Matt Smith, Conservative activist, said settlement of Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales (RIFW) is scant relief for Welsh taxpayers in light of the scheme's financial fiasco.
Responding to a statement that the legal action initiated by the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales (RIFW) has been settled, Angela Burns MS – Shadow Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency – said:
“The Fund was established to sell valuable packages of Welsh Government land, with the money used to support regeneration schemes. However, evidence has since emerged that shows that the sale of RIFW’s assets was undertaken at a loss of tens of millions of pounds. A loss borne ultimately by the Welsh Taxpayer and yet another example of the complete inability of this Labour led Welsh Government to be fiscally prudent.
“Millions of pounds have been squandered, millions that could have been invested in our education and health systems or spent building Wales’ economy or supporting some of our more vulnerable citizens. It’s an absolute scandal and the real scandal is the Welsh Government are able to slide out of their responsibility for this debacle”
Included in the scandal are:
- Fifteen sites sold for £21 million; with the taxpayer missing out on staggering sums of money
- A site in Rhoose purchased from RIFW for less than £3m - sold on for almost £10.5m South Wales Land Developments Ltd. Taxpayers losing out
- An Abergele site purchased from RIFW for £100,000, without overage, and sold for £1.9million. Taxpayers losing out
- Land in Lisvane sold for £1.8million – worth £39million. Taxpayers – again – losing out
Elsewhere Welsh Conservatives have identified £1 billion squandered by the Welsh Labour-led Government, including:
· £221m on uncompetitive Enterprise Zones
· £9.3m on flawed initial funding of the Circuit of Wales
· £97.9m on delays and overspend on the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road
· £157m on the M4 relief road inquiry
· Over £100m propping up Cardiff Airport
Matt Smith is a Conservative who stood for Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. He was a policy analyst at Vote Leave. He has written about Welsh politics for The Telegraph, Conhome, BrexitCentral, CAPX, GlobalVisionUK, Institute of Welsh Affairs and Gwydir. Read more about Welsh politics at www.mattsmith.org.uk/news.