Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Devolution’s dirty little secret

Posted on Bevan blog on 5 May 2009

Happy 10th anniversary to the National Assembly. To mark this occasion the man who lead the non-Party 'Yes for Wales' campaign, Prof Kevin Morgan, has written a sober piece to remind us that the promises made have not been delivered.

"We had over-inflated ambitions in 1999 about the ability of government to improve economic performance" he laments.

It is worth reading the entire piece, but here is a damming reminder of the state we are in:

The Welsh Valleys remain stubbornly at the bottom end of all statistics. Of the top 10 Parliamentary constituencies with the highest incapacity benefit claimants in the UK, the Valleys contain five – Merthyr, Rhondda, Cynon Valley, Blaenau Gwent, and Aberavon. For Wales as a whole there is a steady stream of negative statistics:

Only the West Midlands has had slower growth since 1999;

Lowest private sector R&D spend in the UK;

lowest full-time weekly wages in the UK;

bottom of UK rankings for tests for 15-year-olds;

we spend 8% per child less than England in schools;

we have a spending gap of £55m with England in higher education;

fewer graduates remain in Wales for employment than other UK nations.

And now make a wish...

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