Mid Wales' economy needs to have a kick start following the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic according to local Member of the Welsh Parliament, Russell George.
The Member of the Senedd for Montgomeryshire was speaking after contributing in a virtual Senedd debate, during which he supported an independent, judge-led inquiry, into the Welsh Government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also called on the Welsh Government to provide an ongoing package of support which isn't limited to the immediate Covid-19 lockdown, but also after the formal lockdown when trading will still restricted for some sectors such as tourism and hospitality.
Mr George said:
"While I appreciate that these are extraordinary times, the Welsh Government needs to do far more to kick start the recovery of the Mid Wales economy and ensure that Powys isn’t at an economic disadvantage.
"While we entered lockdown together, I find it regrettable that we are easing lockdown at a different pace to our neighbours in England.
"For me, it would have been preferable for the whole of the UK to have been acting in a unified and cohesive way, because the differences in approach only serve to compound the confusion and frustration of businesses, particularly for those in locations along our long border with England.
"The First Minister’s announcement last Friday of an initial easing of the lockdown restrictions was a missed opportunity to say something positive to Welsh businesses, many of whom can already demonstrate that they can comply perfectly well with social-distancing guidelines. This must be very frustrating.
"The inflexibility in the Welsh Government’s approach to judge a business on its merits could have lasting damage. It puts these businesses in further jeopardy and at a strategic disadvantage with businesses just a few miles away over the border in Shropshire. We need to get the Mid Wales economy moving again - safely and at the earliest opportunity."