Northern Ireland news

Barnett formula: Labour urged to clarify policy

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been urged clarify his plans for a funding formula which adjusts public money allocated to the north
Laura Paterson, Press Association

LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn has been urged to "come clean" on plans for the Barnett formula after the Welsh First Minister said the party would scrap it.

Carwyn Jones said the party's Welsh manifesto pledges to ditch the formula used by the Treasury to calculate funding given to the north, England, Wales and Scotland.

The controversial funding formula, devised in 1978, has been in place since 1979.

Mr Jones told BBC Wales: "It says in the manifesto that there will be a new funding formula based on need.

"That means having a new formula to replace Barnett.

"Nobody can defend a situation where we have a funding formula that is over 38 years old by now, that was based on the way things were in the seventies.

"We need to have a funding formula that is fair to all the nations and regions of the UK."

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser said his party had promised to keep the Barnett formula and urged Mr Corbyn to make Labour's position clear.

"Jeremy Corbyn needs to come clean and quick," he said.

"Will Labour keep the Barnett formula?

"If they will, why is Labour in Wales saying they won't?"

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