13 years of Labour failure over Barnett reform

Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, has slammed comments on the operation of the Barnett Formula by Labour leadership hopeful, Ed Balls.

Mr Edwards said that his ill thought through comments explained why Labour had failed to change the unfair funding formula in the 13 years that they were in power.

Mr Edwards said:

“I cringed when I read Ed Balls’ comments on the operation of the Barnett Formula.

“This man used to be a Treasury adviser yet cannot understand or accept what has been argued by four different reports – that the Barnett Formula has no principle for its existence and operates against Wales.

“But then, this is no surprise. After ten years as Chancellor, Gordon Brown himself did not understand the Barnett Formula, claiming it to be a needs-based formula when it is actually a population-based formula.

“This lack of understanding shows just how little leverage Welsh Labour has at the top of their party.

“I wonder what Peter Hain makes of these comments now since his recent Damascene-like conversion to Barnett reform?

“Welsh Labour has wholly failed to even put Barnett on the agenda in their party, despite it costing Wales hundreds of millions of pounds every single year, hurting our public services because we have less money for our schools and hospitals.

“Labour has paid lip service to putting Wales first while actively undermining our aspirations for a better society by under-funding Wales.

“Only Plaid Cymru will put Wales first, every time.”

DIWEDD / ENDS

Nodiadau / Notes:

Ed Balls interview in the Wales on Sunday, 4th July 2010

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/07/04/ed-balls-wales-gets-too-much-cash-91466-26780889/

In an interview with the Western Mail, Apr 25 2009, Gordon Brown said:

“Public spending in the UK should be allocated on the basis of need – that is the Barnett principle. It has always been understood that Barnett was based on spending on need.”

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2009/04/25/we-will-grow-our-way-out-of-recession-gordon-brown-91466-23470528/

Speaking at Welsh Labour’s conference on 27 Feb 2010, Brown added:

“The principle should be that Wales and Scotland and the regions of England should be funded according to their need….the Barnett Formula is, of course, the means by which successive governments have chosen to meet the needs of different parts of the United Kingdom.”

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/02/27/brown-election-will-be-about-economy-not-personality-91466-25924359/

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