Carmarthen East & Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards slates continued delays to details on Shared Prosperity Fund
Plaid Cymru Treasury Spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP, has attacked the British State for failing to deliver any details about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, two years after announcing it.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is the British Government’s solution for replacing EU regional development funding, which hugely benefits Wales. Nine out of ten of the poorest parts of northern Europe are within the British State, as a result of excess funding by the UK Treasury in London and the South East.
Plaid Cymru have put forward detailed proposals for a replacement regional development funding system in a recent paper Not A Penny Less, which Jonathan Edwards MP outlined in a Westminster Hall debate on 14th May. Included in its proposals were a call to ensure that Wales does not receive a penny less in funding, that the National Assembly for Wales remains responsible for its distribution and that funds are fairly pre-allocated on need rather than doled out using a competitive bidding process, to ensure the three nations and English regions are not pitted against each other.
Plaid Cymru supports a People’s Vote and would campaign for Wales to remain an EU member. Research by Cardiff University found that, as an EU member, Wales receives around £245 million more a year from the EU than it pays in.
During the debate, Jonathan Edwards MP said:
“The European Union, for all its faults, realised the importance of economic and social cohesion. The only regional funding flowing into Wales has come from Europe. Wales currently receives £245 million more a year from the EU than it pays in, which accurately reflects the chronic underfunding by the British Government.
“The communities of Wales are amongst the poorest parts of the European Union, and yet the British Government wants to withdraw from the very institution that works to regenerate our towns and valleys. Two years ago it promised they would provide its own funding mechanism, and here we are two years later and it is yet to even consult on what this funding mechanism will look like.
“Plaid Cymru believes Wales should not receive a penny less under UK Government funding – indeed due to the scale of the problem the Shared Prosperity Fund should be far more generous.
“We have told the British Government what we need, and how we believe it should be delivered. If Westminster has no interest in listening and investing in our countries, it is time we took matters into our own hands.”