‘Funding allocated to Wales should be spent by government of Wales’: Plaid slams UK Shared Prosperity Fund
Plaid Cymru has slammed the UK Government’s shared Prosperity fund after ministers announced details of the programme which is meant to replace EU support following Brexit
Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts MP said the new funding failed to match original EU funding and would leave Wales £1bn worse off and that the Tories had broken their 2019 election promise that the new programme would be “fairer” and “better tailored to Wales’ economy”.
Under the EU aid system, the Welsh government administered the cash in agreement with the European Commission.
Under the new scheme, local authorities will be encouraged to work together on regional committees to decide how the money will be used – with the Welsh Government effectively bypassed on spending decisions.
The Plaid Cymru MP said that funding allocated to Wales should be spent by the government of Wales – not by Westminster and “out-of-touch Tory Ministers”.
“Just like decisions about Wales should be made in Wales, funding allocated to Wales should be spent by the government of Wales – not by Westminster and its out-of-touch Tory Minister, Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader Liz Saville Roberts MP said.
“The Tories promised in 2019 to replace EU cash with a programme that was ‘fairer’ and better tailored to Wales’ economy. They have broken that promise.
“Already below what was promised and failing to even match EU funding, this so-called Shared Prosperity Fund will leave Wales and our communities £1bn worse off.
“The Westminster Government has also resisted increasing regional support in line with the unprecedented inflation they are overseeing – which is exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis and squeezing household budgets, as well as those of our local authorities and the Welsh Government.
“And where EU funding to Wales was allocated to communities by our government according to need, this post-EU regional funding regime depends on the ‘input’ of and advocacy by MPs at a time when the Westminster Government is cutting the number of Welsh MPs by a fifth.
“By dividing Wales into 22 separate economic regions, reducing the number of MPs, and cutting corners with funding, Westminster is setting the scheme up to fail.”
Unveiling the new fund earlier today, Secretary of State for Levelling Up Rt Hon Michael Gove claimed ”We have taken back control of our money from the EU and we are empowering those who know their communities in Wales best to deliver on their priorities”.
“The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will help to unleash the creativity and talent of communities that have for too long been overlooked and undervalued.
“By allocating more than half a billion pounds for communities up and down Wales, we will help to spread opportunity, increase prosperity and level up every corner of the UK.”
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