16/10/2011 The Politics Show Wales


16/10/2011

Jon Sopel and Aled ap Dafydd with analysis of the political scene shaping Wales.


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Because the new feel-good factor mean we want more powers devolved

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 1493 seconds

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to Wales? We will discuss it with Me up a Welsh view of the eurozone

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crisis and what new powers for the bus government might have as a

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result of the Silk Commission. But we have to start with yesterday's

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event in the Rugby World Cup. After the flight was put up over Number

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Ten Downing Street in London, and with thousands watching it in the

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Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, it was a game of ups and downs but

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sadly the results going fronts's whereby one point. After the match,

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in a still noisy Millennium Stadium, the First Minister Carwyn Jones

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gave our reporter his reaction to the game. The game was ruined

:26:35.:26:45.
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really by what I thought was a harsh sending off for Sam Warburton.

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From our point of view, we have got to be proud of our players, they

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came close to winning against typical days and I think their best

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days are ahead of them. Disappointing but light spilled

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from this. A your message to the boys who fought bravely? Your

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nation is behind you, very proud of what to have done, it will be

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difficult to lift your spirits for next Saturday but we will be behind

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you again for a start and Cardiff council have just told us they are

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in discussions with the Welsh Rugby Union and was government about a

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possibility of a homecoming event. I was government spokesperson say

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they are currently considering the most appropriate way to recognise

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the great achievements -- a government spokesperson. Wales will

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play Australia in the third-place play-off.

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Hundreds of families in Wales who might have been wrongly charged

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care home fees for their elderly relatives have been told they could

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be paid back in three years if they are refunded. There are many had

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been waiting for several years and are angry that there is a backlog

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in claims still not cleared. Our reporter has been to meet one

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family affected in the Rhondda. was starting to get frail on her

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legs. She was starting to fall about and usually when she fell,

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she banged her head. She had quite a few nasty falls at home. One have

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had children decided she needed professional help around the clock

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and did not realise how expensive it would be. Beryl's sons are

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completely happy with each care she received here are believed it

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should have been free. In total, they spent more than �40,000 on

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costs. Money they had been trying to claim back since 2006. If Beryl

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had received an assessment by the NHS, her family's lawyer is

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confident she would have been recommended for ongoing health care.

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That means her place in the home would have been paid for by the

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health service. Because this assessment never happened, the

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local authority means tested her instead and decided that her family

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had to play. Quite a big surprise because it meant that we had to

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sell my mother's house to cover the cost. The weights are among

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hundreds of families waiting to find out if they are entitled to

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have their money back. We have families to have been waiting a

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number of years and families that are very upset because nobody told

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them about the possibility that their relative may have been

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eligible for health care. Family who believe they have wrongly paid

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fees can challenge that decision. However, if the costs date back to

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before April 2003, then the claims should have been made by the end of

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2009. One authority, Powys Health Board is now responsible for

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looking into those historical claims for the whole of Wales.

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Alongside more recent claims, there is a backlog of around 2000 cases.

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It says it could take a further three years to get through that.

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The longer these cases take, the more interest is going to have to

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be paid and it is detrimental to the public purse. I think it is

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also something that is very important. This is not compensation,

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this is money that should have never have been paid in the first

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place. It is been said that the world government has not acted

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quickly enough. They have failed to take account of the situation which

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many families find themselves in and they have failed to put in

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place systems to deal quickly with those claims which are fairly

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straightforward and also to deal with the more complex cases in good

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time. I think the Minister needs to get a grip and she needs to sort

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this out quickly and much more quickly than the three years we are

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told it will take. The Health Minister turned down our

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request for an interview put in a statement, the Welsh Government

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said it recognises the concerns that have been raised. It has Powys

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Health Board is unsure of providing an equitable review of cases. It

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said that cases are being dealt with in order of when the

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application was made and says some payments have already been

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processed. But for the family and many like them, the uncertainty

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continues. It is frustrating. We keep on hoping we will have a

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cheque for Christmas but we don't know which Christmas!

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Wales might be shivering as it is buffeted by the chill of economic

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winds but events 1,500 miles away could make the financial

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temperature here really plunge. The Politics Show has been to Brussels

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to take the view of Welsh MEPs efforts to stave off the debt

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crisis in Greece and the possible consequences here at home if the

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crisis spreads. The �200 billion rescue package for

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Europe's banks... If men of Europe's biggest banks do not have

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the reserves of capital to of salt losses.

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He is not the politicians who will decide this, but the people on the

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streets. Tall of defaults, a Euro meltdown,

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bail-out funds running into trillions of euro possibly. It

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might seem some distance away from the economic problems Wales is

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currently facing but Wales is highly dependent on trade with

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eurozone countries. The nation's four MEPs occupy a pretty good

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vantage to justify a natural situation on the Continent. Debt-

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laden Greece which has seen so much resistance to austerity programmes

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is the immediate priority to eurozone leaders. They fear the

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market could be spooked if I fail to shore up the Greek economy.

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Conservative MEP case when then is a former investment banker. Greece

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is only 2.5% of the euro GDP so the entire debt is very small compared

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to the entire eurozone. We need to keep things in proportion. The

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reality is, the market to pay for the bonds and by those in the

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marketplace, those investors are really worried that if they cannot

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fix Greece, how well they fix the big economies of Italy and Spain if

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they run into difficulties? fear is that if the confidence in

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Europe's financial markets is sapped, economies such as Wales are

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vulnerable. It is a great concern because if problems in the eurozone

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have an impact on Wales, Welsh businesses rely on 60% of trade

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with Europe so if the eurozone has problems, then the Welsh economy

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will do as well. The Welsh economy is dependent on the rest of Europe

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and we have got a situation now in Wales where we have got 22%

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unemployment amongst young people. If the situation spirals out of

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control, then there will be a lot more unemployment and that of

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course is going to impact. It is critical that the leaders do get

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this right in the eurozone. others come at it is time to admit

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that the single currency is a disaster and to stop spending

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risking and borrowing more to save it. You is not the politicians to

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decide this, but the people on the streets and the markets. They are

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throwing money at it. Almost like saying to an alcoholic, we can fix

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this by giving you more alcohol. This will not work and it is

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bonkers to think that it will. I think it will fail big time. For

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people in the UK, they will be effective. An alternative is for

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eurozone leaders to allow Greece to default on much of its debts in an

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orderly manner. European banks would then need cash injections to

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prevent banking system seizing up as investors in Greece might lose

:35:03.:35:10.

as much as four fifths of their investment. It will go up from the

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20% to, I suspect, 60 or 80% in the future. But get Greece to a

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sustainable level of debt but that means the banks to own that debt

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will take heavy losses so we need to capitalise the banks up again to

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make sure that an orderly deport of Greece does not have a catastrophic

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effect which would be far worse than the Lehman Brothers collapse

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of 2008. They have realised they need to deal with the Greek

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situation, put in place a stability mechanism of such a large extent

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that they can deal with any issues that might arise in the future.

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They also realise that we need greater economic governments across

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Europe to make sure this does not happen again. What we are looking

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at the moment our proposals on growth because a lack of growth in

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the eurozone is another crisis we are facing. The eurozone is not

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known for decisive nest -- the EU is not known for decisiveness. The

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outcome could be very bleak. Should the Welsh Government take

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more responsibility for raising the money it spends and should further

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powers be devolved to Wales? Two questions for those appointed to

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the Silk Commission. The Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan named Paul

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Silk as chair of the commission. He will be joined by representatives

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of the four main parties and two independent members. With the

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economy struggling and fears about jobs, our political editor asked

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Paul Silk whether some people will whether ask why they are tinkering

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with the constitution? That is probably not a question for me.

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There have been asked to do a particular job -- I have been asked

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to. We will do that to the best of our ability. But does not mean that

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one is not aware of the context in which people in Wales see

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themselves. Of course, colleagues who are members of the commission

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and come from political parties will be much more aware of that

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perhaps than I hum. And my to speak to True Wales? I would be

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absolutely happy to speak to anybody who has a voice inside

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Wales, True Wales certainly does and proper, authentic agenda that

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they want to pursue, yes, of course we should speak to them for stopped

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during the in the studio from True Wales is Rachel Banner along with

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Cathy Owens, one of the leading campaigners for Yes For Wales.

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Paul Silk was quite non-committal about his answer, why it more

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constitutional navel-gazing? reason I help win the Yes campaign

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was to provide a legislative programme as well as the programme

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in government and I am looking to them to focus on delivering for the

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people of Wales, to really make a difference to people's lives and

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for people here in Cardiff Bay to scrutinise the world's governments

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to make sure they do that. That is perfectly reasonable at the same

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time to have some sensible, clever people looking at how the balance

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of power is shifting in the UK. It is happening anyway. It might be

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taken out of our control so let's make sure we can get the best

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advantage of it for the people of Wales. In the March referendum,

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every local authority apart from one voted in favour of more powers

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for the Assembly. There is an appetite for devolution in Wales.

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We were told during the referendum campaign... We will come back to

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that. Statistics now show that there were more people in favour of

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devolution in Wales in this referendum compared to the last one.

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That is not in doubt, is it? That is true to say but also it is

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important to tell the truth during referendum campaigns and that did

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not happen, the public was misled about the tax issue. There are

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strong arguments but we never had a chance for that debate during the

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campaign and there need to be questions asked about why tax was

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put on the ballot paper, why it was denied that tax powers were given

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on the yes but given the coalition government in Westminster had

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already said there would be a commission on tax in the event of

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yes vote. Why is it that politicians were denying that?

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don't think there was a grand deception. There was an explicit

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promise in the campaign ahead of the March referendum that this

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would not lead to tax bearing powers. There will be a higher

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degree from the Rachel Banner campaign. Hang on, it was clear

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what we were fighting for and it was not to do with tax raising

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powers. The but it was sad that -- it was said at the time... By we

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knew what we were fighting for, it was about the legislative programme.

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Now it is clear we what the politicians to focus on that and

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make changes that help the people of Wales. At the same time, it was

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very clear that there was going to be a change. We were not

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campaigning to set the balance of power forever. And the coalition

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said they would talk about different fiscal powers. You have

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to be... We would rather be talking about that than not talking about

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it. We have to be having serious responsibilities. Can I ask you

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about something you said in the campaign in March, you said

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politicians asking... Why should people have any confidence in a

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government with a current educational spending record? How

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can our country's economic flourish and so on because we have got

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under-investment in schools and universities? Surely if you're of

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the opinion that Wales is underfunded, you would like to see

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a mechanism where more money can be raised? What the yes campaign told

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us or politicians told us, we would get the �300 million payment in the

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result of yes vote. We are not seeing that Barnet deficit dealt

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with. We knew it would not be forthcoming that what we are seeing

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is the prospect of higher taxes. We are heading towards a moment of

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severe economic crisis and we are be expected to pay more taxes. How

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will the Government raised all that money from the people of Wales? We

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are already hard pressed. Have they gone about this the wrong way?

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Should the Barnett formula be looked at first before tinkering

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with taxation, borrowing powers, further devolution? I think this is

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all about focusing on the process, really. I think there's so much

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more that politicians here can be focusing on. Let's make sure that

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they are focused on delivering change. We are in a difficult

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economic position. We have got some problems and in some areas we are

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doing very well. Let's focus on that. That does not mean that we

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cannot also have conversations. Yes, we need to deal with the Barnett

:42:30.:42:33.

formula and those are ongoing with the Treasury as I understand. It

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would be good if we could get some fairer funding settlements for

:42:37.:42:39.

Wales but I don't think we should sake let's not talk about other

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things because, these decisions would be taken out of our hands.

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The reading between the lines of what you are saying, you don't

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think this commission is important? It might be taken over by events.

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It is important we are having these discussions at senior levels and

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there are some important people doing this. Sue Essex is brilliant,

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but at the same time the Welsh Government here and those who

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scrutinise it should be focusing on delivering for the people of Wales

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and I think they are an I am quite pleased to see the legislative

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programme alongside a government programme that is designed to

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deliver jobs, better services for Wales because that is what they are

:43:24.:43:28.

interested in. You have been critical of the bus government and

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the welcome back Assembly Members, -- the Welsh Government. Do you

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think better outcomes for the people of Wales, if they have got

:43:38.:43:45.

�50 million to spend, things might not be as good as when they have to

:43:45.:43:49.

account for the money they spend -- 15 million? I think it will be hard

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to raise that money from the people of Wales. What I would like to

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see... It will be a degree of that money. We get �9 billion more from

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the UK Treasury than we pay in. We can use that money and I think the

:44:08.:44:13.

Assembly could be doing far more to improve economic development in

:44:13.:44:17.

Wales to insure certain things improve. Tax powers are not the

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answer to that for. We are only a few months into the new settlement

:44:24.:44:29.

granted in the referendum, should that not be given time to bed in

:44:29.:44:32.

before we think about more devolution? Are you suggesting we

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should not discuss these things? We have the Welsh Government here that

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have the tools we have given it in terms of images dizzied programme

:44:40.:44:50.
:44:50.:44:51.

alongside the Government programme. -- in terms of the legislative

:44:51.:44:56.

programme. Fiscal policy is very important. This is a serious issue

:44:57.:45:02.

about the truth. That referendum was fought partly on the tax issue,

:45:02.:45:05.

separate legal jurisdiction is on its way as well. Politicians during

:45:05.:45:09.

that time, they promised that these things would not happen. We had it

:45:09.:45:14.

over and over again, these denials. There is an issue with our

:45:14.:45:20.

democracy. Can I ask a quick question. Paul Silk said there

:45:20.:45:23.

would be a voice for True Wales, will you engage? We certainly

:45:23.:45:31.

wealth. Lot of people can engage with this process because it

:45:31.:45:33.

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