Carwyn Jones was being more than just dozy

In this post on Tuesday I mentioned that Carwyn Jones had gone out of his way to lecture Alun Cairns about how Barnett Consequentials worked, when it would have been far simpler to give a straight answer to the question he had been asked.

As a Labour politician, he should have already known what his Labour colleagues were doing in Westminster instead of claiming that he was waiting for an answer.

     

As it happens, the £50m that the Boiler Scrappage Scheme is expected to cost in England will be new money from the Treasury rather than taken from existing departmental budgets. That means that Wales can expect to get an additional £4m. There is no obligation for the Welsh Government to spend it on the same thing, or in the same way, although this story from the BBC yesterday shows gives us a good idea of what the policy is likely to be:

Environment minister Jane Davidson said any such scheme in Wales would put more emphasis on fuel-poor households.

"There has been a substantial amount of interest in this scheme since it was announced and I want to update people in Wales on proposals to introduce a similar scheme in Wales," she said.

"The Welsh Assembly Government is considering introducing a similar scheme in Wales, and we are currently working up a series of proposals taking into consideration the impact on those in fuel poverty, the relative carbon savings and value for money."

"If a boiler scrappage scheme is introduced to Wales, there is likely to be more emphasis on targeting fuel-poor households under a Welsh scheme."

BBC - 15 January 2010

That sounds good to me. But, as I was sure would be the case, this was already known to be spending which would attract a Barnett Consequential when the scheme came into effect on 5 January 2010. Neither did it take a Labour insider to find that out, for I've just got the information by reading this blog post made on 5 January—a full week earlier—by Patrick Harvie, the leader of the Green MSP group in Holyrood. Smoking gun.

     NEWS RELEASE - Boiler scrappage scheme

Perhaps it would be unfair to expect Carwyn Jones to have Rhodri Morgan's remarkable memory and grasp of detail. But what gets up my nose is that instead of a simple "I don't know, but I'll write to you later" Carwyn chose instead to launch into what I can only describe as a patronizing and condescending lecture about Barnett as an elaborate cover-up for not knowing an answer he was embarrassed not to know.

There's a simple name for it: It's called bullshitting.

Carwyn, I know that as a new leader you have plenty to prove, but that was not the way to do it. A simple "I'm sorry" would certainly not go amiss.

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2 comments:

Welsh Connection said...

The trouble of course with targetting 'fuel poor households' is that these are likely to be rental accomodation - meaning that it is ultimately the (wealthy) landlords who will benefit fron having their investment properties upgraded by the taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

Huh, I can think of a few Labour politicians and party officers who have invested in the private rental sector. Conflicts of interest?

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