Political boffin, keen fisherman looking forward to retirement.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Cost of Dependence

Unionist politicians always try and talk down Wales with their scaremongering about our dependence upon subsidy from Westminster. Peter Hain comes up with a rounded figure of £1000per head, conveniently neglecting the fact that if Wales had grown at the modest rate of UK growth over the last generation, then each person would be £1000 richer in terms of GVA. If we had matched EU growth, then each person in Wales would be £4000 richer. And if Wales had matched the Republic of Ireland each person would be an astonishingly £19,000 richer.

The reality of the situation is somewhat different of course. In real terms wealth levels in Wales is in free fall. GVA in the European Objective 1/Convergance Funding areas is only 65% of the UK average. In hard figures this means that in most of Wales GVA per head is £11,126 whilst the UK average £17,677. Most worryingly, the trend is downward.To put things in context two hours down the road in London GVA is at 140% compared to the UK average – clearly portraying the wealth inequities caused by the prioritisation of the service sector of the South East of England by the London parties, and their clear failure to compose let alone implement a genuine regional economic policy.

Labour despite a decade in power, far from addressing the infamous north-south divide has exacerbated the divergence. So when the London parties harp on next about how Wales is to poor and weak to achieve its potential – ask them exactly what are the economic benefits for the people of Wales in being ruled by a fiscal and economic strategy that works against the key components of our economic make up. Ask them how after ten years most of Wales continues to be amongst the poorest regions of the whole of the EU – despite the inclusion of 10 new member state, most of which had to endure half a century of Soviet totalitarianism.


Blamerbell said...

Funny, I didn't see any of this in the pre-manifesto.

"To put things in context two hours down the road in London GVA is at 140% compared to the UK average"

Crikey! What car are you driving?

Ted Jones said...

A Peugeot which operates on bio diesel

What is in the pre manifesto is the practical steps we would take now to kick stat the economy now - such as cuts in business taxes be it business rates on an all Wales basis, corporation tax cuts in the West Wales and the Valleys or using the operating aids available under the terms of European Structural Funding, which the Labour government have totally failed to utilise.

Remember The Change for the Better document is a vision statement for the next four years of government. Even under the terms of the new Government of Wales Act we will have fewer powers than the isle of Alderney. In that context the obvious natural step for the constitutional development of Wales is a full Parliament with law and tax varying powers.

It’s very strange to me that the national movement seems very content with the independence question, whilst the London parties are in a complete tumult.