CBI claims Welsh firms losing out £2bn in contracts
Published: 28th Jun 2012 17:46:15
Employers' group CBI Wales is claiming businesses are losing out on £2bn in public contracts.
CBI Director in Wales, Emma Watkins, told BBC Wales that the Welsh government is "ideologically" against private firms delivery public services.
Finance minister Jane Hutt rejected the claim, saying her government is working to remove business barriers.
At present public sector contracts are worth £4.3bn a year - 52% going to Welsh companies.
However, the CBI argues that a further 20,000 jobs could be created if that was increased by 10%.
Ms Watkins told BBC Wales' Dragon's Eye: "Businesses are missing out on a key injection of cash, which could help them to grow their businesses, create jobs and drive the economy forward.
When we talk about public sector delivery... we tend to enter into a false argument about 'public good - private bad'”
"But the other issue actually is, that some of the citizens of Wales are losing out because some services aren't being delivered effectively and innovatively in the way that they perhaps could be."
At the moment, local councils in Wales account for 44% of all the money spent on procuring public services.
The health service in Wales makes up a further 28% of the spend.
Last year, Health Minister Lesley Griffiths went on the record stating she "completely rejected the privatisation of NHS services" and "did not want to see private companies making money out of our NHS".
It came after private hospitals claimed they could take up the slack if there was not any room on NHS wards in Wales.
The Welsh Independent Healthcare Association said the arrangements could be made transparent, as has been done in England.
But the CBI Wales director said she believed there was little appetite among Welsh governing politicians to include business in the equation.
"The majority of our members would feel it's ideological and political and I think that quite a few businesses would say that there is an antipathy and an opposition to use the private sector to deliver public services here in Wales," she told Dragon's Eye.
We're working to reduce and remove those barriers to procurement and we've done a lot of good work”
"I think that's probably the overriding factor for many.
"I think what tends to happen when we talk about public sector delivery is we tend to enter into a false argument about 'public good - private bad'.
"I think what we have to look at is, what's the service that's being delivered, what's the quality of the service for the service users on the street and what's the value of that service."
But responding to the claims, finance minister Ms Hutt said the government had a clear commitment to Welsh businesses.
"Our ambition, for every public Welsh pound we have, should be there to support the economy and to support Wales-based businesses," she said.
"Of course, statistics prove that we are making a difference."
Ms Hutt said that in 2003, just 35% of the public sector contracts in Wales were awarded to Welsh firms.
"We certainly want to improve that and progress that," she added.
"We're working to reduce and remove those barriers to procurement and we've done a lot of good work on that."
Dragon's Eye is broadcast at 23:35 BST on BBC One Wales on Thursday, 28 June.
At 08:00:54 in EnglandAbout 400 jobs are to be created across Teesside and North Yorkshire thanks to £30m of investment from Quorn Foods.
At 07:59:42 in Northern IrelandAn independent ambulance service has said lives are at risk after £10,000 worth of equipment was stolen from one of its vehicles in Londonderry.
At 07:57:44 in WorldThe South Korean school devastated by the loss of many of its students in a ferry disaster last week has started to hold classes again.
At 07:51:52 in EnglandPart of the M42 in the West Midlands has been closed after a lorry overturned, spilling diesel on to the motorway.
At 07:46:39 in WalesThe One Show's Alex Jones, Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas and tenor and Radio Wales presenter Wynne Evans are among the baton bearers for the Wales leg of the of the Commonwealth Games build up.
At 07:44:08 in SportFootball Association of Wales chief executive Jonathan Ford hopes the Uefa Super Cup will act as a platform in Cardiff's bid to be one of the host cities for Euro 2020.
At 07:38:26 in WorldThree foreigners have been shot dead by a security guard at a hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, officials say.
At 07:33:32 in BusinessSouth Korea's economy grew more than forecast in the first quarter, helped by a jump in construction and exports.
At 07:33:28 in SportTrainer Gary Lockett says talks have begun about a rematch between Enzo Maccarinelli and WBA light-heavyweight champion Jurgen Braehmer.
At 07:29:11 in EnglandPolice are continuing to question a 42-year-old woman suspected of murdering three of her children in south-west London.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. CBI claims Welsh firms losing out £2bn in contracts [Online] (Updated 28th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1437513/CBI-claims-Welsh-firms-losing-out-2bn-in-contracts [Accessed 24th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
South Korea's economy grew more than forecast in the first quarter, helped by a jump in construction and exports.
Cult comic character Frank Sidebottom has inspired a film starring Michael Fassbender, while a documentary and biography are also in the works. Four years after his creator Chris Sievey died, why is Frank's legend growing and who was the man behind the mask?
The Labour Party is looking to sever its links with the troubled Co-op Bank, bringing to an end one of the oldest political partnerships in UK.
About 400 jobs are to be created across Teesside and North Yorkshire thanks to £30m of investment from Quorn Foods.