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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hitting back at the UK media

This morning's Welsh press contains reactions to the rather predictable over-the-top coverage of the Welsh tuition fees announcement by, amongst others, the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph. They suggested that the move would create a tuition fees “apartheid” that would “punish” English students.

Not only is this nonsense but it is dangerous nonsense. Devolution is about states doing things differently and if the English feel so badly done by then they can always change their own policies. However, in the spirit of constructive debate I felt it was important to address two particular myths with some facts of our own:

1. Public spending per head in London is higher than that in Wales. So claims that we are better off than the rest of the Uk is nonsense. In any case, any rational public policy would distribute funds according to need so Wales is actually underfunded.

2. The amount of money raised from taxes in Wales is actually more than the Welsh Assembly spends in total. So claims that English taxpayers are subsidising Welsh policies are wrong.

My suggestion to the right wing press is to stop grumbling about Wales and actually get out of your London offices and send some reporters to work here so you can understand our particular problems and issues and cover them fairly.
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