Conservative spending priorities would have led to nearly 10,000 teachers losing their jobs, according to a Labour AM. Welsh Tories have repeatedly said they would have protected health spending since the 2011 Welsh election and have acknowledged that other departments would have seen bigger cuts.
Labour's calculated its figure based on a 12% cut to education set out in the Welsh Conservatives' alternative budget for the 2011 election. It says analysis by the Assembly Members' Research Service shows that level of reduction would be the equivalent of 9,757 full time teachers' jobs.
Llanelli AM Keith Davies said it would have been 'catastrophic' for the education system:
– Keith Davies AM, Labour
Either the Welsh Conservatives are playing politics, as they know full well there is more chance of Andrew RT Davies winning Mastermind than becoming First Minister of Wales, or they are deadly serious about savaging teaching staff numbers so ruthlessly that we’d face classes of 50 or 60 pupils.
We are all fully aware of the grim financial situation that frontline services face in Wales because of David Cameron’s vicious austerity programme, but to concentrate cuts on education on such a scale would bring the school system to its knees.