The headquarters for a new tax-collecting body for Wales is to be set up in the south Wales valleys.
This Labour Government has, once again, ignored the North. This is despite there being more than 400 tax workers based in Wrexham and Porthmadog who are ideally placed to work for a new revenue authority. They’ve got the skills and expertise and they’ve been shamefully ignored. To make matters worse, just six weeks ago, a government cabinet secretary spoke of his desire to ‘share opportunities right across Wales’. "That cabinet secretary, Ken Skates, actually represents a constituency in the North. Can he explain to his constituents, some of who work in the HMRC in Wrexham and will be losing their jobs in a couple of years’ time, how creating this new tax authority a few miles from Cardiff will help those skilled and experienced workers?“Labour is failing Wales – and failing north Wales in particular. It is centralising institutions in Cardiff rather than sharing and all the warm words we hear about devolving and sharing power are just hot air. This was a wonderful opportunity to show that places like Wrexham could benefit from this new authority and they’ve blown it. Shame on them.”.....“Plaid Cymru is committed to the North, in particular over this issue. We have argued the case for devolving financial services here, to make sure that public spending is shared equally. We have made the case that the expertise we have in both Wrexham and Gwynedd should be utilised.“It’s clear that ministers are saying one thing in public while their civil servants are working to another brief. The only locations on the WRA appraisal shortlist were in Merthyr, Pontypridd or Cardiff – none in the North or West of the country. How many more times is this Labour Government going to be allowed to get away with this sort of behaviourThis led to the response from Pontypridd MP Owen Smith
Owen Smith @OwenSmith_MP More great news that @welshlabour Govt. investing in RCT. Trust Plaid to attack them 4 bringing jobs to the valleys!
Mr Smith may well be fighting for his Constituency , bur criticising a Welsh AM for doing the same is rather shameless.
Indeed we should be asking where are the North Wales Labour AMs and MPs in fighting for their part of Wales.
By sheer coincidence the day after the Welsh government announcement we get the news from the BBC that
Labour is vowing to "close the gap" between spending in the north and south of England and end the "bias" it says there has been in transport investment.Shadow chancellor John McDonnell will say in a speech that London and the south-east have disproportionately benefited from projects such as Crossrail.He says a Labour government would act to prevent regional imbalances.
Mr McDonnell will say the north has consistently lost out in terms of spending - and will promise a future Labour government would try to rectify that.He will cite figures from the National Infrastructure Commission suggesting projected capital spending per head of population in the north of England will increase by just £1,491 by 2020-2021, compared with by £3,114 per head in London.
He will say Crossrail's £14.5bn price tag is four times the entire public investment budget for Yorkshire and six times that of the north-east.
Can Labour seriously argue for approach from Westminster in ending the bias in the North of England, while they are doing the exact same thing with its Cardiff bias from the Assembly?