Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Strings attached?

The strange political ceasefire over the financial crisis and the Government's rescue package announced today appears to be operating in parts of the Welsh Assembly too.

Here's the view of the Plaid Cymru leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones: "I do support the package. I understand the concerns of taxpayers...when there's so much public money being set aside for the banks. But I do think it's necessary because the economic situation is unsustainable, with share prices plummeting.

"And it's not only a problem for us here in's a problem that's affecting people all over the world. And it came to the point, where the Government in Westminster had to react in this way and I do hope this will help the situation on the stock markets, and will encourage banks to lend to each other."

Plaid's Treasury spokesman, Adam Price, has a slightly different take on things, suggesting political hostilities have yet to be suspended throughout Westminster. (Some people may find it refreshing that some MPs are still asking awkward questions):

"By calling for the restructuring of the entire banking sector the Government is tacitly admitting a systemic failure at the heart of banking caused partly by poor regulation, partly by the recklessness of the bankers themselves. But how do you restructure when the Government says it doesn't want to run the banks, won't put anyone on the Board, will leave the management intact and won't even place a real cap on executive pay?"

"The taxpayer is now the biggest sleeping partner in economic history. The Government says there are strings attached to this bailout but in reality they are so weak and so few that the Government's credibility, and that of the entire financial system, are hanging by a thread."

UPDATE: Plaid have been in touch to say that IWJ agrees with Adam Price's analysis. "No split". Perhaps he ran out of time during his Radio Cymru interview this morning to offer similar criticisms on air.

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