Wednesday 8 October 2014

Losing the plot

-         We wanted the power to borrow money. 
-         The only way that we could get that was to promise to use all the money we borrow to build a new motorway. 
-         So we’re building a new motorway.
As a justification for building a six-lane highway across the Gwent levels, this doesn’t work for me.  I suspect that it won’t work for a lot of other people either.  And whilst I’ll admit that it’s paraphrased, it does seem to sum up the argument being put forward by the Welsh Government for the decision to press ahead with the M4 relief road. 
Adding in, for good measure, that "Business people are very content", doesn’t do it for me either (even if it were true; my understanding is that some business organisations would prefer to have a cheaper route finished sooner).
It makes it appear as though the power to borrow money became, at some point, an end in itself rather than a means to doing whatever it was they originally planned to do.  And it means that the decisions on the Welsh Government’s transport priorities – and indeed more generally capital spending priorities - are effectively being set by the UK Government, not the Welsh Government.
It’s not a good starting point for new financial powers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Surely giving the Welsh government ' the 'power to borrow' is just a sign of growing up. And yes it is indeed an 'end in itself'. But, as any parent knows from their own offspring there is still a lot more to come.

On a slightly different topic, I see that comment levels are down on many blogs. Is this because of the 'Brenda Leyland' effect?

I, too, wonder how Sky managed to identify this woman just from the Twitter name '@sweepyface'. Either some form of hacking or a police informant must have been involved.

Why is there no political outcry?