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‘UK Coalition has settled previous Labour Government’s dispute’ – Peter Black AM

December 22, 2011 2:42 PM

Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Finance, Peter Black, has welcomed news that Wales will get an extra £9m as a result of UK government spending on next year's Olympics.

It settles a long-running row with Westminster about whether the UK's devolved administrations should get a windfall because of the London games.

The Welsh Government, the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland Executive will receive a one-off sum equivalent to the Barnett consequential of relevant changes to Olympics' funding since the present UK Government took office in May 2010.

Peter Black AM commented:

"I am pleased the UK Coalition has effectively settled the previous Labour Government's dispute - when they denied the devolved administrations a Barnett consequential from the £7 billion of public money committed to delivering the games. This was despite the fact that a substantial proportion of this spending was to be used to fund regeneration and transport infrastructure in the east London area.

"Discussions reached the point in 2010 where the matter was recorded formally as an inter-governmental dispute and this led to the final agreement. The key point is an agreement that decisions on the application of the Barnett formula should 'always be evidence based, be undertaken in a timely manner and in consultation with the devolved administrations'. This wording is now included in HM Treasury's Statement of Funding Policy which was published alongside the UK Spending Review in autumn 2010.

"Recent GVA figures show that Wales is still the poorest nation in the United Kingdom. Behind every rising statistic there is an individual or a family struggling and anxious about what the future will bring. Our economy is suffering, which is why the Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that this money should be spent on schemes that will stimulate the economy and create employment opportunities."