.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Talking Wales down

First Minister, Carwyn Jones last night continued his campaign of talking down Wales in the face of his own party's loss of power at a UK level in May.

In a speech he warned that the real impact of spending cuts would be felt in Wales for generations, cast doubt as to whether the private sector here can rise to the challenge despite his government having its hands on key economic levers and criticised the scale of cuts despite the fact that the Chancellor has cut less than planned by Alistair Darling, that Wales did better than most UK departments and that it did better than the Welsh Government had planned for. It was not so much a vision as a long whinge.

Carwyn also glossed over the fact that despite the role of the banks in the United Kingdom's economic problems, it was Labour who had failed to bring them into check and it was his party who built up the £109 billion structural deficit and £800 billion debt that the UK Coalition are trying to tackle. Once more he failed to say what Labour would have cut instead, and conveniently ignored the fact that under Alistair Darling's plans the Welsh Government would have had even less to spend next year than it does now.

Frankly, the constant complaining and blaming of others for Wales' problems is getting a bit wearing. Labour had 13 years to put things right, reform the Barnett formula, give the Assembly full law-making powers and build a healthy economy. They failed on all fronts.

First Minister's questions is becoming an exercise in avoiding scrutiny on the One Wales Government record. When in difficulty the First Minister attacks the UK coalition. This may well be the tone of the next six months of politics in Wales but it will not wash with many voters at the Assembly elections. It is time that Welsh Assembly Ministers stopped moaning and got on with their job.
Peter - Totally agree with you but let's start talking Wales, and the Wales economy up, and there is no better place to start than the Wales Fast Growth 50.

I thought the Gerry Holtham's contribution was far more interesting.Although you might argue that it was common sense to look at the areas where there are differences in the Barnett formula allocation between the three devolved administrations. I'm assuming that civil servants in the Assembly's Finance department have already done this. If they haven't then it poses further questions about the calibre of advice being given to ministers in the light of Paul Griffiths' interesting comments this week about the quality of both housing and finance civil servants. I would, however , Peter given Gerry Holtham's comments about the effect of changes to NDR distribution start to talk to your Westminster colleagues about the proposal by 2015 to hold back over £3 billion of NDR from local government. I'm assuming that this is either to further reduce the deficit or to establish a war chest for the 2015 UK General Election. It will,however, have a real knock on effect given Barnett consequentials on the Assembly budget
I agree with you completely Peter. It looks like Carwyn Jones had his prepared narrative blaming the UK Coalition Govt for all our ills in Wales and nothing (including the facts and Labour's record in Office) will deflect him from it. He's says he's sceptical about the ability of the private sector to take up the slack but I wonder why that is? What exactly has his Administration done about encouraging and really helping SME's? The answer is very little. I also agree with Dylan Jones-Evans - we do need to talk up the Welsh Economy but we also need a coherent and convincing WAG strategy to promote and grow the private sector.
"In a speech he warned that the real impact of spending cuts would be felt in Wales for generations..."

Actually, the lack of leadership from the current First Minister is what is going to be "felt in Wales for generations..."
Selwyn> Simon Gibson (chief executive of Wesley Clover) pointed out some time ago that Welsh universities were sitting on a “GOLD MINE” of intellectual property (IP) that could be commercialised, thus bringing enormous benefits to the economy of Wales. If memory serves Mr. Gibson actually wrote a report on this for the Welsh Assembly Government. I would like to add that it is emminently possible to turn that IP into job creating patents (JCPs), but sadly this is still not happening in Wales.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?