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Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Independence dividend?

Fascinating letter in this morning's Western Mail from a supporter of Plaid Cymru's goal of independence. Mr. H. John of Penyfai writes that we need not worry that an independent Wales will see a major loss of public sector jobs. He suggests that:

'while all job losses are regrettable, as critics of independence point out, Wales is overdependent on public sector jobs. This over-dependence has been deliberately encouraged by successive British governments in order to buy votes. Gordon Brown has recently authorised the transfer of nuclear submarines from the south coast of England to Scotland for the precise reason of buying votes.

Successive British governments have failed to encourage adequate levels of private investment with Wales being the poorest UK nation as an inevitable result.

After independence operations at the DVLA and Office for National statistics would be scaled down, large numbers of workers would have the option to transfer to their English counterparts (presumably taken up by mostly English staff) while those remaining would be retrained to work for the Welsh institutions of state.'

That is all very well of course if you do not work for one of those UK offices that will be thrown out of Wales by a future Nationalist government.

Effectively, Mr. John has confirmed that yes, thousands of jobs will be lost through independence, that he would expect the English workers to be repatriated and that despite thinking we are too over-reliant on the public sector, a Welsh state will still need to employ thousands of people in the same way as at present. He does not though say how we will pay for it given that we could have a £10bn to £15bn structural deficit in our public finances.

I wonder if this is also the official position of Plaid Cymru?
I'll ask them.
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