Full Version: Welsh Language spendthrifts
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Article reprinted from 'Gogwatch' and what a brilliant site it is!!

I sometimes wonder what Wales would be like today if all the money that’s been spent on promoting the Welsh language over the last 30 years had gone instead into creating jobs and boosting the economy.
I’ve no idea what that figure is, and would love to hear from any one who does.

It’s a fact that since S4C was created, it’s had funding of £2.9 billion in real terms. The Welsh Language Board gets an annual grant of £13 million.

How much more has been spent on compulsory Welsh language education for five to 16 year olds or setting up the Welsh medium schools that now educate a quarter of our kids?
How much does the public sector spend on employing people to translate English emails into Welsh?
And how much have all the little things cost taxpayers and businesses – the billions of bilingual utility bills that have been printed in that time or the bilingual signs that have sprouted up everywhere?

I don’t know what it all adds up to, but I do know that today Wales is the poorest country in the UK, with the worst performing economy. We already have 123,000 people who can’t get a job, and there’s forecast to be another 52,000 joining them when the public sector cuts really kick in.

Is there a connection here?

With massive spending cuts now being forced on Wales by the Westminster coalition, the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) is slashing budgets by 10% in real terms over the next three years.
Every department will be affected – one billion pounds less will be spent on the NHS in Wales – and there’s more pain for education, environment and housing, the economy and transport, local government, rural affairs, and arts and culture.

What’s NOT being cut is WAG spending on promoting the Welsh language. A £10 million-a-year spend on Welsh language development under the heading Qualification, Curriculum and Learning Improvement is being maintained over the next three years.

WAG will also spend just under £18 million a year on “promoting wider use of the Welsh Language via the Welsh Language Board and others” over the next three years. That figure will be cut by £30,000 next year but then rise by £49,000 and £46,000 in following two years.

Few in Wales would argue against the sensible preservation and promotion of our heritage and culture, but has the country paid too great a price for the ideologically driven spending spree on pushing the Welsh language? Sad
Could not have put it better myself - some of the money could have been spent on improving the motorways and their management in Wales to avoid the typical Gwent Police debacle of today (26 July 2011) where the Coldra Roundabout, itself the result of massive Welsh expenditure for a 4 day golf event in October 2010, seized up under direct police supervision as a result of a simple lorry fire in the tunnel at Brynglas - Welsh Assembly Government (Lib/Lab pact) decided not to fund the planned south of Newport M4 relief road to protect a few frogs & newts - the nett result is chaos
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