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Budget 'at odds' with Welsh Government's own aims

The Welsh Government's spending plans have been criticised for not fulfilling its own priorities. A report by a cross-party group of Assembly Members says that, while the Welsh Government described its draft budget as a 'budget for jobs', in fact more spending was being targetted at health services.

Members of the Labour party which forms the Welsh Government are amongst the members of the Finance Committee which has published the report. It calls for government priorities to be 'more clearly reflected and highlighted in budget proposals.' The Committee's Chair, Jocelyn Davies, says:

The draft budget put forward by the Welsh Government appears at odds with its own stated priority of ‘jobs and growth.'

The Committee recognises the reasoning for such a decision by the Finance Minister but believes that a government’s priorities and budgets should be more closely aligned.

We are also concerned at the lack of financial information about laws which have already been passed or which will be coming forward over the next year.

The Committee is aware that more and more legislation is on the horizon and we believe it is critical that the Welsh Government makes every effort to budget for the implementation of these laws.

– Jocelyn Davies AM, Chair of the Finance Committee

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Lib Dems: Welsh budget must help schools

Neither of the parties will say exactly what deal they'll try to reach with the Welsh Government but say there's more that they agree on than disagree. Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams says:

Welsh Liberal Democrats have consistently said that we will not support a budget that does not make progress towards closing the funding gap with England – starting with the poorest children who need the help the most. Nor will we vote for a budget that neglects the need to tackle unemployment and boost the economy by incentivising employers to take on new trainees. The growing crisis within our NHS is an issue that we will also want to deal with.

– Kirsty Williams AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader

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