Welsh Referendum

February 16, 2011 10:32 AM

A referendum for providing more powers to the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) is only two weeks away. This referendum - if approved - aims to give the Assembly Government powers similar to that of the Scottish Parliament. Established in 1999, the Assembly has seen an ever increasing budget and portfolio of powers, and on 3 March, a referendum will be held to ask the Welsh people if they would like more powers devolved, thus increasing the speed and creation of legislation.

On paper, this would prove to be beneficial, but in reality - as has been viewed in Scotland - things can never go as planned. In 1997, two years before the Assembly was created, it was estimated that such a legislature would cost UK taxpayers approximately £17m and there would be no further bureaucracy needed. But since its creation in 1999 the proof of the pudding has been in the eating. The Welsh Assembly estate consists of seventy-six properties, with the Assembly building in Cardiff Bay alone costing £67m. Further to that, the £346m bill in 2008-09 for administration has totally disproved the ‘no further bureaucracy’ claim.

For the people of Wales, the Assembly Government means that Welsh children receive £527 less per year on their education that English counterparts and cash funding for the NHS is one third lower in Wales than in England, so voting ‘yes’, means more politicians, more taxes and more bureaucracy and less services.

This proves that the Welsh Assembly has wasted its opportunity to impress, and it is time to restrain big government. The devolved Welsh government should be concentrating on improving services, not powers.

In the next Welsh Blog we will be looking at the cost of overseas trips taken by Welsh politicians.

Lee Canning - Cardiff & Wales TPAA referendum for providing more powers to the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) is only two weeks away. This referendum - if approved - aims to give the Assembly Government powers similar to that of the Scottish Parliament. Established in 1999, the Assembly has seen an ever increasing budget and portfolio of powers, and on 3 March, a referendum will be held to ask the Welsh people if they would like more powers devolved, thus increasing the speed and creation of legislation.

On paper, this would prove to be beneficial, but in reality - as has been viewed in Scotland - things can never go as planned. In 1997, two years before the Assembly was created, it was estimated that such a legislature would cost UK taxpayers approximately £17m and there would be no further bureaucracy needed. But since its creation in 1999 the proof of the pudding has been in the eating. The Welsh Assembly estate consists of seventy-six properties, with the Assembly building in Cardiff Bay alone costing £67m. Further to that, the £346m bill in 2008-09 for administration has totally disproved the ‘no further bureaucracy’ claim.

For the people of Wales, the Assembly Government means that Welsh children receive £527 less per year on their education that English counterparts and cash funding for the NHS is one third lower in Wales than in England, so voting ‘yes’, means more politicians, more taxes and more bureaucracy and less services.

This proves that the Welsh Assembly has wasted its opportunity to impress, and it is time to restrain big government. The devolved Welsh government should be concentrating on improving services, not powers.

In the next Welsh Blog we will be looking at the cost of overseas trips taken by Welsh politicians.

Lee Canning - Cardiff & Wales TPA

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