Thursday, 21 October 2010

Carwyn Jones fails to practise what he preaches

I will be taking a closer look at how yesterday's Comprehensive Spending Review affects Ynys Môn later on, but I just wanted to make a quick post about First Minister Carwyn Jones' response to it, and in particular this remark:

"[The cuts] will undoubtedly hit Wales harder than other parts of the UK because we are already underfunded, as recently demonstrated by the Holtham Commission."

It certainly true that Gerry Holtham found that the Barnett Formula underfunds Wales to the tune of £300m per year in terms of need compared to an equivalent region in England. Lets put that into perspective though: the Assembly's budget for 2010/11 is £15.12bn -- this means that the £300m of underfunding is the equivalent of 1.9% of that budget. Don't misunderstand me: we definitely want that £300m, and indeed deserve it, but to claim that we in Wales are especially suffering because of this underfunding is an exaggeration -- especially as it is increasingly simply being used by Welsh Labour politicians as a crutch with which to beat the coalition government whilst claiming victimhood. If Mr Jones and his colleagues are so concerned about this underfunding, why didn't Labour use its recent 13 years in power in Westminster, plus a further 11 years in the Welsh Assembly, to rectify it? 

Secondly, it could be argued that to plead underfunding whilst at the same time paying for free prescriptions, free swimming, and free breakfasts for all primary school children sends out something of a mixed message to HM Treasury.

Finally, as it happens WAG has a kind of internal 'Barnett Formula' all of its own for allocating local government grants to Welsh councils -- however this is also based not on need but on on the size of the populations in each council area. As a consequence of this two of the poorest counties in the UK, Anglesey and Conwy, received the lowest settlement rise of just 1 percent from the Welsh Assembly Government this year, compared to, for example, a 2.9 percent rise for the far more prosperous Cardiff City. In actual fact Ynys Môn would have received even less than 1 percent if they had not been able to negotiate a special 'floor'. If the Welsh Assembly believes that Wales should be funded according to need rather than population, then perhaps it would be better if it practises what it preaches? 

17 comments:

Valleys Mam said...

Talk is cheap and its time to stop rehearsing the mantra and get on with some action

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Mam - couldn't agree more. I want to see action specific to Wales's problems from the WAG, not endless whinging.

A Change of Personnel said...

a good point about funding, well made Druid.

Anonymous said...

CJ is a yes man at the end of the day. As are 99% of the WAG. Winge winge winge that's all they ever do. It sickens the up and coming generation to hear the same clap trap we've been hearing since the maggie era, even before. Sometimes I'd just like to box their ears.
Dazzler

Anonymous said...

Carwyn Jones needs to remember that it was his Blood Labour Party that created and left the Country in appalling mess it finds itself in today, so I suggest we need no lessons from the likes of him.

TGC said...

I wonder how close £300 million is to the total operating costs of the Assembly?

Scissors, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Ooh! Here's a nice insight into how our Assembly money is spent - on gardening!

http://wales.gov.uk/publications/accessinfo/disclosurelogs/dlgov2010/2010/4349642/;jsessionid=4QtpMmBJTtTKJ3WVr1Nv2Ncm2wM80Tr4nXGsy22nghHLVfYJJ84n!-971712554?lang=en

Anonymous said...

Gardening costs.
Now isn't that nice.
Everybody ready for the soup kitchen whilst there's a bit left?

Between the Lines said...

Druid, I can understand about the Severn Barrier being scrapped. I attended a seminar regarding tidal power a few years ago. The problems with the barrier were plenty, this was from the design consultant. Turbine gearing due to ebb and flow tides, sedimentation due to lack of suspension energy for sediments, upstream sedimentation turning the Severn estuary into a delta.

No one has mentioned schemes on research to make this sort of scheme feasible and affordable. With a little thought we could make this a working solution to the future.

I am amazed the energy island guru Albert Owen hasn't thought of it???

With the School of Ocean Science on the island, the solution is staring us in the face. Let us invest in proper research into tidal lagooning and wave power. Let us get the true energy island potential released.

anonther anon and me said...

Between the Lines back in August it was announced that Marine Turbines where going to develop a tidal turbines off Skerries

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/7232738.stm

The Druid has a post on the subject see 26 August 2010 and ‘Making success of the Energy Island Concept’.

Anonymous said...

Druid

I have to say a few things:

1. It was also free toothbrushes

2. Watching BBC Parliamentary Channel (flicking) one appreciates the crass and amateurish debate with Carwyn holding court ....it's utter drivel.

I've seen dead livestock move faster.

3. Yes, the reds and their kremlin leader were profligate and bust the country. The same bunch (b team) are running wales with the very ineffective IWJ as economic minister and deputy leader...what a joke. Again, IWJ has done nothing for Anglesey why are people so stupid to vote for him?

No Jobs, No Homes, No prospects, No future for school leavers all SECURED by IWJ of the "do nothing we're going nowhere party"

Spineless gutless ineffective lightweight

Anonymous said...

Energy Island. What Energy?
All we need to do is harness the hot air coming out Llangefni and we never need to worry about Nuke power ever again and it won't cost a thing.

another anon and me said...

It as shame, but there you have it, and as demonstrated above certain comments when disagreeing with those; who were after all democratically elected, can only revert to; put simply, childish behaviour.

Of course, there is a need for rigorous political debate, of course, we should question those in power, and of course we should defend what we believe are important principles.

Carwyn Jones is a intelligent politician, I may not agree with everything he says, sometimes I suspect he does not truly believe in some of the things he says also, but above all he is a strong politician. Rather suspect calling him names is a bit duck back and water.

Anon 23:54 same for Ieuan Wyn Jones and I see you do not intend to stand at any election going by what you said “Again, IWJ has done nothing for Anglesey why are people so stupid to vote for him?”. To vote for you, me thinks, they would have to be really really stupid.

Here ended my sermon of today, with a plea can we please have grown up debate about the issues that concerns us all, and in case people have forgotten its about reasoned arguments and facts, it’s not about who can shout the loudest.

Anonymous said...

10:27
Anon and Me!
I think your the wrong one to sermon others about being childish. There's no-one who shouts loader than you.

Another anon and me said...

Thank you for your kind comments, I think you will find its spelt ‘louder’.

Above comments ‘ironic’ maybe, but not shouting, not sure how you can comment louder than others, comment more often maybe, oh have I upset someone else again, naughty me.

Anonymous said...

Anon and Me.
I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

There is much nonsense and defence of Carwyn and IWJ. Nobody denies these guys the academic credentials....you can put lipstick on a pig but it's still a pig.......Anglesey has never prospered under IWJ and thats because he is not a do'er just a talker.

You've got to talk the talk and walk the walk.....in other words DELIVER..!!!

Zero delivery from IWJ and Carwyn ...the dynamic duo have talked everyone to death, failed to spot opportunities and made WALES a poorer place.