Carmarthenshire Assembly Member and Plaid Cymru's Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Adam Price AM has obtained new figures showing that some parts of Wales are funded almost four times more per head than others.
The figures were obtained from the Welsh Government in response to a Written Assembly Question submitted by Adam Price AM last month. They show the Labour Welsh Government's 2017-18 capital infrastructure spend forecast for each Welsh region – ranging from £102.63 per head of population in Mid & West Wales to £380.77 in South Wales East.
The figures obtained by Mr Price also show that, over the last 4 years, capital spending in South East Wales has amounted to a staggering £947.00 per head – more than double the £466.83 per head spent in Mid and West Wales.
Mr Price said the figures showed not so much an "investment gap but an investment gulf" between the various regions of Wales, and called for "a radical rebalancing of the Welsh economy" through a Regional Renewal Bill.
Mr Price's parliamentary colleague and Plaid Cymru's Treasury spokesperson in Westminster, Jonathan Edwards MP said we must stop Wales acting as a microcosm of the UK where "successive Westminster governments overheat the south-east region at the expense of everywhere else."
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM Adam Price said:
"The Welsh Government's own figures show how the Labour party's economic plan is engineering inequality.
"There is not so much an investment gap but an investment gulf between some regions of Wales, with South East Wales being forecast to be funded a staggering £278.14 more per head in 2017-18 than Mid & West Wales.
"This is not just a new phenomenon either. The average annual capital spend per head between for the last four years was £116 in Mid & West Wales and £236 in South Wales East. In fact, every region other than the South East is forecast to be funded less than what would be national average based on population.
"These figures highlight the dire need for a radical rebalancing of the Welsh economy. Plaid Cymru's all-Wales agenda has the principle of spreading prosperity and opportunity at its heart.
"The Welsh Government should bring in a Regional Renewal Bill that would prioritise deprived areas for investment, similar to what happens in Germany."
Member of Parliament Jonathan Edwards added:
"We cannot allow this Labour government to turn Wales into a microcosm of everything that's wrong with the UK where successive Westminster governments overheat the south-east region at the expense of everywhere and everyone else.
"My Plaid colleagues have long promoted a Regional Renewal Bill in the National Assembly which would introduce a statutory obligation on the Welsh Government to achieve a more equal level of investment across all parts of Wales.
"This should also include a wide decentralisation of government out of Cardiff, ensuring well-paid jobs are available throughout the country.
"It's remarkable that communities in mid and west Wales will see the equivalent of £102 per head invested, whilst those in the south east will have almost 4 times amount at £380 per head.
"It's relatively easy to rectify the chronic and engineered inequality – it starts with a change in government policy. But if the Labour Welsh government can't acknowledge that it's failing the people of mid and west Wales and others, we should bring in a Regional Renewal Bill to force the government to invest fairly."