Sunday, 4 July 2010

Balls and Barnett.

Ed Balls reckons that Wales gets too much money and there is no need to change the Barnett formula. In an interview with the Wales on Sunday, Balls said:
“The important thing that I know from my time in the Treasury is that the Barnett Formula applies to part of public spending. But you’ve also got in addition to that, the spending outside the Barnett Formula which comes on the basis of need... because of unemployment, because of child poverty, and also because of the need for regeneration.”

Mr Balls said Wales had “disproportionately benefited” from European aid, unemployment benefits and tax credit support “because there has been greater need and disadvantage in some parts of Wales because of the legacy of the Thatcher unemployment of the 1980s”.

What Balls doesn't do is to produce the evidence to show that Wales has 'disproportionately benefitted from DWP/HMRC and European funding,' even the Chief Secretary at the Treasury, Danny Alexander cannot provide the relevant information. Neither does Mr Balls mention the massive regeneration funding that has gone into cities like Liverpool, Glasgow and Newcastle as well as the high level of DWP benefits take up in Scotland. If what Ed Balls is saying is true one would expect Wales's GVA (Gross Value Added) to be improved but Wales is still propping up other regions of the UK and on all measures of deprivation and our position has deteriorated over the last 13 years of a Labour Government, there is more poverty in Wales now than in 1997.

What we need are spending lines for each of the UK regions for public services, DWP payments, tax credit payment and European funding so that we and Jeremy Paxman can understand EXACTLY how much money Wales gets. Is it too much to ask?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Balls is talking bollocks.