28/03/2007

Barnett? Time to bin it

The Barnett Formula is one of the dullest subjects in Welsh politics - it's the formula by which Wales gets 6% of whatever London government spends due to its relative population. It's attracting the usual sporadic attention as a coalition of voluntary groups led by Sustrans's Lee Waters tries to put pressure on government in London for this formula to reflect social needs rather than a basic head count.
The argument, put here, is that Wales is poorer, less healthy and has worse housing and therefore needs to reform the Barnett Formula to reflect that.
It's an argument that Ron Davies put forward in the 2004 European elections - claiming that each person in Wales was losing out to the tune of a fiver a week. This rather more catchy slogan didn't resonate with the voters and I suspect Lee's valiant attempts to revive the argument of his former political boss [Waters worked for Davies as a political researcher when Ron was a Labour AM] will fall on similar stony ground.
The Formula was devised to buy off nationlism in the 1970s and the only way more funding will reach Wales is another threat to the Union. However, the Barnett Formula is too, well, formulaic. A far better suggestion is that all taxes raised in Wales should be collected by the Assembly. That body could then allot its share of UK spending (e.g. defence, international affairs) to Westminster.
What could possibly be wrong with such a fine example of bottom-up government?

Comments

agree - it would also create a more accountable and less 'goodies and bribes' cultur in Welsh politics. It's time we learned to drown or swim.

I'm fed up of this begging bowl politics which Plaid and Labour are guilty of. It's demeaning.

Posted by: Huw | 30/03/2007

Is it any wonder that people are so dim when they have their television aerials tuned to English stations and buy rubbish newspapers such as the Sun, Mail and Mirror and don't even know there is an election on May 3rd.
They actually enjoy living under the English jackboot, poor mindless idiots !

Posted by: Simon Wren | 31/03/2007

They actually enjoy living under the English jackboot, poor mindless idiots !

I'd say it's a matter of unionist hegemony, rather than the people actually "enjoying" it.

We're starting to make some progress against Unionism in Scotland, I only hope that Wales will follow too.

Posted by: Squirrel Vanguard | 31/03/2007

piss off you fenian welcher _ _ _ _ s! Youre a f*cking joke. You cant even survive without begging off us who you reckon you f*cking hate. What bullshite.
What's it like to be such an inept bunch of women?
foreigner _ _ _ _ ers

Posted by: adolph | 02/04/2007

Ah, the legendary humour of the English... shame Adolph can't read. If he could, he'd realise I called for the abolition of the Barnett Formula.

Posted by: seren | 02/04/2007

Until we know the true cost of the Union to the people of Wales it is hard to have a proper debate on independence, although the arguments for independence are not just financial. At the moment we have no idea how much VAT, corporation tax or duty on cigarettes alcohol or petrol is collected in Wales. This is how Westminster wants to keep it. I suspect if the true cost of the Union was known we would see that we are actually paying more in than we get out.

Posted by: Maurice | 03/04/2007

Very true! With the multitude of taxes paid by the people of Wales into the coffers of Westminster to feed their war machine and the majority of M P's who are a waste of space, the cash could be put to better use building up our infrstructure and economy.
As for the posting by the person who signs themself as Adolf that is the sum total of the mentality that is preventing Wales and Scotland from becoming nation states.
These people will never change they are born ignorant, inarticulate and usually incomers from over the border.

Posted by: I Rowlands | 03/04/2007

The comments are closed.