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Written Statement - Most Recent Letter from Chief Secretary to the Treasury Regarding End Year Flexibility

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Jane Hutt, Minister for Business and Budget

Once more, I am making a Written Statement in relation to correspondence with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury because he will not allow the actual correspondence to be shared with the Assembly.

As I said in my Written Statement on 10 January, the Assembly Government is extremely unhappy with the UK Government’s plans to write off our accumulated stocks of End Year Flexibility (EYF), which amount to around £385m.  This is our money voted by Parliament to Wales.  It should be used to support investment in public services and in supporting the economic recovery, rather than retained by the Treasury.

I wrote to the Chief Secretary on 11 January, requesting that all of our accumulated stocks of EYF be released.  The Chief Secretary replied to my letter on 9 February but he has refused to allow the release of our accumulated stocks, with the implication that these stocks will now be written off.

Our EYF stocks are all the more important given the unprecedented reduction in the Assembly Government’s Budget imposed by the UK Government.  We will continue to oppose the UK Government’s plans to take away our EYF stocks and stand up for the interests of the people of Wales.

I and my counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland will now be writing a joint letter to the Chancellor repeating the request for accumulated EYF stocks to be released. It is hoped that this concerted trilateral approach will have more success in securing the return of monies voted to the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh people.
 
I will continue to keep the Assembly up to date with developments on this important matter.