four parties in Wales have a stake in its governance of Wales.</p> <p>This unique situation in British politics I believe presents us with opportunities.</p> <p>In Westminster, we can learn valuable lessons from the Welsh experience of coalition politics.</p> <p>We should not be afraid to look at Cardiff, or Edinburgh, or Belfast or to Europe to see how governments operate.</p> <p>Or to ask the devolved administrations for their views!</p> <p>Westminster doesn’t always know everything – and after hundreds of years a bit of fresh thinking is not going to go amiss.</p> <p>But before I look at the challenges we face and how we will work together to tackle them, I want to talk briefly about the reforms and change of direction that has got us where we are today.</p> <p><strong>Historical Role of the Welsh Office</strong></p> <p>Fittingly, it was the leader of the UK’s last coalition Government, Winston Churchill, who first appointed a Minister of Welsh Affairs at the start of his second period in office in 1951.</p> <p>This was a small first step but for someone of Churchill’s character, I would imagine it was a pretty big one for him to take.</p> <p>His second appointment to the role was Gwilym Lloyd George, younger son of David Lloyd George and obviously a Welsh politician in his own right.</p> <p>Acting as Home Secretary and Minister for Welsh Affairs at the same time. A task that would be unimaginable today and not something I would want to take on – though doubling up on ministerial jobs is not a unique experience for Wales!</p> <p>The Welsh Office itself was created in 1965 through another step change in Welsh politics.</p> <p>At its head was Jim Griffiths, a campaigner for the creation of the post of Secretary of State for Wales since the 1930s.</p> <p>Harold Wilson persuaded him to delay his retirement and serve in the role he had long-argued for.</p> <p>For this and for many other achievements, the late Lord Callaghan called Jim Griffiths “one of the greatest sons of Wales” – that is high praise indeed.</p> <p>The first Welsh Language Act followed, formally giving Wales separate legal recognition in Bills debated at Westminster.</p> <p>And over the next decade and more, the Welsh Office expanded its remit to encompass many functions some of which have indeed now devolved here to the Welsh Assembly.</p> <p>These changes undoubtedly represented the view of the successive Governments that Wales faced unique challenges that needed to be dealt with using methods that were different to the rest of the UK.</p> <p>But at this stage it was not devolution.</p> <p>That would require another step change.</p> <p><strong>Devolution</strong></p> <p>Lord Callaghan led the pursuit of devolution for Wales and in 1979 that represented a new way of thinking.</p> <p>He attempted to deliver what we now have, ultimately failed, it is right we recognise what he tried to do for Wales in the annual Callaghan lectures, one of which I delivered last week. His contribution was great.</p> <p>People were not ready then for the great changes he tried to enact.</p> <p>When devolution finally came in 1999, it required more changes in the way the Welsh Office and indeed the whole of Whitehall worked. Now we have a complex system. Government both here and in Westminster has adapted, the Wales Office is playing an increasingly important role in facilitating the business of government.</p> <p>Government, both here and in Westminster has adapted and so has the Wales Office, playing an ever growing role in inter government liasion.</p> <p><strong>Challenges – Tackling the Deficit</strong></p> <p>In terms of the challenges facing this government our top priority is tackling the deficit we inherited.</p> <p>It is an issue for all of us across the UK.</p> <p>The actions we are taking to tackle it will touch many people’s lives in the coming years.</p> <p>Make no mistake – if we did not act, the consequences would be grave.</p> <p>Our children and grandchildren would be saddled with a legacy of debt while confidence in the UK economy will have been seriously undermined, perhaps even compromised.</p> <p>Would you ask your grandchild to pay off your credit card?</p> <p>We need top take swift action on the deficit and whilst we do not relish having to take these difficult decisions, we certainly will not shy away from them.</p> <p>While we may have inherited a momentous economic and fiscal mess, to fail to address it would be irresponsible.</p> <p>And we would only have ourselves to blame.</p> <p>Fixing the economy and tackling the deficit are central to everything we want to do as a government.</p> <p>Without stable finances and economic growth we cannot do the things we want to do to support vulnerable people, to invest in public services, in infrastructure, to back business, and spread prosperity.</p> <p>That’s why the coalition Government I represent does not regard the savings we must make as a barrier to making progress as a nation.</p> <p>And let’s not forget Labour had signed up to a programme of cuts.</p> <p>£44bn of unspecified cuts over four years.</p> <p>So I look forward to hearing more from Ed Miliband about his plans in the weeks and months ahead but even he has already acknowledged that cuts are necessary and should not be opposed simply for the sake of party politics.</p> <p>In the meantime our programme for government is, I believe, an ambitious five year plan that will change Wales and the rest of the UK for the better.</p> <p>Dealing with this will require thought, determination, and co-operation.</p> <p><strong>Challenges for Wales – Economy</strong></p> <p>I have spoken before about the economic challenges facing Wales and my belief that the private sector has a lead role to play in generating wealth and attracting investment.</p> <p>Wales certainly shared in some of the UK’s growth prior to the recession.</p> <p>But it remains the poorest nation in the UK and that has to change.</p> <p>The recession has hit Wales hard.</p> <p>Unemployment remains unacceptably high – one of the highest rates in the UK.</p> <p>Too many people – almost half a million – are economically inactive.</p> <p>Long-term unemployment is growing, and too many people are living in workless households where being out of a job – or never having one in the first place – has in itself become a psychological barrier to finding one.</p> <p>We need good quality sustainable jobs so that those who are able to work can work.</p> <p>And that those who are unable to work are supported through a properly targeted benefits system. We also need to make sure that people are better off in work than on benefits.</p> <p>I also believe we can no longer afford to ignore the widening wealth gap between Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom.</p> <p>The statistical sophistry of some politicians has to end.</p> <p>Long-term trends are hard to refute. And the fact Wales has slipped to the bottom of the prosperity league table – and stayed there for many years – cannot be ignored.</p> <p>It should be an alarm call to politicians of all parties.</p> <p>I could easily point fingers but playing the blame game will not suffice. And it will not solve anything.</p> <p>That’s why I want politicians of all colours to work together to try and tackle it.</p> <p>We must also harness the talents of Wales to bring this about.</p> <p>It cannot be right that only two out of five Welsh graduates stay in Wales to work.</p> <p>We need to create the right conditions to provide our highest academic achievers with high quality well paid jobs so that they put their hard-earned qualifications to good use here, where they are needed.</p> <p>Developing the knowledge economy in Wales is a vital component in attracting investment, developing skills, and retaining talent.</p> <p>The last decade has shown that these issues cannot be tackled simply through public subsidy.</p> <p>I welcome the fact the Welsh Assembly Government has recognised this through its Economic Renewal Programme.</p> <p>The days of endless grants and publically subsidised work placements are over and the Labour/Plaid coalition have realised that.</p> <p>But to achieve results the Welsh Assembly Government cannot do this alone. Instead, I believe, we must work together across the Welsh Assembly Government and the UK Government to create the right conditions for the private sector.</p> <p><strong>Challenges for Wales – Environment</strong></p> <p>Our next challenge is global and requires nations, as well as governments to co-operate.</p> <p>Climate change affects us all and there is no doubt that the only way to address this is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by generating energy in new and innovative ways of producing energy.</p> <p>I welcome the fact my colleague Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, has invited an Assembly Minister to join the UK delegation at the next global climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico.</p> <p>This is a sensible step and recognises the role devolved governments can play in tackling climate change more locally while contributing to global action. </p> <p>Wales, in particular, has good opportunities – through its natural advantages – to be at the heart of the Government’s new agenda to use more renewable sources of energy. This would be beneficial to the Welsh economy and the environment. </p> <p>For example, I support plans to create an Energy Island on Anglesey. That will bring in much-needed investment and jobs to an era which badly needs it.</p> <p>The UK Government has plans for a Green Investment Bank, a full system of Feed in tariffs for electricity and a reform of energy markets.</p> <p>We will also introduce measures to promote the increased use of energy produced from waste so that we have more facilities.</p> <p>More specific to Wales we have a legacy of former industrial sites that must be regenerated.</p> <p>My Minister David Jones visited the former steel works site in Ebbw Vale earlier this month and was impressed by the scale and the ambition of the regeneration plans there.</p> <p>I have visited the Tata plant in Port Talbot myself and seen the efforts they are making to ensure that their heavy industry fits in with the surrounding community. As it was put to me, their environmental ideal is “steel manufacturing in a garden.”</p> <p>As a Government we must encourage plans such as these across Wales to give back the cores of our communities.</p> <p><strong>Challenges for Wales – Communities</strong></p> <p>The sense of community is one of our greatest strengths.</p> <p>But our cities, towns and villages face their own challenges.</p> <p>We live in a digital age yet many rural communities struggle to get access to broadband.</p> <p>At a UK level, our broadband service was last year ranked behind Bulgaria and Latvia.</p> <p>Our three market testing projects will explore how to bring superfast broadband to rural areas to prevent the digital divide growing wider.</p> <p>I am talking to Ministerial colleagues about one of these projects being in Wales and how we can work with the Welsh Assembly Government to achieve this.</p> <p>Our Big Society theme and our Localism agenda both underpin community involvement in schemes such as these so that access to services is inclusive, not exclusive.</p> <p>There are many examples of the Big Society in action already across Wales from community-run post offices to redevelopments partly designed by the people they will serve.</p> <p>These are projects that we can learn from across the rest of the UK as we take the Big Society forward.</p> <p>We will support these schemes and their development so more of them to make sure our communities thrive.</p> <p>But we recognise these challenges are not small.</p> <p>And we recognise that to address them we must share our expertise and resources across Government.</p> <p>In Wales and at Westminster.</p> <p>To do that requires another step change in the attitude of government.</p> <p>A new role for my office.</p> <p>And a new context for relationships between Westminster and Cardiff Bay.</p> <p><strong>New Politics, New Role</strong></p> <p>It was no accident that one of the first visits the Prime Minister made after forming a Government was to Wales.</p> <p>In opposition David Cameron was a frequent visitor to Wales.</p> <p>And he said then, as he does now, that Wales matters to him.</p> <p>This was not a throwaway remark.</p> <p>When he became the first sitting Prime Minister to visit the Senedd, when he and I met the First Minister and the Presiding Office less than a week after the coalition Government was formed, we did that for a very good reason.</p> <p>We know we can’t do everything on our own.</p> <p>We in Whitehall need the Welsh Assembly Government to work with us if we are both to deliver what we both say we want good outcomes for the people of Wales.</p> <p>This is where the role for the Welsh Office comes in, taking on a complicated communication and liaison job so that the Welsh Assembly Government has the opportunity to work with us to resolve common problems.</p> <p>Ultimately we want the same thing – getting the best for Wales.</p> <p>I see my office as a bridge between Wales and Westminster, representing Wales in Whitehall through closer liaison with other Departments, as well as Westminster’s voice in Wales. It does – and must – work both ways.</p> <p>Since becoming Secretary of State I have seen new heart in the Welsh Office.</p> <p>An approach of cooperation rather than confrontation is new for politicians and I hope to nurture and improve communication.</p> <p>I have attended meetings with other departments alongside Welsh Assembly Government Ministers. We have issued joint press releases, demonstrating our common ground and the goals that we share.</p> <p>I have ensured we have delivered on our legislative commitments, such as the devolution of new powers of affordable housing – an issue that was stuck in a logjam for far too long and ultimately became a political tool of the last UK Government.</p> <p>This government will not play those games.</p> <p>For too long there has been a fractious relationship between London and Cardiff.</p> <p>With Labour in power in both places, I would have expected a more functional relationship. I was disappointed with what I found.</p> <p>That’s why we are changing things.</p> <p>I meet regularly with the First Minister, the Deputy First Minister and have addressed the Welsh Assembly Government Cabinet and the Welsh Assembly. The Prime Minister will soon do this too.</p> <p>These meetings allow us to discuss common problems and work toward common solutions.</p> <p>This is grown up and respectful politics at its best, ensuring we deliver for those to whom we are ultimately accountable – the people of Wales.</p> <p><strong>Wider Political Reform</strong></p> <p>More widely, this Government wants to change politics.</p> <p>As I said earlier, the old system is broken and needs fixing.</p> <p>We will introduce fixed-term Parliaments – an innovation you are already familiar with in the Assembly but new to Westminster.</p> <p>It will take the decision to call a General Election out of the hands of one person and end destabilising political shenanigans.</p> <p>I accept some people oppose the idea of holding the next General Election on the same day as the 2015 Assembly elections.</p> <p>We have said we will look at that and I have discussed it with both the First Minister and colleagues at Westminster.</p> <p>But there is no doubt in my mind fixed term parliaments are good for the political system of this country.</p> <p>We are also pushing forward on the referendum for the Alternative Vote system and on boundary reform so that the votes of electors will finally carry equal weight across the country. WE will be reducing the number of MPs at Westminster.</p> <p>Early next year, we will have a referendum on giving the National Assembly primary legislative powers on the existing devolved areas.</p> <p>As this was the WAGs top priority, I gave it my full attention on taking office and I welcome the constructive positive engagement I have had with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister on bringing this about as this was their major objective.</p> <p>It is, I believe, a further sign of the UK and Assembly governments working togetheras a matter of routine than always wasting energy on friction and division.</p> <p>As you know, the First Minister did provide me with his preferred date – March 3. Barring any accident, I hope we can oblige him.</p> <p>Next month I intend to lay the Order in Parliament which will take this process forward.</p> <p>These are real commitments that will require close cooperation if we are to see them through.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <p>These are just some of the challenges we face in Wales and I hope today I have given you some idea of how this Government intends to deal with them.</p> <p>I do not see deficit reduction as heralding “dark times” ahead for public services as some prophets of doom have predicted. You can be rest assured that I am fighting for Wales – in Westminster – every day!</p> <p>I am also seeking to change the way we work together so we can tackle the challenges we face together and deliver the best for the people we all serve.</p> <p>The new politics means doing things differently.</p> <p>It puts people first not parties or politics.</p> <p>It signals an era of co-operation, compromise and respect.</p> <p>Co-operating in the national interest.</p> <p>Compromise to find a middle way which takes on board all ideas and all points of view.</p> <p>And respect for devolution, and governments’ right to do things differently.</p> <p>Because what makes sense in one part of the country might not be for another.</p> <p>So I see exciting times for public affairs in Wales.</p> <p>With the evolution of Welsh devolution and big changes to the way we operate with the private sector, the public sector and the voluntary sector which always follow a change of government there are many opportunities that will arise for those working in public affairs.</p> <p>Thank you.</p> <p><strong><br></strong></p>||None||http://www.walesoffice.gov.uk/2010/09/30/public-affairs-cymru-speech/||Cheryl Gillan||Public Affairs Cymru speech||uk.org.publicwhip/member/2741||2010-09-30||Wales Office||Ty Hywel, Cardiff Bay|
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