Labour’s reckless cuts are having dire consequences for my constituents and people across Wales who rely on our NHS
David TC Davies, Secretary of State for Wales
It’s a fact that the Labour Welsh Government is one of the only governments in the whole of the United Kingdom to cut an NHS budget in real terms.
And two weeks ago, we learnt with horror that Labour, which is wholly responsible for health in Wales, had struck again –this time forcing health boards to make more than £60 million in cuts.
Labour’s decision to punch Welsh hospitals will only exacerbate the mounting pressures that they are already buckling under.
At present, 583,000 patients – almost one in five people in Wales – are languishing on a waiting list, as well as over 27,000 people awaiting treatment for more than two years (the equivalent figure in England is 190.
There are serious issues in broader health terms, too; take my own constituency, where Labour wants to remove overnight minor injury provision from Nevil Hall Hospital, as well as further plans to downgrade key ambulance stations including in Monmouth town.
I have experienced at first-hand Labour’s assault on local health provision, resulting in my elderly father-in-law waiting for over 26 hours to get into hospital after suffering a recent accident.
He might have been one of the many thousands of people waiting in A&E who aren’t even captured by the statistics which Wales collects on NHS performance.
Labour’s reckless cuts are having dire consequences for my constituents and people across Wales who rely on our NHS.
Unsurprisingly, Labour ministers are falsely claiming that they ‘had no choice’, before predictably adding ‘more money is needed from the UK Government’.
This is demonstrably untrue.
The UK Government has ensured that the Welsh Government is financially equipped to ensure the Welsh NHS receives what it needs. Currently the Welsh Government is receiving the largest annual block grant (£18 billion), in real terms, since devolution began.
This inevitably begs the pertinent question: where is large chunks of taxpayers’ money going, if not on our NHS?
Labour ministers are wasting it on countless vanity projects they have been dreaming up since 1999: from hundreds of millions wasted developing plans for new roads which have now been axed to the more than £30 million spent on imposing 20mph blanket speeds.
But one of their latest vanity projects is the most appalling.
Thousands of hours have been wasted in Cardiff Bay developing plans to create dozens of extra politicians in the Welsh Parliament.
It is a national scandal that, whilst instructing health boards to make £64 million of cuts, they want to go on a £120-million spending spree with taxpayers’ money to create another needless tier of bureaucracy.
Let me be clear: creating more Members of the Senedd will not tackle waiting lists or improve hospitals’ overall performance.
Sadly, strengthening the Welsh NHS isn’t a priority for Labour.
But it is for me.
I call on Labour to prioritise safeguarding the Welsh NHS and halt their plans to waste more than £100 million of taxpayers’ money on creating more politicians.
David TC Davies is the Member of Parliament for Monmouth and the Secretary of State for Wales.
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