Friday, 29 January 2016

Three strikes and you'r out?

The Welsh Labour Government has had a bad Week,

 There was consternation this week when the Assembly’s public accounts committee detailed the “incomprehensible” sale of a site in Lisvane outside Cardiff at its agriculture value of £1.8m instead of its housing value of “at least £39m”.

Attacking the sales by the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales (Rifw), The former head of the Land Authority and the Welsh Development Agency’s land division  Nicholas  Neal said:

 “The land was bought by the former Land Authority of Wales in the 1990s with its expertise of identifying where there would be housing land needed in the future. In 1998 the Land Authority was merged with WDA as the Land Division, retaining the expertise and knowledge of land requirements and the planning process.
“As a consequence of the abolition of the WDA and its Land Division in 2006, the Assembly took charge of all its land, but lacked the expertise to manage it, and to achieve its full value.”
Then the Welsh Government was forced  issued a furious rebuttal after leaked details from a Wales Audit Office report showed accountants KPMG had valued Cardiff Airport at between £20m and £30m - far lower than the £52m it paid.

A spokesman described the figures as “selective and misleading” and said it was wrong to suggest the Welsh Government paid more than necessary when it bought the airport in March 2013.

According to Wales Online

The KPMG valuation was revealed on page 42 of an 80 page Wales Audit Office report into the purchase of the airport by the Welsh Government in March 2013.
KPMG, which was the Welsh Government’s financial advisers for the purchase, provided a range of valuations based on cash flow and earnings.
Using cash flow, the consultants came up with a value range of between £10m and £40m.
Using earnings, they came up with values ranging from £6m to £55m.
Bringing these two ranges together, the Audit Office report said: “Taking all information into account, KPMG suggested an indicative valuation range of £25m to £35m, which in its opinion reflected the Airport’s weak performance relative to historic levels and the low current profitability compared with future profit levels forecast by [former owners] Abertis.”
A few months later, in March 2013 just weeks before the purchase was made, KPMG updated its suggested value range to £20m to £30m after figures released by the airport showed lower profits.
 True in  their report, the Wales Audit Office did not criticise the price paid.
It said the Welsh Government had “a clear rationale... and undertook appropriate due diligence, with the price paid informed by a range of commercial and public asset valuations”.
However, it said “progress is slower, and the need for external finance greater, than forecast at the time of acquisition,”
The WAO said: “Turning the Airport around is proving more challenging than the Welsh Government expected at acquisition.”
It also said there were “some weaknesses in the preparation of the business case”. The report said the Welsh Government had expected passenger growth of up to two million passengers by 2017/18.

But maybe the Government should have been tougher though 

Then BBC Wales revealed  NHS patients in Wales wait longer for treatment and diagnosis than patients in England for most of the main categories,

Hip operations showed the biggest difference of four months, with an average wait in England of 75 days compared to 197 in Wales in 2014/15.
Diagnosis of heart disease takes on average 10 days longer in Wales.
Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething called for a focus on the results of treatment, not just waiting times.
Waiting times for hip surgery have deteriorated significantly in Wales over the past four years. Since 2011/12, the average wait has risen by a fifth for the nearly 6,000 people who had hip operations in 2014/15
Waiting times in Wales for the treatment of cataracts, hernias and some heart operations are around two months longer than in England.
Diagnosis of pneumonia takes two weeks longer in Wales and waits for stomach operations 12 days longer.
There were minimal differences in waits for heart procedures, diagnosis of cancer and head injuries, while waits for kidney operations were less in Wales than in England.
 There may be good arguments  why the Assembly government  has failed in these three sectors.

But it looks like incompetence or inability to run a government that has been in power for 17 years.

I titled this after a Baseball rule, where a batter is permitted two strikes before striking out on the third.

But the fact is the "Welsh" Labour running of the Assembly has be lethargic and unambitious from the star .

Their whole ideology seems to be based on how can we spend the "pocket money" we get from the Westminster government.

With no ambition and seeing themselves as the permanent party of government they believe they are immune from criticism .

With the likelihood that even if they were to fall spectacularly short  of a overall majority next May they will not be replaced by another Party or a coalition. 

In other words ministerial  jobs are largely safe no matter haw bad they are at it .

The frighting scenario is that the Welsh electorate will come to believe that  rather than follow Scotland and replace Labour with a party that has a Vision of independence , we do ot need an Second rate Assembly run by third rate  Labour politicians


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