Peter Black AM has criticised the Welsh Labour Government after a damning report was published today showing that the mechanisms adopted for selling publicly owned property meant that the taxpayer did not benefit from getting full market value at the time of sale but would have to wait for some years to achieve claw back.
A report published by the Wales Audit Office looks into the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales’ sale of 16 parcels of publicly-owned land that were sold for about £20m. The highly critical report found that “Due to flaws from the outset, the Welsh Government and RIFW cannot provide public assurance that the land and property portfolio sale achieved value for money”.
Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Finance Minister said:
“This report is yet another blow to the Welsh Labour Government’s reputation of handling public money and assets.”
Well, as if there is anything new in all this?
Team Druid (or Lehman ap Iolo Inc. as it is known amongst our Welsh speaking Crachach brethren), Wales’ premier corporate investment company, is as inept at selling as it is at buying eg purchasing Cardiff Airport for £52m, way above its market value and this little beauty is just the tip of a financially illiterate Taffy iceberg .
That’s the trouble with Carwyn and his Team Druid, they are still too busy trying to start up their pleasure cruiser business in Cardiff Bay to be bothered with the inconvenience of sound financial planning and governance. Insiders tell LFW, that they are now having trouble sourcing enough Moet and canapé’s for the Grand Opening – something to do with champagne socialism we are told.
To conclude, as Mr Black says:
“It is clear that there were huge flaws in the process from the outset and it’s worrying this wasn’t picked up earlier. It’s quite clear there was no understanding by ministers about the running and purpose of the fund. Tax-payers will rightly be furious at this complete lack of oversight from the Welsh Labour Government.