THE people of Wales are victims of “a gross act of betrayal” over the “ballooning costs” of the HS2 rail-link between London and the Midlands and north of England, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards has claimed.

Speaking ahead of the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review next week, Mr Edwards, Plaid Cymru’s treasury spokesman, branded the train-line an “England-only project” which left Wales facing reduced spending on vital infrastructure.

He said latest figures showed the cost of Phase One of the scheme – from London to Birmingham – had already risen by a third – to £30billion – in the four years since 2011, with the total bill expected to pass £80bn, and improvements in Wales were being undermined as a result.

"This time next week George Osborne is expected to announce cuts that will make the ones in the last parliament seem like child's play, whilst at the same time attempting to mask the ever-rising costs of HS2,” he said.

“The great danger is that ballooning costs of HS2 will mean that the life blood is sucked out of infrastructure investment elsewhere as future UK Governments push to complete their vanity project at any cost.

“As we have seen already, whenever money is needed elsewhere it is Welsh infrastructure that is denied, as demonstrated by the downgrading of the electrification plans for the Great Western line to Swansea.”

He claimed the Government’s classification of the project as for the UK as a whole meant Welsh taxpayers were funding the scheme while the road and rail network on this side of the border suffered.

"As things stand, taxpayers in Wales are paying into the public purse only to see that money ploughed into projects elsewhere,” he said.

“If HS2 was correctly classified as an England-only project, Wales would receive a potential £4billion which could totally transform public transport and infrastructure here.

"Both Labour, who proposed HS2 in the first place, and this Tory Government are complicit in an act of gross betrayal of the people of Wales, as they have failed to ensure that our country receives a fair proportion of infrastructure investment as a result of what is in reality an England-only project.”