Some have made claims recently that the NHS is better under left wing governments rather than right wing governments. Since 2010 the total uk public sector budget (if I can call it that) has reduced across the board. The devolved nations have seen similar decreases in budget for devolved areas. One thing that has arisen is that since 2010 welsh labour have reduced their NHS budget by nearly 10% whereas the snp has increased in real terms by 0.1%. Surprisingly - assuming you believe those on the left - the NHS budget in England has increased by more than 3% in real terms. This would indicate the conservatives place greater emphasis on the NHS than their left wing counterparts in office in Holyrood and the senedd.
why would outsourcing necessarily be more expensive? you haven't got the ridiculous public sector pension cost for a start, or the insane number of annual days off they have, or the fact that sick leave is about 2 days more per annum in the public sector.
ignoring all that as its candy floss to the main point which was the conservatives are doing more to ring fence the nhs budget than Welsh Labour.
I'm not due of what to make of this really. I appreciate that we can't expect house builders to build houses for no return, I'm also aware of the benefits of sprinkler systems and other such measures. But has the welsh labour government now become so bureaucratic and controlling that house builders are no longer going to build houses north of Pontypridd? If that's the case then this is going to cause serious problem long term. The quality of housing stock will diminish rapidly.
It's all well and good have idealised socialist intentions, but when you don't have the wealth or economic output to match those ambitions you'll end up with not a great deal to show for it. It would appear once more we have an ill thought out policy from the welsh labour government and this policy is now beginning to bear fruit
Good, perhaps now they'll stop building nasty red brick houses on the nice green mountains that I have a birth right to gaze upon as I stare dreamily out of the kitchen window of my 1970's house.
Out of interest, the article gives an example of sale prices of 160k vs 120k, but surely land costs are substantially higher in the more desirable areas, which thus also eats in to profitability. So the picture painted by the article of some 40k profit loss in the valleys is somewhat misleading... anyone know the relative cost of land in the areas, and what the effect this has on profits? Failing that can Jantra pluck some figures from his arse?
EDIT. this is not to deny Jantra's main point that red tape and regulations are clearly stifling house builders in parts of Wales, but I think there is more to the argument than just this one aspect.
I’ve heard it is upwards of £1m per acre in London whereas a farmer client of mine has said land is about £6-8k per acre in Wales. I’m not sure how reliable those figures are and they’re purely anecdotal. I do wonder how much the cost of land makes up the final cost in a house. I imagine the cost of infrastructure is also more due to Welsh topography. The main point is thought that a developer is now pulling out of an area which probably needs newer housing stock than anywhere else.
jobs could help as this could drive up house prices but other than coal mining, the Valleys aren't really set out to allow for industry so we're not going to get major employment there. Perhaps this is just another indicator that the Valleys does need a period of managed decline shifting the population further south towards where the work is.
seems interesting. for those of us who couldn't attend due to other commitments, can you confirm if any right wing parties were in attendance as their inclusion would obviously give the political angle of the debate some balance? also, were there any experts in attendance who have actually worked in UK banking rather than those who have written academic papers on the subject or have a vested interest in public banking? i'm sure you'll agree written theory and banking practice are two completely different topics.
those who are cynical would suggest that Mark Armstrong was invited to promote Leanne Wood's state agenda and Ann Pettifor was invited to promote Pippa Bartolotti's green agenda. i'm not cynical so this doesn't include me.
Were the questions answered about how such a bank would be financed?
finally, thanks for your update. I must say it has totally shocked me that Plaid would come away from this with the approach that we need a state bank for Wales.
edit: interesting fact. despite being totally unrelated organisations, if you google 'Arian Cymru Plaid' you return 184,000 results. that is quite impressive and extremely coincidental of course
In May 2013 this article appeared on Wales Online. The author is Dr Ian Jenkins of Arian Cymru. The author proceeds to tell us about the benefits of BND. The article is self explanatory and argues the case that Plaid wish to see a state owned Welsh bank.
the following quote is taken from Arian Cymru's website
just to clarify:-
May 2013 Arian Cymru release an article promoting Plaid's desire for a state run bank of Wales
Sep 2013 there is a debate (term used in its loosest sense) held by Arian Cymru which is attended by Plaid but not by the Conservatives or Labour despite assurances they were invited to come along.
The debate that was to be had was open with no preconceived ideas such that only a representative from a public banking institute was invited with no one on the panel to argue against it? Likewise an expert in green issues around banking was invited along but not someone who say has an interest in energy (such as Peter Mandelson)
not only that, whilst you were attending this meeting, you were also taking an interest in my posts on another forum. Were you actually paying attention to what was going on at the forum or were you reading what I had to say?
Out of interest, who exactly from the conservatives were asked to attend and when did the invite go out?
The UK does have a state bank - it is called the Bank of England owned 100% by the UK government. If you think the BoE doesn't lend then you're mistaken.
We are Cardiff City supporters mainly. Some of us are season-ticket holders! We look at CCMB and can't help but notice your many threads and posts. We noticed your 'economy' thread this morning. We certainly weren't thinking about you or CCMB last night. We were out celebrating our successful conference til the early hours!
Carwyn Jones, Carl Sargeant, Edwina Hart, Andrew R T Davies and Kirstie Williams were all invited.
The Bank of England is a Central Bank. The UK doesn't have any Public Banks. We can sense that you are struggling with understanding the difference. A Public Bank doesn't issue currency, control the money supply or set base rates.
Hope this helps.
i am well aware of the difference between a central bank and a public bank. just because the boE is a central bank doesn't mean it doesn't lend in the same way a public bank does. for reference the Boe does lend. its remit is not just fiscal and monetary policy, interest rates or inflation.
perhpas you can explain why retired bankers such as geoghegan, crosby and daniels weren't invited. i'm sure they'd all have a lot to offer a forum such as this being former CEOs of banks.
not for want of repeating myself, was it explained how such a bank would be financed?
Nb when you say 'we viewed your posts' does this mean you sit around and colelctively read internet forums?
So we’ve established that Arian Cymru is totally independent of any political party and being independent it has a completely open mind on the public/private banking situation here in Wales. Dare we also suggest that Arian Cymru wishes to foster debate on the issues around how we can stimulate economic growth in Wales and not just discuss these issues with the closed shop that attended last evening. With that in mind would you mind explaining:
how such a public bank would be financed and assuming such a bank did exist, where this would leave Finance Wales?
I am also interested to know how a state owned bank lending to business would differ from Finance Wales which is also a state owned lender to businesses in Wales?
For any public bank to offer banking services would require it to be competitive against the existing banks in the market. Considering no one from the major banks attended yesterday evening, what experience, if any, will this public bank be able to call upon to ensure that it can provide a competitive service in an already difficult to enter industry?
How would this public bank circumvent EU rules on state subsidy?
Would the bank be operated at an arms length and would all financing be raised on the open market or would the state invest directly in to the bank thus creating a situation that contravenes the aforementioned EU rules on state subsidy and market distortion?
i also note a touch of sarcasm in your closing comment. Is this how you propose to encourage debate around the issue?
The benefits of Devolution - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-24288018
Seems like the Welsh governments changes to building reg's are having a side effect. I remember the warnings at consultation stage but hey they had new powers so just had to do something. Its all well and good doing gimmicky, populist crap such as sprinklers in houses and free hospital parking but the country ends up in the slow lane in a very competitive race.
This article is good news for the socialists. After all, we’re not all of equal capability when we are born but the socialists like to make it clear that we are. In this respect those who can achieve much in life are derided. The Socialists intention is to pull back down the overachievers. It seems odd that some would rather pull the most able down rather than wanting to drag up the least capable but that is left wing thinking for you. so what has 14 years of devolution, Welsh Labour and left wing thinking brought Wales? An economy totally reliant on English subsidy and UK state sanctioned jobs, a failing healthcare system, an education system that is failing our children and lower living standards compared to the rest of the UK. Still, we're all equal so that is all that matters.
The single biggest investment in Wales in the next few years will be by the right wing conservative led UK government investing in our rail infrastructure. The Welsh government and Welsh Labour with their left wing approach has done nothing for Wales. We are seeing the effects of a single party state finally come home to roost. Left wing thinking doesn’t improve living standards – you cannot create wealth by dividing it.
it certainly doesn't make good reading. despite growth, we are forecast to fall further behind. that is not good news and no matter how the politicians try and dress it up it makes us ever more reliant on English funding. we still have 1:3 public:private workers compared to 1:4 in the UK as a whole. To claim that public sector employment growth is less here is disingenuous - we are oversubscribed on that front.
It is good news that investment is being made but I find it hard to believe that the proposed investment of £62m over 3 years and £600m overall is going to create 11,000 jobs.
If the WG also think that attracting call centre jobs are high end jobs then they really are aloof from reality
FAO Lyndon et al
Genuine question - are plaid pro business? If so are they committed to removing bureaucracy and red tape in Wales? It was a bold claim to say they are going for a majority in 2016 but Leanne wood is coming up with some decent policy ideas (doctors and sugary drinks tax). But to convince be to vote they need to explain how they plan to grow our economy.
My genuine concern is that plaid are left wing and as such policies tend not to be business friendly. Not by design Im sure but that's how things end up. If plaid can convince the business community that they are on their side then im sure they could make real ground in the election. I'm only giving my perception of how I see plaids approach to business so if its wrong then I'm happy to be corrected.
I'm not business at all costs I just appreciate we need to foster a business friendly environment where outsiders want to invest and where our entrepreneurs are encouraged and developed. I was with a client last night and she said she was put off from doing business in wales because of the extra overhead due to language. I corrected her but that's the perception some have so plaid need to address that as clearly the message is muddled. I'd also say perhaps language needs to be right down the agenda for the time being - a spratt to catch a mackerel. Again I am not sure where it sits but it is a very real perception
since nobody was prepared to answer whether Plaid are pro business i will assume that it is a no and that they are anti business.
in other news, it is good to see the Welsh Government are doing all they can to keep wealth in Wales
how can the Welsh Government expect the Welsh economy to grow when they themselves don't even use Welsh firms preferring other businesses from around the UK.
Jantra, here is a quote from the article you linked to:
"The information emerged following freedom of information requests by Plaid Cymru.The party accuses the Welsh government of failing to "practise what it preaches" by allowing some businesses to be "cut out" of some contracts.North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd dismissed the claim that much of the work was sub-contracted back to Wales."They take their top slice, they pocket that and they sub-contract Welsh companies to actually deliver large parts of the work , but at a fraction of the cost," he said."So the key issue here is that the Welsh economy is in effect a leaking bucket."There's a hole in the Welsh economy with all this potential money for Welsh businesses flowing out of Wales. We need to plug that leak.""
So, yes, Plaid Cymru is pro-business.
We are pro-Wales, unlike the London parties.
I wasn't sure where to put this so I thought it best to put it here.
I think it is a great article from Dic mortimer and articulates the shortcomings of Carwyn the Caring and Welsh Labour (the people's party) very well.
Here is one benefit of Devolution. (although not for the taxpayers)
£1,677 on an telephone/answering machine!!
Allowance TypeOffice Costs Allowance
Expenditure TypeOffice Equipment - Purchase - Other
Additional Information1 x telephone system/handsets/answer machine May 13
Here's a logic puzzle:
If today's pupils are working harder than ever to achieve their grades
AND today's teachers are working more professionally than ever to educate the pupils
AND GCSE results are as difficult to pass in 2013 as they were when introduced in the late eighties (hence the fair comparison with then and now and the genuinely impressive improvements in real terms in success rates)
AND the WG have been prioritising our nation's improvement in the PISA performance league tables (to avoid the regular roll call of shame)
AND 'Wizard's' punctuation is not up to scratch because he went to a comprehensive
then which,if any,of the following statements are true?
A) Many of the teachers in Wales are clearly deluded about their skills
B) Many of the kids in Wales are thicker than we would like to think but we're in denial about it
C) The rest of the world are just improving in developing their 'PISA performance skills' at a faster rate than us, hence the slippage
D) Welsh Labour are not fit to run the education portfolio in the WG
E) 'Wizard' really should stop wondering about these things
F) None of the above because I don't care and I'm on facebook anyway with more important stuff to discuss like Miley Cyrus, Strictly and clothes shops
Enough flippancy. It's another shocking set of results. Whilst it sounds a bit ridiculous, one wonders whether there should have been measures within the Devolution Act which threatened that portfolios could be withdrawn if performance is not fit for purpose (not that it's that much better over the border - but the whole idea of devolution was surely to IMPROVE services - else why bother?
LEANING TOWER OF WELSH PISA RESULTS
It does make you weep that is for sure. My honest assessment is that in Wales we have a party that is trying to ensure that everyone is treated the same despite the varying degrees of ability. This is the wrong approach and almost always results in lowering of standards rather than raising them. Despite the empirical evidence showing that treating each child as having the same ability will result in lowering standards, the left always follow this policy as following anything else is just not equitable. the results are clear to see.
We need an education policy that allows for individuals to develop at different speeds depending on their capabilities. There is nothing wrong with this approach at all. It ensures those who can learn will learn and those who need more help get that help.
it does make you wonder if devolution is worth it. some will try and argue that it is better to have a lower education and living standards if it means being told how to live your life by a Welshman rather than an Englishman. Personally I think that is a little backward and insular looking.
Clearly the results need going over with a fine toothed comb. However the headline figures don't look good. I'd be interested too see how we do do in comparison to specific English regions. I think it's fair to say there's been a significant brain drain from Wales for many years. What's so dispiriting is that the results from England, Scotland and NI all look very similar with a major gap between them and us.
I think Wales' failings in education reflect:
a) The lack of choice and competition in Welsh education. We have schools with geographically defined catchments and little movement between. In some rural areas such movement would be impractical. Thats not the case in our more urban areas - certainly not in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and parts of the Valleys. Lack of competition and choice means schools don't face the pressure of having to be good or lose students. Estyn hasn't been heavy handed enough to offset this lack of competitive pressure.
b) Linked to this is the lack of information available to parents. There is evidence that league tables help empower parents to make decisions. Yes they are 'crude' but they are better than nothing. It helps competition. It gives schools drive. Does it mean they may focus on tests rather than other things? Perhaps. But it gives a sense of urgency that seems to be lacking in Wales complacent schools.
c) Linked to this is the lack of testing and regular assessment that allows inter-school and inter-national comparisons of Welsh children until age 16. And even there we are moving away from comparability with England, largely for political reasons.
d) There is also a lack of innovation in school funding, school organisation, school ethos and school teaching methods. Too much in Wales comes from the centre or is driven by nice cosy corporatist thinking.
e) All of this relates to the hold teachers unions have on policy-making in Wales. The links between the unions and Labour (always stronger in Wales than in England) mean that the unions in areas like health and education have been treated as "professional bodies" who can be trusted to do what is right for the services. But instead the unions, and especially the teachers unions, are "producer interests" acting in the interests of their members rather than their pupils. The leader of NASUWT saying that we shouldn't be worried about this, that its only a "small thing".. a small thing that Welsh students are substantially worse in English, Maths and Science.. around 6 months behind the standards in the other home nations. Scandalous.
f) Money. Money may play a small role in this. School funding per student is now well over 10% less in Wales than England. The unions will say this is THE cause. But its not as Scotland and NI also have lower funding per student than England, I think. And the top performers aren't those spending the most!
CARDIFFWALESMAP - FORUM