Journal Column – 26th October

Wales is being hit by a double whammy of incompetence at the moment. On the one hand we have a Tory/Lib Dem UK Government obsessed with deficit reduction when all the economic indicators say that a more cautious approach is needed. Last week’s rising inflation figures in themselves indicate that sooner rather than later interest rates will have to rise creating another significant economic headwind.

On the other hand we have an un ambitious, lethargic and clueless Labour Welsh Government paralysed with fear as the storm gathers.

The latest example of ineptitude is the decision of the Health Minister to delay all building projects in the NHS until the New Year as she gets used to her job!

Capital projects such as the ones delayed by the Minister are direct cash injections in the economy. Over 100,000 employed in the construction sector in Wales. The lesson of the 30s is that public investment via capital spending projects is one way of escaping stagnation or what some economists have even gone as far as to call a ‘death spiral’.

Not only are Labour delaying much needed improvements to our Health service, they are endangering construction jobs at this vital juncture for the economy.

We need radical policies if we are to avoid a lost decade where Wales is amongst the hardest hit. The UK Government needs to embrace a more sensible policy that sustains demand in the economy and empower the Welsh Government with job creation leavers. The Labour Welsh Government needs to get its act together and introduce radical solutions such as Plaid Cymru’s ‘Build for Wales’ proposal as well as working with Local Authorities to borrow to invest in targeted capital projects.

Our communities need decisive leadership in this time of crisis. Instead what we have got are ideological zealots in London pursuing a kamikaze economic strategy, and a Welsh Government frightened of its own shadow.

One Response to “Journal Column – 26th October” [latest first]

  1. You are right Jonathan – we are caught in a most awful pincer movement of a doctrinally driven Westminster government – determined to ignore all historical lessons, and the evidence of the figures they see every day, and the supine, lethargic government of the ever so nice (but totally useless) Carwyn Jones, who doesn’t even appear to be able to go to the toilet without asking Ed Miliband (or is it Peter Hain?) for permission.

    The Labour party have held the Health portfolio for more than 10 years now, yet each year it appears to come as a surprise to them, and if they actually do something, it always makes things worse! No wonder they are afraid to move!

    We have 4 years to watch Labour mismanage Wales in their normal inept fashion, and over that time, we have to persuade the Welsh people that Labour is no longer their natural home. The Labour party of their parents and grand parents that actually stood for something noble is not the Labour party of modern Wales, that stands for nothing more than career opportunities for third rate time servers like . . . .( You can , I’m sure fill in the gaps for yourselves!)

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