Monday, 7 December 2015

Show me the Money.

The Wasting Mule  reports that s huge new row has erupted over the funding of the HS2 London to the north of England rail project, with Plaid Cymru claiming Wales will miss out on a share of £80bn.

 According to Plaid Treasury spokesman Jonathan Edwards, the Welsh Government has done nothing over the last three years to secure cash for Wales from the Treasury following spending on the project in England.

 Earlier this year, Plaid Treasury spokesman Jonathan Edwards wrote to the First Ministers of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland asking them to consider opposing the HS2 project if the devolved nations did not all receive financial compensation.

 In his letter of response on June 2 2015, Mr Jones said the Welsh Government had “made representations to the UK Treasury previously about High Speed Rail funding.”

 The First Minister concluded that his government would

  “continue to press Wales’ case on this issue of High Speed Rail ...aiming to ensure that all parts of the UK receive full consequentials arising from decisions about High Speed Rail.”


Which  seems to show the  Welsh  Government are working behind the scenes 

However  Mr Edwards claimed a series of Parliamentary questions and a Freedom of Information response revealed that the Welsh Government had made no formal representations to any UK Government Minister or Department over the last three years.

The Plaid MP Edwards said:

 “In the Assembly chamber, in television interviews and in newspaper articles Labour elected members and spokespeople from Wales are misleading the public over their support for our nation getting a fair share of this enormous rail investment project in England.

“It’s bad enough that Labour MPs from Wales supported the project despite being fully aware that it will suck hundreds of millions of pounds out of the Welsh economy each and every year.

“Now, however, the First Minister and his party have been exposed as having done nothing to back up their rhetoric.

“Indeed, I would say that the First Minister, including in his letter to me, has tried to pull the wool over our eyes.

“With every week that passes more and more people recognise that there will be a huge injustice unless Wales gets fairness from HS2.

“The reality is that the Labour Party supports HS2 and the Welsh branch office will always put the interests of the Labour party before the interests of Wales.”

But the real scandal is we are not getting extra money because e if the weakness of devolution 

as the Mule puts it 

According to the UK Government’s statement of funding policy, Scotland and Northern Ireland will receive 100% ‘Barnett consequentials’ as a result of the cash being spent on HS2, while Wales will receive 0%.

Under the Barnett Formula, which determines how much Treasury money is allocated to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the three smaller nations are meant to get compensated for cash spent on England-only projects.

However, since spending on rail projects is not devolved to Wales, the Welsh Government is not entitled to ‘Barnett consequential’ funding in the same way as Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It means that the term of England and Wale  applies  in which what is good for England is always perceived to be good for Wales even if we can't see it.

It is similar to the England and Wales cricket board which suggest a form of equality but when have you  ever heard a Test Team  referred to England and Wales even when they ate loosing?

So is Wales loosing out as Jonathan Edwards and Plaid Claim?

I don't know if the Labour spokesman that the  Mail always find to repudiate Plaid claims is the same person every time but i sometime wonder if he siting in an office in the Mules HQ.

anyway this spokesman for Carwyn Jones was given the last word as usual concluding  the article

Plaid Cymru have fallen asleep on this issue – they are way behind the curve.

“Their propensity for getting things wrong on funding just shows they can’t be trusted with the Welsh economy.

“These particular claims are, again, nonsense.

“Welsh Ministers have made representations to the UK Government to ensure Wales gets its fair share of additional funding as a result of HS2.

“As a result, Wales will receive a Barnett consequential of more than £755m over the next five years because of increased UK Department for Transport budgets, a consequence of the investment being made in HS2.

“However, we have long been of the view that the Barnett Formula itself does Wales no favours and have repeatedly called for fair funding.

“We welcome the UK Government’s commitment to a ‘funding floor’ to deliver fair funding for Wales as part of the Spending Review, and await the details.”
 Which appears clear cut but if this was really the case didn't you thing Tory MPs and AMs would be crowing over this claiming that they had secured extra funding for this?

 Maybe Labour are right but its very odd that there hasn't been a bigger thing of this so forgive me if I appear cynical .

But Labour in Wales were silent over the under funding of Wales during the Blair/Brown years and do not seem to be over enthusiastic  over calling for this under funding under the Tories.

We can only wonder why?



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