Ministers call for an end to bypassing of devolved governments
Ministers from across the devolved governments have joined together to outline their concerns about the UK government bypassing devolved governments and existing structures to allocate replacement EU funds.
Following a tri-lateral meeting, Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans, Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister, Conor Murphy and Scottish Minister for Trade, Innovation and Public Finance, Ivan McKee have issued a joint statement calling on the UK government to enter into meaningful engagement and respect the devolved arrangements.
The joint statement reads:
As Ministers in the Devolved Governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, we wish to register our shared concerns about the UK Government’s decision to bypass democratically agreed devolution arrangements to deliver the Levelling Up and Community Renewal Funds announced at Budget 2021.
We share the aim to spread inclusive economic growth more widely and take the opportunity to simplify systems post EU exit. For that reason, we believe monies to replace EU funds should be allocated in full through the Devolved Governments and successful structures that already exist specifically to deliver economic development to address the needs and opportunities of the people of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland rather than through a new, separate layer of bureaucracy.
The UK Government ignored the Devolved Governments’ efforts and requests to input to the development process for these funds for almost three years and is now using powers under the UK Internal Market Act to bypass us completely. It is ignoring our respective devolution arrangements, delivering funding to meet Whitehall’s priorities rather than those of the people of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
This must be addressed before further policy development takes place on the Shared Prosperity Fund. Denying us any meaningful input, harms the effectiveness of these funds, will duplicate resources, and risks value for money and the achievement of better, fairer outcomes, which our communities and people deserve.
The support announced through these funds is not new money. This funding has sat with our respective governments since powers in this area were devolved. Now, bidding for an unidentified share of a UK pot through a competitive process provides no guarantee of success. With decisions being made entirely by the UK Government, this falls far short of commitments made during the EU referendum for all these powers to be fully devolved after EU-exit.
Going forward, we need more than simply a commitment from UK Ministers that the Devolved Governments will be engaged in the development of the Shared Prosperity Fund. We need a clear plan of how and when this will happen and we require consultation and input into the proposed role of the Devolved Governments so that the most vulnerable in our societies are protected and that jobs and prosperity are achieved in a way that is fairer, more inclusive and sustainable for all our citizens”.
We will jointly be seeking an urgent meeting with Treasury to raise these important matters.
Latest News from
Update on ‘the constitutional future of Wales’12/08/2022 14:05:00
The Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales wants you to have your say.
Donkeys, dolphins and saxifrages get helping hand with £15million extra funding for nature12/08/2022 11:05:00
Minister for Climate Change Julie James has announced nearly £15million for landowners and managers who want to improve biodiversity to help Wales fight the climate and nature emergencies.
Wales’ Cultural Recovery Fund provided a lifeline to the sector, new report10/08/2022 16:25:00
The Welsh Government’s £108 million Cultural Recovery Fund was fundamental to the survival of many cultural organisations in Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic which helped safeguarded 2,700 FTE jobs, a new report has shown.
Hospitality can offer rewarding careers10/08/2022 15:25:00
The hospitality industry offers rewarding, varied and exciting careers Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales Lesley Griffiths said on a visit to Dylan’s restaurant in Llandudno.
Croeso – Anglesey Agricultural Show returns09/08/2022 11:10:00
One of Wales’ premier agricultural shows, the Anglesey Show, is making a welcome return this week which is good news for the farming industry and wider community Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said ahead of visiting the event.
How can we help Welsh speakers make more use of online services in Welsh?08/08/2022 14:05:00
An address by Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and the Welsh Language.
£1.85 million fund to tackle sticky situation caused by chewing gum staining08/08/2022 11:05:00
A new £1.85 million scheme is helping five local authorities in Wales to tackle chewing gum staining.
Launch of the Commission for Welsh-speaking Communities04/08/2022 14:05:00
Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and the Welsh Language.
New actions to protect Welsh-speaking communities04/08/2022 11:05:00
The Minister for Education and Welsh Language yesterday provided a preview of the actions which are part of the Welsh Government’s plans to safeguard communities where Welsh is the main language and where there are large numbers of second homes.