Mark Tami Column: “Vital high quality jobs remain in our area – local businesses must be supported and industries nurtured”
Deeside.com has invited Alyn & Deeside Member of Parliament and Assembly Member to write a monthly article with updates on their work in their respective Parliaments and closer to home.
A combination of social isolation during lockdown and a robust vaccination drive is easing pressure on our healthcare system. Infection rates in Wales have been lowered substantially and the Welsh Government have announced plans to offer all adults the first dose of the vaccine by 31 July 2021.
The UK and Welsh budget announcements will be essential to communities, jobs and businesses to ensure a full recovery and continued economic progress. Already, the Welsh Government’s targeted response has proven effective, with Wales showing lower unemployment figures than the UK as a whole. Since the start of the pandemic over £1.7 billion of Welsh Government financial assistance has reached businesses. I was pleased that the Welsh budget announcement will continue to support businesses with an extra £200 million in support.
To Move Wales Forward, we must create a fair and competitive business environment. To do this, it is vital that we support businesses who support their staff and pay their taxes. We must not allow big businesses to profit from the pandemic, while workers and living standards suffer. Reports of companies, such as British Airways and British Gas, using the pandemic to fire and re-hire workers on worse pay have been deeply concerning. Workers’ rights must be protected. Similarly, reports of multi-billion-pound profit companies, such as Amazon, having poor workers’ rights while profiting from tax deductions are unacceptable.
I welcome the continued work that Jack Sargent is carrying out for our local area. After high street banks abandoned the town, his push for Wales’ first community bank to Buckley will give access to essential financial services to residents. The recent nationalisation of Wales’ railways is also good news and will enable the Welsh Government to better target funding to allow for improvements to our transport links.
Everybody should have access to a good job. Key workers in service industries should not be laid off after helping us through the pandemic, such as shop workers, as supermarkets move business online. Young workers have been the age group hit hardest for employment by the pandemic. The Welsh and UK Government must act swiftly to prevent a jobless generation and knock-on effects on job prospects.
Looking forward, the UK Government must work together with our high-quality industries. In December, I challenged the UK Government’s decisions to suspend tariffs on US aerospace goods, and its impact on Airbus and our jobs. In our Broughton plant, the Airbus workers came to an agreement for temporary reduced hours to prevent job losses. The UK Government must match this effort and enable the industry to recover and rebuild. It is vital that high quality jobs remain in our area – local businesses must be supported, and quality industries nurtured. I will continue to press the Government on this.
The recent High Court ruling that Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, acted unlawfully by refusing to disclose contracts to the public in the given time, is not good enough. We must have a transparent allocation process for UK Government contracts, to avoid accusations of them being awarded to friends of Cabinet Ministers. The UK Government must be held to the same standard of fairness and transparency.
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