Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Report shows that poor Wales cannot afford NOT to be independent.

I am not surprised that the Wasting Mule's Martin Shipton at Wales Online gas hit on a report published by Cardiff University academics has uncovered a £15bn a year deficit in Welsh public spending to come up with the banner headline

The five figures that show how indebted Wales would be as an independent country.
In article which looks like a Political leaflet with startling graphics Shipton writes that
For every £1 raised in taxes in Wales, more than £1.63 is spent on public services.That is the breathtaking finding of a report by Cardiff University academics .
Their report lays out in cold detail just how dependent our hospitals, schools, pensions, benefits and council services are on taxes raised in England and borrowing by the UK Government.These five figures lay out the scale of the problem:This was the total amount of taxes raised in Wales in 2014-15.This isn't just income tax.It includes council tax, VAT, stamp duty, business rates and a calculation of Wales' share of corporation taxes.The Cardiff University experts say this is a funding gap equivalent to 24% of GDP.That would put an independent Wales in the biggest five deficits of 220 countries in the world examined by the CIA in 2013.We would be behind only Venezuala, Libya and the south-east Asian island of Timor-Leste - with Afghanistan just behind on a 23.7% deficitThe Cardiff University experts say this is a funding gap equivalent to 24% of GDP.That would put an independent Wales in the biggest five deficits of 220 countries in the world examined by the CIA in 2013.We would be behind only Venezuala, Libya and the south-east Asian island of Timor-Leste - with Afghanistan just behind on a 23.7% deficitThat is the vast gulf between what we spend today and what we raise in taxes.Or as Cardiff University lecturer Ed Poole put it: “The figures lay bare the scale of the challenge facing Wales as public services increasingly come to rely on own-sourced taxes.
 So that's a  argument against Independence right especially the way Shipton has chosen to present it .

Except of course it doesn't ask why we are apparently as poor as war torn Libya and Afghanistan.

Could it be that we are treated like west Britons  by successive Westminster Governments and that this will continue as long as we not an independent nation.

It is as if we are like a poor cousin in an 19th  Jane Austin like Mansfield Park century  novel who is treated like a servant and kept in poverty to make sure she doesn't leave and benefit from her undoubted talent


Labour Politicians like Owen Smith, will smugly quote these figures to Plaid supporters  and any other supporter of Independence.

The reply should be that it shows that their beloved Union has kept Wales in poverty for centuries. Even when it was producing the coal and steel which powered the Empire on which England's capital made its fortune.

This report is not an argument that Wales cannot afford Independence. It is that it is the only solution 


6 comments:

  1. Ed Poole, the author of the report, is a member of Plaid Cymru. In fact he is the ex-Chair of Plaid Pride and also the Riverside branch of the party.

    By not offering any solutions or an alternative narrative to this deficit, Ed has undermined the foundations of the party he "supports". Nice one, Ed!

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  2. Ever since the SNP came to power in Scotland,we've had to deal with this sort of Unionist bullshit for years. In fact,it has become so commonplace,when the usual Britnat foaming-at-the-mouth brigade resurrect it every so often,people just shrug the shoulders and carry on. Better get used to it.

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  3. Bored of Labour5 April 2016 at 12:42

    Calm down anon, Ed and his colleagues at the Wales Governance Centre did Welsh independence a favour yesterday, Wales is one the poorest regions of the UK by the design of the UK and Welsh Governments whichever parties govern. And it wasn’t reported anywhere but Guto Ifans the report’s other author said at the launch that the figures shouldn’t be taken as evidence that this would be the situation if Wales were independent.

    As someone critical of the current Plaid Cymru leadership I was pretty pleased to see them hammer Labour for gloating over their appalling economic record that’s got Wales in this mess on social media last night – I hope it continues through the campaign and beyond.

    As a friend put it to me Westminster gives us enough money to not drown but not float either and going by my own work and friendship circles the report has at least made a few question the wisdom of carrying on doing the same thing time and again, it’s a start.

    And please don’t forget that not everyone Welsh voter is taken in by the snide, smugness of the Owen Smith, Leighton Andrews and Martin Shipton’s of this world, for all the spin yesterdays report helped to clarify a lot of issues, it made tough reading but if we don’t know the facts how can we fix the problem, as Glyn said by making independence the most attractive solution.

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    1. I don't know what reality you inhabit but your assertion that Ed and his colleagues did Welsh independence a favour is absolutely absurd.

      What is very telling is that you call Wales "one of the poorest regions of the UK." Wales is a country, not a region.

      It seems to me that the infiltration of Plaid is almost complete, and I write as someone who has been a member of the party for decades.

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    2. Bored of Labour6 April 2016 at 13:11

      Believe what you want about me, but Plaid Cymru has spent decades undermining the case for Welsh independence all on its own chasing Labour votes in the Valleys and failing miserably, a single report couldn’t do that kind of damage even if that was its sole purpose.

      I’m neither a Plaid member or voter anymore, Dafydd Elis Thomas, Dafydd Wigley, Ieuan Wyn Jones and Leanne Wood are jokeshop leaders and don’t start me on Adam Price.

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  4. No surprise at the reaction of the members of Labour's Welsh branch. Whether in Scotland or Wales these unionist politicians can't resist an opportunity to crow about how poor, how incapable or how inferior their own country is.

    Regardless of what the figures currently show, an independent Wales would have the ability to determine it's own priorities and expenditure. I'm sure Wales could be as successful as any other country of a comparable size.

    And hopefully it would be governed by people who don't avoid paying taxes by taking advantage some offshore tax haven.

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