£600,000 – The cost of defunct boundary changes.
Following a freedom of information request, the Boundary Commission for Wales have indicated that over £600,000 is being spent on parliamentary boundary changes in Wales, which are not now going to happen.
Last week, Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg, indicated that the Liberal Democrats would be voting against the proposals for new boundaries when they are presented to Parliament next year. The Welsh Boundary Commission have been working on proposals to draw new parliamentary boundaries following the decision to reduce Wales’ parliamentary representation by 25%.
Despite all the evidence, David Cameron has refused to accept that his boundary changes can no longer command a parliamentary majority and are therefore dead.
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Owen Smith MP said, "This is one of the hidden costs of Coalition incompetency. For each of the government’s u-turns – totalling almost thirty so far – there’ll be a cost associated with work that never saw the light of day.
"And what’s worse is that, however much that is – in this case £600,000 wasted on a disgraceful attempt at gerrymandering the results of the next general election – it’ll be nothing compared to the cost of failing to grow our economy and taking us into the deepest double-dip recession in over fifty years".
Wayne David, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, said,"This is a disgraceful waste of public money. David Cameron ought to read the writing on the wall and end this farce as soon as possible. The Liberal Democrats have decided to select their parliamentary candidates on the old boundaries and this confirms that the boundary review is stone dead.
"And let’s be clear: when these proposed changes are withdrawn, the Green Paper on the Welsh Assembly’s boundary changes will also fall. The two are inextricably linked".