Share of spending up

Treasury figures reveal how Wales gets some protection from spending cuts but did not get the full benefit of big increases in the past.

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  1. Nick Powell

Welsh share of public spending still down on 1999

Spending per head by the Welsh Government was 25% above England in 1999, now it's around 15% higher Credit: Welsh Government

The Welsh Government has responded to the news that its share of public spending per head is going up compared to equivalent Whitehall departments. It's issued a graph that shows what's happened over the years since devolution.

As public spending took off in the early years of devolution, the so-called 'Barnett squeeze' meant that Wales slipped from being 25% ahead of England to being 15% ahead. In other words, Wales got a smaller share of a cake that was getting larger.

It had fallen further by 2009 but has gone up again as the system is now limiting Wales' share of cuts, not increases. The fact that Wales gets higher spending per head is usually justified by our relative poverty and greater health needs but those factors aren't actually taken into account.

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