[This article may also be read on our Facebook page]
A NEW ‘Prosperity Fund’ for the UK intends to bypass the Senedd altogether as to how the money is spent.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced this week that this new Prosperity Fund will replace the old regional aid funding which used to come from the EU, and was then administered in Cardiff Bay.
The set amount of money for Wales will instead be allocated to individual economic projects on a localized level, subject to Westminster approval.
Gwlad leader, Gwyn Wigley Evans said it was a real wake-up call for Wales on several levels.
‘It’s been clear for some time that Westminster would want to reimpose centralised control over things, once we left the EU’ he said.
‘Forget Sunak’s polished and caring image, he’s just a Westminster control freak like all of them – but all he’s doing is firing up the resistance yet more here in Wales.’
‘As if replacing Brussels rule with Westminster rule is ever going to wash here. It’s just going to bring independence closer’
Mr. Evans said the chancellor’s weasel words about sharing prosperity have already been shown up, as it has been decided to slash the Agriculture Budget for Wales by 28% for next year.
‘That gives you an idea how ‘caring’ that nice Mr Sunak really is’ he said.
But, Mr. Evans added that Welsh Labour must bear their share of responsibility for the situation because of the way they squandered Objective One money over the past twenty years.
‘This money was frittered away on grandiose projects and helping Labour’s mates in the third sector, rather than on infrastructure and the business community’ he said.
‘In a way, they have provided a perfect excuse for the Tories to say, we need a whole new approach after this failure, so let’s go for a more localized way of spending this money from now on’.
He added that Wales was being clobbered from both sides – from poor quality politicians in Cardiff Bay not using taxpayers’ money sensibly on the one hand, and from power crazed idealogues in Westminster dreaming of a ‘Global Britain’ on the other hand.
‘We are caught in the middle between these two elements, and our message as a new party is that things have to change drastically’ he said.
This news about the prosperity fund, means that nationalists will now need to learn to fight a battle on two fronts.
They need to take advantage of the outrage over Westminster’s contempt for our elected legislative body in Wales, to step up the campaign for Welsh Independence as the ultimate answer.
But perhaps they also need to box clever with Westminster in the meantime and maximize the possibilities of the new fund.
If the Senedd won’t be able to control which projects to promote, there’s nothing to stop nationalists from working together on a local level to ensure that good and beneficial projects are put forward, which can be of economic benefit for Wales.
For instance, perhaps YesCymru can mobilise its 15,000 members to come up with new ideas for economic development in various parts of Wales, and then lobby local politicians to apply for funding from the Prosperity Fund.