Three year campaign results in concession to Wales
2:13pm Monday 28th October 2013 in News
LOCAL MP Jonathan Edwards has secured a financial windfall for the Welsh Government following his three year campaign on the proposed High Speed Rail (HS2) project.
The project, which will be built entirely in England, has to date been considered as a UK-wide project, meaning Welsh taxpayers’ money helps to fund the project, but no equivalent funding coming to Wales.
The Plaid Cymru MP’s campaign, which he started just a month after being elected to the House of Commons in 2010, has concentrated on the fact that Wales should be compensated for taxpayers’ money being spent only in England.
More than three years after Mr Edwards started his campaign, the Labour Welsh government agreed with this call.
This week, Welsh Finance Minister, Jane Hutt confirmed Wales has received an equivalent share of funding in the transport budget from HS2. Despite a period of confusion, the UK Treasury has conceded that funding from HS2 was given to Wales, but in error.
Mr Edwards said he believed a significant precedent has been set for future years and that Wales should receive substantial sums of equivalent funding each year of the HS2 project.
He said: “Despite Welsh capital budgets continuing to be squeezed, my campaign to force the governments in to a u-turn will result in Wales receiving an extra £35million in 2015/16.
“I believe Wales should be compensated for any development of the HS2 network by the UK Government. It is essential that this concession is carried on in future spending rounds when HS2 expenditure will significantly increase.
“The decision to give Wales its fair share of the funding is a vindication of Plaid Cymru’s long-standing campaign."