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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Five years of missed targets

It is five years since Carwyn Jones became First Minister and so attention has turned to how his government has performed. It is not a pretty picture, at least according to the Western Mail:

* The key measure of prosperity, GVA, was 74.3% of the UK average per head in 2009, but by 2012 had fallen to 72.3%. Labour abandoned a 2010 target to raise it to 90%.

* In 2009, the latest figures showed Welsh GDP stood at 89% of the EU average (2006), but the most recent figures (2011) show this has fallen to 74%.

* NHS bed numbers have fallen from 13,000 in 2009/10 to just over 11,000 in 2013/14.

* Wales’ performance in PISA rankings between 2009 and 2012 got worse in science and maths and Labour’s target to raise performance by 2015 has been ditched.

* The number of patients waiting more than eight weeks to access diagnostic services has increased by 1,088% from 1,906 in December 2009 to over 22,000 in September 2014.

* The Welsh unemployment rate has been consistently above the UK average for every month of Carwyn Jones’ premiership.

* Welsh Gross Disposable Household Income (GDHI) remains one of the lowest of all UK regions.

* The Welsh claimant count has never been below the UK average during Carwyn Jones’ leadership.

* Wales has qualified for a third round of EU handouts, despite the spending of £4bn of EU aid since 2000.

* Average Band D council tax has risen by 17.5% since 2009/10 and by 150% since 1997/98 from £495 to £1,276.

* Ambulance response time targets have only been met once in the past two and a half years. In December 2009, 59.4% of ambulances responded to a category A call within eight minutes. In October 2014, the figure was 55.5%.

* Carwyn Jones has admitted that he and his Labour Ministers took their “eye off the ball” on school standards.

* The First Minister pledged to fund education 1% above the block grant until the school funding gap with England is eradicated. The latest data shows it has widened from £496 per pupil in 2009 to £604 in 2011.

* Labour’s target of halving child poverty by 2010 was missed, while child poverty rates have risen every year.
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