Adam Price has unveiled a National Economic Plan as part of his campaign to become the new leader of Plaid Cymru which, he says, can "deliver economic growth for all regions and put money into people's pockets."
The party's Shadow Economy Secretary and former Treasury spokesperson at Westminster said his 10 point plan sets out a series of measures designed to "kick-start the Welsh economy, raise our GDP and put Wales on the sound economic footing to demonstrate what Welsh self-government can achieve."
Adam Price said his economic plan aims to address the "classic problems" of the Welsh economy, including:
The productivity gap: a symptom of low investment and low skills
The ownership gap: the relative absence of Welsh-owned firms and institutions
The infrastructure gap: the result of years of under-investment
The age gap: the effects of the Brain Drain on our long-term prospects
Incorporated in the 10 steps is a catalogue of policy ideas from around the globe, some of which Mr Price acknowledges are long term and "deliberately experimental". Overall, he says, they are "radical, practical and workable, and capable of affecting the change we need in upgrading Wales' economic performance, moving us to the next stage of independence itself."
Perhaps the most striking of Mr Price's proposals is the abolition of business rates and council tax and reduction of income tax level, which would be replaced by Land Value Tax on residential, commercial and industrial land (excluding agricultural land) which was first proposed by Bangor University's Dr Rhys ap Gwilym. Lowering the income tax level, Mr Price says, would "put more money in people's pockets…..boost the economy through increased spending" and make Wales "extremely attractive to young people seeking to return or relocate to work or start a business."
Other policy initiatives include a job guarantee for 18-24 year olds; a national infrastructure company to drive forward development and allow more value of investment to be captured by the Welsh supply chain; a national innovation agency and regional development agency; and a Welsh government-backed complementary currency.
Speaking upon the publication of his 10 point plan, Adam Price said:
"I'm very proud to publish my National Economic Plan as part of my campaign to become the new leader of Plaid Cymru. It is a comprehensive plan which can deliver economic growth for all regions and put money into people's pockets.
"I have incorporated around 50 policy ideas – some from around the world and some closer to home – all with the aim of putting Wales on a sound economic footing, investing in communities and the skills of our people, and creating the conditions for Wales to achieve independence, realising our full potential as a people and as a nation.
"A number of them are long term and some deliberately experimental, but all form part of an overall vision which is radical, practical and workable, and capable of affecting the change we need to upgrade Wales' economic performance.
"From the Singapore 'Skills Future' approach to training, Finland's National Innovation Agency, Toronto's Google Sidewalk Lab for new technology testing, and Norway's Sovereign Wealth Fund to invest in our communities, I present a plan which I believe can enthuse voters. It will show that a Plaid Cymru Government in 2021 would not only have a positive vision to deliver real economic benefits, but would also have the political will to carry it out.
"In this campaign I have already set out my 7 key steps to independence, and today I outline the kind of policies which show what self-government can achieve within current constraints.
"A new Wales is on the ballot paper in the Plaid Cymru leadership contest. I hope members will see the positive economic future we can lead our country towards if they put their faith in me in this election."