Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The £77million question!

This is a little late. Please accept our sincerest apologies but we have been horrendously busy here at PC.

Here's a story that broke on Friday morning so I won't bore you with all the details. Just have a look at this.

Here's a clip from an interview I held with Mike German - the Welsh Lib Dems' spokesman on Europe - on Friday:

And since we always look to offer both sides of the debate at PC, here's Rhodri Morgan's response:

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats press notice has got it completely wrong. What we have actually achieved is over £100 million of additional spend in Wales through the final round of the 2000 - 2006 Objective 1 programme. This comprises £52m of actual EU structural funds and the remainder out of additional match funding. This is very good news indeed.

Whilst £100m has been spent on very valuable projects in Wales, the Welsh Liberal Democrats seem determined to give the impression that we have fallen down on the job.

We have performed better than the rest of the UK in getting record sums of project money out of the door and in record time."

It seems to me that the WAG can't exactly say how Mike's got it "completely wrong". Mr Morgan doesn't offer any new stats with regards to how much money will be sent back in 6 months' time.

Mike thinks this is all because the WAG can't raise money of its own to match the EU's funding pound for pound. I'm sure you all know that EU funding can only be spent if the region receiving it can either match the funding itself or find partners willing to offer sponsorship.

If this is the case is it fair to blame the WAG? Are Rhodri et al guilty of bad spending? Or is the WAG in need of more money from Westminster?

Either way is it not a scandal that so much money is being sent back to Europe when our shops and factories are shutting down and making staff redundant?

At least we in Wales can't be accused of fuelling any tedious "awkward partner" accusations levelled at Britain.

In fact they must love us Cardis in Brussels!

Dewi Dau


No comments: