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Plaid Cymru pledges to ‘fight for fairer funding’ as it launches manifesto

Party leader Rhun ap Iorwerth said Plaid would work to secure a funding model for Wales based on ‘need, not population’ (Peter Byrne/PA)
Party leader Rhun ap Iorwerth said Plaid would work to secure a funding model for Wales based on ‘need, not population’ (Peter Byrne/PA)

Plaid Cymru will pledge to secure fairer funding for Wales and get the billions it says the country is owed in rail cash in its manifesto.

Windfall taxes, fighting for money “owed to Wales” in rail funding and devolving the Crown Estate should be used to create green jobs and build prosperity, the party said.

Ahead of the manifesto launch in Cardiff on Thursday, the leader of Plaid Cymru Rhun ap Iorwerth said his party would “fight every day” for the billions owed to the country from the HS2 high-speed rail project, and for a fair funding model which “funds our country according to need, not population”.

He said this fairer funding system for Wales would enable greater investment in public services and “better reward our workforce”.

Plaid argues that £4 billion of HS2 funding is owed to Wales because the rail project was designated an “England and Wales” scheme by the UK Treasury – despite the route being entirely in England.

This meant it did not trigger the mechanism which would normally see extra funding given to the devolved nation.

Plaid argues that securing this funding would allow Wales to improve its own public transport and help reverse cuts to local bus services.

The party will also demand fairer funding for Wales, as well as “increasing windfall taxes” and devolving the Crown Estate to create green jobs and build prosperity.

They also call for more money for investment in the NHS, to enable more GPs to be recruited and a new cancer strategy to end “Wales’s postcode lottery for treatment”.

Mr ap Iorwerth said: “This election is about one thing – the economy.

“What sets Plaid Cymru apart is a record of not taking Wales for granted and always putting the interests of our communities and nation first. We offer a real alternative for Wales.

“That’s why I’m proud to launch our manifesto today that sets out Plaid Cymru’s vision of a fairer, more ambitious future where everyone can reach their potential – regardless of circumstance or background.

“We will fight every day for the billions owed to Wales from the HS2 high-speed rail project, and for a fair funding model which funds our country according to need, not population.

“This will enable us to invest in our public services and better reward our workforce.

“By supporting families and by transferring powers to ensure that more of the decisions that affect Wales are made in Wales, we will address the cost-of-living crisis and provide Welsh solutions to Welsh problems.”

Mr ap Iorwerth said the lack of control over natural resources meant the country was “energy-rich but fuel-poor” and that his party would fight for economic fairness.

He argued that 14 years of Tory cuts had seen public services cut “to the bone” and that Labour would not offer a meaningful change.

“Our communities have been left to pay the price of decades of underinvestment from both London parties,” he said.

“On July 4, we can send a message that Wales won’t be taken for granted any longer and that’s only by electing a strong group of Plaid Cymru MPs that will always demand fairness for their square mile and put Wales’s best interests first in Westminster.”