October 31, 2008

The Democratic Republic of Islwyn

Have you ever noticed that countries that use the word Democratic in their title are usually anything but - German Democratic Republic, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, etc ?

Well the same could be said of True Wales who continue to spread lies and misinformation about the referendum. One of their claims is that the referendum is to increase the number of AMs by 20 and that their first task will be to vote themselves a pay increase, and that all of this money could be saved by voting No.

There is no specific intent in the referendum to increase the number of AMs, and pay increases are anyway linked to MPs salaries. So two more lies.

But lets just consider what an MP costs – Don Touhig, one of the quiet men behind the scenes of True Wales - last year supplemented his £61k salary with £142k in expenses, and made a £200K windfall profit on selling his London flat which was paid for by the taxpayers.

Meanwhile his opposite number – Irene James AM for Islwyn – earned only £53k salary and a maximum of £12.5k in expenses, meaning that MP Don cost three times as much as AM Irene. In fact when the total costs are compared, including the much higher building administration and security costs at Westminster, the cost of an MP is more than 4 times that of an AM.

So if the new assembly is to need 20 more AMs then lets fund them by getting rid of 5 MPs, which would then be cost neutral – but it is more likely that the number of Welsh MPs would be reduced to nearer 32 (following the Scottish experience) so overall there would be a considerable cost saving!!!

The reality is that the MPs know that the trough is much deeper at Westminster than Cardiff Bay and their snouts more exercised, and it is purely self-interest and greed which is behind the True Wales campaign.


Anonymous said...

No argument on the maths, but I've never heard of Irene James!

Unknown said...

I dont think anyone has - Valleys Labour tactics seem to be give these safe seats to time served counillors and trade unionists - with the strict instruction not to do or say anything - their role is simply to deny the seat to anyone else!! If you try and make a difference (eg Huw Lewis) you get blackballed.

Anonymous said...

Well, someone should write to the Western Mail or Echo with exactly these facts. Now.

plaidcasnewydd said...

One problem with Touhig- he so brazen and barefaced- he was accusing Plaid MP's of voting to close post offices the other day in the South Wales Argus. nevermind that such an accusation is untrue. he'll say it anyway.

He is a prime example of the welsh Labour MPs whose confidence in Welsh voters loyalty too labour is only matched by their arrogance and disregard for the same voters.

cymrumark said...

the 20 extra assembly members was suggested by the richards commission and would be combined with a reduction in the number of MPs.

Just think how much money would be saved if we got rid of all the MPs....