The efficiency of devolution

Listening to those who still oppose devolution complaining during this weeks decennial celebrations, it has been interesting to note that most of them have based their complaints, not on standards, but on how much per head is spent on Welsh school children, Welsh patients etc.

Because of my health problems I am a heavy user of the NHS in Wales. My experience is that the NHS in Wales is much, much better now than it was ten years ago. English friends who live with hearing loss and epilepsy tell me that my service use experiences are much better than theirs.

As a parent of two children in secondary education I couldn't wish for a better education experience than that offered to my sprogs. English friends are amazed at the range of subjects, extra curricular activities and educational opportunities that my kids have in comparison to what their kids are offered. They can't believe that my children are not just given the range of experiences but that they can access them through a choice of languages!

The funny thing is that those who complain about the Assembly's per capita spending are also the rent-a-gobs who the press can always depend upon to give a quote about efficiency and the need for cutting public expenditure.

Which raises the question: Is the fact that less per head is spent on Welsh Education and Health than is spent on English Education and Health a sign that these services are worse in Wales or a sign that they are more efficient in Wales?

Its only anecdotal evidence, but my experience is that Wales is more efficient, providing more for less.

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