£853m Crown Estate Welsh assets valuation strengthens devolution argument, says Plaid Cymru
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, has stated that the £853 million valuation of the Crown Estate’s Welsh assets strengthens the case for devolution of its management to Wales.
This comes amid increasing poverty, serving as a stark reminder of the inequity at the heart of the United Kingdom.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request revealed that the Crown Estate’s property value was £853,030,454 for the financial year 2022-23.
The Crown Estate encompasses a vast portfolio of land and assets belonging to the reigning monarch, with net profits directed to the Treasury, which then allocates a percentage back to the monarch for official duties.
This percentage is currently set at 25%, including an additional 10% for Buckingham Palace’s renovation, but is set to decrease to 12% due to growing income from offshore wind farm projects, significantly boosting Crown Estate profits.
Saville Roberts has long called for profits from renewable energy generation off the Welsh coastline to be reinvested into the Welsh communities rather than going to the UK Treasury. Plaid Cymru has long advocated for the devolution of the Crown Estate to Wales, similar to the devolution in Scotland since 2017.
Liz Saville Roberts’ Crown Estate (Devolution to Wales) Bill received cross-party support in the 2021-22 parliamentary session, and Plaid Cymru successfully negotiated the inclusion of Crown Estate devolution in its Cooperation Agreement with the Welsh Government. However, the UK Government has so far resisted calls for devolution, despite powers being devolved to the Scottish Government since 2017.
Saville Roberts commented, “The burgeoning wealth of the Crown Estate’s Welsh assets amid increasing poverty serves as a stark reminder of the inequity at the heart of the United Kingdom. Profits derived from these assets, valued at a massive £853 million, could fuel a Welsh green industrial revolution. Instead, gains are redirected to the UK Treasury, with a portion handed directly to the Royal Family.”
She further highlighted that this is primarily an environmental issue, as devolution of powers over the Crown Estate would bolster efforts in Wales to reach net-zero through the integration of energy policy with the Net Zero Wales plan. “Reinvesting profits in Wales could create thousands of well-paid green jobs, helping to address the persistent problems of low pay and job insecurity,” she added.
Saville Roberts also emphasised the matter of fairness, noting that Westminster recognises that the Scottish Crown Estate should be managed by the Scottish Government and devolved those powers in 2017. “If it’s good enough for Scotland, why not Wales?” she questioned.
Through the Crown Estate, King Charles owns the majority of the Llyn Peninsula coastline, the Conwy and Gwynedd coastline, and the coastline from Rhyl to Prestatyn in Denbighshire, as well as parts of the Flintshire coastline where Talacre beach is located.
In light of this, Plaid Cymru argues that it is the people of Wales who should determine how best to benefit from the economic opportunity of renewable energy, not Westminster. These new figures further strengthen their argument. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com