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‘Why are Ministers in England in control of handing funds to Wales?’, asks Labour MP

30 Mar 2021 2 minutes Read
Beth Winter and David TC Davies. Pictures by David Woolfall and Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

A Labour MP has asked why Ministers in England are in control of handing funds to Wales.

Beth Winter, the MP for Cynon Valley, said that the UK Government had no “record of working with communities in Wales or understanding their priorities” in a debate about the so-called ‘levelling up fund’ in the House of Commons.

The UK Government has used the Internal Market Act to take control over Welsh funds away from the Senedd, and the Labour MP suggested that it had a “fixation with undermining democratic devolution”.

In his response David TC Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Wales Office said the question was “disappointing”.

Beth Winter said: “Given that the Welsh Government have worked with Welsh local authorities and other stakeholders to produce a framework for regional investment, can the Minister tell the House why Ministers at England’s Housing Department, with no history of delivering within Wales and no record of working with communities in Wales or understanding their priorities, are the right people to be administering this so-called levelling-up fund in Wales?

“Is this the result of this Government’s fixation with undermining democratic devolution?”

David TC Davies replied: “That was a rather disappointing question from the hon. Lady. The Chancellor has made £800 million available for the devolved Administrations across the United Kingdom and wants the UK Government to be able to work directly with local authorities and to hear about what their priorities are.

“I think it is absolutely fantastic that the Chancellor, as well as being able to deliver that £800 million, has found £740 million for the Welsh Government and has continued the support for businesses and individuals in Wales affected by the covid crisis.

“Perhaps I can pass the hon. Lady’s congratulations on to the Government for a fantastic Budget for Wales.”

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