The latest GVA figures (released on 11th December) don’t make pleasant reading, one interpretation is that the Labour in Wales Welsh Government and Con Dem Westminster Governments have allowed the Welsh economy to enter a spiral of decline and they continue to offer no meaningful route to recovery. The Chancellor's remains unhealthy fixated with obsessively investing in London and the South East, something that is reflected in the dire GVA figures which not unexpectedly reveal the vast wealth gap between the English capital and many other parts of the British State.
The figures are the latest reminder that Westminster austerity isn't working for Wales and that a lethargic Labour in Wales Government in Cardiff is continuing to fail to protect Welsh people from the Coalition's damaging policies, let alone allegedly stand up for Wales. The GVA figures showing that parts of West London are a 12 times wealthier than parts of Wales. Clearly Westminster austerity isn't working for Wales and the Labour in Wales Welsh Government's inertia and complacency are only making matters worse.
As long as the Chancellor still remains fixated with a recovery focused on London and the South East, what we increasingly urgently need is a Westminster Economic Fairness Bill to rebalance the economy and bring prosperity to other parts of the UK. Plaid Cymru has always argued that the only real route to recovery is investment in vital infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals and railways that would generate jobs and growth. This is something that cannot be achieved in our country unless vital job-creating powers are transferred from Westminster to Wales.
We have reached the point where almost any progress on implementing the Silk Commission's recommendations should be welcomed but Labour in Wales must not back themselves into the anti-devolution corner by dragging their heels over the issue of an income-tax referendum. An income-tax sharing arrangement is necessary it is a vital tool which could be used to deliver real and meaningful investment powers. The time for dithering and self induced inertia is past and the economic interests of the Welsh people need to come before narrow political self interest.