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Saturday, November 17, 2007

The things they say

The Editor of the South Wales Evening Post has an interesting piece in his column today that is worth quoting in full:

It's not easy running a country. You have to make tough decisions. It's not a bit like being part of the opposition.

The Assembly Government has been accused of short-changing councils by announcing a below-inflation increase in their annual funding.

Criticism of the settlement seems to have enraged Plaid Cymru AM Dai Lloyd, who has launched a stinging attack on those who complain in "negative tones without any alternatives being put forward....The Lib Dems and the Tories are simply playing grandstanding politics. To simply call for more money is not responsible."

Perhaps something like this annoyed the good doctor: "The local government settlement figure is totally inadequate....(the Assembly Government) can't balance the books, so the people of Wales are expected to cough up."

Who said that?

Councillor Derek Vaughan, Neath Port Talbot Council leader. And stalwart of Plaid's senior Government partner, Labour.

Swansea Labour's spin site, Inside Out at Swansea, has another version. I cannot find the exact reference in which Dai Lloyd lambasted the Lib-Lab led administration at Cardiff Bay for a “derisory” council funding settlement, however I have found a subsequent article on the BBC website from November 2004, which is fairly typical of the genre.

Here, Dai Lloyd is quoted as saying: "This latest local government settlement is disappointing. It will be particularly difficult for local government to meet its service commitments in this settlement.

"Local government, unlike the National Assembly for Wales, has the power to raise its own tax - council tax.

"Faced with a disappointing settlement, pressure will be on councillors to raise the council tax to preserve and develop services, such as social, education and housing. 'Massive double whammy'

"The choice will be a difficult one of raising council tax, or cutting services, or raiding council reserves.

"For local taxpayers already faced with a significant tax hike by council tax re-banding and revaluation, they will face a double whammy of an increase in council tax or a cut in services."

Presumably none of that counts as grandstanding politics.
Dai Lloyd is the ultimate hypocrite. For years he attacked Labour for underfunding public services. Now Plaid Cyrmu is in bed with Labour at Cardiff Bay and County hall, Swansea, he has a new hymn sheet. When he was a Swansea Councillor he very rarely attended meetings and never stayed for an entire meeting. He would serve Wales far better if he went make to medical practise as a GP and stopped being a hyprocrite in the Cardiff Assembly.
Plaid have more standards than the British Institute.
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