Small steps needed for small business

Chancellor Phil Hammond was in Swansea Bay last week. He was here to learn about homes as power stations. Sounds a bit quirky I know; but it’s the real deal, through an imaginative combination of solar cells, battery storage and clever integral design. Its the work of Swansea University – recently cited as the top Welsh name in the Sunday Times Good University Guide - who will receive £36m to develop this technological innovation. As you’d expect, Mr Hammond was dead keen to claim that Wales would be properly supported in future research and development funding, come Brexit. You can understand though why such investment promises carry less weight these days, given the unsatisfactory outcomes

Business growth still a balancing act in Wales

Ten years after the global financial crash, it seems we’re still grappling with how to return to 2008 levels of prosperity. Some analysts go as far as to suggest it may never happen. Wales has seen an almost negligible rise in household income. House prices, a staple economic indicator, remain below par. This is despite a record period of low interest rates making mortgages comparatively affordable. Last week saw a clutch of retrospective articles on the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers – the bank that was reputedly “too big to fail”. Earlier fore-warnings of doom had surfaced over here when the Northern Rock savings bank got into trouble. Many market gurus blamed the quasi

History requires the full story

It’s said that history is written by the winners. It’s also used selectively to support a particular argument. As such, you rarely get the whole story, never mind both sides. I recently noticed how someone who firmly thinks that leaving the EU is a good idea, backed up that view by posting a photo on social media of the D-Day landings. The caption suggested that Europe had forgotten what it owed to the UK. I’m sure the thought resonated with many people who feel the Brexit divorce bill is a bit pricey. This take on history about being owed something manages to overlook a far less noble episode six years prior to the landings. That was when the British government sold out the people of the fo

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