Plaid Cymru claim independent Wales could be 39% richer

According to new research from Harvard University, an independent Wales would be a richer Wales

Plaid Cymru have today argued that the potential economic benefits of independence could make Wales up to 39% richer than it is today.

Launching new research entitled “The Flotilla Effect – Europe’s small economies through the eye of the storm”, commissioned by Plaid’s President, Jill Evans MEP and carried out by the Harvard researchers Adam Price (former Plaid MP) and Ben Levinger the party have  argued:

“Had Wales become an independent small nation within the EU in 1990, and performed on a par with other small nations, people in Wales could today be an average of 39% richer.

“Small is richer: being small doesn’t hamper a country’s prosperity – in fact some of Europe’s smallest countries are among its most prosperous, by various measures;

There is a ‘small country bonus’ amongst the EU’s member states, with smaller countries growing at a more rapid pace;

“In Western Europe, 50% of the differences in growth between the nations over the last 30 years can be explained by the differences in country size;

“Smaller countries are frequently the fastest to recover from recession;

“Four key factors make small nations economically successful – openness to trade, social cohesion, adaptability, ‘the macro-politics of micro scale’ – big government in a small country.”

For the research team, Adam Price sought to argue that the report’s findings dispelled what he felt to be a myth that smaller countries were unable to cope. Commenting on the findings he argued:

“We’ve looked in detail at what has been achieved by small independent EU nations, and what an independent Wales could achieve and the results are far-reaching.

People in Wales could be around 39% richer, and the Welsh economy could have grown by 2.5% a year had Wales achieved independence around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall and followed a similar pattern to other similar small nations. In contrast, regions or countries which have rejected independence have performed poorly.

“Opponents of independence and further devolution have often misused the current economic problems to suggest that small countries would struggle for survival in tough economic times. Many conclusions of this report blow these assumptions out of the water.

“Far from hampering a country’s prosperity, being small can actually lead to greater economic success and greater prosperity. When it comes to charting the best economic course, small countries are the most adept and that is reflected in their wealth and well-being.”

With outgoing Plaid Cymru leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones  calling for a proper contest to find his replacement, the report published today is likely to fuel the debate within the party over to what extent it pushes its independence agenda.

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10 Responses to “Plaid Cymru claim independent Wales could be 39% richer”

  1. Rhys Davies

    Plaid Cymru claim independent Wales could be 39% richer; : writes @edjacobs1985 #wales #cymru

  2. AltGovUK

    RT @leftfootfwd: Plaid Cymru claim independent Wales could be 39% richer; : writes @edjacobs1985 #wales #cymru

  3. Alex Smith

    Plaid Cymru claim independent Wales could be 39% richer; : writes @edjacobs1985 #wales #cymru

  4. TP recommends...

    Plaid Cymru claim that an independent Wales would be 39% richer, report @leftfootfwd

  5. Selohesra

    Dream on – without hoovering up oudles of English tax revenue Wales would be in a pretty sorry state. At least the Scots have an argument (not sure how convincing really though) to suggest they might survive through independence but what on earth would keep Wales going? – museum trips round disused mines and CDs of male voice choirs? – that won’t leave much for benefits.

  6. Robert

    I think Wales should try it go it alone, sadly I cannot see it working for the simple reason we are in a massive down turn, which may well take a generation to get out of.

    Plaid problem it’s like Labour now it has to find that niche which will make voters return, sadly independance is well down the ladder of what we want right now. Plaid was damaged by becoming Labour stooges, and sadly it would have jumped again at rejoining Labour, bit like the Liberals in London once your out of power you will need to spend a long time rebuilding sixty or so years by the look of it.

    Plaid will not have that long just maybe thirty years.

  7. Ashley

    This research kind of confirms what many have suspected for some time.
    As for the Welsh living on English taxpayers charity, this is complete nonsense. For one thing if the Welsh had independence, then surely they wouldn’t have followed Bush and Blair into Iraq, wouldn’t have had an excessive banking sector which needed bailing out, left Libya alone and had the common sense to not climb into bed with the Murdocks.
    All things said and done, their better form of democracy (which may change to STV in a few years time) and dominant manufacturing sector (steel, car-parts and electronics), may have served them better, than the corrupt Westminster way of doing things.

  8. Steffan John

    The report is very poor as it completely ignores the implict subsidy Wales has received from the rest of the UK for the past generation in terms of taxes raised and government money spent.

    It also seems to base its figures comparing Luxemburg to Saarland, despite accepting earlier in the very same report, that Luxemburg is an outlier. The 40% depends on Wales being having numerous home-grown multinational corporations, and very effective governance since 1990 – as a direct result of independence. All in all, it’s pretty poor.

  9. MorganGD

    @Selohesra – Does the English economy rest solely on roast beef and Shakespeare?

  10. Win or lose, Scottish independence referendum heralds a revolution in UK politics | Left Foot Forward

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