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Wales should set up wealth fund with offshore wind farm profits – Plaid Cymru

28 May 2024 3 minute read
Liz Saville Roberts MP

Wales should set up its own national wealth fund bankrolled by taking over the profits of offshore wind farms owned by the King, Plaid Cymru has said.

Ahead of the party’s General Election campaign launch it has called for the creation of a “Welsh Sovereign Wealth Fund” which would use the takings of the Crown Estate’s portfolio in the nation to invest in communities across Wales.

Plaid’s Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts said her party’s first policy announcement of the campaign was “new territory” not explored by any other political party, and would help give the Welsh Government the tools to end a “legacy of poverty”.

The party pointed to estimates which suggest several new offshore wind farms planned in Welsh waters could generate £43 billion in rents as the basis for the fund.

Norway

It likened the proposal to Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, set up on the back of North Sea oil profits, which is worth approximately 250,000 US dollars per Norwegian citizen.

Plaid has previously called for the Welsh Government to be given devolved control over the Crown Estate in Wales, in a similar arrangement to that offered to Scotland since 2017.

Ms Saville Roberts, the MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, said its latest announcement was a “hardening” of Plaid’s previous ambitions.

“We are looking at hardening our line on the Crown Estate. We are taking it into new territory where nobody else has been to previously,” she told the PA news agency.

“We are actually talking about going beyond the fact that we know the Crown Estate in Wales, the figure everyone bandies around is £853 million as things stand, but actually taking that and starting to create a plan for that to be beneficial for Wales.”

Crown Estate

The Crown Estate is an independent company which belongs to the monarch for the duration of their reign, and the value of its land and assets in Wales are worth £853 million.

The revenue from its £16 billion property portfolio flows directly to the Treasury, but 25% of the annual profits go to pay for the Monarch’s official duties.

The estate owns the UK seabed out to 12 nautical miles and has jurisdiction over new offshore wind farms.

On the wealth fund’s benefits, Ms Saville Roberts added: “There is a legacy of poverty that we have had from the other extractive industries.

“If you look at coal, if you look at – as I have got – the slate quarries, we have got granite quarries. We have poor housing, built cheaply, in which people still have to live, and yet we are paying in North Wales some of the highest standing charges for electricity.

“As things are, we are being kept in poverty and denied the means of improving our own lot. From our policy point of view, this is just one serious way of saying ‘OK, give us the tools and we will build a better future for ourselves’.”

Plaid Cymru is set to launch its General Election campaign with an event in north Wales on Thursday.


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Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
20 days ago

This is a great idea. Cymru taking ownership of its finances and economy can transform all of our futures. We’ve been second best for too long.

hdavies15
hdavies15
20 days ago
Reply to  Cwm Rhondda

While we’re at it why is there no enthusiasm for taking existing on shore Turbine farms off the carpetbaggers that put them in any location they fancied regardless of the natural resource they dug up and spoiled for eternity ? Or is that a matter too close to home given that Plaid’s latest member of the nobility is closely linked to one of those organisations ?

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
20 days ago

The natural resources of Cymru have been stolen by a foreign entity for hundreds of years!

In addition to reclaiming our property, we are owed compensation to put right the theft!

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