Guto Bebb

Not so long ago Guto Bebb, the Tory candidate for Aberconwy, wrote a couple of posts about tax and borrowing powers for Wales. In the first he said:

The fundamental dishonesty of the debate surrounding Barnett in Wales is the fact that Plaid Cymru continually make wildly exaggerated claims about the unfairness of the current formula without ever attempting to explain what would happen if their stated aim of an Independent Wales was to be achieved.

Think about it. No Union = No Barnett Formula. Plaid Cymru claim that the current shortfall is hugely unfair to Wales. The current shortfall has been identified by Holtham as spending of £112 per head via the Assembly block grant rather than the £114 per head which Holtham thinks it should be if the needs based analysis used to distribute money to the English regions was utilised here in Wales. What would be the shortfall if the stated Plaid Cymru aim of independence was achieved? They never seem to be willing to respond to that question and their Honorary President conspicuously failed to address the issue last night when I made these very points.

The lesson is clear. When Plaid talk about Barnett ask them what they would do to make-up the shortfall if Barnett did not exist because that is the ultimate aim of their policy of independence.

Not much that Guto writes is that relevant, but this included several references to Plaid and posed some direct questions. So I replied with a comment based around what I said in this post:

     Holtham: Taxes and Barnett

I checked his blog again today as a result of reading this post by Alwyn ap Huw, and saw that Mr Bebb had simply deleted it. It appears he's very good at throwing out accusations, and of course he's quite entitled to put his fingers in his ears so that he can't hear any reply ... but it is something else to stop anybody who reads his blog seeing the reply.

Aberconwy is going to be a tight contest between Plaid and the Tories, but one that I think Phil Edwards will win. One of the things that will swing it for Plaid is that the Tories do seem to have made a rather unfortunate choice of candidate.

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10 comments:

Siônnyn said...

The idea that the wealthy will flee over the border is predicated on the assumption that living in Wales has no value per-se. If that were true then wealthy people would not have flocked to our most beautiful areas and buy properties at prices that prohibit locals from competing in the market.

Switzerland demands a high price from those wanting to take up permanent residence. And tax in Switzerland, when you add up all the levels of tax you have to pay, is pretty high. People go there because it is a wonderful place to set up home. Why do we assume that living in Wales does not have any intrinsic value?

Siônnyn said...

The most effective way of using tax varying powers would be (were it allowed) to reduce the rate of corporation tax to companies relocating to Wales. The extra economic activity that would be generated would generate far more revenue than the revenue lost, and the effect would be more permanent and a lot cheaper than the grant led approach we are stuck with at present.

Anonymous said...

Sionnyn,
They tried this in Ireland, and they all left when there was somewhere cheaper to go.

Anonymous said...

cheaper though than giving companies a shed load of money just to come here and then bugg3er off to eastern europe, thereby losing the cash anyway.
Tax breaks are a far more cost effective method of encouraging enterprise, not just from foreign investors. Local enterprise and entrepreneurism are the way forward but not too 'normal' for us Welsh' these days.

Anonymous said...

"Local enterprise and entrepreneurism are the way forward but not too 'normal' for us Welsh' these days."

Yes.

Anonymous said...

you think plaid will win i cant see that arent the tories just destroying us over their

gwenno said...

pob lwc guto

Mr M D Welshman said...

Da iawn Guto.
I'm sure you will be an excellent MP for Aberconwy a true Welshman representing a great consituency...

Work hard Guto for the people of Aberconwy and you could be their MP for several Parliaments.

Sean Wood said...

Well done Guto,
I know you have worked hard for many years to achieve this, It brought a big smile to my face when I heard the news. I know you will deliver on your promises, as you have always done in the past. I look forward to shaking your hand when we next meet.
My very best wishes for the task ahead of you.

Sean Wood said...

Well done Guto,
I know you have worked hard for many years to achieve this, It brought a big smile to my face when I heard the news. I know you will deliver on your promises, as you have always done in the past. I look forward to shaking your hand when we next meet.
My very best wishes for the task ahead of you.

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