Fiscal fairness for Wales?

In his blog yesterday, Peter Black tied himself up in knots to claim that what his party leader said about the referendum on primary lawmaking powers was merely a "slip of the tongue".

He went on to say:

Still, Clegg does appear to have developed a certain blind spot when it comes to Wales in recent weeks, missing the opportunity to make obvious points to reinforce our party's strong support for fiscal and political fairness on a number of occasions.

It is a blind spot that needs to be corrected soon before it is misinterpreted and used to undermine the Welsh Liberal Democrats' longstanding commitment to a full law-making Welsh Parliament and reform of the Barnett formula. These feature in part in the coalition agreement. It would just be nice if the Liberal Democrat leader talked about them a bit more.

Nobody doubts that the LibDems wants the Senedd to have lawmaking powers, so the headlines in today's media seem superfluous. But it is much more obvious why Mr Clegg is so reluctant to talk about fiscal fairness for Wales.

He's keeping quiet to save the embarrassment that would come if he reminded us that his party agreed to kick any hope of fiscal fairness into the long grass ... until such time as "the stabilization of the public finances" had been achieved.

As it's been put in such clear terms, how could Nick Clegg's failure to do what he and his party promised to do before the election possibly be "misinterpreted"?


Still, it's reassuring to know that this is "a long-standing commitment". It will need to be ... because it's going to be a very long time before the UK digs itself out of the financial mess that decades of over-centralization and over-reliance on financial services at the expense of producing the goods we need has left us.

When we at last go to the polls on a bright and sunny Thursday in September 2019 to vote for independence, I'm sure the LibDems—not to mention the Tories and Labour—will still be telling us:

"There's no need to leave the Union in order to get a fair deal. We promised that we'd fight for a Commission into fair funding for Wales ... and it should only be another few years now before we stabilize the UK's financial position. Have patience. We'll get round to Wales eventually."

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Unknown said...

You're spot on MH. It isn't nastiness towards Wales, or cruelty. It's much worse and much more sinister. They simply neglect us.

Anonymous said...

Have patience. We'll get round to Wales eventually."
That is something that should be blown up and put on every notice board and bill board in Wales
To me it says it all, bit like I will get around to the ironing eventually , hmmmmmmmm
Lib Dems wake up ,the smugness of that statement makes me cringe

MH said...

Wps, I think I might owe an apology here.

The statement in the last box was by me, trying to be satirical. I'm sorry if that wasn't obvious. But, like all satire, it wouldn't work unless it was essentially true.

Having smoothed that one out, I suppose I'd better get on with the rest of the ironing ;-)

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