Cymru, Lloegr a'r Llwchwr

Cymru, Lloegr, a'r Llwchwr...

Helo! Croeso i’m blog newydd sy'n cymryd lle Yma byddaf yn rhoi'r byd yn ei le o safbwynt y De Orllewin. Bydd rhai sylwadau yn fwy cyffredinol na’i gilydd ond canolbwyntio ar wleidyddiaeth cig a gwaed sydd yn effeithio yn uniongyrchol ar bobl o’m cwmpas i yw'r bwriad. Gwyntyllu fy marn personol y byddaf i fan hyn wrth gwrs!

Hi! Welcome to my new blog which has replaced I'll be setting the world to right from the perspective of the South West. Some comments may be more general than others but my aim is to talk about everyday issues that directly affect people around me. Needless to say, the views expressed here will be purely mine.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

They made us do it! Labour Job cuts in Neath and Port Talbot

I have to admire Peter Hain. That's not a sentence I plan to use very often of
the orange one but there are times when his acrobatics with the facts are almost poetic. In the weeks before this year's Westminster election, Eurfyl ap Gwilym released an estimate of up to 45,000 Welsh jobs at risk following Labour's intended cuts based on Carwyn Jones’ own projections of cuts under Labour.

Peter Hain dismissed this estimate as "irresponsible scaremongering". He was quite right – but the scaremongering was by his own party - for its own electoral ends. Within a few short weeks of the election, Hain himself was back in the fold, claiming that ConDem cuts could cost 50,000 Welsh jobs.

Where does that figure come from? The scale of cuts to the Welsh block grant will not be known until the Comprehensive Spending Review is published at the end of next month and ConDem benefit cuts will pull individuals into poverty and hit local businesses hard. But in the meantime sensible estimates on cuts and jobs at risk should surely be based on the London Coalition Government’s June budget.

Writing on the IWA blog yesterday, Eurfyl ap Gwilym calculates a cumulative cut of 12.9% in real terms over three years.

In his address to the Cardiff Business Club on 29 March, Carwyn Jones however, implied a cumulative cut of 16.5% over the same period if calculated in real terms.

If we project the both estimates directly onto jobs at risk, then the difference is huge – 45 thousand according to Labour’s estimate as opposed to 24 thousand over the same three years using the Treasury's figures.

Why these differences? Possibly to increase voters’ sense of insecurity, but possibly also to justify additional Labour cuts in Wales.

That brings me to the second point…

Neath and Port Talbot in Hain's own constituency is now the only wholly Labour controlled local authority in Wales. They are also the authority's biggest employer. Wouldn’t it be wonderful then for the people of Neath were their jobs to be protected by the party that appears to put such a premium on them?

But no. Over the summer, the council's entire 7,000 workforce received letters informing them that their jobs were being reviewed, they might be lost or they might have to reapply for them at a different grade or with different conditions.

In June Mr. Hain claimed: "It is clear that the Tories are cutting not because they need to, but because they want to".

Look closer to home Mr. Hain.

At the last election when Labour won votes across Wales, Plaid big hitter, Neath-based Alun Llewellyn closed the gap with Hain by almost 3,000 votes. He will be standing again in May. Those 7,000 council workers and their families whose security is threatened by a greedy and unprincipled council may well want to remind Labour’s cut-happy MP, their councillors and their silent AM that their positions are also being reviewed.


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