Friday, October 22, 2010

SNP do the heavy lifting, DUP and Welsh Labour will appear soon to take the credit/cash?

Thanks to "St George is cross" for this:
The Finance Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland today issued a joint declaration to the Chancellor stating their shared disappointment that HM Treasury is not applying fairly the Barnett funding formula in relation to Olympic Games spending.

Their declaration outlines their shared concern that while around £1.7 billion will be spent on regenerating East London for the Games in 2012, this is not being mirrored in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as it should be under Barnett.
I'm not going to delve into the intricacies of Barnett to see whether he's right on this one; it's a Friday lunchtime and at least one overdue pint has my name on it.

However...two quick points here.

London is not "England"; or at least it is, but what I mean is that money poured into East London will create as much a beneficial knock-on effect in West Cumbria as it will in West Belfast or West Lothian (ie zero).

Secondly, it's very decent for the SNP's John Swinney to do all the running with this one on behalf of his two counterparts in Stormont and Cardiff, Sammy Wilson and Jane Hutt. But, given the potential amounts involved and given that it's a joint statement on behalf of all three, you would have thought there would have been at least some kind of mention by either the DUP or Welsh Labour on their own news pages, but no. Wonder why? Embarrassed to be seen cooperating too closely against Westminster with the separatists of the SNP?

Or is, for example, the repatriation of a few binfulls of rubbish to the Republic really that more important than a potential £65+ million* windfall?

*Corresponding figures for Scotland and Wales £165m and £100m respectively.

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