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Barnett Formula

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

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Photo of David Taylor David Taylor Labour, North West Leicestershire 11:30 am, 11th March 2009

What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the mechanisms of the Barnett formula in allocating funding to Wales; and if he will make a statement.

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

The Barnett formula has been used for almost 30 years, and my hon. Friend has been asking the same question for the past 10 of them. I understand that the Treasury has no plans to review the funding arrangements.

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Photo of David Taylor David Taylor Labour, North West Leicestershire

More than 10 million people in the English midlands have a similar socio-economic and demographic profile to that of the people of Wales. They look over Offa's dyke with some envy at the public expenditure that is possible through the Barnett formula. Will my right hon. Friend see me to ascertain how we in the English midlands can get such support? Is he willing for us to have honorary status in Wales as Powys, East?

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

I am happy for my hon. Friend to have honorary status in Wales. However, he knows that the well trusted formula has helped Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for more than 30 years. I understand that the midlands, too, can benefit from other sources.

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K

But it has failed the people of England for 30 years and needs replacing.

Submitted by Kevin Wells