Fair Funding for Wales

Part of 1. Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Cabinet Office – in the Senedd at 1:31 pm on 17 April 2024.

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Photo of Rebecca Evans Rebecca Evans Labour 1:31, 17 April 2024

I’m grateful for the question and also for the recognition of the cross-party support that there is here in the Senedd in terms of the raw deal that we get in Wales when it comes to funding, and the fact that we have a shared interest in those fiscal flexibilities that would help us manage the budget in a better way.

Looking forward, I know there are some nuances in the different ways our parties see the future funding of Wales, but, certainly, from a Welsh Government perspective, we set out our vision in 'Reforming our Union', and that should be about the UK Government replacing the outdated Barnett formula with a new, principles-based approach to UK funding and fiscal networks, taking account of relative need. And that, certainly, is the way that we would see things moving forward and the way that we will certainly press the UK Government to move forward.

I think, perhaps, one of the reasons why we haven’t had the traction that we would want to have with the UK Government has just been the constant churn of people who we’re negotiating with. So, by the time that Ministers, particularly Chief Secretaries to the Treasury, are up to speed on these issues, there’s another one coming through the door. So, I think a level of stability would help us in those discussions. And, honestly, perhaps there’s a lack of interest on the part of the UK Government in terms of engaging seriously with these questions about funding as well. But we’ll continue to make those cases. I think the very mature cross-party consensus that we have here in the Senedd is important, and also those agreement areas that we have with other parts of the United Kingdom are also very useful in making those cases.