The UK Government has announced a £600million boost for the Welsh Government in today’s spending review by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The money, which is predominately aimed at benefitting health and education services in Wales, will seek to counter the devolved Labour Government’s evidenced neglect of both sectors in recent years.
Today’s figures make up the first in a three-year plan by the UK Government to up Welsh health and education funding by £1.24billion and £1.2billion respectively.
The funding is allocated by the Treasury’s Barnett formula, which automatically adjusts UK public spending announcements to reflect Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Also announced today was £20million of capital funding for Wales.
These commitments compliment the Prime Minister’s recent pledge to back policing in England in Wales, with 20,000 new police officers on the streets.
Commenting on the announcement, Welsh Conservative Shadow Finance Minister, Nick Ramsay AM, said:
“This funding comes as a welcome boost to Wales, and represents confidence in our country and our future.
“It’s up to the Welsh Labour Government how this money is spent, but I urge Ministers to make the most effective use of the extra funding to improve public services and end their failings in education and health.”
Shadow Health Minister, Angela Burns AM, also commented:
“I’m very pleased to see this large funding sum set to hopefully boost Welsh Government spending on the NHS in Wales.
“The service across this country is suffering greatly from neglect, with dismal ambulance response times, staff shortages, appointment cancellations, and five out of seven health boards under targeted interventions or special measures.
“I urge the Welsh Government to carefully assess how this money can be used effectively and to the greatest benefit of service users across the country as a whole.”
Suzy Davies AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Education Minister, added:
“For years pupils in Wales have been underfunded by this Labour-led Welsh Government by the tune of £645 per pupil compared to young people across the border.
“Instead of tackling the issues in our Welsh education system that have been failing our young people, for twenty years Welsh Labour have blamed someone else. This increase in funding should ensure that there is no place for the Welsh Government to hide.
“No longer able to blame austerity for their mistakes, they will need to take the decisive action that our young people need to ensure that they and their schools get the funding they deserve.”