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Line from the Welsh Assembly Government on the UK Government's response to Holtham
The Welsh Assembly Government has made a statement on the UK Government's response to Holtham.
We have had concerns that the current Barnett Formula could lead to unacceptable levels of devolved funding for Wales. That is why we established the independent Holtham Commission, whose report makes clear that our concerns were justified and sets out how they can be addressed.
We are encouraged that the UK Government has acknowledged our concerns and the analysis in the Holtham Commission's report . We also acknowledge that they have given an undertaking - for the first time - that they would take action to prevent unacceptable convergence in devolved spending levels. We now need to discuss the practical arrangements for achieving this, even if convergence continues more slowly over the next few years.
However, as Gerry Holtham himself has pointed out, the UK Government statement only takes us part of the way towards the recommendations of the Holtham Commission, and we will continue to press the UK Government on these issues in forthcoming meetings. These include access to capital budgets, flexibility over EYF, and switching between capital and revenue.
The first Holtham Report concluded that, on the basis of its set of assumptions, Wales today is 2% underfunded, or £300 million. That is why completing the work with and by the Treasury on the potential for additional disadvantage, through further convergence, remains a high priority for us.
In the long term WAG will seek the key recommendation of funding based on relative needs.