"Hypocrisy" and "spin" mask budget blows to councils and rural communities

Welsh Conservative Deputy Leader Paul Davies AM responds to the Welsh Government’s budget announcement, which he says has failed to deliver for communities across Wales.

He said: “In an interview published today, the nationalist leader Leanne Wood said that Labour are a ‘problem’ for Wales; and yet yesterday Plaid Cymru were falling over themselves to do a budget deal with Labour – this is the height of hypocrisy.

“Press announcements from both parties hailed the budget a success, but there was no mention of the real terms cash cut for councils, meaning that local services continue to suffer and the grapple of hardworking families continues to harden, already having to contend with rising council tax rates.

“Nor was there mention of the 4.8% cut wielded at the environment and rural affairs portfolio – the biggest loser in the Welsh Government’s budget. Yet again the budget, in black and white, demonstrated how Labour and Plaid continue to turn their back on rural Wales.

“There was more spin from the Cabinet Secretary who claimed that the Welsh Government’s budget continues to be cut. The reality is that the Welsh Government’s allocation will increase by £370m over the next four years – a fact already confirmed by the UK Government.

“Nonetheless, it is my earnest wish that this budget will deliver for Welsh communities where so many others before it have failed. Going forward, it is crucial that every pound spent by the Welsh Government is spent effectively, ensuring value for money for the Welsh taxpayer and a renewed focus on outcomes.”