Former Welsh Conservative leader says it is ‘important that Wales doesn’t lose out’ from end of EU funds
A former leader of the Welsh Conservatives has said that it is important that Wales doesn’t lose out as a result of the end of EU funding.
Wales would have received £375 million in funding in this calendar year from European structural funds, but will now receive £47 million from the UK Government.
Speaking in the Senedd, Paul Davies said that “I totally agree with you that it is important that Wales does not lose out as a result of the switch from European structural funds to the shared prosperity fund”.
Economy Minister Vaughan Gething congratulated Paul Davies on his statement.
“I should congratulate the Member,” he said. “That is the first time that a Conservative Member in this place has said that it should not be acceptable that Wales loses money from the change from European structural funds. That’s a very welcome statement.”
Paul Davies had added that the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee, of which he is chair, would “be taking a keen interest in this specific area in due course”.
He was responding to an original statement by Vaughan Gething in which he said that Wales was due to lose £1bn as a result of the changes.
“And I don’t see how any reasonable person could defend that, regardless of their politics,” Vaughan Gething said. “I don’t think anyone came into this place to try to justify £1 billion being shed from Wales.
“And, of course, we’re also seeing regions of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland being treated in the same way, because the UK Government has deliberately chosen to underfund those former EU programmes despite clear pledges and promises that no-one would lose a single penny.”
Plaid Cymru member Delyth Jewell said that the switch from EU funding to the shared prosperity fund also meant that the Welsh Government was bypassed when deciding how the money was spent.
“The strategic oversight of the Welsh European Funding Office has been replaced by a pork-barrel process, with Westminster selecting specific schemes based on some opaque criteria,” she said.
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