Majority of UK Government’s ‘levelling up’ funds for Wales going to Conservative constituencies
The majority of ‘levelling up’ funds for Wales are going to Conservative constituencies, it has been announced today.
The Conservatives won 14 of 40 seats in Wales at the 2019 General Election but Tory seats will receive over 60% – £73.2m – of the levelling up cash.
Only 16.7% of the money – £20.2m – will go to Labour constituencies, despite them winning 22 of Wales 40 seats. Even Plaid Cymru constituencies will get more, with £27.5m doled out there.
Today, Rishi Sunak has said £121m of funding will go to 10 specific schemes in Wales as part of that fund. The schemes are:
- Carmarthenshire’s Tywi Valley Path gets £16.7m
- Carmarthen and Pembroke Hwb gets £19.9m
- Ceredigion council’s bid for Aberystwyth will get £10.8m
- Muni Arts Centre in RCT receives £5.3m
- Porth Transport Hub in RCT gets £3.5m
- Heart of Pembrokeshire Rediscovering receives £17.7m
- The A4119 Coed-ely dualling schemes in Pontypridd receives £11.4m
- The plan to redevelop Theatyr Brycheiniog in Brecon gets £6.9m
- The bid to “revitalise the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site” receives £13.3m
- Montgomery Canal Restoration receives £15.4m
Six of the schemes are in Conservative constituencies, three in Labour seats and two in Plaid Cymru seats.
Of the £4.8bn in the levelling up pot, £800m has been shared between Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Welsh Conservatives said that “despite the unprecedented challenges caused by the pandemic, this Conservative UK Government is getting on with the job and delivering on the priorities of people in Wales”.
“Labour’s playbook of excuses has run out and it’s time they used the tools at their disposal to get on with the job and kickstart the Welsh economy, tackle the NHS crisis, and deliver a better future for our children, rather than their constant obsession with powers and the constitution,” Shadow Finance Minister, Peter Fox MS, said.
Wales’ economy minister Vaughan Gething had previously described the plan to decision to bypass the Welsh Government and directly allocate funding via UK-wide funds as a “deliberate assault on Welsh devolution”.
Speaking in the Senedd in June, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “These UK proposals represent a new era of aggressive centralisation. One that deliver a very clear, message to Wales: ‘you’ll get what you’re given.’
“It’s an approach that provokes division based on an economic rationale that is difficult to identify, let alone endorse.
“Worse still, this top down, throwback to pre devolution economic policy is a deliberate assault on Welsh devolution. As things stand, Wales is set to have less say, over less money.”
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