Wales politics

Low wages in Wales tweet 'lazy and sloppy'

Image caption The tweet said Wales' workforce often has lower salary costs than some other parts of the UK

A tweet trying to attract foreign investment to Wales by saying wages are lower than in other parts of the UK has been accused of being "sloppy".

Trade and Invest Wales said that Wales' workforce often has "up to 30% lower salary costs".

Economist Prof Phil Cooke told Newyddion 9 it put Wales in a category of economies it could not compete with.

The Welsh Government said the tweet was not representative of the wider marketing approach.

The tweet was sent by Trade and Invest Wales - a Welsh Government marketing initiative - several times with copies remaining online at the time of publication.

'Old fashioned'

Prof Cooke, from Bergen University College in Norway, is the editor of the publication European Planning Studies.

He told BBC Wales that it "puts Wales in the same category of competition as less privileged economies which have not been developed".

"You can't compete with them - they're even cheaper," he said.

"Its old fashioned and lazy."

Plaid Cymru's spokesperson for the economy says "celebrating cheap labour in Wales is insulting."

Rhun ap Iorwerth said: "One of the biggest problems we have in the Welsh economy is that wages are too low.

"What we want to be doing is building those wage levels up by investing in skills making our excellent workforce even more productive.

"The days of selling Wales as a country where you can get a cheap workforce has to be consigned to history because it does nothing for our economy."

Labour AM Mick Antoniw said the tweets were "clearly a gaffe, and totally contrary to ongoing work to establish ethical employment standards."

"I will be asking the Welsh Government for an explanation as to how this happened and to ensure it cannot happen again," he said.

Former local government minister Alun Davies said the tweet did not reflect the ethos or values of Welsh Labour.

Image caption Rhun ap Iorwerth said wages in Wales are too low

The Welsh Government says that the tweet was not representative of the wider marketing approach.

A spokesperson said: "Ministers consistently promote Wales as an excellent place to trade, invest and do business.

"Our marketing strategy supports this, by promoting Wales as a high-quality investment destination with a highly skilled workforce, excellent connectivity, strong links between industry and academia, a commitment to developing first class infrastructure and a supportive business environment.

"Our aim is to position Wales positively, on the basis of a high quality offer and a responsive Welsh Government.

"The tweet in question was not representative of our wider marketing approach and was quickly removed."

Despite the Welsh Government statement, although one tweet has been deleted, four other copies of it sent in February remain on the social media platform.

The tweet was sent multiple times with different photos.

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