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 cannotprovide public assurance that the land and property portfolio saleachieved 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.
"It is extraordinary that that the Welsh Government allowed the regeneration fund board, that it was represented on, to sell the property assets in one single lot, rather than in any sort of strategic manner as specified in the original business plan.
"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.
"As the report states, the Welsh Labour Government should now investigate whether state aid was provided and, if so, whether it was unlawful."