Have we forgotten the Welsh?
Given all their noisy agitation over Brexit, it’s not surprising the Scottish nationalists and those worried about the border in Northern Ireland get most of the media’s attention. But what about the Welsh, who did vote for change? Given it was their national day yesterday, I thought it was worth drawing attention to some of the issues facing the part of the nation which did, in fact, vote for change.
- Average gross weekly pay for full-time work in Wales is only £498.4 compared with £547.3 in Scotland, and £692.5 in London.
- Economic inactivity in Wales is 23.4%, compared with only 17.5% in the South East. In men the gap is even larger with 20.2% for Wales and only 12.9% for the South East.
- Long-term sickness makes up 27% of this economic inactivity in Wales compared to only 17.3% in the South East.
- 9.6% of people in Wales have no qualifications compared with only 5.5% in the South East and 5.1% in the South West.
- Job density in Wales is only 0.76 meaning it is harder to find a job than in other areas. In the South East it is 0.88 and in London 0.99.
And yet, despite the desperate state of their economy, Wales gets neither attention nor a fair share of the funding. As it falls further behind the rest of the nation, and with the possibility of Brexit ahead, perhaps it’s time we took a harder look at the travails of a country that isn’t even included on the Union Jack (though if we could ignore their six nations performance that would be ideal).