With the EU Referendum less than a month away, the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University yesterday released a report estimating that Wales receives £245 million more per year from the EU than it pays in – this equates to approximately £79 per head, or 0.4% of Wales’ GDP in 2014.
This number reflects only the amount of money Wales contributes to the EU budget, and receives in direct funding. It therefore excludes the numerous jobs funded by and/or dependent upon remaining in the EU as well as the potential trade benefits.
The UK as a whole makes a net contribution of £9.8 billion per year, or £151 per person. Wales clearly does significantly better in pure financial terms than the UK as a whole.
Ed Poole of the Wales Governance Centre said:
“It has been variously argued that monies saved from EU budget contributions could be spent on replacing funding from EU programmes that benefit Wales. However, there is no guarantee that any fiscal space created in withdrawing from the EU would not be used instead for other UK government priorities such as tax cuts or debt reduction.”
While Hannah Pudner, Deputy Leader of the Wales Green Party said:
“As consecutive UK Governments have failed to address the funding gap that Wales receives under the Barnett formula, we should appreciate that the EU does go some way to tackle this relative deprivation.”
In reference to the funding received by Wales as a result of the Barnett formula – the formula which distributes funds to the devolved nations of the UK.
And finally, a spokesperson for Vote Leave Cymru said this:
“We do not recognise these projections, and if the UK votes to leave the EU on June 23, Wales will be financially better off. The UK currently spends £10bn a year more than it receives in so-called EU funds and Wales would be entitled to its share of that dividend if we Vote to Leave.”
It is not for Abergavenny Now to tell you how to vote in the EU Referendum, but what we will tell you is that if you’re not already registered to vote, make sure you do so by June 7th so that you can have your say on June 23rd.