When he next expects to meet representatives of industry and business to discuss ways in which his Department and the Welsh Executive can work together to alleviate the burden of regulation.
I plan regular meetings with a wide range of representatives of Welsh industry and business, as well as with Assembly colleagues, to discuss the conditions for industrial and business growth in Wales.
Is the Secretary of State aware that an increasing number of burdensome regulations are coming out of Brussels—including the agency employees directive and the equal treatment in work directive—that bear down disproportionately on small firms? Does he agree that a way must be found to alleviate this burden and to prevent the destruction of wealth creation and employment?
We are, of course, continuously working with business to effect conditions for the better, in which they can prosper. However, if the conditions in respect of regulation are as bad as the hon. Gentleman says, why is there record prosperity and more jobs being created in Wales and the rest of Britain, and why is the United Kingdom economy stronger than anybody can remember? The answer is that we have created the conditions in which businesses small and large can prosper.