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Labour failed to tackle ‘crippling’ funding problems

19/03/2022

 

Plaid Cymru have again hit out at labour in Wales for their refusal to tackle the issue of fair funding.  A recent freedom of information request by Plaid Cymru showed that at no point during the first 8 years of devolution (1999-2007) did a single email, letter or minutes of meetings record Labour in the Assembly even discuss review or reform of the discredited system with the UK Treasury.

It wasn’t until Plaid Cymru entered government was an independent commission established to conclusively prove what plaid Cymru had long argued, that Wales has been severely underfunded.

In 2000 the then Labour leader, Rhodri Morgan, admitted that convergence caused by the Barnett formula was ‘crippling’ Wales, yet his party in government did nothing to make that case to Westminster.

More recently Peter Hain, defending the fact reform to the Barnett formula was not even discussed at post Westminster election negotiations, claimed the Barnett formula had ‘served Wales well.’

Plaid Cymru’s Deputy Leader, Helen Mary Jones AM said:

 

"It is amazing that leading Labour party figures in Wales are still unable to accept that they let the people of Wales down.  By their own admission Labour recognised there was a problem with the way Wales was funded.  To have described the situation as ‘crippling’ only to do nothing to address it is unforgivable.

 

"Labour’s failure has cost the Welsh economy, Welsh jobs, Welsh education and the Welsh NHS hundreds of millions of pounds in much needed funding.  That is not something you can simply shrug off."

Jonathan Edwards MP

, Plaid Cymru’s Treasury spokesperson, said:

"Labour’s position is completely at odd with the facts.  The Holtham Commission outlines in its report how the Welsh block grant has been in progressive decline since 1999.  For Labour to continue to try and defend their inaction in tackling this betrayal shows staggering contempt for the Welsh public.

"Personally I would think it would be far better for Labour in Wales to hold its hands up, admit that they failed Wales for a decade on fair funding and to try and convince their leaders in Westminster, who are still supporters of stopping Wales getting the £300m it deserves, to back the changes Plaid Cymru and the Independent Holtham Commission have called for."