£41 million is a drop in the ocean

An additional £41 million fund to provide an "economic stimulus" to help Wales deal with the recession has been announced by the Assembly Government.

£41 million looks like a lot of money and I am sure that politicians will make the most of this.

However, let's not forget that, compared to the funding available from the Convergence Fund, it is merely a drop in the ocean.

According to the latest information from the Welsh European Funding Office, only 35 per cent of the £1.81 billion available has been committed to projects.

This means that over £1.1 billion remains to be committed to projects during the period 2010-2013 or around £200-£250 million per annum.

The question is whether how quickly this remaining fund will be spent this year to counter the recession? More importantly, is there any effort by Ministers to focus on fasttracking capital projects to ensure they have an immediate impact on the recession in Wales?

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