Wales politics

Plaid Cymru claims 'investment gulf' between Welsh regions

A bridge being erected Image copyright Costain
Image caption The upgrade to the Heads of the Valleys road is one of the projects taking place in South Wales East

Spending on infrastructure shows an "investment gulf" between various regions of Wales, Plaid Cymru has said.

Capital spending per head in the assembly region of South Wales East is forecast to be nearly three times greater than in Mid and West Wales.

Plaid AM Adam Price said the figures showed Labour was "engineering inequality".

The Welsh Government said it had made major investments across all parts of Wales.

Based on 2016 population figures, Plaid claimed £380.77 per head would be spent in South Wales East - the former county of Gwent plus Merthyr Tydfil - on capital projects worth over £500,000 in 2017/18.

Figures in other regions range from £102.63 per head in Mid and West Wales to £189.11 in South Wales Central, which covers Cardiff, the Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Image caption Plaid AM Adam Price said Wales could not become a "micro-UK" in which one region was boosted at the expense of others

Plaid based the figures on forecasts of how much would be spent in different assembly regions for 2017-18, provided by the Welsh Government.

The figures forecast:

  • £100.3m in spending in North Wales (£158.50 per head, according to Plaid)
  • £59.3m in Mid and West Wales (£102.63)
  • £243.5m in South Wales East (£380.77)
  • £140.6m in South Wales Central (£189.11)
  • £152.7m in South Wales West (£152.71)
  • Total £618m (£199.98 per head)

Plaid's economy spokesperson Adam Price said: "The Welsh Government's own figures show how the Labour Party's economic plan is engineering inequality. We cannot allow this Labour Government to turn Wales into a micro-UK; overheating one economic region at the expense of the others."

The party claimed every region other than the South East is forecast to be funded less than what would be the national average (£199.98) based on population.

Plaid called for a Regional Renewal Bill to "prioritise deprived areas for investment".

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We have made major investments across all parts of Wales, supporting local infrastructure, economies and communities.

"The quality and outcomes of a project - not its geographical location - determines whether it goes ahead."

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