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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Labour and the Barnett formula

David Cornock's BBC blog yesterday outlines some of the problems that Labour have created for themselves on the funding mechanism used to provide resources for the devolved Parliaments.

Ed Miliband of course has signed up to the tripartite agreement to keep the Barnett formula in place because, as he told Andrew Marr yesterday: "All the party leaders have said that we think the Barnett formula has served us well and should continue because it is oriented towards need."

Unlike the Liberal Democrats however, he has not signed up to a mechanism which will compensate Wales for the failure to reflect its needs in the way that it is funded.

Mr. Miliband continued by stating that "And the fact is that on for example, older people Scotland has greater needs.......". This is something that David Cornock comprehensively debunks.

The shadow Welsh Secretary, Owen Smith has said that Labour will adopt a mechanism something akin to that proposed by the Liberal Democrats to protect Wales. However, on Radio Wales yesterday Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Rachel Reeves, pointedly avoided signing up to that formula.

It seems that confusion and contradiction still reigns within Labour ranks.
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