WELSH CONSERVATIVES in the Senedd confirmed on Sunday (Mar 7) that they would work with the UK Government on implementing a roadmap out of lockdown and Wales’s economic recovery after May’s Senedd election.  

IN a press release the Tories said: “Last week, the Prime Minister offered hope and clarity for families, workers and businesses in England with a cautious but detailed roadmap out of restrictions. However, the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay has said it will not publish such a plan, instead persisting with its devolved border games.

“As we move out of lockdown we would work together on a roadmap and would introduce a ‘COVID Bounce Back Package’ for workers and businesses, including measures such as an extension to the business rates holiday, bringing back the best of the Welsh Development Agency and a commitment to no new devolved taxes after the election.”

Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies, has also called on the UK Government to extend furlough as we continue on the road to recovery, whilst other Senedd-specific commitments will be announced in the run-up to May’s election.

Outlining the proposals, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies said: “Sadly, the uncertainty for Welsh families, workers and businesses continues and there is still no roadmap to recovery – and no timetable to work towards. The science doesn’t stop at the Severn Bridge, and it is deeply unfair to force people to wait for a firm plan from the Welsh Labour Government.

“Their refusal to work with the UK Government is only adding to the confusion and concern and the Welsh public wants consistency in messaging across the UK. As we move out of lockdown, we should work as one where possible not because of ideology, but because it’s common sense and keeps people safer.  

“More than a third of the Welsh population live within a short drive of the border, and the less differences there are, the less confusion there is, and the more people keep to the rules, the more lives we save. Much of our economic recovery will also depend on cross-border fluidity but the current situation leaves the sense that the First Minister is more interested in playing politics with the border, rather than rebuilding the Welsh economy.

“Labour are obsessed with more powers but are a party without a plan for our recovery. We would bring forward a COVID Bounce Back Package for Welsh workers and businesses that would include measures such as an extension to the business rates holiday, bringing back the best of the WDA and a commitment to no new taxes in the next Senedd term.

“Challenging times call for mature and strong leadership, and I would encourage the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay to end this uncertainty, and pursue a joined-up approach with the UK Government to rebuilding Wales. Welsh Conservatives would do so after May 6th by ending the political border games and by working together on a common framework on key restrictions as we move out of lockdown, and the implementation of a strong package of economic measures to support Welsh jobs.”

Shortly after the Conservatives released their statement on co-operation with London, Mark Drakeford spoke on BBC Radio Wales saying that there could be an easing of the lockdown restrictions as soon as Friday, March 12.