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Plaid Cymru Westminster leader slams staggering asset worth of Crown Estate in Wales

01 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Left: Liz Saville Roberts MP (CC BY 3.0) Right: King Charles III – Image: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Emily Price

Plaid Cymru Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts has slammed the details of a Freedom of Information request which revealed the staggering £853m worth of the Crown Estate in Wales.

Ms Saville Roberts branded the new figures reported by Nation Cymru on Thursday a “stark reminder of the inequity at the heart of the United Kingdom”.

The Crown Estate is an independent company which belongs to the monarch for the duration of their reign, though the revenue from its £16bn property portfolio flows directly to the Treasury.

Nation Cymru was able to obtain a copy of an FOI which revealed a breakdown of the value of the property and asset groups that made up the estate in Wales for the 2022 – 2023 financial year.

Arfon Jones from Cymru Republic had initiated the FOI request following the recent news that the system used for allocating the profits from the Crown Estate to the Monarchy had changed.

The Sovereign Grant, which is taken from public spending to cover the expenses of the royal household, is determined as a proportion of Crown Estate profits.

In July this year, following record breaking profits raked in by offshore leasing of wind farms it was announced by the Treasury that The Sovereign Grant will now be set at 12% of the Crown Estate’s net profits next year, down from 25% on previous years.

The details of the FOI which were as follows:

  • Offshore Wind and Marine Energy £793,146,428
  • Coastal £21,208,350
  • Minerals £21,841,276
  • Cables and Interconnectors £14,400,000
  • Rural agriculture and others £2,434,400

The group values amounted to a combined worth of £853,030,454.

In addition, the FOI response also provided a full 50 page list of all the assets broken down by location as well as property groups such as tidal farms, riverbeds and industrial units.

Revenue

The Crown Estate owns the UK seabed out to 12 nautical miles and calls have been made previously by the Plaid Cymru Westminster leader to form an arrangement similar to Scotland which would give Wales a direct say in how the profits from new floating wind farms planned off the Welsh coast would be spent.

The estate’s Scottish assets were devolved to Scotland in 2017, and its revenue now goes to the Scottish Government.

Ms Roberts said: “The burgeoning wealth of the Crown Estate’s Welsh assets amid increasing poverty serves as a stark reminder of the inequity at the heart of the United Kingdom.

“Profits derived from these assets, valued at a massive £853 million, could fuel a Welsh green industrial revolution. Instead, gains are redirected to the UK Treasury, with a portion handed directly to the Royal Family.

“This is first and foremost an environmental issue. The devolution of powers over the management of the Crown Estate would bolster our efforts in Wales to reach net-zero through the integration of energy policy with our Net Zero Wales plan. Reinvesting profits in Wales could create thousands of well-paid green jobs, helping to address the persistent problems of low pay and job insecurity.

“It is also a matter of fairness. Westminster recognises that the Scottish Crown Estate should be managed by the Scottish Government and devolved those powers back in 2017. If it’s good enough for Scotland, why not Wales?

“Plaid Cymru has long argued that it is the people of Wales who should be able to determine how best to benefit from the economic opportunity of renewable energy, not Westminster. These new figures strengthen our argument further.”


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A.Redman
A.Redman
7 months ago

It’s also the people if Wales as a whole that should be asked if they want to follow the Plaid Path?

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
7 months ago
Reply to  A.Redman

They are, at every election you get the chance to vote for Plaid, or not, as the case may be.

Malcolm Jones
Malcolm Jones
7 months ago

I cannot understand why the Welsh labour party MPs stand by and let Wales be raped of our assets and just sit on their hands God help Wales because the Welsh labour MPs wont

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
7 months ago

The only way we are going to take control of our coastline is through independence – there is no other way. Wales will continue to be ignored and dismissed no matter how much it complains, there is no respect there.

Rheinallt morgan
Rheinallt morgan
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Before Independence we need to build hospitals so we will not be forced to sponge on our neighbours and ensure that the Welsh education system is first class. We also need a functioning airport and greater inward investment. As it stands we are nowhere near ready for Independence. Sweet words butter no parsnips.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago

Agreed Rheinallt but we are not going to get any of this when Westminster is undermining devolution and holding us back.

Rheinallt morgan
Rheinallt morgan
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

We will never move forward until we confront in an honest way what has happened since devolution. We cannot blame Westminster for the poor state of Welsh education, Rhoose airport, or the abject failings of sections of our Health system. or even the dwindling number of Welsh speakers We are too fond of blaming it on Westminster because it is easier. If border hospitals in England said p**s off use your own hospitals. What would we say? Ok we will not supply you with water, but we have been saying that since Gwynfor’s days. We also need to encourage tourists… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
7 months ago

If you want to play the percentages game, yes Welsh Labour hasn’t always been the best (I’m not a labour voter by the way) and some of the blame must lie with them. However, the biggest reason why we are as poor as we are, and by far the biggest percentage of the blame, has to lie with Westminster. We’ve had decades if not centuries of neglect, neglect that a couple of decades in power by Welsh Labour would never be able to rectify even if the party was 100% efficient. That neglect continues and it seems will only get… Read more »

Rheinallt morgan
Rheinallt morgan
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Ok as I understand your point there is actually no point in devolution because it will never change anything because everything is Westminster’s fault. Welsh Labour would have to be 100% efficient to bring benefits to Wales and it is not 100% efficient.
This is a serious question. Has devolution therefore brought any benefit to Wales? Forget the 20MPH limit.

Welshdragon1954
Welshdragon1954
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Having worked for a plaid control council in the 70’s. They sold assets, they charged the council for putting fax and phones in their homes which we were already paying their private telephone rental and calls. They waste money on things not needed. Don’t forget plaid are in cahoots with Labour. Neither party fit for purpose

Frank
Frank
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Even if we achieve independence you can guarantee that England will have sneaked in dubious clauses in the agreement whereas we don’t have rights to anything.

Rheinallt morgan
Rheinallt morgan
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank

You mean like using Border hospitals as we do now because we have none of our own or using English airports because Rhoose is a white elephant. At the minute Welsh political thought involves blaming someone else and demonising tourists because positive ideas are few and far between

Dr Andrew Potts
Dr Andrew Potts
7 months ago

I’ve written an article setting out how much the monarchy and HM Treasury have benefitted from this arrangement. It should never have happened as the monarchy is meant to be a ‘trustee of the commons’ meaning they look after it for all our benefit. I’m a royalist but this stinks. The Crown Estate needs to be devolved.

Glwyo
Glwyo
7 months ago

A link to the article would be a nice addition to your post.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

From the top down, a country run by ex-slavers and their hired gangsters @Slash, Burn, Plunder and Pillage (UK) unLtd…

Frank
Frank
7 months ago

It’s 2023 and this medieval bunch are still looting and thieving.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

Any word of reassurance from smiling Jeremy Miles or the Baroness of Health about the state of our schools and hospitals?

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
7 months ago

Abolish the monarchy, nothing but parasitic scum

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