Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Well, do your homework....

Last night, Plaid’s economic adviser, Dr Eurfyl ap Gwilym, appeared on Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman.

It was what could be called a robust interview where Paxman came off decidedly second best after making some rather vague assertions about Wales without being able to back them up.

Newsnight were using figures from the Centre for Economic and Business Research to suggest the high role of state funding in specifically Northern Ireland and Wales compared with, for example, London.

But the CEBR figures are compiled using a tortured methodology which is open to question and interpretation.

They’re not the only ones to try and use the figures – the Wales on Sunday got into a fight with Adam Price about them last year as well.

Eurfyl made the point that, actually, more public money is spent, per head, in London, than in Wales.

That’s according to clear figures from the Treasury, (the Public Expenditure Statistics Analysis) accepted by the Office for National Statistics, not played around with by an outside organisation. Indisputable facts.

Paxman had the figures in front of him and, at one point, quotes from them but refuses to quote the figure for Wales which would prove him to be wrong.

He could quite easily have turned around and said, “so what, so there’s an English region which has more per head spent than Wales, that’s not really the point is it?”

But to do so would undermine the purpose of the piece, which was clearly to suggest that Northern Ireland and Wales are reliant upon English largesse.

Wales needs a fairer, needs-based funding formula which reflects that we have more elderly people, more younger people and larger rural areas.

It is only Plaid that have fought for that in the past and will put it at the forefront of negotiations in a balanced parliament.

No comments: