It's not often that I venture into the murky world of misinformation on the Western Mail's letters page, but this peach of a letter from a certain D Matthews must certainly be one of the favourites for this year's award.
£125m for Welsh
SIR – I note with interest and amazement that Jane Hutt, the WAG Business Manager, has given preferential treatment to the Welsh language in her draft Welsh Assembly Budget proposal.
Why does promotion of the Welsh language have a capital budget of £125m? The Welsh Assembly obviously feels it is more important to get everyone in Wales speaking Welsh than looking after our health service, education, employment etc, which have all received cuts to their budgets.
How are we going to attract desperately needed new businesses to Wales when the Welsh Assembly are hell bent on insisting that Welsh should be our first language and that all businesses will have to use it, whatever the cost to them. What sort of Welsh Government do we have, that puts the Welsh language above all else in these times of austerity. Why would we want to want to vote to give WAG more powers, when they are already abusing the powers they have?
Just one slight problem. The draft budget is here and we can see, on page 17, that the figure is not £125m but £125,000. D Matthews was only exaggerating by a factor of a thousand.
Well, make that two slight problems. The £125,000 is the figure for the current financial year. The proposal in the draft budget is for this to be reduced next year by £50,000 to £75,000 ... a cut of 40% in monetary terms, but of course more in real terms because of inflation.
But perhaps the much bigger problem is that the Western Mail is so quick to print such demonstrably obvious trash. Any junior editor who had the slightest knowledge about Wales should have been able to spot the "mistake".
Unless, of course, it was an orchestrated part of the paper's anti-Welsh agenda as we approach the referendum next March.