UK funds debated at Senedd

Jun 25, 2021

The UK Government Levelling Up Fund and future Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) were debated at the Senedd on 15 June.

The Welsh Government’s position was set out by Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething MS, where he described the proposed funds as ‘clearly designed to exclude Welsh Government’ and stated ‘Wales is set to have less say, over less money.’

Contributions from Paul Davies MS, Luke Fletcher MS, Alun Davies MS, Sam Rowlands MS, Delyth Jewell MS, Vikki Howells MS, Peter Fox MS, Hefin David MS and Carolyn Thomas MS followed.

Find out more about Welsh Government’s position on the Welsh Government website.

Alternatively, a transcript of the debate is available in Welsh and English on the Welsh Parliament website. A video recording of the debate is also available on the platform from 4 minutes onwards.

Following the debate, the Welsh Government’s motion, which raised a number of concerns around the UK Government’s arrangements for these funds, was supported by the Senedd.  As a result, the Senedd:

  1. Agrees that the UK Government approach to the Levelling Up Fund and broader EU successor funding does not guarantee that Wales will not be a penny worse off and represents a clear assault on Welsh devolution.
  2. Agrees that the pilot UK Community Renewal Fund for 2021-22 represents a significant cut in funding for Wales as the Welsh Government would have received at least £375m each year in the form of EU structural funds.
  3. Believes that the UK Government approach to the prioritisation criteria for these funds is inconsistent with that of predecessor EU funding based on need.
  4. Calls for transparency from the UK Government on the prioritisation criteria for these funds to ensure no area in Wales misses out on funding.
  5. Notes that this cut in available funding threatens jobs and services in Wales.
  6. Shares the concerns raised by the Welsh Local Government Association regarding the level of available funding and the process for delivery expressed in its evidence to the Welsh Affairs Committee regarding the UK Government’s proposals.
  7. Notes the independent UK Industrial Strategy Council’s description of the UK Government’s Levelling Up plans as ‘centrally controlled funding pots thinly spread across a range of initiatives’.
  8. Agrees that the UK Government has neither presented nor won a mandate to cut EU successor funds for Wales or unilaterally undermine Welsh devolution.
  9. Believes that decisions about Wales should be taken in Wales and that the UK Government must stop using the Internal Market Act to diminish Wales’s say.
  10. Calls on the Welsh Government to lay before the Senedd an impact assessment showing the effect of these funding arrangements on the distribution of funding across Wales and devolved Welsh decision-making.

Later in the year, the UK Government plans to publish its SPF Framework on how successor funds for the European Structural and Investment funds will be delivered. The spending profile for the SPF is expected to be announced as part of the UK Government’s Spending Review in the autumn.