Welsh Airport buyout fears raised in Strasbourg

16-Jan-2013 @ 12:0

Kay Swinburne Kay Swinburne

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Controversial proposals to take Cardiff Airport into public ownership have been criticised in the European Parliament as a potential misuse of taxpayers' money.

Conservative MEP Kay Swinburne raised the issue of the Labour-run Welsh government's grand plans to enter the aviation industry when she intervened during a plenary sitting of the parliament in Strasbourg.

She spoke in a debate on public finance to question the Welsh Assembly's motives and wisdom in ploughing public cash into the struggling airport.

The MEP for Wales told the parliament: "In the current climate of fiscal consolidation and enhanced scrutiny of all public expenditure, governments at all levels should be looking very hard at what they can justify putting public money into.

"I would ask that my own Welsh government think long and hard about spending tens of millions of pounds of tax payers money on purchasing Cardiff Airport. When a private company that runs airports in Stockholm, London and Orlando can't make it profitable, how will the Welsh government and their civil servants be able to operate so as to return a profit to the taxpayer?

"I'm not entirely sure how the Civil Aviation Authority's worst-performing airport in the UK is going to prove a wise investment of public funds.

"Instead of pet government projects wasting scarce funds, we should be spending this limited public money wisely and investing in jobs and growth for the future."

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