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Barnett Formula

Volume 489: debated on Wednesday 11 March 2009

8. What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the mechanisms of the Barnett formula in allocating funding to Wales; and if he will make a statement. (261331)

The Barnett formula has been used for almost 30 years, and my hon. Friend has been asking the same question for the past 10 of them. I understand that the Treasury has no plans to review the funding arrangements.

More than 10 million people in the English midlands have a similar socio-economic and demographic profile to that of the people of Wales. They look over Offa’s dyke with some envy at the public expenditure that is possible through the Barnett formula. Will my right hon. Friend see me to ascertain how we in the English midlands can get such support? Is he willing for us to have honorary status in Wales as Powys, East?

I am happy for my hon. Friend to have honorary status in Wales. However, he knows that the well trusted formula has helped Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for more than 30 years. I understand that the midlands, too, can benefit from other sources.