Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards says the cut in the EU Budget could have a 'devastating impact' on some of Wales' poorest communities. He claims that the total loss to Wales over the next seven years will be around £1billion.
The confirmation that the EU Budget faces real-terms cut is devastating news for Wales. As a net beneficiary of EU membership, some areas of Wales receive funding which is vitally important for some of our poorest communities that are not only some of the worst off in Wales but throughout Europe. Those Labour MPs who voted with right-wing Eurosceptics must now make a public apology to the people they have betrayed for their role in the vote that started the chain of events leading to today's announcement.
The deal in Brussels means the richest countries, including Britain, will contribute most of the savings. Aid to west Wales and the valleys will be cut by an estimated £400 million over seven years, according to the Welsh Government. The UK's net contribution to the EU is expected to go up.
Britain’s payments into the budget may still rise due to the recent expansion of the EU. This is ludicrous given that our daily contribution to the EU budget is already hitting around £53 million a day. Here in Wales, in particular, the failings of the system are blatantly clear. As we head into the third round of EU funding we should have seen marked improvement by now and we certainly have not. I would much rather see the money being retained by the UK Government and then funded directly into those areas of Wales that need it most - we should be allowed to spend our money as we see fit.
The Budget has to be approved by the European Parliament and Mr Bufton says he thinks it's likely to be defeated. The Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans says a detailed analysis of the impact on Wales is needed before the vote in March.
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