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UK Minister defends distribution of EU replacement funds that bypass Welsh Government

27 Jun 2021 3 minutes Read
Stephen Barclay MP. Photo by the Cabinet Office, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The chief secretary to the UK treasury has defended side-lining the Welsh Government over the allocation of funds to replace EU support after Brexit and says the replacement funding is “better tailored” to Welsh people’s needs.

The UK Government’s decision to bypass the Welsh Government and directly allocate funding via UK-wide funds was described as a “deliberate assault on Welsh devolution,” by Economy Minister Vaughan Gething in a Senedd debate last week and he accused UK Ministers of breaking repeated EU referendum promises that Wales “will not be a penny worse off” outside the EU.

Stephen Barclay told BBC Wales: “There’s much closer working now between the UK government and local authorities across Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, much more so than in the past.”

‘Control’

“We have much more control over the schemes that we design so they are better tailored to the needs of the Welsh people – that is the opportunity that Brexit unlocks but the support will be there, and we made that commitment.

“One of the issues raised with me by a number of the Welsh MPs is how often, for example, in north Wales it’s important that schemes look across the border because, obviously, there’s a big interaction between north Wales and schemes the other side of the border and that’s one of the opportunities we have.

“It’s about designing schemes in the way that work best for the areas we’re supporting, taking a more bespoke approach, that’s why we’re piloting through the UK SPF (shared prosperity fund) a number of different options.

“That’s why we’re working closely with the business community, including the Welsh secretary meeting with the CBI [Confederation of British Industry] so we get these schemes right and level up across the United Kingdom.”

If the UK had remained in the EU, the government estimates Wales would have had new EU Structural funding worth at least £375m each year for seven years from January 2021; this would be on top of funding from the current EU programmes.

The pilot to the Shared Prosperity Fund, called the Community Renewal Fund, is worth £220m across the UK in this financial year, representing a huge cut.

Under the UK-wide £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, a total of £800m has been set aside for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland over four years, with Wales likely to receive £10m a year, less than £450,000 per local authority.

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Christopher Williams
Christopher Williams
2 months ago

Dydw I ddim yn gweld bwrpas golchi nwyddau brwnt yn golwg llygaid pawb. Mae gogledd Cymru yn cyfartal a’r de I gwir Gymro neu Gymraes.

Quornby
Quornby
2 months ago

The London government has never, ever, done one single thing that is “better tailored” for the people of Wales. This individual is just one more apologist for the abysmal treatment of our country over centuries and generations. The only way to stop this is by gaining our independence. Our First Minister has tried to balance unionism and progress, bending over backwards to accommodate London. It hasn’t worked, as witnessed by this latest kick in the teeth. Thank the Lord for our young people, and Yes Cymru who are not as naive as we have been in our generation. Be strong… Read more »

Chris
Chris
2 months ago

Revolting gang of chancers ignoring the democratic wishes of the Welsh people.
trying to undermine our vote to have a devolved government, then undermining the rights of the government we democratically elected.
we need rid of this criminal gang that is trying to steal our hard won rights.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
2 months ago

He could do us all a favour by being honest and truthful for once.

Chris
Chris
2 months ago
Reply to  Ieuan Evans

He’s not capable. Lying is the biggest part of him

Mark
Mark
2 months ago

4 words for Stephen Barclay mp for North East Cambridgeshire to have a think about, Empire, Horse, Dead, Flogging, The sooner these little inglanders are got rid of, the better (& you can take that comment how you like)

defaid
defaid
2 months ago

Have I got this wrong?

A total fund of 4.8 billion over 4 years is 1200 million per year, out of which Wales will receive 10 million.

10 in 1200 is less than 1%

Surely that’s not right, for 4.8% of the population?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 months ago
Reply to  defaid

Your maths is fin e, they are simply thieves.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
2 months ago

Another Tory with nice teeth, why do they all have nice teeth, tombstones?

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