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The Prime Minister's call for cuts to EU funding show that he's 'completely out of touch with the needs of the people of Wales' according to Plaid Cymru's Parliamentary Leader. Elfyn Llwyd said the funding was 'vital' for the poorest parts of Wales.
Welsh Conservatives have backed the Prime Minister's stance on EU funding even if that means a cut to the money made available to the poorest parts of Wales. David Cameron told the Commons yesterday that 'there is a need for cuts in the overall cohesion and structural funds budget' of the EU.
Those 'structural funds' have paid out £3.5bn to the poorest parts of Wales - an area defined as 'West Wales and the Valleys' - in two batches since 2000 and another batch from 2013 looks likely. Even so, the Welsh Conservatives' Shadow Finance Minister, Paul Davies backed the Prime Minister.
That was echoed by his leader, Andrew RT Davies who said it's 'only right and reasonable that where savings can be made they should be made' before going on to attack Labour's track record in handing the EU grants since 2000.
The Prime Minister has said that the European Union's cohesion and structural funds, which aid west Wales and the Valleys, need to be cut. David Cameron was answering questions in the Commons about EU leaders' failure to agree a new budget last week.
When west Wales and the Valleys got aid from the 2000-06 EU budget, it was thought it would be a one-off. But the current budget, covering 2007-13, includes1.2 billion Euros for the region. In 2014-20, the European Commission expects Wales to concentrate on advanced manufacturing and research.
There will also be help with improving transport links but the overall amount of money will depend of the size of the budget for the next seven years. The Commission insists that the aid must come from the European Union and that the UK Government should not run Britain's regional aid programme.
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David Cameron is criticised for saying that European aid which benefits parts of Wales should be reduced.