Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood says awarding contracts to local businesses would create more jobs © PA Media
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood says awarding contracts to local businesses would create more jobs © PA Media

Local procurement key policy for Plaid Cymru

posted by Su-San Sit
16 May 2017

Plaid Cymru's leader says part of their Brexit strategy for Wales involves awarding more public sector contracts to local firms to boost the economy and create jobs. 

Speaking to the BBC, party leader Leanne Wood said although she supported remaining in the European Union (EU), there were potential opportunities for Wales to seize after Brexit.

“The contracts that the public sector gives out to companies in the private sector—if more of those could be awarded to local firms, then that would help the economy and create more jobs,” she said. 

“For every 1% spent through local procurement you can expect to create up to 2,000 extra jobs.”

Wood added that local procurement was a key policy of the party over the last few years.

“It’s one policy that we’ve put a lot of emphasis on in recent years,” she said.

“There have been limits on procurement due to European Union rules and law and there are opportunities potentially as we leave as long as we do it properly.”

EU law on public procurement state that the award of contracts by EU countries must be non-discriminatory to prevent “buy national” policies and promote free movement of goods and services between EU countries.

The party leader was speaking at the launch of Plaid Cymru’s general election manifesto, promising to give Wales a “strong voice” during Brexit.

“Be it on tourism, farming, higher education or jobs, we are determined to overcome the threats and seek out the opportunities which may come with leaving the EU,” Wood said. 

The document, the first Welsh general election manifesto to be published in the form of an action plan, focused on securing the Welsh economy and safeguarding the future of key public services.

Along with local procurement, key policies included ensuring Wales could continue to buy and sell to continental Europe without costly barriers and tariffs, opening a publicly owned bank and guaranteeing all rights of EU citizens living and working in Wales.

Meanwhile, the Labour party’s newly released manifesto said they were committed to a procurement process that supported Britain’s steel industry and defence manufacturing that provide good quality jobs throughout the supply chain.

Concerning international trade, Labour said they were dedicated to the rules-based international trading system of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and would maintain UK membership of the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) after leaving the EU.

The GPA is a multi-lateral agreement between members of the WTO, whereby signatory parties give access to foreign suppliers to government procurement markets.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have not yet released their election manifestos.

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