Cameron proposes new funding formula for Wales

Reporter:

Staff reporter

TORY leader David Cameron says Government funding must be reviewed to ensure the needs of Wales are met.

He was speaking after launching the Welsh Conservatives’ election manifesto at the Scala Cinema in Prestatyn.

Mr Cameron said the era of the old Barnett formula for funding Wales was coming to an end.

This is a mechanism used by the Treasury to adjust automatically the amounts of public expenditure allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Mr Cameron stressed there was “no doubt” Wales would do well out of any new formula brought in to replace it.

Addressing party activists, Mr Cameron said the decision to launch the manifesto in North Wales highlighted the party’s commitment to the region.

He also committed himself to the future of the Welsh Assembly Government and to a referendum on additional powers.

The manifesto states that, if elected, the party will look at the case for increasing prison capacity in North Wales.

On the NHS, an issue devolved to the Assembly Government, the party pledges to protect funding.

There is also a manifesto commitment to continue Sure Start programmes, although Conservatives believe there are more effective ways of reaching vulnerable families in all parts of Wales rather than relying on Cymorth and Flying Start.

Mr Cameron  said: “This party has a long and proud history in this country – Wyn Roberts, Kenneth Baker, Geoffrey Howe, Michael Heseltine, Michael Howard. All born here, all Conservative, all have given so much of their lives to public service.

“And today, that flame of Welsh Conservatism is carried forward by a new generation. “

He added: “As one of the most famous Welshmen, (Labour minister) Aneurin Bevan, famously said ‘the purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away’.

“So in three weeks time, the people of Wales have a real choice – a big choice. Stick with Labour – and you’re sticking with the old system.

“Choose the Liberal Democrats or Plaid Cymru – and you’re choosing people who’ll never win and can never change things.

“Or vote Conservative – and vote for a whole new system. People power not state power. Big Society not big government.”

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