Plaid MP calls for Barnett transparency

Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesman, Jonathan Edwards MP, has called for greater transparency in the explanation of Barnett consequentials after a series of questions to UK Government Ministers went unanswered.

Mr Edwards said that under the current system, the devolved nations were treated as an ‘afterthought’ and needed to be changed urgently if a real programme of ‘respect’ to the devolved administrations, was to be practised by Westminster.

Mr Edwards said:

“The independent Holtham Commission last year recommended an annual publication setting out the effect of Barnett consequentials and spending decisions upon the Welsh budget.

“After my experience of requesting and failing to get vital information on Treasury spending decisions, I firmly believe that this principle of transparency must be vastly extended to all published UK spending decisions.

“The UK Government announced £6.2billion of cuts from this year’s budget at the end of May, including £187million that were to be passed on to the Welsh Assembly.

“However, when I requested details of how these cuts had been calculated I was stone-walled by the Treasury.

“I also asked other departments about the effect of their spending in Wales from non-devolved decisions.

“Again I was either stone-walled or given little detail in reply.

“There have been regular criticisms that Whitehall departments treat Wales as some sort of after-thought. This has to stop.

“The effect upon the devolved countries must be central to any financial decision, not tagged on at the end.

“In the spirit of the respect agenda, any government announcement on spending should include the relative effect upon Barnett consequentials and whether this change has previously been announced.

“How can we possibly understand the effect of these significant and major cuts upon Wales if government departments themselves are unable to answer?

“I fully believe in a transparent needs-based formula for spending for Wales, but in the meantime Wales deserves better than the current system which has the Treasury as judge, jury and executioner of their cuts.”

DIWEDD / ENDS

Notes:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100607/text/100607w0014.htm#10060812000234

Danny Alexander fails to list identifiable non-devolved savings for Wales (7 Jun)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100617/text/100617w0013.htm#100617137000217

Danny Alexander fails to explain calculations for Barnett consequential announcement of 24 May (17 Jun)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100617/text/100617w0002.htm#100617129001139

DWP fail to answer on spending in Wales (17 Jun)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100617/text/100617w0019.htm#100617144000395

Ministry for Justice offer explanation of spending changes (17 Jun)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100617/text/100617w0009.htm#100617131000254

Cabinet Office (17 Jun)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100621/text/100621w0010.htm#10062121000476

Transport give explanation of some spending changes (21 Jun)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100621/text/100621w0005.htm#10062118000410

Housing (Communities and Local Government) no further information regarding housing grants (21 Jun)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100622/text/100622w0018.htm#10062275000454

Business, Innovation and Skills (22 Jun)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100628/text/100628w0004.htm#10062813000304

DCMS note cuts with Barnett consequential, but not amounts (28 Jun)

One Response to “Plaid MP calls for Barnett transparency” [latest first]

  1. Wales? It should be renamed “Wails” England is hard done by not the other countries of the Union.

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