The Labour Government have unveiled their draft budget today, one key aspect of which was to allocate the additional £1.2bn in Barnett consequentials provided by the UK Conservative Government.
This follows on from the Spending Review where the Welsh Government budget would be on average £2.5 billion higher than the baseline for the next three years.
Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Finance Minister, Peter Fox MS said:
“The Labour Government’s budget today represents a display of smoke and mirrors. While times are tough, the UK Conservative Government has provided £1.2bn in additional funding.
“There are serious questions to be asked about whether the money being spent in successive budgets is actually delivering what is expected, with results in health, education and the economy sorely lacking. What the people of Wales expect to see from the Labour Government is funding being used in a way that finally tackles the long-standing issues that we face in Wales, as well as responding to the issues that we currently endure.
“The Labour Government need to focus on delivery and securing positive outcomes for the people of Wales to reduce our record waiting lists in the NHS, improve our poor education results and unlocking the Welsh economy.”
£3 million is to be spent to ‘contribute’ to the UK Covid inquiry, £2.2 million is also set to be wasted on ongoing work regarding ‘Senedd reform’.
Welsh Conservatives are arguing that these funds would be better spent giving answers and peace of mind to bereaved families here in Wales, with a Wales-specific Covid inquiry.
£70 million has been allocated for a pay boost for those in the social care sector, a move welcomed by the Welsh Conservatives. However, this funding is included in the local government allocation, effectively inflating that figure.