Jonathan Morgan on borrowing powers


I've just read Jonathan Morgan's speech to his local Conservative Association. Most of it wasn't so surprising: he can hardly fail to mention expenses, nor fail to attack Labour in Westminster for such bad management of the economy that UK borrowing has gone through the roof.

And, as I'd would also expect, he's still hurt quite badly about Nick Bourne shuffling him out of the shadow cabinet.

But what particularly struck me was this paragraph:

We should also open our minds to Wales raising its own money in the future, as an addition to the Barnett grant. There would have to be a number of caveats on additional borrowing but if a local authority is allowed to borrow money, then why not the Assembly Government.

But what on earth does "open our minds" actually mean? This appears to me to be typical political doublespeak. It's very easy to say that you will think about doing something. It makes you look good, but it gives you the opportunity to say, "Yes, we did think about it, as we said we would, but we decided it wasn't such a good idea in the end" ... even if you never had the slightest intention of doing it in the first place.

Come on JM, don't hide behind such cheap words. This issue has been on the political agenda for some time now. It is one of the things the Holtham Commission was set up to consider. Surely you must have worked out your position by now!

Please let's have some clear statements on what you think:

• On borrowing, what are these "caveats" you mention?

• As the vast majority of the block grant is revenue rather than capital spending, do you envisage Wales "raising its own money in the future" by assigning some taxes raised in Wales directly to the Assembly in place of some of the block grant?

• To you want to see the Assembly have tax setting powers?

There's no chance that I'm ever going to vote Tory. But if you want others in Wales to vote for you—or indeed if you have any hopes of being part of a future coalition Welsh Government—then surely you need to think these things through and make your position clear.

If you can offer a better position on increased fiscal responsibility for Wales you might just find all the support you need in your quest to be Tory leader without having to snipe at Nick Bourne over iPods.

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Anonymous said...

Sniping over I Pods though catches the imagination and gains the attention.I think he has said more in one speech than the whole of the elected members of the Tory Party have said in an age.
There is far more offered by the likes of Dylan Jones Evans, than ever comes from the inner sanctum of the Bay.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with Valleys Mam. Whether the comments on ipods was cheap or not it was the overall meassage that was important. The comment has drawn media attention and has made people sit up and listen. I am sure this is not the last of big statements from Jonathan and I am looking forward to him clarifying issues like spending powers and where the Tories stand on the referrendum in the near future

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