This week in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have criticised the Welsh Government’s draft budget for failing to offer a long-term solution to the structural issues facing services across Wales.
The party have previously criticised the budget following its announcement last December for offering “the same old deal that leaves Wales standing still”.
Commenting, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:
“We all recognise the difficult trade-offs that the Welsh Government have had to make in the name of balancing priorities, the financial context we find ourselves in is sobering.
The UK Conservative government, through their reckless financial mismanagement, have ruined our nations economy whilst simultaneously giving us here in Wales very little financial backing.
However, excuses do not offer solutions and the Welsh Labour Government and their Plaid Cymru partners cannot expect to see long-term benefits from the short-term action they have offered.
The draft budget offered to us is woefully unbalanced and seems to exist only to paper over the cracks in our services instead of offering any solution to the long-term structural issues facing services across Wales.
The decision to divert hundreds of millions into emergency and critical care may alleviate our current funding pressures, but there is little evidence to suggest that it will deliver a change in outcomes or reducing the burden placed on our NHS.
Moreover, with spending outside of health around 10% lower in real terms than what it was in 2010, we risk unbalancing other priorities which could seriously backfire.
We cannot afford to be so short sighted, we need to be courageous and ambitious in offering a fair deal for all.”