Welsh and Scottish Lib Dems Call for new Funding Formula for Scotland and Wales

July 19, 2007 10:59 AM

Today, the Welsh and Scottish Liberal Democrats joined forces to call on the Government to scrap the Barnett formula and establish a new funding system for the devolved administrations.

MPs from both Scottish and Welsh Lib Dem parties have collectively tabled a motion in Parliament calling on the Government to engage with the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly to establish a modern, progressive and fair funding formula for the devolved administrations based on their need and which will also give them more power over raising their own revenue.

Commenting, Jenny Willott MP said:

"The Barnett formula has short-changed Wales for decades. We must draw a line under this old and backward funding system, and look forward to a progressive and fair one that takes into account the needs of Wales.

"Lord Barnett originally developed the Barnett formula as a temporary measure. But successive Government's have backed away from reviewing it as Lord Barnett envisaged and Wales has suffered most from this unfair system.

"There is so much vocal opposition to the Barnett formula from all parts of the UK and from all parties, that it would scandalous for the Government to continue to stick its head in the sand. Even Lord Barnett himself is actively campaigning in the House of Lords to get the formula reviewed.

"Changing the Barnett Formula is an absolute priority for the Welsh Liberal Democrats. The only obstacle out there is the Labour Government's reluctance to actually do it."

Alan Reid, MP for Scotland, said:

"The Barnett Formula is a throwback to pre-devolution times.

"Even its creator has called for it to be abolished. We desperately need a new, fair system of funding that takes account of the needs of modern Scotland.

"Gordon Brown claims he is serious about constitutional reform. He should now act to convene a new Constitutional Convention to discuss more powers for the Scottish Parliament to raise its own finances."

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