Local MP and Plaid Cymru's Treasury Spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards, says the Welsh Labour Government’s complete failure to fight Wales' corner on the issue of fair funding from HS2 has set a dangerous precedent for the Westminster Government to steamroll through massive infrastructure investment in England, leaving Wales to pick up the crumbs of any consequential funding.
Responding to news that the Chancellor is set to announce plans for a high-speed railway line from Manchester to Leeds in his Budget, Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards MP said that Labour’s failure to protect Wales’ national interest on HS2 has severely weakened the Welsh Government’s ability to secure full Barnett consequentials from any future infrastructure project.
Jonathan Edwards MP said,
“Plans by the Chancellor to prioritise yet another high-speed railway line in England serves to highlight the complete disregard with which the Westminster and Welsh Labour Governments treated Wales when it came to allocating Barnett consequential funding.”
“There is absolutely no reason why Wales was excluded from receiving full direct Barnett consequentials from HS2 especially as the project is being paid for from direct taxation including the taxes of the people of Wales. Due to vast sums of money involved, the people of Wales naturally expected their own Government to fight for fair funding. It was left to Plaid Cymru to stand up for Wales’ national interest and fight to prevent Wales missing out on hundreds of millions of pounds.”
“The way HS2 has been handled by Governments at either end of the M4 has been nothing short of a disgrace. For the Labour party to support the 0% allocation from HS2in the Statement of Funding Policy announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review when both Northern Ireland and Scotland were awarded 100% shows their complete inability to fight for fairness for our country.”
“With the UK Government now announcing major infrastructure projects including £15bn for HS3, £32bn for Crossrail 2, a £6bn road tunnel between Sheffield and Manchester to name a few developments, the failure of the Labour Government in Wales to secure 100% fair share from HS2 could cost Wales dearly.”
"The people of Wales deserve a government that will always act in the Welsh national interest as opposed to the interests of their London bosses. Plaid Cymru has consistently campaigned for Wales to receive fair funding from HS2 and a Plaid government in May will ensure Wales’ national interest is always put first when it comes to ensuring we get a fair deal.”