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Government Funding

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough 11:30 am, 11th March 2009

What recent discussions he has had with the First Minister on the mechanisms for allocation of central Government funding to Wales.

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Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy The Secretary of State for Wales

I have regular discussions with the First Minister on a range of issues, including central funding.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

I am grateful to the Secretary of State for his response, but in Wales £8,577 per person is spent on public expenditure. In my constituency it is only £6,936. My constituents pay the same taxes as those in Wales. Is it fair that each man, woman and child in Wellingborough is £1,641 a year worse off?

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Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy The Secretary of State for Wales

I do not know the rate of deprivation in Wellingborough, but large parts of Wales are seriously deprived because of the run-down of traditional industries. The Barnett formula, which deals with central funding for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, was based on the needs of those different parts of our United Kingdom. That is the reason why that difference is in place.

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Photo of John Smith John Smith Labour, Vale of Glamorgan

Will my right hon. Friend assure me that any discussions that he has about central funding and the mechanism used do not undervalue the role of defence expenditure in projects such as the defence technical academy in my constituency at St. Athan? Will he join me in welcoming the news that the joint director for technical training in the military is going to move to St. Athan in April, in anticipation of the construction of the new college?

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a

Can we have the truth about the actual number of NEW jobs coming to St Athan?
When the joint director for technical training in the military moves to St. Athan is it April the 1st?

There won't be any ITOs willing to move there with him!

http://www.antimetrix.org/

Submitted by anne greagsby

Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy The Secretary of State for Wales

Of course I will, and I congratulate my hon. Friend on his tenacity in dealing with this issue. Billions of pounds of public spending will come to his constituency and the surrounding constituencies, and I know that he has played a very significant role in ensuring that that is the case.

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Photo of Jennifer Willott Jennifer Willott Shadow Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

Central funding for policing in Wales has left south Wales with a shortfall of £10 million since 2005 and with an estimated shortfall of £7.7 million over the next three years. I have already written to the Home Secretary about that and have not yet had a reply. Will the Secretary of State take the matter up with the Home Office, to tackle that unfair and dangerous funding gap?

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Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy The Secretary of State for Wales

The hon. Lady will be pleased to know that I met the Home Secretary last week on that very issue, and further discussions are ongoing.

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Photo of Adam Price Adam Price Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government; Culture, Media and Sport; Defence; Transport)

The Assembly Finance Committee this week, and the Labour party in Scotland through its submission to the Calman commission, have made the case for borrowing powers to be given to the devolved Administrations. Does the Secretary of State see some merit in that proposal?

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Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy The Secretary of State for Wales

I cannot see an enormous amount of merit in it at this stage, because of course if there is borrowing, money has to be found from somewhere to pay off the borrowing. However, I know that further discussions are being held on the matter. [Interruption.]

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Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. Before I call the next question, I should say that it is unfair to hon. Members who are here for Welsh questions that there is so much private conversation.

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