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Cairns: Welsh economy in disarray under Labour

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"I am grateful to the Minister for his statement, and I echo the comments made about those people who have lost their jobs; let us not forget that there are mortgages that depend on those jobs, and many people have already committed, or spent, money on holidays, who might not have done so had they known the situation in which they would find themselves, namely on the dole queue.

It is extremely worrying, and we must do all that we can to support those affected, not only those directly laid off today, but also the wider community.

Let us not forget the significant number of supplier jobs that are linked to Sony.

I certainly know of two suppliers in Swansea, off the top of my head; that will lead to scores of jobs being lost. Those are just the ones that I can think of immediately, without considering wider implications.

The announcement that you have made about Bridgend town centre is obviously welcome, but pales into insignificance when we are discussing the sort of jobs that have been lost here.

People travelled a considerable distance in order to work at Sony, because it was seen as a good employer that paid good salaries and invested in its workforce, ensuring that it was highly skilled.

The announcement about the town centre is welcome but certainly cannot compare to the jobs being lost.

I would also be grateful for any statement that you can give on Wrigley's, the former Kraft factory, where 173 jobs will be lost in the next six to nine months.

I am disappointed that you have, as yet, made no comment on this, because it obviously affects the same areas and communities.

The wider issue here, Minister, is the lack of competitiveness within the manufacturing sector because of the economic environment in which it works. That is what it comes down to.

It is extremely worrying in the context of the figures that have been announced today, that we have dropped from first to ninth of UK regions in attracting inward investment.

It is easy for you to call for a due diligence investigation now; that surely demonstrates the panicky and illogical nature of policy development within the Welsh Assembly Government.

If you had concerns about the international division, bearing in mind the interfering way that you have handled the Welsh Development Agency since you have been Minister, you would have conducted the due diligence investigation before deciding to merge the agency with the Welsh Assembly Government.

This clearly shows that there is no logic to your policy, and these people are now paying the price for that.

There has been a meltdown in manufacturing; manufacturing output in Wales has dropped by 10 per cent since mid 2001.

Today's figures, which show that we have dropped to ninth in the league table, are another indication of the failure of the Welsh Assembly Government's economic development policy. These people are paying the price of your policies."

"Yr wyf yn ddiolchgar i'r Gweinidog am ei ddatganiad, ac ategaf y sylwadau a wnaed am y bobl hynny sydd wedi colli eu swyddi; rhaid inni gofio bod pobl yn dibynnu ar y swyddi hynny i ad-dalu eu morgeisi, ac mae llawer o bobl eisoes wedi ymrwymo arian, neu wedi ei wario, ar wyliau, na fyddent wedi gwneud hynny pe baent yn ymwybodol o'r sefyllfa y maent ynddi ar hyn o bryd, sef y byddent ar y dôl.

Mae'n peri cryn bryder, a rhaid inni wneud popeth o fewn ein gallu i gefnogi'r bobl y mae hyn yn effeithio arnynt, nid dim ond y bobl sydd wedi colli eu swyddi yn uniongyrchol heddiw, ond y gymuned ehangach hefyd.

Rhaid inni gofio am y nifer sylweddol o swyddi cyflenwyr sy'n gysylltiedig â Sony. Gwn yn bendant am ddau gyflenwr yn Abertawe, o feddwl yn gyflym; bydd hynny'n arwain at golli ugeiniau o swyddi.

Dim ond rhai y gallaf feddwl amdanynt yn gyflym yw'r rheini, heb ystyried goblygiadau ehangach. Yn amlwg, mae croeso i'r cyhoeddiad a wnaed gennych ynglyn â chanol tref Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr, ond mae'n ddibwys pan drafodwn y mathau o swyddi a gollwyd yma.

Yr oedd pobl yn teithio o bell i weithio yn Sony, oherwydd ystyriwyd ei fod yn gyflogwr da a oedd yn talu cyflogau da ac yn buddsoddi yn ei weithlu, gan sicrhau ei fod yn hyfedr iawn.

Croesewir y cyhoeddiad am ganol y dref ond ni yn sicr, all gymharu â'r swyddi a gaiff eu colli.

Byddwn hefyd yn ddiolchgar am unrhyw ddatganiad y gallwch ei wneud ar Wrigley's, sef yr hen ffatri Kraft, lle y caiff 173 o swyddi eu colli yn y chwe i naw mis nesaf, Yr wyf yn siomedig nad ydych, hyd yma, wedi gwneud unrhyw sylw ar hyn, oherwydd mae'n amlwg yn effeithio ar yr un ardaloedd a'r un cymunedau.

Diffyg cystadleuaeth yn y sector gweithgynhyrchu o ganlyniad i'r amgylchedd economaidd y mae'n gweithio ynddo, yw'r mater ehangach yma, Weinidog. Dyna ddiwedd y gân.

Mae'n peri cryn bryder yn nghyd-destun y ffigurau a gyhoeddwyd heddiw, sef ein bod wedi gostwng o'r safle cyntaf i'r nawfed o ran rhanbarthau yn y DU sy'n denu mewnfuddsoddiad.

Digon hawdd i chi alw am ymchwiliad gofal priodol yn awr; mae hynny'n siwr o ddangos natur frysiog ac afresymol y gwaith o ddatblygu polisïau o fewn Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru.

Os oedd gennych bryderon am yr is-adran ryngwladol, o gofio'r ffordd ymyrgar y bu ichi ymdrin ag Awdurdod Datblygu Cymru ers i chi ddod yn Weinidog, byddech wedi cynnal yr ymchwiliad gofal priodol cyn penderfynu uno'r awdurdod â Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru.

Mae hyn yn dangos yn eglur nad oes unrhyw resymeg i'ch polisi, ac mae'r bobl hyn yn talu'r pris am hynny yn awr.

Mae'r maes gweithgynhyrchu wedi mynd ar chwâl; mae'r cynnyrch gweithgynhyrchu yng Nghymru wedi gostwng 10 y cant ers canol 2001.

Mae ffigurau heddiw, sy'n dangos ein bod wedi gostwng i'r nawfed safle yn y gynghrair, yn arwydd arall o fethiant polisi datblygu economaidd Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru. Mae'r bobl hyn yn talu'r pris am eich polisïau."

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