A ten point summary of the Cymru Sovereign manifesto
In a sovereign Wales we would want:
1. A prosperous Wales for all that will pioneer via a publicly owned Bank of Wales and the debt free creation of a Welsh pound currency to run alongside pound Sterling in Wales.
2. Yes to EU friendship and free trade. No to EU membership, TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) and the undemocratic, dangerous corporate take over of countries.
3. Tax free income up to £12,000. Above that, a simplified, low flat rate income tax rate for all which would include National Insurance contributions. VAT should also be reduced to 5% for all. Abolish business rates, inheritance tax, employers tax, tax on pensions and other unfair, meddling taxes.
4. Keep the Welsh NHS and education free. Scrap all higher education and university tuition fees as was the norm before 1998. Overhaul the postal service, railways, the steel industry and our plentiful Welsh energy resources and keep them in public ownership.
5. A common sense firm but fair points system for immigration in to Wales in line with our needs and capacity. Scrap the current disastrous local development housing plans and ensure that new and social housing are built to cater for local needs first and foremost.
6. A citizen income offered to all those unemployed or on low earnings which would replace most current welfare payments and encourage and help people to work rather than discourage them.
7. Yes to Welsh clean coal, tidal and hydro power and efficient solar and wind power meaning thousands of new jobs. No to dangerous and heavily subsidised nuclear power and fracking.
8. A constitution and bill of rights to protect every citizen in Wales regardless of creed, origin or race and a stop put on out of control snooping and surveillance powers.
9. A well funded, well trained Welsh Defence Force and Navy using our existing military bases and Welsh regiments – and Wales no longer dragged into illegal wars by a corrupt, morally bankrupt Westminster.
10. A big no to all GMO products and toxic herbicides such as Glyphosate and a ‘Fair trade for Wales’ plan with the setting up of a supermarket chain run and owned by Welsh producers and farmers, with set minimum pricing for their core products in existing supermarkets across Wales.
How would Wales pay for all of this?
This is a crucial question. The answer is that Wales would pay its own way by establishing its own bank and issuing its own currency relative to the GDP of Wales, so as to avoid inflation. This is the same Sovereign Money idea proposed by the group Positive Money in general. Wales can be prosperous for all and pioneer via a publicly owned Bank of Wales and the debt free creation of a Welsh pound currency to run alongside pound Sterling in Wales.
This Welsh pound, for the foreseeable future, could be de facto pegged at parity to Sterling (as Ireland did very successfully from 1928-1978 after becoming a sovereign state in 1916), and both currencies accepted interchangeably in Wales. This would be a dual/parallel currency system where both the Welsh pound and pound Sterling would be officially accepted tender in Wales but the Welsh pound would not be necessarily officially accepted in England or the rest of the UK.
As also generally proposed by Positive Money, the amount of money (Welsh pound) to be created every year in Wales would be decided by an independent, accountable and transparent Welsh Monetary Currency Commitee and given annually to whatever government would be in power in Wales and they then decided how they would like to spend it.
According to the Government Expenditure and Revenue Wales 2016 report published by the Wales Governance Centre, the estimated GDP of Wales in 2014-2015 was £61,507 billion and the amount spent on Wales by the UK Government in the same year, including the Welsh block grant, was £38.0 billion. From these figures you can see how hugely transformational printing our own Welsh pound would be for Wales. The report also shows that Wales collected £23.3 billion in taxes in 2014-2015 which would be further increased by a having a thriving Welsh economy, having more people in work and enticing international companies to be based here via lower corporation tax and reduced red tape from coming out of the EU. Considerable additional revenue would also be created for the state through loans lent to the private high street banks by the Central bank and by the minting of notes and coins – a process known as seigniorage.
Crucially and perhaps most importantly, any money given to the Welsh Government by the Bank of Wales would be non repayable. In other words, it would be debt free and no interest or loan would have to be paid back whatsoever – it would be given, not lent.
Wales has every reason, if not also a moral duty to do this, and start paying its own way in the world without having to be dependant on handouts from Westminster and the EU. The time is now.