Needs-based funding a must for Wales


Fairer funding means a needs-based formula, not just a barnett floor

Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, has repeated calls for the Welsh Government to be funded according to the needs of the Welsh people, not through Labour's discredited Barnett Formula.

Mr Edwards added that fairer funding means more than a so-called Barnett Floor which would prevent further under-funding of Wales, but would lock in the disadvantages already present in the system.

A Barnett Floor must therefore be a first step to prevent further losses, rather than the final agreement on funding.

Mr Edwards said:

“Fairer funding for Wales means ensuring that we are funded according to our needs, not the discredited Barnett Formula.

“Wales has lost out by billions over the last decade because of the way that the formula operates against us.

“That is money which should be spent on our hospitals and schools, our health and education.

“The so-called ‘Barnett Floor’, suggested by the independent Holtham Commission, should be introduced immediately to prevent the situation getting worse. We cannot afford a further delay.

“If that can be agreed in bilateral talks between the Welsh Government and the UK Government then that is excellent news.

“But that is not ‘fairer funding’ in a way which will be understood or accepted in Wales.

“If it is not followed by a change in the funding formula then a Barnett Floor will just lock in the losses that we have already suffered – at least £300m last year alone - and that is just not good enough.

"Carwyn Jones must accept that Labour's Barnett Formula is wrong and should not be continued in Wales.

“The Calman-style Commission for Wales must have the power to examine and change the Barnett Formula’s operation for Wales – perhaps following the example already put forward by the Holtham Commission – and they must conduct this work swiftly with the agreed findings enacted promptly.”

Diwedd / Ends

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Jonathan Edwards MP is responding to claims made in the Western Mail today (Thurs 11 August) that First Minister, Carwyn Jones, agrees with the Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan, that ‘the issue of fairer funding for Wales (ie ‘a funding floor’) and borrowing powers should be considered inter-governmentally between the two administrations.’

Mr Edwards argues that this is a different interpretation of ‘fairer funding’ than would be agreed by many Welsh politicians and economists.