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Wales ‘dragging the UK down’ with ‘hare-brained, half-baked economic experiments’ says journalist

21 Feb 2022 4 minute read
First Minister Mark Drakeford at COP26. picture by the Welsh Government

Wales is in danger of “dragging the UK down with it” as a result of “hare-brained, half-baked economic experiments” according to an economic journalist.

Matthew Lynn, who writes on business and economics for Bloomberg NewsMoneyWeek and The Spectator, Wales was “one of the least successful economies in Europe” and needed “English taxpayers to bail it out”.

He was responding to the suggestion by Wales’ Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe that a four day week be trialled in the public sector, and a basic income pilot which will see 500 of those leaving care receive £1,600 a month for two years.

“In reality, Wales is already one of the poorest, least successful regions of Europe, never mind the UK,” Matthew Lynn said in the Telegraph.

“It has few new industries of any significance, and hardly any world-class companies, in painful contrast to thriving regional economies just on the other side of the border.

“Wales has plenty of genuine problems it should be fixing. Instead, it is embarking on a series of half-baked socialist experiments that are doomed to inevitably fail.

“There is no reason Wales shouldn’t be as rich as Ireland, or at least Bristol. Instead, it is dragging itself down, and taking the UK with it. ”

He added that it was “not as if Wales can afford utopian delusions”.

“In many ways, Cardiff and Swansea should be doing just as well as the English cities, while the devolved Labour administration could be using its powers, and pressing for more, to copy the success of the Celtic Tiger on the other side of the Irish Sea,” he said.

“Instead, it is saddling the country with a series of hare-brained, half-baked economic experiments. In reality, those are doomed to failure. It is already a lot poorer than it should be. But the emerging Welsh Soviet is about to make itself even poorer still.”

Matthew Lynn’s column is the latest in a series in the Telegraph over the last few days to strongly criticise the Welsh Government’s economic plans.

On Saturday the Telegraph‘s Chief City Commentator, Ben Marlowe, said that “Wales’s Soviet experiment with the four-day week will backfire” as there is “a danger that people will soon object to the very concept of work itself”.

‘Priorities’

Arguing for the need for a four-day working week last week, future generations commissioner Sophie Howe argued that it could eventually mean increased productivity and savings for society if it led to a healthier workforce.

A report by the commissioner and think tank Autonomy found that almost 60% said they would support the Welsh government piloting a four day week scheme and about two-thirds would ideally work a four-day week.

“It’s clear that following the pandemic, people across Wales are re-evaluating their priorities in life and looking for a healthier work-life balance,” she said.

“The escalating demands of caring for loved ones due to an ageing population and an increase in mental health issues, exacerbated by working long hours, are just some of the factors that make a shorter working week more appealing.

“The working week has not changed for more than 100 years and now seems the perfect opportunity for the Welsh Government to commit to a pioneering trial and build evidence for greater change across Wales.”

Senedd Member Jack Sargeant said that he backed a shorter working week: “We work some of the longest hours in Europe and this is clearly detrimental to workers’ lives and, the evidence suggests, to productivity as well.

“Those that oppose it make the same tired arguments that opponents of progress have always made,” he said. “The workplace and our lives are changing. Automation and AI will change it even more. A shorter week would be a great way of giving working people some of the fruits of these changes.”


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Gareth Parry
Gareth Parry
7 months ago

Matthew Lynn In a 2007 Bloomberg article, Matt Lynn predicted that Apple Inc. “…will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry.

another oxbridge right wing beligerant, A independent Wales must be really scaring the trolls of middle england

Penderyn
Penderyn
7 months ago
Reply to  Gareth Parry

Ironically Lynn is from Llyn meaning lake. Some of the nost anti Welsh people have always had Welsh links

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
7 months ago

It’s The Telegraph, therefore it can be filed under “safely ignore”.

Grayham Jones
7 months ago

This English idiot should come to wales and see for im self the wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 is a very rich country but the English government have robbed wales out of millions of pounds in the last 50 years it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 A Free Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

BigPooba
BigPooba
7 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Wales is very rich in what sense? What has been robbed?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
7 months ago
Reply to  BigPooba

Wind-up, or in denial? Read a history book!

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 months ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

He has a vast store, has big poo.

BigPooba
BigPooba
7 months ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

I have, many in fact. Hence I know the majority of comments on here are nonsnse.

Andrew
Andrew
7 months ago

The single most significant factor dragging the Cymru down is a government we have never voted for, who prefer us as a nation of waiters and waitresses, because it suits a desire for Wales to be their cheap playground on their doorstep .

Richard
Richard
7 months ago

A good topic for his thriller writer who is the usual Oxford chum of the great and the good. His Devon and Dublin background will enable him to know the Welsh scene so well I think 🤔

Paul
Paul
7 months ago

No mistaking the genuine hatred that is out there for Wales. Perhaps the projects will fail, but reality is, that what they fear the most is that they succeed.

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
7 months ago

This man is clearly a genius. Let us go then oh wise one, let’s see just how much love there is out there for the English – subtle clue, very little! Why is it that the English do not want independence? Very odd…

Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas
7 months ago

Wait has he noticed Ireland has been independent for 100 years doh 🙄

Erisian
Erisian
7 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Thomas

He has conflated Eire and the occupied North for his own purposes.
Not that he gives a ***k about either

Lyn Thomas
Lyn Thomas
7 months ago

I predict that the Welsh Tories will pick up on Soviet and will be their new word of abuse….

Mark
Mark
7 months ago

Yet another right wing inglish hack, jumping on the anti Welsh band wagon to take a dump on us. Wales must really be rattling their cages.

hdavies15
hdavies15
7 months ago

To some extent Mr Lynn is correct. Wales Gov has made mistakes, will continue to make mistakes – simply my opinion – and it’s about how priorities are determined. Having said that it has obviously taken its cue from the increasingly blundering London regime. I could go back far but let’s be succinct. Blair &Co made some awful choices and devious decisions too. However the successor regime of Cameron and chums was even worse, the pits. Yet May was able to spiral further down into the depths of mediocrity which at the time I suspected would be unrivalled. Then along… Read more »

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Fur coat in Red Square, at plus two celsius? Liz Truss, super model!

Last edited 7 months ago by I.Humphrys
Llyn
Llyn
7 months ago

The only thing that the Daily Telegraph’s daily use of ‘Soviet’ and ‘Marxist’ to describe a capitalist country (living in Wales that’s what I see) with a devolved government from the centre left indicates, is just how far to the right that newspaper (if you can still call it that) has travelled over last few years.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
7 months ago

The fear sure is showing over that side of the ditch of death. Just wait until the water, gas and electricity stops flowing.

Arwyn
7 months ago

I wonder what will be the straw that breaks the Union’s back for Welsh Labour? When will they say “Right. That’s it. This isn’t worth it anymore…”? I wonder if the right-wing anglo supremacist establishment realises that they’re alienating Welsh people? Probably not. Hopelessly ignorant and oblivious.

Dewi Williamswhat
Dewi Williamswhat
7 months ago

I have already alluded to this sudden, unusual and unhealthy interest this publication and its right wing authors are showing in Welsh affairs. The Welsh government and devolution is becoming too popular and is establishing the prospect of permanent roots. Truly disturbing!! The next step is Independence!! This is anathema!! England will be left on its own and its precious ambivalent British identity will be gone for ever. Alienated from Europe and left on its own without the majesty of its colonies and empire. No longer able to mouth their jibes of “English taxpayers having to bail other UK nations… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

This moron omits that Wales mirrors British Unionist rule. And it’s Unionism that raped Wales of its resources, the very country that powered the industrial revolution, which made trillions for the English treasury to its own detriment. And I find it hilarious how this chip shop paper journalist arrogantly states how England bails Wales out when its we who bail England out every year with billions of gallons of Welsh water piped across the border, and for bloody nothing!. If we controlled our own natural resources England would be paying us not English water companies who effectively steal our water.… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Y Cymro
Erisian
Erisian
7 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Why do you think they spent so much money hardening the pipeline from the Elan Valley in recent years? Far to vulnerable it was!

R W
R W
7 months ago

So the Telegraph would like its readers to believe that we are “dragging the UK down”. Well there’s a very simple answer to that. Let us be free and independent and then we will no longer be able to drag his precious UK down!!

Quornby
Quornby
7 months ago

Time to let Wales go and p***off then eh Matthew?

Andy Mayes
Andy Mayes
7 months ago

The answer to this is simple. If you think Cymru is dragging down the rest of the UK, then join the campaign for an independent Cymru and save the RoUK from the burden that is Cymru.

Please do. Please support freedom for both Cymru and the RoUK.

Penderyn
Penderyn
7 months ago

English Imperialism just won’t die

Its like the dark version of the Terminatot

Tags
Tags
7 months ago

two statements of fact: “one of the least successful economies in Europe” and needed “English taxpayers to bail it out”

Truth hurts.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 months ago
Reply to  Tags

Hi, poo!

Dark Mrakeford
Dark Mrakeford
7 months ago
Reply to  Tags

“English taxpayers” are the same ones being sustained by a single globalised city with dirty money running through it everyday.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
7 months ago

These people are a joke! Who’s controled investment in Wales over the majority of the last 700years and 90% since devolution – Westminster. If Wales is dragging the rest of the UK down politicians in London should just look in the mirror to find someone to blame ! Enough of this crap, let’s just get the hell out.

Stub
7 months ago

If we are such a drag on England, then they should be delighted to let us go.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
7 months ago
Reply to  Stub

As others have posted, what they really fear is the title “Kingdom of England”.

Dark Mrakeford
Dark Mrakeford
7 months ago

He’s half-wrong/half-right. Wales economy is perhaps the weakest in Western Europe, but with hundreds of years of being in the UK and with nothing but Unionist control. What do you expect?

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