Posts Tagged ‘public sector’

Letter from Wales: Wales deserves better

02/08/2013, 09:52:05 AM

by Julian Ruck

“In the name of god go! You have sat long enough!”

This was Vincent Kane quoting Oliver Cromwell in a BBC Wales programme on the Welsh economy (BBC Wales, Week In Week Out 24.6.13). I doubt readers will need three guesses to work out who he was throwing Cromwell’s words at, but just in case any of you up there in Westminster are in any doubt, it is of course our devolved masters.

“Depart I say, and let us have done with you!” Kane quotes Cromwell again.

So what was Vincent Kane getting so exercised about one may well ask? The fact that Wales is the lowest performing economy in Europe perhaps? The fact that Welsh Labour throws billions of taxpayers’ money at outside companies to invest in Wales – wherein said companies quickly disappear as soon as the subsidy runs out? The fact that many Welsh private sector companies are on the dole?

Mr Kane doesn’t pull his punches. Although I doubt it will get him very far. Wales is on life support, the Welsh people in a state of comatose apathy.

Since devolution and Welsh Labour’s take-over of the Welsh Development Agency, Wales has gone further and further backwards, so let’s call a Welsh spade a Welsh spade here;  Wales is an old, crotchety cart horse, a pebble-dashed public sector backwater, it has become an insular Brythonic ghetto whereby, as Kane puts it “by 2030 the smart people will have left Wales.”

And who can blame them? There’s nothing here –  unless you fancy retiring to some bucolic splendour and having  a cheap property thrown into the bargain.

And what about education? The literacy and numeracy of Welsh youth is on a par with the Czech Republic and enrolment at Welsh universities is in decline.

Following a survey of 150 Welsh CEO’s all of them said the same thing, in Wales the young are unemployable. And Welsh Labour is still determined to opt out from Westminster edcreforms.

It is plain madness.


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Workforce reform will support not attack our public services

28/10/2011, 07:46:15 AM

by Kevin Meagher

The answer, we believed at first, was more spending. Our dilapidated public services had become so because the Tories had run them down during the 80s and 90s. Catch-up investment was necessary. And Labour delivered it with gusto: doubling the amounts spent on education and trebling the NHS budget.

Then we realised that investment was not enough; there was a need for reform of our public services too. So we introduced performance management and targets. Resented by some public sector professionals, they were at least an attempt to iron out the differences in the quality of service provision across the country.

But we never quite got round to the last part of the puzzle in improving public services: workforce reform. This was always a no-go area for Labour ministers, even for the most swivel-eyed Blairites. Where, broadly, Brownites emphasised resources and Blairites structural reform, no-one wanted to be seen to imply that our teachers, nurses and police officers were not doing a good job.

But the evidence shows that too many of them simply are not. (more…)

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As the Tories go to war on the public sector, Nick Palmer asks where does Labour stand?

23/06/2010, 12:05:44 PM

As covering fire for its cuts, the coalition is deliberately whipping up division between public and private sector workers (and between both of these and people on benefits). The Mail and the Express are leading the charge with crude comparisons of public and private sector pay and conditions (for entirely different types of job). The message is being backed up in successive speeches by Cameron and Osborne.  This was heralded by a menacing warning by Cameron in 2009:

Let me make it clear to everyone who works in the public sector: we will honour existing pay deals, including any three year pay deals. But many of them end next year.. (more…)

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