Its ironic therefore that Albert Owen chose today to write in to the Daily Post to warn, "Every forecast predicts falling growth since [government] measures were announced, hardly cause for optimism. Failure to have adequate growth will lead to stagnation, mass unemployment and rising crime as we saw in the 1980s-90s Tory years".
Albert Owen also takes issue with Wales Office minister, David Jones: "[He] is wrong to suggest that Anglesey is the poorest county in the UK, as no like for like data exists, indeed if areas within the South Wales valleys were measured as single units they would fall behind Anglesey".
Perhaps Albert had better tell the Office for National Statistics (ONS) then, as their latest regional Gross Value Added (GVA) bulletin contains this chart:
|Click to enlarge|
GVA per head is basically the index most regularly used to compare relative levels of wealth -- and as the above chart clearly shows 'Isle of Anglesey' is right at the bottom with a GVA of just 55.1 percent of the UK average. Please also note that these latest figures are for 2007, i.e. before the closure of Anglesey Aluminium (450 jobs), Eaton Electric (240 jobs), Menai Electrical (50 jobs), Readileads (35 jobs) and the Vion/Welsh Country Foods restructuring (191 jobs).
Of course this is rather embarrassing for Albert because when the constituency he represents is officially declared by the ONS to be the poorest place in the UK, things by definition can't be any worse -- or to put it another way: have not improved at all over the past 13 years of Labour rule.
Anyway if Albert Owen has statistics which prove that we are not after all the poorest place in the UK, I suggest he passes them to the ONS rather than writing quibbling letters to the Daily Post.