I wrote this Twitter thread on October 22nd 2020. I often get weary of having “The Deficit” thrown at me as if it were some killer, debate ending proof of Wales’ unfitness for Statehood. What the so-called deficit represents is the difference in the estimated UK State receipts attributed to Wales and the estimated spending by the UK State in and on behalf of Wales (a very professional exercise by the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University – clear data is difficult to come by as a great deal is rarely disaggregated). The GERW report from which the deficit figure is taken itself actually states: “The estimates presented in this report reflect Wales’ fiscal position under current constitutional arrangements, and as such, are not a reflection of the finances of an independent Wales.” For more thoughts on the future for Wales’ economy, this later Wales Governance Centre publication is worth reading: https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/1767424/Wales_Fiscal_Future_FINAL.pdf. The Welsh Government is one executive arm of the UK State so its spending is part of the UK balance sheet. Moreover it has only a very limited scope to increase (or even decrease) its own budget. How can there possibly be a “Welsh deficit” under the circumstances? Ultimately, Welsh spending and receipts are governed by fiscal and economic policy and treasury settlements decided upon at Westminster. This is a UK Government deficit. Under this patrician constitutional model, Wales is being attributed with an internal shortfall that if anything is indicative of the UK Government own dire shortcomings with respect to UK State responsibilities for the economic development of our nation.
For those wondering about this whole “England subsidises Wales” rubbish doing the rounds recently … a thread 👇
There is a deficit attributed between government spending and revenues in Wales.
It’s not Wales’ deficit. It’s an estimate for the internal accounting of the UK state. It’s the deficit of UK state spending and revenue attributed to Wales.
I repeat, it is not our deficit. How can it be? We don’t have significant borrowing powers. We don’t have significant powers over taxation. The Welsh Government budget is decided via the Barnett formula according to England’s spending plans.
We don’t have a significant say in macroeconomic policy at a state level. We don’t decide on large scale capital expenditure outlay (which is substantially lower in Wales than the UK average).
We aren’t allowed to issue bonds, do quantitative easing or exercise any of the normal fiscal/economic powers of state. And yet we’re told that WE run a deficit. No WE do not. A deficit is run IN OUR NAME.
And if the UK runs a deficit on our behalf, if it leaves us with productivity at 70% of the UK average & the attendant low average wages through a lack of capital expenditure, if it puts in-work families in poverty and a growing 30%+ of children with them, it has failed Wales.
And this must be seen as a failure of government and of policy. Despite this handicap Wales has a GDP/head grater than that of Spain and a tax take per person greater than that of New Zealand. Our wealth per person is close to the UK average.
No, it is not Wales that runs any deficit as the nascent Nation State of Cymru/Wales is yet to be birthed by this moribund United Kingdom. The UK is so badly misgoverned by it’s upper classes that it runs a deficit here and in its own right. It does so by it’s own choice.
Wales’ influence over the UK economy is miniscule, our MP’s a mere 6% of the total at Westminster. It is largely England’s elitist public school cabal that runs the UK govt. It has made a dreadful mess in hot pursuit of its own self interest & awful anglo-British ideologies.
The Tories long ago built a centralised political/economic power structure which they and those whom they represent milk for their own enrichment. This they believe to be their own entitlement, their natural position in society.
But rather than dismantle this central power structure that put Wales at its periphery, Labour have sought to perpetuate this status quo whilst merely attempting to redistribute a greater share of the proceeds and astonishingly call this solidarity.
It isn’t money that Wales needs to take off Westminster. It isn’t even wealth. It’s the power to make wealth and monetise it ourselves. It’s the means to organise our society according to our values and the democratic mandate we afford a govenment of OUR choosing.
Only statehood sets Wales free. We have the people, we simply need the means. It’s time for us to plan how we will govern ourselves, organise our resources and society for our benefit and how we will run our economy for the sake of our people and communities.
If you feel that you wish to contribute to our future as a fully fledged and empowered Nation State, you could support @YesCymru.
If you want to make a difference at the ballot box, please consider voting for @Plaid_Cymru. Only when we have a Welsh Government with a democratic mandate for independence will we be able to begin the process of #DissolveTheUnion. Let’s begin that noble task in 2021.