Karl (and SP)
Why are you assuming the tests were in English? They may have been in welsh where applicable (ie in welsh medium schools). It says literacy rates are worse in Wales than England. I'd have at least expected literacy to be measured in the most appropriate language for each individual child based on their medium of education.
as they would have to state otherwise. English is the de facto language of the UK so it would make sense that they were tested in that language. You couldn't compare English and Welsh because they are chalk and cheese when it comes to their easiness to read. Welsh is phonetic and English is bastardised French with German words with one of the most complicated spelling and phonetic systems in any Indo-European language. Where it isn't stated, it should be assumed that they were tested in English only as that is the 'norm' in Englandandwales.
It's more of an educated guess than an assumption really. Like I said, as Welsh isn't the norm they would have to say literacy in English and in Welsh. The article I previously posted shows that Welsh literacy is superior to English in Wales. That wouldn't make the news though would it?
The Western Mail article sates 2,000 children were chosen at birth. We simply don't know where these children were educated. As this sample was taken from the 2000/1 cohort it will be a few more years until we see their GCSE results to get a proper reading of things. Interestingly, this is the second cohort to be fully educated in a devolved education system. That will be the real litmus test.
I disagree that they'd need to say specifically what language. If they said literacy of English v French we would assume it was in the most appropriate language. It the test was in one or other but not both it would t be a fair test. The same applies here
I'd also say your claim that welsh literacy is better than English. If you look at the older groups, if they are in English medium they only do English, but if they are in welsh medium they do both. Hence on the latter case you'd expect welsh scores to be higher than English and that weighting is not offset by the reciprocal scores from English medium schools
I'm not assuming anything. I simply said that the article didn't make it clear. The study is being conducted by Cardiff Uni so you would expect them to take into consideration the differences with Welsh medium education and/or test fluency in Welsh rather than English where applicable but I can't find any confirmation that this is the case in any of the articles on the BBC, Guardian or Walesonline. I find that odd as clearly it would affect the data in Wales.
Actually having revisited the walesonline article here -
it says "there would be further analysis next year when data is released for the children in the study as they approach the end of their primary school years which would also consider the impact of bilingual education in Wales on a child’s educational development".
Again this isn't particularly clear. Does this mean that Welsh medium education has been taken into account already in producing this latest set of data or that it will be taken into account next year or does it in fact mean something else? I don't know and other than those who have read the full report no-one else does either.
There are a couple of interesting points. Out of the 19000 subjects 2000 are from Wales or 10.5% whereas the population accounts for about 5% of the UK population. I don't know anything about statistics but I would be interested to know if this imbalance makes the data more or less reliable. Of course we don't know where the other 17,000 come from.
"Prof Taylor said some of the distinction appeared to be “largely” the result of greater improvements in literacy of children living in London.
The English capital had, on average, the greatest improvements in literacy skills for children in any region or country of the UK.
Prof Taylor said the data provided a “unique opportunity” for comparative research in the UK."
This has to be a great opportunity to see what is happening in London and try to replicate it here?
that depends on whether london was so far behind in the first place that even a massive gain still puts them some way behind. as you say, we don't really have the data or relevant information to make any informed decision however from what you have posted it would make sense to look at what London has done and emulate it. I can't see our AMs ever copying English methods though. That just isn't done under devolution even if it means we will improve
Yet Education is not devolved to London. It would be interesting to see how London has improved so well. I saw that it was the fourth best region in England, not sure how many there are, and now is better than the rest of the south east. The London Assembly is more of a jumped up county council than ours, so it would be interesting to see how the 10 year transformation happened whilst we became worse.
The article that I previously posted contained the data for year 6 and 7 pupils which clearly showed that literacy in Welsh was higher than in English but there was a drop from Primary and Secondary schools. Hue Lewis was the previous poverty minister, or something like that, and used to be a teacher. Hopefully, he'll be less of a Leighton in a china shop and to look at these results and implement the same systems as the poverty in the central valleys is more or less the same as London.
I'm well aware of your MO karl
The publication below refutes your claim, Jantra that more is spent on benefits per head in Northern Ireland when compared to Wales. The difference between welfare spending in the 3 devolved nations is marginal. Welfare spending in Wales is very similar to that in northern England.
Yet again you post absolute rubbish to support a meaningless argument in your own trolling thread.
This was what I meant to post. Pages 30-38 exemplify my earlier point.
The point that many, many people have made many, many times is that Wales is dependent on England, the UK, benefit etc because it hasn't received the same level of infrastructure development and investment as all other parts of the UK in the past.
Welfare spending in Wales is higher because of the numbers of ex-miners and steel workers who were disabled by their work and are still living life on ESA and PIP.
Wales is no less needy or successful than the most similar region in England, the North-East; a point that has been made on here and on CCMB but you just don't seem to read or comprehend.
You have a PATHOLOGICALLY negative attitude to Wales, Cardiff and the Welsh that is almost entirely grounded in your personal experience which is both partial and subjective.
You are undoubtedly bright in some ways but you are blind to your weak points which consist of hefty cognitive and social ability deficits.
Your trolling is very, very boring.
Hopefully Cambo is yawning right now.
If Wales were independent, we wouldn't initially be able to afford to pay benefits at the same level. Many of these benefit recipients would move to England for work or higher benefits, assuming Wales was in the EU or a successor organisation.
The remainder would be incentivised to be entrepreneurial or to find work.
I think the best analogy for Wales is that of a retiree. Wales has paid its dues since the Industrial Revolution. That was the last time we saw real major infrastructure investments apart from one M road. The fact that electrification to Swansea and the Valleys being the biggest investment since Victorian times proves this, and this is only just to catch up with what the rest of the world has had for about a century, this is criminal neglect. Wales punched well above its weight for decades, and all wasn't even that bleak in the 80s. The mines closed but manufacturers came in and slightly offset the loses. But now that we are in dire need of help we get less than we need. We have become a working class pensioner, worked hard for all of their lives and has to live off a state pension. Remember Britain is in £1trillion worth of debt. Let that sink in, £1tr. Wales did not put us in that situation. Careless borrowing by New Labour and pointless wars did that. The Assembly receives £16bn a year from Westminster with about £10bn more being spent in non-devolved areas such as welfare. How are we meant to improve the situation if we are only given the bare minimum? Britain 'boomed' on borrowed money, but they don't allow The Senedd to offset these costs by borrowing whilst the provincial Assembly of Northern Ireland is allowed to and so is Scotland and every single county council.
Money's just a convenient and efficient way of representing goods and services freely produced by people which other people freely want. Capitalism is a way of gathering that money to enable it to be lent to people to freely produce more goods and services which people freely want.
Government on the other hand compels people to give some of that money to it and then spends it on things that- if left to their own devices- people wouldn't want or which would have been provided anyway.
Government does not add anything in that process . Any bloody fool can force other people to give him money which he can then spend on what he or his cronies want.
As some French politician said the "State " is a racket whereby some people get what they want by forcing other people to pay for it.
That's not elevating. It's impoverishing- financially and spiritually- as the various extreme examples of that doctrine have demonstrated
Very , very sadly, Wales has got hooked on this "State" idea, which in fact amounts to little more than other people owe us a living. Until that changes Wales ...and in fact large swathes of England and Scotland... are going to wallow in relative spiritual and financial poverty.
It's very sad, but people REALLY DO need educating as to what money is and where it comes from.
Having said that I certainly think there is a serious issue over where and when capital becomes too divorced from those who provide it, and the risks of its being controlled by too few. That really is a debate worth having.
But there are some people on this forum who seem uninterested in any debate at all. That's a real shame. Perhaps they might be happier elsewhere.
Arian Cymru are holding a mini-conference on Banking & Economics Regeneration in Wales (BERW), with a focus on Public Banking on September 26th at 7pm in the Victor Salvi Room at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay. The panel for the event will be:
Ann Pettifor (Prime Economics/New Economics Foundation)
Marc Armstrong (Public Banking Institute, USA)
Leanne Wood AM (Leader, Plaid Cymru)
Pippa Bartolotti (Leader, Green Party in Wales)
This will be a groundbreaking evening. It is evident to me that people who contribute to this forum care deeply about the future of Wales. URBANO's post is an example of the kind of radical but constructive thinking that may help Wales to change for the better. Please come along. EVERYONE is welcome. No Inner Circle!
You can book a ticket securely for £10 on our website or pay on the evening, but that will involve chancing limited availability.
Sounds like a good event. Is there an agenda and can all attending contribute?
Most will agree that Wales lags behind the rest of the uk. There is little merit in analysing why we are where we are, our focus and efforts should be on what we need to do to make things better. When you have capital rationing as we do in Wales you need to plan the infrastructure investment in a manner that will give you biggest bang for buck. That way more projects come online sooner as economic benefits bear fruition earlier.
In the uk context we see this in the development of London. In the welsh context this would need to be Cardiff and the M4 corridor. The four projects that could bring greatest benefits would be, in no particular order and in my opinion, completion of the PDR, completion of the m4 relief, investment of the airport including transport links and a valleys metro.
I'm of the opinion that electrification is merely kudos and being able to shave a few minutes off the journey to London isn't going to see an upswing in economic activity. Having scheduled flights to main business centres, having better connectivity for the metro region and having better transportation links to our biggest economic trading partner are key to our progression.
It is in our power to deliver the above but to invest at that level tough spending decisions would need to be made. As a fiscal conservative I'd rather we didn't borrow for two reasons. Firstly, WG have hardly demonstrated competence in economic development (think cardiffs enterprise zone) and welsh labour are very bureaucratic - we need quick decision making and action and not endless consultations. Secondly we are already an impoverished nation with a public sector debt of 20k per person. Do we really want to be adding to that knowing that WG and welsh labour have yet to demonstrate they can deliver value for money?
I'm also sceptical that welsh labour can really play the long game. I've referred to it previously but rhodri morgan et al opposed cardiffs single biggest regeneration project - the barrage. It would seem unthinkable today not to have Cardiff bay. Do our politicians really lack that level of strategic thinking and if so should we really entrust them to make such important decisions that can shape our nation for a generation?
My final point is regarding the valleys. As tough as it may be for some, I think a mature debate is needed about its future. Is it time to consider a period of managed depopulation moving the communities further south nearer the economic activity? Raising the issue shouldn't be taboo and we need to have a paradigm shift otherwise the valleys will fall further behind
Come along to our evening to discuss your ideas and for answers to your questions. We are sure that everyone will learn a great deal!
then who exactly is responsible for our catastrophic level of debt?
I cant believe no one has mentioned the A48(M) and the M48 - that makes 3 motorways in Wales!
Good grief. Labour spent 500bn extra between 2003-2008 and that's not including hidden expenditure via pfi. Labour spent far more than we could afford. It is why the deficit is what it is and why its so hard to get under control
Welsh Labour have never been good for Wales before OR after devolution!
Carlos, the M48 is the original M4 and the A48M is just Eastern Avenue. The fact remains that we have had hardly any serious road investment in ages. Even the Severn Bridge isn't owned by any domestic Government. Most of the recent investments have been paid for by the Welsh Government to the detriment of other devolved sectors.
It isn't though, really, is it, Jantra? Where is the money coming from for HS2? Where did it come from for the Chunnel? Countries need to borrow to improve their situation in the long run. Do people wait until they have the £250,000 for a house before deciding to move? No, they get a mortgage. My point is, that all the infrastructure improvements done by WAG and proposed by the WG will be and have been funded through the block grant which takes money from other sectors such as health and education. I don't think that there's anything wrong with a bit of controlled spending. For example, how are we supposed to pay for the new M4 relief road without borrowing the money? If the WG doesn't Westminster will
England generates wealth so England can afford to pay for hs2. Wales doesn't really generate wealth we need subsidies from England and Brussels. Can you show me examples of where WG have demonstrated they can spend our money wisely ensuring we get value for money?
Our education is failing, NHS is a shambles, out economy is falling further behind. Yet you want them to be allowed to borrow 10bn so they can spend 9bn on needless bureaucracy and public sector jobs to manage 1bn on investment of a little stretch of road*
*made up figures to demonstrate WG are not really capable of delivering value for money.
Do you really think we are good at delivering services in Wales? We have a ratio of 1:3 public sector to private sector whereas the uk has 1:4. We just aren't productive enough and we don't have a private sector that can sustain the type of expenditure you're proposing
Just for fun lets assume we are on fantasy island and the WG only need a budget of 1bn and they are capable of spending it wisely, getting value for money, have the strategic mindset to deliver the required projects and Wales has a civil service that is capable of delivery. I appreciate such a scenario is a tall ask but let's suspend disbelief for a while. This borrowed 1bn - what are the borrowing rates? Do we have the same rate as the uk government (ie do they underwrite it in a way your parent would guarantee your mortgage if you weren't mature enough to stand in your own two feet), who would pay the interest? Would it come out of our block grant? How would the increase in economic activity be taxed? Who would get the taxes? Could we end up with a situation with increased tax receipts going to the treasury but Wales paying the interest? What happens when the 1bn gilts mature - how do we fund the repayment (let me guess - more borrowing which results in perpetual debt)
Just because England generates income does not mean that it can necessarily afford HS2. It will take out a loan on top of the £1tr that the UK already owes to afford it.
What does £1Bn buy these days? I would hope that the WG would use it to address some of the more pressing faults in Welsh infrastructure such as dualing of the A470 and the M4 relief road. I have no idea how they would repay that, I'm not an economist and the idea of toll roads is stupid unless all M roads are tolled like their equivalents in Italy, for example. If the projects were to be rail then they could syphon off money from Arriva's train receipts to help pay for it, assuming that Arriva is still the franchise holder that is. Things like buying the airport should, in theory, pay for themselves for it to be worthwhile. Another example would be a WG funded tram system in Cardiff and Swansea or them being able to borrow to expand on the Cardiff Metro System and take part of the profits.
Why should Cardiff County Council have the ability to borrow money but the Welsh Government not? It makes no sense.
England subsidises Wales to the tune of £9bn per annum. England can afford to pay for HS2. not only that you'd be making at least half the UK population within two hours of each other.
i asked the question about how would the debt be repaid because you could have a situation whereby the economic benefits are taxed by the Uk governmment but paid for by the WG (via borrowing). Wales could end up paying back more in interest than its share of the additional tax receipts and thus we could see other services reduce as a result.
I'd still be mindful that the money would also have to be paid back and that is going to come from the block grant or further borrowing. it is a slippery slope. just because governments efore us have borrowed doesn't mean that we do. When governments borrow money it is money already in the system - the wealth is already there. Perhaps a better strategy would be to try and encourage those with the wealth (pension funds, hedge funds and so on) to build the infrastrucutre for us. We either pay via additional taxaction (or reduced services) or we pay via tolls. it seems fair to me that the users of the service should pay the lions share and in that respect we should have tolls on the new roads.
What you're suggesting is privatisation and corporations taking over infrastructure and that sort of policy isn't what's best for the country. Look at what's happened to rail. The UK can barely afford to exist let alone pay for the white elephant of HS2. High speed rail is outdated and old hat. We need to be looking at faster trains and more modern technology rather than something that's been around for decades. Even maglev is old hat. This Government has no idea what its doing. It rejected the completely privately funded Severn Barrage, funny that the biggest opposer to the scheme is bezzy mates with Dai Cam.
Like I said, I'm no economist but if the Welsh Government were to be able to borrow to fund infrastructure projects such as the Cardiff Metro proposal, easy to take money from to offset the costs, or trams in Swansea or even becoming a land developer like we've seen with it buying up land in Cardiff. It should make a profit on that land and use the money to fund something else.
What's the difference between WG borrowing of the pension finds and the pension funds paying for it directly? You've not answered how WG will finance the interest payments or the redemption upon maturity. The current set up means all tax receipts flow to Westminster so WG would borrow and pay for the development but Westminster would see the benefit
Of course I know what I'm talking about. You're playing around with statistics. Labours spending increased massively and both Blair and brown acknowledge they should have spent much less. During the feast years it is prudent to pay off debt as you'll need it in the Famine years. Labour ignored this totally. Not only that they masked true public spending by keeping infrastructure out of the nations books by the profligate use of pfi. Factor pfi in to the equation and the golden rule is missed by a country mile.
As we all know with the benefit of hindsight the uk GDP was rising on false economy. Sadly as the GDP is eroded the debt figure stays the same. A prudent government would have reduced borrowing and not increased it. Brown was just an inept chancellor
Your own figures shown that the major government had created a surplus and the incoming Blair government kept these spending plans. This is why the ratio decreased initially. Labour then went crazy with the nations credit card and is why GDP ratio increased in the 2000s the way it did
CARDIFFWALESMAP - FORUM