Opinion

The Assembly’s eye-watering staffing costs proves there is a Magic Money Tree – for some

05 Aug 2017 0 minutes Read
28 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Keith Parry
Keith Parry
3 years ago

The problem is twenty years of one party rule. We desperately need a change of government in the Bay.

Daran Hill
Daran Hill
3 years ago
Reply to  Keith Parry

In what way is that the problem? This has been the collective decision making of every party in the Assembly. To blame one party is both partisan and delusional.

Capitalist and Welshnash
Capitalist and Welshnash
3 years ago
Reply to  Keith Parry

It is not just 21 years of one-party rule, this is a side-effect of 94 years of one-party dominance in Wales and the internal networks which that has built across the Valleys and Caerdydd. We do not need an opposition party in Wales, we need another major party to take power, and it makes no difference which party that is. Plaid, I dare say it, will you not work with the Tories to get Labour out? Our country needs anyone but Labour.

Evan Owen
3 years ago

Is all this proven? Where is the evidence?

Geraint Talfan Davies
Geraint Talfan Davies
3 years ago

A thoroughly constructive critique on all counts. An agenda for the recently appointed Chief Executive?

Daran Hill
Daran Hill
3 years ago

Thanks Geraint. I’m not going to single people out. This has been a collective crime against public finances, and needs a collective solution.

Trailorboy
Trailorboy
3 years ago

To be honest £10 million does seem a relatively small sum to me, to be getting all that worked up about. Im all for scrutiny regarding who does what, but don’t pennypinch, for the sake of some masochistic feel good factor. Im much more interested in how much is spent in the Welsh office and the rest of the carry over Welsh civil service and who does what and why. More scrutiny and more investigative journalism into the rule brittania civil servants who are there to simply deliver dictats from London. When making cost comparisons compare to Whitehall, but on… Read more »

Royston Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Trailorboy

Spot on! There are more important things, and much bigger amounts, to focus on.

Dafis
Dafis
3 years ago
Reply to  Royston Jones

RJ – the bigger amounts are generally authorised by the same bunch of budget administrators that have grown in size as described in the above article. Waste, copious amounts of badly directed spending is happening right across the piece as you know from your own investigations.

Dai
Dai
3 years ago

Oh please Syr Daran, please support the next phase of devolution.

Please support it as you [keep in civil – Ed] as your business expands.

I’m with Keith, out with the old guard. I’m sick to death of these disingenuous attention-seekers

People Republic of Ceredigion

The subset of civil servants I had the displeasure of interacting with (other than 1 super star) over broadband problems were a cracture of what broken in subsets of the public sector. They really could not give a ****. Beyond indifferent. A solid case for a clear out and starting again, maybe the direction was set by their minister Julie James. Hard to tell from the outside. I am sure there are great civil servants in the Welsh Government doing great work, but other than 1 chap, the 10 or so I have encountered were not fit to flip burgers.… Read more »

Colin Cheesman
3 years ago

In my experience those Welsh Government staff that I have come into contact with over the last five years are extremely busy, hard working and enthusiastic people. What is galling here is that Welsh Government funded bodies like Natural Resources Wales have seem there staffing levels fall quite drastically with a widespread loss of expertise so that their ability to be effective, to advise and to be impartial has been significantly reduced. This in turn puts our natural resources in peril which, let’s face it, are one of Wales’s main USP’s.

Gaynor
Gaynor
3 years ago

A true reflection, having worked at the assembly, i know fukk well that it is staffed by over paid and under utilised staff in many departments who are more oncerned about their teabreaks and paygrades than the process of devolution. People were promoted beyond their capacity andgiven huge wages without any clear idea of what their departments were supposed to do. Money was spent on some japanes artist who made a mural for a bus, were ther not any welsh ones good enough? Laptops and equipment were thrown at one to do so called outreach work and were not used… Read more »

Daran Hill
Daran Hill
3 years ago

Sorry gents, I’ll focus on the 10 million I choose to focus on. If you have something meaningful or researched to say on Welsh Government spending, by all means do so. I don’t buy the argument that £10m is irrelevant.

Dafis
Dafis
3 years ago
Reply to  Daran Hill

Quite correct. Rigorous scrutiny of several bundles of expenditure will without doubt identify lots of opportunities for cost reduction/elimination. Senior management went through a phase of expansion with budgets to match and most of them got carried away with the task – the spending on bureaucracy that is, but failed in many respects to embed a culture of public service and performance to match the outlay. Result – a mess.

Trailorboy
Trailorboy
3 years ago
Reply to  Daran Hill

Fine, if you want to indulge in tree spottting. Undoubtedly thefe will be savings to be had and people who shouldn’t be there, as in all walks of life. Whats the big picture here, who are the bad guys, who are the good guys and what are they doing and why. If they are simply pri. ks drinking coffee all day, prove it and probe the culture and what goes with it. The actual numbers dont interest me to be honest, I see w. nkers in the private sevtir exploting Wales all the time and getting plaudits for it. Need… Read more »

G Davies
G Davies
3 years ago

Excellent assessment. Remember we still have the political structures which were in place pre devolution. What happenned to local authority reform? We seem to be incapable of rationalisation and making hard decisions. Which other country in the World has per capita more politicians and public servants than Wales? How can the solution be further expansion.

Lisa
Lisa
3 years ago

Northern Ireland?!

Cofi Dre
Cofi Dre
3 years ago

There’s a tendency in the Welsh (or should that be ‘Welsh’?) media to focus on Assembly costs, which is why they always wheel out Rachel Banner and True Wales to s**g off the Assembly but never report on the cost of Westminster, or the cost of MPs, or the Welsh Office. These things are all part of a single, connected, cost of governing us – badly, I might add, at pretty much every level. To prise one out for scrutiny and let the others go (unless of course Nation Cymru is planning a series of pieces about the different costs… Read more »

Dafis
Dafis
3 years ago
Reply to  Cofi Dre

don’t know the man at all but he is quite right to ask the question. Of course there are several other questions to be addressed and when all are added up it may roll into ONE big question – along the lines of – “why does government cost so much ?”, or better still, – “what are the real valuable services and how do we trim out the rest ?” Bitching about one man’s “right” to pose a question sounds a bit like you could end up backing CJ ‘s right to keep on avoiding answering any questions, and we’ve… Read more »

Cofi Dre
Cofi Dre
3 years ago

I don’t think anyone is questioning his ‘right’ – they’re saying that government costs a great deal, that we’re over-governed, that we’re by and large expensively governed, and that focusing on one part of the picture to the exclusion of the other – related – parts might be worthwhile but will only ever be partial unless it’s all seen in toto. Objections to the generally self-regarding tone of the article aside, it seems to me yet another crack at an easy target, i.e. a relatively transparent, politically hamstrung democratic institution, that always gets the flak while the House of Lords,… Read more »

Dafis
Dafis
3 years ago
Reply to  Cofi Dre

the true cost of Westminster/Whitehall.Buck House etc etc is our freedom – I can’t quantify it , I don’t need to, I just know that it’s too much. That said I don’t want to see Wales secure its independence and be saddled all at once with the burden of unproductive bureaucracy and the elitism that goes with it.

Best way of solving the Bay bubble is to burst the bloody thing, I’m surprised it hasn’t burst already as there are plenty of pricks inside it !

Petroc ap Seisyllt
Petroc ap Seisyllt
3 years ago

the £44k average will include about 20% for Employers NI, and employer Pension contributions, so nearer £35k average, but I agree its a lot of staff, and if Scotland really only has the same number then its s shocker. Perhaps the Scots hide them better? Or maybe our aelodau seneddol yn dwpach ac angen lawer iawn mwy o gymorth!

Dafis
Dafis
3 years ago

Petroc ………….ond mae llawer o’r cymorth yn dwp hefyd !

Dyfrig Jones
Dyfrig Jones
3 years ago

I’m less familiar with the inner working of the Assembly than Daran (aren’t we all?), but his description of committee support sounds as if this is a bloated version of the model used in local government. Any attempts to cut back on staff will be met by the kind of outrage that politicians are very bad at withstanding – job losses rarely being vote winners. However, one carrot that might help motivate members would be a modest increase in their research staff, to partially offset the larger losses in committee (and other commission) staff? This would have the twin advantages… Read more »

L Mountjoy
L Mountjoy
3 years ago

For all your protests I wonder what your aim is? If I do you a disservice I apologise. Rachel Banner needs to consider what the assembly does for us. Bellow are some of the things i could find that devolution has given wales so far with limited powers. .free prescriptions for all · Nine new hospitals and huge investment in new hospital equipment . · New Kidney Transplant Unit, PET scanner and Women’s Unit at UHW. · New Cardiff and Vale Breast Centre. · No smoking in public places. · Biggest investment in school buildings ever. · Thousands more teachers… Read more »

Dafis
Dafis
3 years ago
Reply to  L Mountjoy

Ms Banner is NOT a friend of Wales. Her intentions are to demolish any semblance of Wales as an entity and she starts on the job by attempting to denigrate then demolish Y Cynulliad. Most of the comments on here, positive and negative, are made with the aim of improving the devolved experience, hopefully as we move towards a greater goal. Any attack on cost is therefore made with the aim of improving our performance, not to take the wheels off the wagon. Most of the critics, including myself, wish to keep the wagon, oil its wheels and other moving… Read more »

Fran
Fran
3 years ago

It’s perfectly proper to ask questions about this spending, but a few points are worth making – 1. The Assembly’s accounts are scrutinised by the Wales Audit Office and are made public every year. 2. Comparisons with the Scottish Parliament are not especially helpful, because unlike its Scottish cousin, the Assembly is a bilingual institution. Inevitably, this must mean some additional staff. 3. There does not appear to be any evidence to back up the assertion that Assembly Members are unhappy with the costsf. If they are, surely they are best placed to do something about it. They cannot expect… Read more »

Our Supporters