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Nick Clegg in Ebbw Vale

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Zach

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Re: Nick Clegg in Ebbw Vale

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 12:02 am

I did sort of know this, but I wish people would stop banging on about the 5th biggest economy etc when they want to scrounge off the state or expect that they can live on benefits and not do any work.
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Jantra

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Re: Nick Clegg in Ebbw Vale

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 7:03 am

The top ten on that list are either oil economies or tax havens, save for Luxembourg which uses its geography to its advantage
I'd rather be no one than someone with no one.
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Mr Blue Sky

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Re: Nick Clegg in Ebbw Vale

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 8:57 am

Jantra wrote:The top ten on that list are either oil economies or tax havens, save for Luxembourg which uses its geography to its advantage


If Ireland and Switzerland have become tax havens then so could Wales......eventually.
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Ben In London

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Re: Nick Clegg in Ebbw Vale

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 9:41 am

Like people have done for centuries, when they think their life is turning to crap and there's no money, they want a scapegoat. For Ebbw Vale that was the EU right now.
Can anyone think of a good reason for anyone to move there?
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RandomComment

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Re: Nick Clegg in Ebbw Vale

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 10:49 am

Mr Blue Sky wrote:
Jantra wrote:The top ten on that list are either oil economies or tax havens, save for Luxembourg which uses its geography to its advantage


If Ireland and Switzerland have become tax havens then so could Wales......eventually.


The operative word here is "eventually". Ireland struggled for 50 years. Switzerland had been independent, mercantalist and a bit "beggar-thy-neighbour" for hundreds of years: literally providing soldiers for others wars, while staying above the fray itself!

When Ireland became independent, there was effectively no welfare state. That meant it didn't lose too much in the way of fiscal transfers from the rest of the UK when it seceded.

Now those fiscal transfers are much much bigger: Wales is running a budget deficit equivalent to around 24% of GDP in 2014-15 (compared to about 5% for the UK as a whole in the same year) - another way of putting this is that Wales was responsible for 1/6 of the UK's deficit, despite being 1/21 of the population.

(http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/wgc/gerw/)

That allows Wales to have household incomes around 90% of the UK average, despite GDP per capita about 72% of the UK average. It allows public spending around 8% higher than the UK average despite tax revenues being 25% lower.

Now you can argue that these big transfers are not leading to the rejuvination of the Welsh economy - allowing it to catch up economically. Its true. But they are massively supporting living standards and public services, allowing the Welsh to effectively live substantially beyond their own means.

For the Welsh people to be better off than now, the Welsh economy would have to close virtually the entirity of the gap between Welsh GDP per head and UK GDP per head. Even if Wales improved from say 72% to 85%, the Welsh people would be worse off because the growth would not offset the lost transfers from the rest of the UK.

And I think with such a big fall in living standards on independence (down about 20%), it would be just as likely for something of a downward spiral to start: the young, more educated, etc. would leave to live and work in England (or Australia, etc.). Tax revenues would be further depressed.

And even if that did not happen, there'd be years of austerity, pay cuts, tax rises, etc, for the hope of eventual sunny uplands. That is hardly going to assuage the anger felt in places that voted Brexit as a protest about being ignored, their livelihoods becoming more precarious, etc.

My view is that Wales can only really have a chance of being a successful country if it is able to do a lot of the catching up within the UK first. I'd still be against it (the Union is more than an economic calculation to me). Whats the solution to that? Not 100% sure but I know where I'd start: education, both basic and higher (focused on technical subjects). Wales performance really is atrocious on learning outcomes.
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Mr Blue Sky

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Re: Nick Clegg in Ebbw Vale

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 12:04 pm

The GERW report was written by Ed Poole, who is Neil McEvoy's budgetary advisor. He's an ex LibDem who worked for the Governor of Pennsylvania for a while, then attached himself to McEvoy when he came back to the UK in 2012. I know him well and I don't like him at all. For a member of Plaid to commission, research, write and publish a document that undermines the case for independence so thoroughly is a huge act of betrayal. He's being as effective as McEvoy in killing Plaid's cause and I am uncertain where their loyalties lie. And I disagree with many of the report's conclusions.

I was at the launch of Adam Price and Eurfyl ap Gwilym's "Bridging Offa's Gap" in 2012 - in fact I was sat with Leanne Wood and we looked through it together - and there were many questionable analyses in that document too. I like Adam but I'm not so sure about Eurfyl. In fact, I was the person who pointed out to Eurfyl in 2011 that Wales' exports were much higher than its imports. He disagreed with me but I sent him the figures, and within a week Plaid had issued a press release on the subject.

Wales isn't prospering under London rule. I agree that we would have to cut public spending but we could do that by reducing public sector wages once independent, while reducing working hours in schools, for example. We should completely revamp education - shorter days, 25 minute, intense lessons, school should start at age 6.

We could reduce benefits to a level below England's - this would see many English benefit claimants and pensioners returning to England. Taxing holiday homes - heavily - and the departure of pensioners and claimants would see house prices fall, making housing more affordable for the public and private sector workers whose pay had been reduced.

We could raise more taxes by imposing an annual charge on static caravan owners from outside Wales. These are a huge drag on our economy and health service. A typical caravan owner in Rhyl is paying £4000 in fees annually to the owners of the site but nothing in council tax. Many are elderly English people - visit A&E in Bodelwyddan and listen to the accents.

Yes there would be a shock but we would adjust. We are much nearer to London than Dublin is. English people would still want to holiday here but they would have to pay Wales for the privilege. How is it fair that Londoners, as they retire, are selling their homes for a couple of million, buying a cottage in Abersoch and 20 properties in the Valleys, then living a life of luxury off the rent/housing benefit of poor Welsh people?

It isn't fair and an independent Wales would tax that person heavily or prevent them from acquiring such a large portfolio of properties in the first place. I've been to the property auctions in Llanedeyrn and the room was full of people from the SE of England snapping up Valleys terraces, that they then rent out to HB claimants. Our council tax is then funnelled via HB payments into the pockets of already rich English people!

We need a "can do" attitude and all I hear from the likes of Ed Poole is a "can't do" attitude.
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