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Sunday 21 July 2013

Missing the point - Part II

Most people who have more than a passing interest in Scottish politics will have heard about the GERS report. It stands for the Government Expenditure Revenue Scotland and it does exactly what it says in the title. It details the government expenditure and the revenue of Scotland. We in Wales do not have a similar report which is why back in 2012 I submitted a petition calling for a report to be created.

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The petition went before the petitions committee who passed it onto Finance Minister Jane Hut who completely missed the point of the petition. Whether this was deliberate or accidental is unknown but it's not the first time they have missed the point of a petition I have raised.

First I'll post the reply that I had, well the reply that William Powell AM (Lib Dem) had who passed the petition on to finance minister Jane Hutt AM.
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Did you spot it? Did you spot the bit where they completely missed the point of the petition? I'll post the picture again except this time I will highlight the key bits.

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So here is my response that I have been asked to submit to the petitions committee.

Dear William Powell AM

The petition called for a report on "Government expenditure and revenue in Wales" and Jane Hutt's response is to say that they already publish how much they spend. This conveniently misses the point about revenue. The people of Wales need to know just how much revenue is being raised in Wales. And that includes revenue Wales is currently not credited with.

We in Wales are always told that we are not financially viable on our own and people believe this because they have no accurate figures to know one way or another. A GERW report would answer this question and would also be a great way of being able to measure how well the Welsh Government is doing, it would be a good barometer for the financial climate of Wales and act as a target that the Welsh Government's successes and failures could be measured against.

Perhaps those are just a few of the reasons why the point of this petition appears to have been missed so deliberately.


The petitions committee convened again on the 16th July and the following action was agreed.

The Committee considered correspondence on the petition and agreed to write to the Minister for Finance highlighting the petitioner’s correspondence and asking whether such revenue information will be released.

Now the point has been expressly pointed out it's quite hard to imagine how they can manage to miss it again. But I'm sure they'll find a way.

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