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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The friendly Minister

The Welsh Assembly Government's favourite UK Minister, Ben Bradshaw was at it again yesterday with his assertion that longer waiting times for Welsh patients are a “consequence of devolution”.

He pointed out that only 109 English patients were waiting more than 13 weeks for outpatient treatment, compared with 25,042 patients in Wales.

Mr. Bradshaw of course is making precisely the same point as that made by the Welsh Liberal Democrats: there are no such things as 'free' prescriptions or parking. These 'perks' are paid for by diverting money from frontline services. Free prescriptions should not cover millionaires and free parking should not cover commuters.

Ben Bradshaw’s comments may be helpful in one regard. They will hopefully help to dissuade the growing body of opinion in England that Wales is over-funded because we can afford to do things differently. The message to the English is that we cannot afford these freebies at all, we just have a Government even more obsessed with gimmicks than theirs.
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