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Friday, March 02, 2012

Sending the wrong message

Serial offender, Edwina Hart has done it again, after reportedly refusuing to allow Welsh Government Officials to give evidence to an Assembly Committee because there will be MPs present.

According to the Western Mail officials from the UK Government’s department for transport will give evidence at a joint meeting of the Assembly’s Enterprise and Business committee and the Westminster Welsh Affairs committee on Thursday but staff working for Labour Business Minister Edwina Hart are expected to stay away.

A Welsh Government spokesperson has told the paper that Mrs. Hart will attend a future meeting of the Assembly committee and that a written briefing will be provided for the March 8 session. However, memories are still fresh regarding the incident last year when the Business and Enterprise Minister refused to attend a meeting of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, which was investigating inward investment in Wales.

The Welsh Affairs Select Committee Chair, Davies Davies is absolutely right when he says: “If we are going to sell Wales and persuade businesses it’s a good place to come to we need to be able to show cooperation." What sort of message are we sending out to the rest of the World when the Welsh Minister with responsibility for the economy will not work with UK Parliamentarians, even though she does not hold all the levers needed to lift the Welsh economy?
I've just finished reading Martin Shipton's 'Poor Man's Parliament' which is how he refers to the National Assembly of Wales during the first ten years of its existence.

I found it to be an indictment of the Labour Party, and particularly its MPs, which out of party and self-interest did Wales down at every possible opportunity.

David Davies rightly says that the Welsh Government does not hold all the levers of power to rejuvenate the Welsh economy. More correctly, it holds hardly any of them.

The woeful state of Wales' economy is the result (1) of decades of lack of investment in infrastructure by successive UK governments, of which the present ConDem coalition is no exception and (2) a failure to structure taxation regimes in a way which attracts inward investment into Wales.

If Westminster has failed, then the powers should be devolved to Wales and Scotland so that we can see to it ourselves.

The Welsh Affairs Committee has been meeting for decades and achieved next to nothing for the people of Wales.
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