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‘Not right’: UK Government dips into Welsh and Scottish budgets for £1bn Ukraine military aid

29 Jun 2022 3 minute read
Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture by Chatham House (CC BY 2.0)

Wales Finance Minister has condemned as “not right” a decision by the UK Government to dip into devolved budgets to come up with £1bn in military aid to Ukraine, citing concern that it could set a precedent.

The UK’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury asked Wales and Scotland to either offer up a contribution or to take a reduction in the consequentials provided as part of the block grant from the UK Government.

It means that the Welsh Government loses out on £30m and the Scottish Government £65m.

Wales’ Finance minister Rebecca Evans said: “We are committed to supporting Ukraine and its people as the war continues. It is right the UK should continue to provide much-needed military support.

“And we will continue to provide humanitarian support to the many people from Ukraine who arrive in Wales every day seeking safety and sanctuary from the horrors of this conflict.

“What is not right is using money that should be for investment in devolved areas, like health and education, to fund a non-devolved spending area – military aid and defence.

“We have accepted this outcome because of our ongoing commitment to support Ukrainian people and to avoid future budgetary uncertainty, but funding for these areas should rightly be met by the UK Government.”

Scottish Government Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said they were happy to provide the funding on this occasion but did not want it to become a common occurrence.

“We have agreed to providing funding on this occasion given the clear need to maximise the international effort to support Ukraine,” she said.

“However, we are clear that this must not be seen as any kind of precedent which leads to devolved budgets being used to help pay for clearly reserved policy areas.”

‘Transforming’

The new funding amounts to a 77% increase on the £1.3 billion already provided, with Boris Johnson claiming British support was “transforming Ukraine’s defences” against the Russian invasion.

British officials said new air defence systems, drones and electronic warfare equipment would enable Ukraine to go beyond defence and carry out offensive operations against Russian ground forces in order to recover lost territory.

“Putin’s brutality continues to take Ukrainian lives and threaten peace and security across Europe,” Boris Johnson said.

“As Putin fails to make the gains he had anticipated and hoped for and the futility of this war becomes clear to all, his attacks against the Ukrainian people are increasingly barbaric.

“UK weapons, equipment and training are transforming Ukraine’s defences against this onslaught.

“And we will continue to stand squarely behind the Ukrainian people to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine.”


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A Day
A Day
1 month ago

Tell them to take it from our share of the HS2 budget!

The original mark
The original mark
1 month ago

Shouldn’t have agreed to this, Wales already contributes to UK military spending, sounds like blackmail to me.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

After the world bank crisis hit the Tories cut Wales block, we suffered years of austerity, only then for the Conservatives to give the Republic of Ireland a bilateral loan of £7 billion pounds off our backs stating how Ireland was a vital trade partner, and now this £1 billion to Ukraine besides billions more sent in various forms ,weaponry , medical aid, money etc…. Funny, the Tories can magic money from thin air for others but not for Wales major infrastructure builds . When will we ever wake up and realise that we’ve been taken for a fool?!

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Cymro
stephen mahoney
stephen mahoney
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

The bilateral loan to ROI was £3.2bn not £7bn, the repayments were completed in 2021 and the loan incurred 428 million euro interest, what a bit of business for UK inc!

BTW Osbourne was right, The largest holding of unsecured bonds in Irish banks were unsurprisingly held in the city. The loan to ROI insured redemption of stock held in the city of London, they should of course have been burned.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago

It was a good bit of business for London. I doubt Wales reaped much of the benefits.

Anyway, the point you fail to grasp is that the issue wasn’t with the loan, it was with the UK Government taking money from Wales’ budget in order to gift to Ireland, when we have some of the most deprived areas in the UK.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

Congratulation Welsh Labour government, you have opened up this country for yet more thievery from us. What is wrong with Labour? Why are they constantly so naive and easily duped?

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Neither naive nor duped. They are part of the “system” and are attached to the London centred approach to government. If you want things done differently here in Wales then don’t vote for the Drakeford gang or any other Unionist at elections. Simple really.

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

So the Tories in Westminster are stealing from us and you say that Welsh Labour are to blame? Skewed thinking

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago

No he’s saying that Welsh Labour are part of the system that does this

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

No he’s not. He’s saying it’s Welsh Labour’s fault.
I’m no fan of Welsh Labour, but this is ridiculous victim blaming.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago

He’s saying it’s Unionists. Doormat is Stockholm syndrome personified.

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 month ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

I can see his words as well as you can. He definitely seems to be saying it’s Welsh Labour’s fault.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago

Get a grip! Welsh Labour have a duty to fight our corner and instead seem to be mouthing some measly words of disapproval. It’s not good enough.

They support the union as an institution, there is little doubt about that. They have not come out in support of independence.

Question is, what will they do when it is a stark choice between independence and absorption into England? Because that moment will come. The UK Government does not “do” devolution.

Stop being naive and petty. There are real issues to worry about here other than disliking any criticism of Welsh Labour.

Last edited 1 month ago by SundanceKid
Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 month ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

Ooo somebody’s getting a bit emotional! Keep your feelings and petty insults in check, if you want a civil response sunshine!
There is nothing naiive and petty here. The blame in this instance lies with the Tories. I don’t think a lot of Welsh Labour AS I HAVE STATED CLEARLY. But if one is going to return fire, one shoots at the opposing shooter, not their target. Ya whiner

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago

What insults? Saying your comments are petty??

I don’t think you understand the point people are trying to make here.

There is no point criticising the Tories when it is clear that their main objective IS to destroy devolution.
It’s Welsh Labour’s job to protect it, but they won’t or can’t seem to do so effectively because ultimately, they are bound to the union.

That’s the point!

Last edited 1 month ago by SundanceKid
Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 month ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

Telling someone to “get a grip” and calling them “naiive and petty” is hardly a compliment is it? It’s an attempted slapdown written by the emotionally overwrought. I understand what point people are making here, but thank you for trying to insult my intelligence. You want to blame the plaster, not the wound. You an to blame the target not the shooter. You want to treat the symptom not the cause. And most importantly you want to appear intelligent in front of your pals on NC. Calling everyone naiive or ignorant or “missing the point” is not a sign of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 month ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

I mean you are clearly suggesting Plaid Cymru replace Welsh Labour. And I would like that too. But what will they be able to do that Welsh Labour cannot or will not? Either party in government would still be under duress from a Westminster that breaks agreements for fun. So instead of shrieking for regime change to a party which strongly resembles the one you want out, why not focus on the cause of the problem? Or is it just a facade of rebelliousness you are after? A bunch of plastic rebels in Che Guevara berets in the local endlessly… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

It is no surprise. They are removing the human rights of the people who voted them into power, they refused to feed English children in School holidays, if they treat their own like that, how do you think they are going to treat Cymru and Scotland who do not vote for them. This is not something new.

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 month ago

So now they are stealing from us openly? Come on Senedd. Defend us from this predation.

Tewdrig
Tewdrig
1 month ago

All the comments angry at this. I thought Cymru stands with the Ukraine?
Maybe not so much?

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Tewdrig

Welsh block grant is for spending in Wales.
The Welsh tax payer pays into the UK wide pot for international development, international aid and military spending.
Welsh tax payers will be paying for both pots of money, as such we are supporting Ukraine either way.
However, the correct pot of money for this support is the UK wide one, rather than the one that is for Welsh hospitals, schools, public services etc…

Next we can expect Andrew RT Davies to complain that Labour is cutting funding to something despite the fact that the Tories have taken the money.

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 month ago
Reply to  Tewdrig

Don’t be childish. If I gave £500 of YOUR money to Ukraine you’d be up in arms because it’s YOUR money.
Boris is giving away money he has no right to. We will continue to support Ukraine. We will decide how we do that with our money.
I’m surprised you can’t understand this very simple distinction.

Tewdrig
Tewdrig
1 month ago

More excuses tovarishch.

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 month ago
Reply to  Tewdrig

More? Please list my other “excuses” Kremlin sockpuppet

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago
Reply to  Tewdrig

We do but we also need money to survive! We are one of the most deprived areas of the UK.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
1 month ago

If you look into this deeper, you will find that Johnson has continually pushed to prolong the war. Ukrainian youth are being wasted for proxy, while money and weapons are sieved through black market……….woe betide the West when these weapons reach the jihadists.

Dewi
Dewi
1 month ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

THe Tories are also feathering their own nest as much of this money will be spent on arms from the uK both enriching Armament companies and their Directors thus adding to Tory MP’s renumeration and Tory Psrty funding.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Correct. Boris is a willing front man for the military industrial complex. Shame that so many people in Wales have fallen for the warmongering trash talk coming from Boris, NATO and most Western leaders. If Putin was known to be a threat as they now claim then he should have been neutralised a long time ago.

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

. do we in Wales want to help Ukraine financially or not.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Erisian

Wrong question. We already pay taxes toward UK aid and defence and this is Johnson making us pay twice while the English pay just once.

The original mark
The original mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Erisian

We’ve sent £4million in financial and humanitarian aid, and taken 1500 refugees, we could possibly do more, but it’s not a bad start, what we don’t need is johnsons fingers in our till.

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
1 month ago
Reply to  Erisian

Yes. We will spend OUR money to support Ukraine as WE judge best. We will not let some fat buffoon rob us and give away our money for his own kudos

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago
Reply to  Erisian

Yes we do, but we also need money to survive. You forget that we have some of the most deprived areas in the UK.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

Effectively this is taking money from Welsh and Scottish NHS to pay into a defence budget he pledges to increase by 2030 while about to cut forces by 10,000.

Why am I suspicious?

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

He’s sucking even more money out of the system to line the pockets of his pals in the defence industry. Ukraine has been a jumbo gift for those criminals

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I certainly agree that de Pifle is keen to support UK arms manufacturers and will, as suggested, be expecting party donations and well funded directorships. However, we should not be arguing with each other as above. The UK is a sovereign currency nation. The government does not need to extract money from citizens to pay for its planned expenditures. If it needs to spend more on for example, weapons, then it merely has to issue the money. (See The Deficit Myth’ Stephanie Kelton). There is no need to ‘raid’ funds allocated to other tasks. There is always sufficient money. The… Read more »

john harvey
john harvey
1 month ago

the quicker scotland becomes independent..the better

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