WASTE WATCHERS – Day 27

April 30, 2011 1:39 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats will expose an example of the waste and inefficiency of Labour and Plaid Cymru in government on each day of the Welsh general election campaign.

Official figures released in February revealed that Wales is still so poor that it may qualify for the highest level of European funding yet again, confirming that the Labour-led government has wasted opportunities to boost the economy of Wales over the last decade.

Since 1999, Wales has spent £5 billion on regeneration, which is the equivalent of £1,600 for every person living in Wales. European funding is aimed at lifting people out of poverty and boosting economic development and regeneration. Despite £5 billion being spent, Wales is still poor enough to qualify for another round of funding.

Liz Newton, Newport West Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Candidate said:

"It's astounding that we, once again, can still qualify for the highest level of European funding despite investment of some £5 billion. This is clearly a wasted opportunity for the people and businesses of Wales.

"Other countries and regions have made a success of European regeneration funding. Areas such as the north-west of England, south Yorkshire and northern Spain have used their European money to lift their populations out of poverty and have seen a big improvement in their financial positions. Wales has gone backwards and the last four years has shown that the Labour-Plaid government isn't fit to get Wales out of this economic mess. They have clearly wasted this opportunity to get Wales' economy on the right track and boost regeneration right across the country."

"Wales is now the poorest nation or region in the United Kingdom and we are getting relatively poorer. We have spent more money than any other part of the UK on economic development but we find ourselves at the bottom of all the wrong economic tables."

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