Election 2015 Wales

Election 2015: Guarantee Welsh funding, says Carwyn Jones

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Media captionCarwyn Jones says a funding boost for Wales need not hurt Scotland

Wales should have guaranteed minimum funding without the need to reform Scotland's finances, First Minister Carwyn Jones has said.

The UK Treasury uses the Barnett formula devised in the 1970s to allocate money to the four UK nations.

The system, based on population and which powers are devolved, gives more money per head to Scotland than Wales.

Politicians in Scotland have vowed to keep the formula in place, despite calls for reform from Wales.

In a televised debate on Wednesday night, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy said he would "keep the Barnett formula today, tomorrow and forever, and that's what you get with Labour".

Mr Jones, speaking on a campaign visit in Snowdonia on Thursday, said: "We want the Barnett floor - without getting into the technical details it delivers what we want, which is making sure Wales' under-funding stops.

"You can have that without the need to comprehensively overhaul the Barnett formula, so it's possible to have both things.

"What I'm interested in is what happens in Wales - it's important that we have this device called the Barnett floor that addresses under-funding as far as the future is concerned, and that really resolves the problem as far as Wales is concerned."

Visiting Carmarthenshire on Wednesday, Labour's Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls promised a fair funding settlement for Wales, but did not specify what that would mean for the size of the Welsh government's budget.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have proposed introducing a "floor", or minimum level of funding, but say the exact level would be worked out later.

The coalition partners have said they now expect the Welsh government to hold a referendum on devolving income tax.

Plaid Cymru has claimed Wales is underfunded to the tune of £1.2bn, while UKIP has vowed to "radically reform" the Barnett formula to make it based on need, with increased payments to Wales.

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