NEW fiscal research undertaken by a leading academic strengthens the case for Welsh independence, according to Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price.

He maintained that analysis conducted by Professor John Doyle of Dublin’s City University showed that an independent Wales’s fiscal gap would be a fraction of the figure previously reported.

It concludes that the fiscal gap in the early days of an independent Wales would be approximately £2.6bn – significantly lower than the frequently quoted figure of £13.5bn.

This is based on the 2019 estimate of total Welsh economic output at £77.5 billion and would be equivalent to just under 3.4 per cent of GDP.

This compares with an average fiscal deficit across all OECD countries of 3.2 per cent in 2019.

“This research further debunks the argument that Wales is too small and too poor to thrive as an independent nation,” said Mr Price.

“Not only does Professor Doyle’s work further build the body of evidence that supports the case for an independent Wales, it is also a game-changer in the debate surrounding its viability.

“Time and again we have heard wild estimates about the likely fiscal gap that would exist if we were to become independent that bear no relation to reality.

“This shows once and for all that ‘fantasy economics’ are peddled by those against, not for, independence.”

A spokesperson said the real question that needed to be posed was whether there was any realistic prospect of Wales significantly improving its economic performance inside the UK.

“Rather than something that has to wait until Wales is in a better position inside the UK, Plaid Cymru believes independence is the necessary first step towards a stronger and fairer economy,” he said.

Professor Doyle, whose work has contributed towards Plaid Cymru’s submission to the Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, said: “The figure of £13.5bn is a UK accounting exercise, and not a calculation of the fiscal gap that would exist in the early days of an independent Wales.

“The economic impact of an independent Wales is therefore not hugely constrained by the existing fiscal situation.”