Call to UK Government to release £5bn of HS2 consequential funding to Wales
During today’s Wales Office questions in Westminster, the Liberal Democrats continued to press the UK Conservative Government to release the £5 billion of consequential funding owed to Wales from HS2.
The HS2 rail line is currently classed by the UK Government as an “England and Wales project” despite not a single metre of the track being located in Wales and economic impact assessments showing that the rail line will result in a slight net loss to the Welsh economy.
As a result, the UK Government is avoiding paying out over £5 billion in consequential funding to the Welsh Government, which could be spent on rail transport in Wales itself.
Scotland by comparison has received £10 billion in consequential funding.
According to the Wales Governance Centre, from 2011-2019, Wales had already received a total of £514 million less than it should have received under a population-based share of the UK’s rail infrastructure spending.
Responding to a question by Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Green asking why Wales was not receiving its fair share of funding, Conservative Wales office Minister David TC Davies reiterated that HS2 is a UK-wide project, going against the wishes of the Welsh Conservative Party who have called for the funding to be released to spend in Wales.
Liberal Democrats Wales spokesperson Sarah Green MP said: “The conservative government continues to deny Wales its fair share of funding from HS2.
“The project is not an ‘England and Wales’ project.
“£5 billion of transport funding to spend on the rail network in Wales would be revolutionary. To put it into context, reopening the Aberystwyth-Carmarthenshire rail line would cost £620 million while electrifying the rail line between Swansea and Cardiff would cost £433 million.
“The UK Conservative Government must give Welsh taxpayers their fair share of funding, it is not acceptable that they should continue to put up with poorer transport infrastructure for no reason and the Liberal Democrats will continue to fight against this injustice.”
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