Draft Budget: Best interests of Wales must come first
Ahead of today’s debate on the Welsh Government’s draft budget, Welsh Conservatives have reaffirmed their commitment to work constructively in the best interests of Wales.
The group has tabled a joint amendment opposing the budget, together with the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Plaid:
The National Assembly for Wales:
Declines to support the draft budget of the Welsh Government for 2012-13, laid in the Table Office on 4 October 2011 by the Minister for Finance, on the grounds that it does not adequately address:
a) The financial pressures faced by the National Health Service;
b) The worsening economic crisis;
c) The financial pressures faced by schools to meet the needs of disadvantaged children; and
d) The financial pressures on capital projects.
Shadow Minister for Finance, Paul Davies AM, said:
“We remain committed to working with all parties in order to obtain a budget that deals with the demands of the National Health Service, the economy and our schools.
“The Welsh Labour Government’s draft budget does not accomplish that. Its priorities are distorted and do not address the needs of communities the length and breadth of the country.
“’Additional’ funding for the NHS is not ‘additional’ when health spending is already being cut. Neither is this a budget for ‘growth and jobs’ when there is no further help on business rates.
“We believe increased flexibility is required from the government - in order to achieve a budget that is fit for purpose.”
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Assembly, Andrew RT Davies AM, said:
“This budget should be better targeted at health, schools and the economy.
“It’s not about a ‘magic pot’ of money. It’s about the priorities applied for the money available and properly responding to the needs of Welsh communities.
“The best interests of Wales must come first.
“We will continue to be constructive with all parties in order to obtain a budget with that goal at its heart.”