Wales ranked worst in UK for productivity, as new figures go hand-in-hand with regional economic inequality

New figures reveal the extent of the Welsh Government’s economic embarrassment have come ahead of a Welsh Conservative debate into regional inequality across the country.

The 2017 ONS figures, released this morning,  show how the Welsh Labour Government’s economic policy failures over the past 20 years are damaging the prosperity of the country.

Productivity levels in all regions of Wales have been revealed as below the average for the UK, with the best-performing county of Flintshire and Wrexham still 4% below the UK average. The worst-performing county of Powys is at a damning 35% below average productivity, the lowest figure in the UK.

Wales is now the weakest and slowest-growing economy in the UK, and still lags behind Scotland considerably.

Welsh Conservatives will take to the floor of the Senedd this afternoon to call for the Government to close the gap between the economic fortunes of the different regions of Wales.

The gap between the richest and poorest regions of Wales has created a country of unforgivable inequality, with gross value added in some local authority areas almost twice that of others. In 2017, GVA in Cardiff was £25,964, compared with £13,957 in Anglesey.

Commenting on the latest figures, Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Business, Economy and Infrastructure, Russell George AM said:

“Regional inequality remains stark in Wales.

“It is completely unacceptable that after 20 years of Welsh Labour at the helm of the country’s economy, certain parts of Wales are enjoying half the prosperity of others.

“Today’s productivity figures have also highlighted the trouble this Welsh Government is having with closing the inequality gap.

“Welsh Conservatives are absolutely clear in our vision for developing the Welsh economy and boosting the economic fortune of Wales’ poorest areas.

“We must prioritise supporting Wales’ small and medium-sized enterprises, housing developments, and creating a fit-for-purpose transport network in order to boost jobs, growth and wages in every part of Wales.”