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Economic Inactivity

Volume 599: debated on Wednesday 16 September 2015

Our economic plan continues to bear fruit for Wales. This summer, we have seen more people in Wales going out to work each day than ever before, as economic inactivity falls.

In 2011, the Labour Welsh Government announced that 5,000 jobs will be created in the Deeside enterprise zone. Four years later, fewer than 1,000 have been delivered. What is the Secretary of State doing to ensure that north Wales will benefit from the Mersey Dee Alliance?

These are primarily Assembly issues, and I will look into them on behalf of my hon. Friend. What I can say is that business in north Wales, as throughout the whole of Wales right now, is filled with concern and dismay about the posture of a Labour party that is increasingly anti-business, anti-British and anti-worker.

The Port Talbot steelworks in my constituency accounts for over 4,000 jobs, but it is facing crippling energy bills. Does the Secretary of State agree that urgent action is now required to help the steel industry to reduce its energy costs?

The hon. Gentleman may be aware that I was in his constituency just a fortnight ago with my right hon. Friend the Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise to meet Tata Steel—and we also met Celsa Steel that day—to talk about precisely the issues he raises. It is a concern. People in the steel industry are a concern for us, and we are working with the industry to provide compensation for the higher bills it faces as a result of our renewable obligations.

Does the Secretary of State not agree that the economy of Wales would be boosted by the exciting proposed spaceport at Llanbedr? What discussions has he had with his Cabinet colleagues about bringing the spaceport to Llanbedr?

The hon. Lady knows, because we discussed this on Monday, that I share her excitement and enthusiasm about the prospect of a spaceport coming to Llanbedr in her constituency. The Government are looking at various sites and various options, but I am in discussions with my colleagues at the Department for Transport about how we can secure that facility potentially for Wales.