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Carwyn's Influence Tested By Balls’ Visit To Wales

01/12/2021

ONLY COMMITMENT TO FULL REPLACEMENT OF BARNETT FORMULA CAN SAVE WELSH LEADER’S BLUSHES

 

Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, has called on Labour shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, to confirm his position on the Barnett Formula when he visits Wales later tonight to speak to the Wales CBI.

 

Labour’s current policy is against any change to the formula which was first introduced by Labour in the 1970s. This means that, whatever is said by First Minister, Carwyn Jones, and others in Wales, Labour would keep the outdated and unfair Barnett formula if they re-entered government in Westminster in the future.

 

The independent Holtham Commission, set up by the One Wales coalition, exposed that Wales was losing out on between £300m and £400m every year under the system, compared to a needs-based formula.

 

Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards said:

 

“This is a serious credibility issue for Carwyn Jones and a big test of his influence over his own bosses in Westminster.

 

“Despite messages to the contrary from Labour here in Wales, official Labour party policy is to preserve the current Barnett formula as it is.

 

“The independent Holtham Commission found that Wales was seriously disadvantaged – both by the way in which the formula operates now which squeezes the amount of money coming to Wales and compared to a needs-based formula.

 

“Tonight is a great opportunity for Ed Balls to admit that he and Labour were wrong on the Barnett Formula and change their policy to support full replacement of the formula.

 

“Tinkering with the system and partial reform would only see Wales’ disadvantage locked-in.  

 

“Anything short of Ed Balls announcing that the Labour Party support the full replacement of this unfair system would expose Carwyn's ineffectiveness.

 

“If he can’t persuade his own party of the serious need to replace the Barnett Formula, then what hope does he have of persuading the Conservatives in London?”