Thursday, 12 January 2017

Plaid accused of "Pork Barrel Politics" by sneering Labour,

Labour in  The National Assembly really nust come to Terms that they can't at the moment carry forward in the assembly without doing deals with other Parties

 in the  last full session before the election last May ended in acrimony with the defeat of the Labour government’s bid to introduce a partial ban on e-cigarettes in public places following a “jokey” comment made by a Minister.

This unexpected decision meant there was to be be no legal ban on “vaping” in Wales.

Plaid Cymru, which had originally given its AMs a free vote on the Public Health (Wales) Bill, opted to vote against the partial ban after Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews referring to a previous deal with Plaid called those of its AMs prepared to vote with the government “a cheap date”.
Now as BBC Wales points out   a Plaid Cymru AM has defended his party for trying to get investment in the areas it represents after a Labour AM warned against "pork barrel" projects being put in budgets to win support.

Pork Barrel  for the appropriation of government spending for localised projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district. The usage originated in American English.[1] In election campaigns, the term is used in derogatory fashion to attack opponents. However, scholars use it as a technical term regarding legislative control of local appropriations.

A bypass is set to be built in his constituency under a Labour-Plaid deal.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said all parts of Wales saw major investments.

On Tuesday, Labour AM Lee Waters warned against "pork barrel" budget dealsthat include bypass projects.

The final Welsh budget for 2017/18 includes £50m for a bypass at Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire.
Mr Price, who represents the town as AM for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, said Welsh Government capital spending in mid and west Wales over four years was half the figure for south east Wales of more than £1,000 per head.
"Next year it is projected to fall to 29% - nothing can justify that level of gap," Mr Price said, during finance questions in the Senedd on Wednesday.

"We heard in the chamber yesterday, I would say a rather sneering tone of metropolitan provincialism attacking my party for at least trying to get some concession, some investment, in the regions and the constituencies that we represent.
"We make no apology for equalising the level of investment," he said, saying those attitudes were "were present on the Conservative benches as well, also from members that either represent or live in the most prosperous part of Wales".
 Mr Price, Plaid's economy spokesman, pressed Mr Drakeford on the issue, saying: 

"I would ask him this: will he commit to equalising the level of investment across Wales so that it is not left up to my party year in year out to fight for bloody scraps at the bottom of anyone's pork barrel?"
Now Mr Waters may have an argument  over whether  the road project a "climate busting commitment" that Plaid leader Leanne Wood had "insisted on whilst chastising" Welsh Government "for not doing enough on climate change
Twitter discussion

He may even have a point over "Pork Barrel politics" but as his government  major infrastructure expenditure  seems to be concentrated in South East Wales  where they have an Hegemony of MPs,AMs and councillors  (at least until neat May) local councillors. It is their huge Pork Barrel such as the M4 Relief road and Cardiff Metro that is denying investing elsewhere.

But it it is the sniping after a agreement on the Welsh Budget that is disturbing.

It seems likely that if Plaid was not to wrangle concessions out of the Welsh Labour Government (Pork Barrel or not) those parts of Wales not currently shown in red on the Welsh Political Map will see very little in new projects and investment.

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