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PM fails to commit to protecting vital funding for Wales

27/11/2012

Plaid Cymru's Elfyn Llwyd MP has expressed disappointment at the Prime Minister's failure to offer reassurance that the EU budget which provides Wales' poorest communities with vital funding will not be cut.

While answering questions following his statement to the House of Commons yesterday, the Prime Minister stated that there is a need for some cutbacks and hinted that he would not be protecting all cohesion and structural funds.

Mr Llwyd said that the response was a clear indication of how little the Prime Minister cares for the Welsh national interest and maintained that Plaid Cymru is the only party willing and committed to putting the people of Wales first.

Mr Llwyd said:

"It is clear that the Prime Minister is completely out of touch with the needs of the people of Wales. The same is true of the Welsh Labour MPs who recently voted with staunch right-wing Conservatives for a real-terms cut in the EU budget.

"This funding provides some of Wales' poorest communities - which are also some of Europe's poorest communities - with vast sums of money.

"Over the last budgetary period of 2007-2013, Wales received at least 1 billion euro more than it contributed. This included CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) payments to the tune of £300m, and around £150m of convergence funding.

"European structural aid benefits communities throughout Wales including businesses, farmers, students and many more.

"A cut in the EU Budget will see the gap between the richest and poorest parts of the state would widen considerably. Inner London is by far the richest part of the EU while West Wales and the Valleys are among the poorest.
"I'm extremely disappointed that both the Prime Minister and Welsh Labour MPs have put short-term narrow political advantage first, without considering for a moment the long-term strategic implications of their actions.
"This goes to show that Plaid Cymru is the only party willing and committed to putting the interests of the people of Wales first."