The downside of devolution. Brother Carwyn has omitted to mention why Wales's economic performance slipped relative to the UK during 13 years of Westminster Labour rule ......http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-22775280
The thing with the Welsh government is they want to take all the credit when things go right but also want to pass the buck when things go wrong. There really is no accountability. We have had some inept politicians running the show: Rhodri Morgan and Welsh Labour – completely clueless banging on about free prescriptions making us the envy of England – good grief. IWJ and the rest of the innovative radicalists. They are all socialist/nationalist pollyannas with no idea that we need to engage with our largest trading partner and not make them feel unwelcome.
Wales has gone backwards since devolution and will continue to do so as long as we have dreamers as politicians rather than people of substance. It really does beggar belief that some in Wales think Labour do any good for this little part of Gods Earth. Labour supporters really are blinded by party loyalty and choose to ignore the facts that Wales is falling further and further behind the rest of the UK. We have an enterprise zone in the capital city that hasn’t attracted any business (never mind new business) in nearly two years, we have a council and government that promise millions annually to develop a CBD and yet nothing gets off the drawing board. All rhetoric and no action. The only real investment Wales will see will be down to Westminster and the electrification of the GWR. This will be much more than Labour ever did for Wales yet some prefer to vote a party that protects benefits rather than invests in the future. Weird.
I’ve told myself I’m not going to get involved in a rant so I will leave it there save for this final comment. We in Wales have a very poor political class and that is evident by the dross we have to contend with from Cardiff Bay. There can be no excuse. The whole idea of devolution has failed Wales.
The spectacle of them arguing over the possible downgrade of Royal Glamorgan hospital shows Labour's true colours. Yesterday commisar Carwyn had a go at opposistion politcians for saying the A.E will close there when the decision has yet to be made meanwhile Labour people like Chris Bryant, Owen Smith and Leighton Andrews have been speaking at public meetings and standing in front of the hospital with posters saying it shouldn't be downgraded!
Welsh Labour: Party before country
Whilst I agree that the Welsh Government - which has always been led by Labour - has had a fairly poor record on the economy, and on public sector reform and performance, I think you are being a bit harsh on them politically. All politicians try to claim the credit for the good stuff and pass the buck for the bad stuff if it looks possible to do so. And with the economy, the UK Government is at least as bad. And, as an England-resident I can assure you that hospital reorganisations are being opposed by local Lib Dem and Tory MPs just as vociferously as local Labour politicians in Wales are opposing them. Its because our MPs have sort of dual roles as both party politicians and local representatives which can be quite tricky to square. The US suffers far worse from this kind of thing (because their Congress is much more powerful than our parliament vis a vis the Executive) but we have it a bit. Its the price you pay for keeping relatively small constituencies.
I'm interested in your comments about the UK government being (economically) just as bad? given that the incumbents inherited a dire situation (the deficit) that needed to get under control pretty quickly, i'd say the UK economy has done ok. The reason is as follows:-
the UK government has reduced its spending by about 2% of GDP yet the economy overall has seen a modest increase year on year. That would indicate that the private sector is picking up the slack.
The eurozone is in a dire mess. we do trade directly with the large players like FRance and Germany and in the case of the former they are in recession and in the case of the latter they are flatlining. Greece et al don't really figure as we don't really have much trade.
The regulators putting pressure on the banks to strengthen the balance sheets. This ties up capital that would in normal situations be issued as debt.
The UK government is not just dealing with the cyclical deficit but it also has to sort out the structural deficit. That is something else altogether. There are no easy answers although if I were in government I'd look to cut borrowing immediately (as per Ireland/Latvia) and go some way to make sure that either the FTSE100 (£750bn) or the pension/hedge funds (£350bn) started spending some of that cash in the economy. Just 10% would see an increase in demand of £110bn - around 5% growth. Obviously easier said than done
millennium Stadium, millennium centre, st David's centre, 5 star hotels, Grand Slam's, two premiership teams, FA Cup Finals World Cup Rugby finals, Liberty Stadium, CCS, Sophia Gardens, Ashes Test match, yeah Wales has gone backwards since 1997.......
To the above post I would add that the Welsh Government lacks an effective opposition, as well as a means by which to scrutinise current Government policy and attitudes before a mass audience.
I wasn't making a comment about the content of the economics policy. I was making a comment about the politics of it. Which is that Osborne is just as quick to point to 0.3% growth as vindication of his policy, but any recession is due to "external factors". Or to be very selective in what he takes from the IMF or OECD's comments on economic policy.
On the content of the policy itself, I don't think its a disaster. But I do think he has been too dogmatic about "sticking to plan A" and that we should have slowed down the pace of fiscal consolidation in the short term to give extra support to the economy. What they did was shift from current to capital spending which probably is good for the long term (provided its good investment) but little boost in the short term as aggregate demand is unchanged. Would have been better to borrow a few more billions now and then cut quicker when the economy is stronger.
I also think High Speed 2 is a collosal waste of money. That £30 billion could be much better spent, both in the short term to boost the economy, and in the long term in a much wider range of smaller, less sexy investments. Its all about the politics and shiney boys toys.
Something has improved if this report is correct, maybe the WG and Labour have learnt a few lessons, you could lay all the credit with Londons macro-economic policy or maybe it is just the global economy responding to the chaos in the Euro Zone. Maybe a combination of all three.
But lets be honest government at all levels, local, Wales or UK wide appears to be corrupt (not mainly in straight bribes) and is intent on supporting and rewarding its own supporters. Whether its ex-prime ministers like Blair making multi millions, the politicians in Westminster with interests in Health companies backing policies to privatise NHS services, or this from Wales online
The reason why I’m less than impressed with MP Moon simply writing to Mel Nott about this. Haringey Council – remember Baby P case – has been through five Serious Case Reviews in the last four years. In Bridgend county borough there have been thirteen over the same period. Another reason why MP Moon won’t want to rock any boats here: before becoming Labour MP for Bridgend, she worked for, Surprise, surprise for Bridgend social services. MP Moon is the personification of a system, in childcare or politics, that fails. No wonder Moon MP is restricting her Mel Nott response to a letter.
200 million pound investment in last 12 months Tata Steel - Port Talbot, the velodrome, the national pool, the botanic gardens, the maritime museum, Amazon, Wales tallest building, ikea, The Gerald McCreesh Stand, the national ice rink, doctor who , casualty, yeah it was all happening before devolution
The nationalist Pollyannas are out in force on this thread.
Where was it stated that the valleys should starve? What was needed was a period of managed decline. There was little in the valleys before coal was extracted and now that has stopped there is little to keep people there. The geography really doesn't lend itself to industry on any notable scale and big business just isn't going to relocate there. Rather than messing around the edges what the welsh government should have done from the outset was to prove connectivity with Cardiff so the workforce was far more mobile. Welsh labour and plaid let the valleys folk down badly with their bread and circus policies.
One of the main reasons that Wales gva has seen a reduced rate of decrease is the number of public sector jobs in Wales which has increased as a result of devolution. Wales now has a ratio of 1 to 3 compared to the uk 1 to 4. Governments have always located jobs in poorly performing areas. That doesn't mean the area has an improved economy, merely it is the recipient of wealth inflows generated from elsewhere.
If you think Wales education system is as good as the English you are mistaken.
Stick your head in the sand and pretend Wales is doing great
Thanks for the answer. Makes sense now. I agree that politicians of all colours always look to claim for the good and blame others for the bad. In fairness to George I'd say he was left with a monumental task with respect to the structural deficit. He is right to blame the last administration for that. As long as we have that that when are going to be clapping with only one hand. The aim has to be to get the structural deficit down otherwise we just end up borrowing resulting in tomorrow's generation forgoing services just so we can enjoy them today.
The shift from current to capital is good (borrowing in that respect is ok as the taxpayers paying for the capital borrowings use them) but the issue we have is that far too much current is tied up in welfare and public sector jobs and pensions, probably about a half. You can see how the left wing syndicalists become apoplectic at the thought of infrastructure development ahead of welfare dependency and any suggestion of reform is met with nothing but complaints from the unions. Osbourne has hand his hands tied behind his back.
I disagree about the pace of cuts. Being a fiscal conservative I'd like to see them accelerated in the way Ireland or Latvia did.
The 'Foreign investment into Wales reaches 'five-year high'' story isn't necessarily quite as rosy as it makes out.
If we use a measure of number of projects (ie assuming all projects are of equal value which they clearly will not have been) then both Scotland and Northern Ireland are doing far better than Wales on this simple per-capita calculation.
Wales obtained just over 4% of the total number of UK projects which (given that we represent about that in % terms of the UK population) is hardly punching above our weight. A sparkling improvement on a paltry total of 9 the previous year, but not a sparkling performance otherwise IMO. Perhaps someone has more information (eg figures on £'s of investment or figures on total numbers of jobs created) to do a comparison to justify the 'sparkling' tag?
Interestingly, Latvia also announced yesterday that is to become the 18th country to join the Euro - from next year.
Latvia is cited by fucking idiots as an example of the benefits of austerity.
Krugman on Latvia:
Latvia "tough love" leaves losers behind:
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