ymateb HS2 23,10,13

interesting developments in HS2 consequential saga.  HM Treasury have informed the BBC that there has been no consequential, directly contradicting Welsh Government Finance Minister.

This is the statement I issued this afternoon.  It seems that the campaign will have to go on.

“Until very recently, both the UK Government and the Labour Welsh Government have argued against Wales receiving any compensation for HS2.  Based on the Finance Minister’s comments, my campaign to force a u-turn looks to have succeeded with money from HS2 coming to Wales in 2015/16.

 

“The Finance Minister’s letter suggests a clear precedent has now been set, that Wales should be compensated for any development of the HS2 network by the UK Government.  It is essential that this concession is carried on in future spending rounds when HS2 expenditure will significantly increase.  Wales should receive equivalent funding for each and every year of the HS2 project.  With recent estimates from thinks tanks such as the Institute for Economic Affairs estimating a total HS2 bill of £80bn, that would means a fair share for Wales of around £4bn.

 

“Unfortunately, the complication is that HS2 may be funded by cuts in capital spending elsewhere. We don’t want such windfalls to be used to simply plug the hole being created by cuts elsewhere. 

 

“There is an obvious risk to Welsh budgets in that the Labour party at Westminster is signed up to austerity and has not been clear about its plans for HS2.

 

“If Wales continues to receive the substantial sums from the HS2 project, we need to ensure the Welsh Government sets out a vision of how Wales will be connected to the HS2 network, and how it will fund the transport investments within Wales that are required by the National Transport Plan.  Plaid Cymru’s aim is to ensure that Wales doesn’t lose a competitive advantage and that we receive the investment we are entitled to.

 

“I have tabled Parliamentary Questions in an endeavour to corroborate the evidence to the Finance Minister to the Finance Committee.”

 

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