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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Potential for conflict

The Assembly Finance Minister has announced himself a convert to fiscal reform following yesterday's publication of the Holtham report on how devolved administrations are funded. However, whether his enthusiasm will be shared by his Westminster colleagues has yet to be seen.

In the chamber just now the Minister has denied that the Secretary of State for Wales is opposed to reform yet it is difficult to see how Peter Hain's remarks in today's Western Mail can be interpreted in any other way:

Secretary of State for Wales, Peter Hain said: "Gerry Holtham is a well-respected figure and his interesting report to the Assembly Government clearly represents significant research, which merits serious consideration.

"I welcome its findings that spending in Wales compares well with comparable English regions, and that existing funding levels are reasonable.

"This means that Barnett has not disadvantaged Wales. Indeed spending per head in Wales is 14% above England compared with 10% above for the North East, which is the poorest English region."

Has he read the same report as everybody else?
I hate that mindset! English region... Welsh region. They're not bloody regions, they are countries, and need to be treated accordingly. Until the people dealing with us treat us as a country, we won't get a fair deal. And maybe it will take a referrendum, and a Welsh Parliament, for them to actually start treating us with due respect.
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