Stephen Crabb’s heart must have been sinking into his boots, though, as he saw the financial special package Northern Ireland had achieved from David Cameron last week – an extra £2bn over the next six years.
This giant Christmas present from the normally Scrooge-like Treasury was divvied up to break the impasse between the five “partners”, the governing parties that run the devolved Assembly in Northern Ireland.
Whoever in Northern Ireland decided to have an “impasse” last September, deserves a clap on the back – that was the most profitable little impasse ever! Perhaps we should have an impasse or two in Wales!Yes, and if you had fought for it from the Blair Government Rhodri we might well have it now.
An extra £2bn in Northern Ireland implies an extra £3bn for Wales, given the relative size.
And £3bn wouldn’t go amiss in Wales, would it?
As you explain....
It would certainly make all the difference to the issue of when to press the button over the income tax referendum, so dear to Stephen Crabb’s heart.
Can he deliver it? That’s the acid test, and it’s in the run-up to the election.
Has he got any pull with Cameron and George Osborne, the Chancellor? This isn’t just about the extra £300m a year that Carwyn has been asking for.
Picture yourself as running a Welsh business. You’re paying 21% Corporation Tax from 2016. Your opposite number in Northern Ireland will almost certainly be paying 12.5%. Is that fair?
Officially the Northern Ireland Executive will have to pay for this concession itself.
Forgoing the 21% tax take in favour of 12.5% is estimated to reduce government revenues in Northern Ireland by £300m a year.
Again officially the Westminster Government is not allowed to make up the difference.
But hey, if Westminster is giving you an extra £2bn over six years, how is anyone going to check that none of that extra money is going to cover the reduced revenue from halving Corporation Tax?
We know why reducing Corporation Tax down to 12.5% is such a massive issue for devolution in Northern Ireland?
It’s because that’s the tax rate in the Irish Republic.
Attracting footloose multinationals to Ireland has been transformed in the era of the high tech low transport cost company such as Google and Microsoft.
These kind of high profit companies don’t want grants.
They want low (or preferably no) corporation tax.
Ireland has got almost a monopoly on pulling in these American companies when they want a European HQ.
Wales will be even more hobbled than it’s been hitherto in trying to get a share.
We will be trying to compete for that kind of investment with two hands tied behind our backs against Ireland north and south.
Scotland and Wales are going to need some boost to the economy to keep us competitive.Have a word with Carwyn and wake him up Rhodri if you cab.
Rhodri also has a opinion on why Scotland are appearing to dump Labour in the wake of the Scottish referendum
In the end nobody seceded but has anybody succeeded? Well that’s the strange thing. It looks like the SNP.They did not win the referendum. It wasn’t that close even in the end.But the SNP is rampant politically right across Scotland, West Coast and East.Their support is now twice Labour’s.One theory is that the huge Catholic segment of the population of Western Scotland, Glasgow and the surrounds – what I would call the natural Celtic supporters – have made the mental switch from Labour to the SNP.The theory goes that in the stresses and strains of the Scottish Referendum campaign, that tranche of traditionally rock-solid Labour supporting Scots suddenly saw the battle for Scottish independence in 2014 as a rerun of the battle for Irish independence a century ago!That's a good idea, Raise the spectre of sectarianism , always a good move for a part desperate to find answers .
And Rhodri also sees some hope for Labour due to the collapse of the oil price.
Massively good news for the ordinary consumer. Double-edged sword in Scotland.Maybe the Scots will wake up to the fact into what happened to its Oil revenue and look around and see that like unlike Independent Norway it wasn't invested wisely.
If the Scots had voted for independence, would the voters now be demanding a rerun?
All those SNP promises of milk and honey flowing all over Scotland were based on high oil prices and high oil taxation flowing into their Government coffers.
No longer shared with the English, the Welsh and Northern Irish.
I fear though that if Jim Murphy went around Scotland right now, pointing the “I told you so” finger of blame at all the SNP oil-fuelled promises, it would be seen as unpatriotic.
Yes, eventually the penny will drop as the oil price has dropped but will that happen before May’s General Election?
The whole outcome of that unbelievably unpredictable election of 2015 might well depend on it!
So that's what our former Ex-minister message is
Ignore his own failures in getting the powers we needed d ti make our Assembly actually work for the benefit for the people of Wales
Explain the collapse in the labour vote through a crude theory of sectarian politics.
And gleefully use the fall in oil revenue to suggest that this will force the Scottish electorate back into the arms of those who wasted the benefits of that revenue .
We are so lucky that Carwyn Jones who succeeded him is such a man of vision.
Maybe we in Wales should wake up to the fact that Labour is not the answer as thousands of people in Scotland are now doing.