People of Wales ‘caught in a Twitter slanging matches between governments’ say Plaid Cymru
The people of Wales are being caught up in “Twitter slanging matches between governments” because of a lack of transparency in how the Welsh Government is funded by Westminster, a Plaid Cymru Senedd Member has said.
Yesterday First Minister Mark Drakeford took to Twitter to say that Wales would not be receiving £175m from an English council tax rebate plan announced by the Treasury the week before in order to help households make ends meet at energy prices rose.
“Just as we’re finalising our plans to tackle the cost of living crisis, we’ve learned there’s no extra money for Wales,” he said. “We will continue to work to support those who need it the most.”
However, the claim was immediately refuted by Simon Clark MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who tweeted in response that “The Welsh Government will receive £180m of Barnett consequentials as a result of the Council Tax rebate announced by the Chancellor.”
Mark Drakeford’s tweet seemed to be referring to the fact that Wales would be receiving less in health spending than anticipated, and therefore even with the extra £180m would receive no more money from the Treasury.
Last week @HMTreasury said Wales would receive £175m from its English council tax rebate plan.
Just as we’re finalising our plans to tackle the #CostofLivingCrisis, we’ve learned there’s no extra money for Wales.
We will continue to work to support those who need it the most.
— Mark Drakeford (@PrifWeinidog) February 9, 2022
Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for finance, Llŷr Gruffydd MS, said that the “murky waters of the funding arrangement between Westminster and the Welsh Government have been stirred up once again”.
“There seems to be constant confusion around consequential funding to Wales, which tells us everything we need to know about the current devolution settlement,” he said.
“Despite numerous requests for greater transparency around this process, it seems that the Westminster government is content for Wales to have to play a constant guessing game when it comes to funding.
“When it comes to dealing with the cost of living crisis, the people of Wales deserve better than being caught in the middle of a twitter slanging match between the two governments.”
Welsh Conservative Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies however said that Mark Drakeford had “deliberately” created “noise and confusion relating to funding for Wales”.
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I’m waiting with bated breath for RT Davies to explain in a simple language so that we can all understand, exactly how Westminster works out the funding for Wales. It can’t be that complicated if he can understand it, right?
It’s time the funding system was made clearer for all of us and was stopped being used as a political football. I do suspect though, that Wales will not get any of the £175m, as Drakeford wrote. Remember we were never going to be short changed after we left the EU, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this rebate does not happen too. It’s unlikely we’ll get transparency regarding UK governmental funding as it doesn’t want to give us the money in the first place. It’s neglected us in the past and it’s why Wales is poor. As… Read more »
Typical Tory dirty trick – withhold the funding and then blame the Welsh government for not supporting the poorest.