Welsh Budget announced

The Finance Minister Jane Hutt has announced her draft budget for 2013/14 in the Senedd.

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  1. Adrian Masters

Welsh Budget needs to spend more on pupils - Lib Dems

The Welsh Liberal Democrats say they won't support Labour's spending plans unless it finds more money for schools. As part of its draft budget the Welsh Government says it will spend nearly £5m more on the Pupil Deprivation Grant which came as a result of a deal with the Lib Dems last year.

But the Lib Dems say that's not enough. Finance spokesman Peter Black said:

In its current form, the Welsh Liberal Democrats cannot support the draft budget as we don’t believe it goes far enough to tackle the problem of making sure that children from deprived backgrounds get the fair start in life they deserve.

We are pleased that the government has honoured its commitment to continue the pupil premium funding for this and future years at the existing level of £450 per pupil. This reflects the agreement negotiated with the Labour government by the Welsh Liberal Democrats last year.

However, the link between poor educational outcomes and deprivation is still too evident and we need to see year on year progress to extend the pupil premium.

In short, the budget should go further to ensure that children’s achievement at school should reflect their ability not their background.

Further analysis will be needed of the draft budget and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to press the case for a budget that will serve the needs of the people of Wales

The Welsh Government needs the votes of another party to pass its budget. Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams has already held preliminary talks with the Finance Minister Jane Hutt. She's said that there's no spare money in the draft plans. That means more talks before the final budget vote in December.

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