Welsh Labour MEP Derek Vaughan says the aid cut for Wales is still 'disappointing' but fairer than first thought. He hopes that it will be possible to draw down additional funds as well and perhaps even get to a position where Wales benefits more than ever.
Whilst it is disappointing to see Wales’ allocation being reduced in this way, especially in the difficult economic climate that we are facing, the announcement gives a much fairer distribution to areas such as West Wales and the Valleys than initially thought.
I have been lobbying hard alongside the Welsh Labour Government to avoid an even bigger cut in support for Wales and led the campaign to persuade the UK Government and the European Commission of the need to protect the most vulnerable parts of Wales in this settlement.
Our efforts have been largely successful and it is clear that that the coalition government has been forced to acknowledge the strength and validity of our arguments.
The figure is not far off what Wales has received in the current funding round and when put together with other EU funding pots will mean that we could be in a position to benefit more than ever from assistance available at a European level.
At a time when the UK Government is embarking on a mistaken course of austerity, EU Structural Funding will provide Wales with the chance to continue investing in infrastructure and driving forward the generation of jobs and growth, building an economy that is modern and fit for purpose.
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