South East England subsidises Wales

A report released today by Oxford Economics shows that the wider South East (Greater London, the South East and the Eastern Region) made a positive net contribution, of £37.7 billion to the UK public finances in 2006-07.

For Wales it shows that whilst the Government spends £28.4 billion, tax revenues of only £19.3 billion were raised in 2006-07 - a net drain of minus £9.1 billion.

Of course, these are the headline figures and I am waiting for a full copy of the report before examining this in further detail but it does show that fiscal autonomy for Wales may not be feasible unless real structural changes are made in the UK economy, and certainly not in the foreseeable future.

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