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Welsh budget must prioritise economic and public service recovery say Welsh Conservatives

19 Dec 2021 4 minutes Read
Monmouth Senedd Member Peter Fox

Welsh Conservatives say the Welsh Government “must prioritise economic and public service recovery” in the upcoming budget.

The draft budget, outlining proposals for the strategic spending, taxation and financing plans of the Welsh Government, will be published tomorrow, 20 December for scrutiny by the finance and policy committees.

Commenting ahead of the budget, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance, Peter Fox MS said: “Labour have been responsible for running Wales since the days of Tony Blair, but along with their nationalist helpers, they’ve consistently failed to improve our economy and public services.”

He said they were calling for a package of measures that tackles deep-rooted problems in Wales’ health and social care services and support businesses during the pandemic.

Mr Fox said: “As we continue to face challenges from the pandemic, Labour ministers must use this budget to prioritise Wales’ recovery and address societal pressures rather than wasteful socialist and nationalist pet projects such as constitutional change and more politicians.

“Welsh Conservatives want to see the urgent introduction of a compensation fund for businesses who are being hit by cancellations in the wake of Omicron, as well as the extension of the business rates holiday to help firms on the road to recovery, securing jobs across Wales.

“We also cannot afford to ignore other serious problems in public health and social care, and this is an opportune time for ministers to listen to our long-held calls for the introduction of regional surgical hubs so we can ease the pressure on hospitals and start tackling Labour’s huge NHS waiting list backlog.

“The Conservative UK Government has provided Labour ministers with record funding to deliver for Welsh communities – an extra £2.5 billion per year on average on top of its annual funding of £15.9 billion – and it’s vital this is used to help councils keep bills low for working families, rectifies the chronic underfunding of schools, and ensures our infrastructure is fit for the 21st century.

“This record budget must be invested wisely to deliver on the priorities of working people, and with a laser light focus on creating better-paid jobs and delivering vital public services.”

‘Owed’

When the UK Government spending review was announced in October, Rebecca Evans, the Welsh Government’s Finance Minister, said: “This UK Government Spending Review hasn’t delivered for Wales. Vital funding priorities, such as the long-term remediation of coal tips and greater funding in rail infrastructure, have been ignored.

“The fact remains that there are clear gaps in funding where the UK Government should be investing in Wales and it has chosen not to. Arrangements for replacing EU Structural Funds remain unclear but what we do know is it falls well short of the £375m we were receiving – these are funds that support skills, businesses and decarbonisation.”

Adam Price accused the Chancellor Rishi Sunak of champagne neoliberalism, saying: “Cutting tax on domestic aviation, sparkling wine and bank profits while the planet burns + working families struggle. This is all you need to know about Westminster’s priorities. We needed moral leadership.”

Plaid Cymru’s treasury spokesperson, Ben Lake MP, also said: “With millions of people facing a cost-of-living crisis, today we needed a transformative Budget that would put money in people’s pockets in the short and long-term as well as ambitious policies to set a global example ahead of COP26. The Chancellor failed on both counts.

“£2.5bn for Wales is a good headline for the UK Government. But let’s put that into perspective. Wales is owed around £5bn in consequential funding from HS2, which the Chancellor once again today decided to withhold from Wales.”

 

 

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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

The outright hypocrisy of the tory scum when its their party in charge of the economy for the WHOLE OF THE UK and in that they are massively failing Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and anywhere outside the south east of England. This is their failure, not Cardiff Bays. We can’t even help businesses in Wales during shutdowns because of them.

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

The Tories may prioritise the recovery of an economy on its knees through Brexit, and corporate greed, meanwhile we’ll prioritise the health of our people.

Cat
Cat
1 month ago

So, Welsh Conservatives want to see the urgent introduction of a compensation fund for businesses who are being hit by cancellations in the wake of Omicron? Whilst over the border their Tory Chancellor has yet to do anything to set an example on this in England; their Tory Prime Minister can’t even stick to his own rules and their party just hands out contracts to their mates and pays compensation to companies who don’t even pay tax in the UK (unlike Welsh Government who refuse to). Welsh Tories are a massive irrelevance (and that’s being polite)

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

After years of austerity measures, which Boris himself has called an end to, the hypocrisy of Tory’s in Wales beggars belief. A recent report shows only 2 in 5 of the poorest areas of the UK, have had ” levelling up” funding, and this lot want to tell our Gov how to handle the small amount if money we are allowed to have from Westminster. And still they spout gibberish on how much ” extra ” funding they have given the devolved countries, and tell us how benevolent they are.

Cofid
Cofid
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Wales is suffering a ‘double whammy’ from Omicron and from the Oxymoron Virus (AKA an infestation of Welsh Tories).

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

Peter has in fact a good reputation from this years running Monmouthshire compared to some of his “ valley boys “ one party neighbours. He also enjoyed a quiet respect from a good number of x party council leaders across Wales. He may in his new MS role wish to give some thought as to how best he might be effective. He could just play the quiet waiting game within his group till ARTD retires or retreats again …..through the usual slogan attacks that reflect orders from Number 10 or perhaps use his standing & substantive real time leadership experience… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

No slap in your face, Richard, but if he was any use he would form a real party for us! Names you mention are noble but we have given ’em far too much time.

Last edited 1 month ago by j humphrys
Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

There may be some big choices ahead for these folk JH.

They have seen off the UKIP and fellow travellers parties and there appears little sign of a Liberal come back –

— so perhaps a chance for them to look at how they might add to the current national conversations …?

we must however always remember the 5th of OUR electorate they represent …and not insult these people …who are our neighbours, friends and families.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

We were never going to get the full amount we received from the EU. The Tories keep throwing these billion pound figures about but in reality they are under funding us just as they have always done.If they so keen to throw us these billions – why are they stopping us getting the £5B we are owed from HS2? We’ve had this sort of crap for years – it’s tiring, it’s well past the time we got out.

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