Wales faces five more years of cuts, Minister tells public finance professionals
Wales faces years of cuts and no agreement yet to a long-term fair funding solution, Finance and Government Business Minister Jane Hutt told public finance professionals today.
The Minister, who was recently appointed an honorary member of CIPFA for her role in public finance, said the commitment to a fair funding floor for Wales in this Parliament – set at 115% of the England average – did not provide the long term funding solution that we are seeking.
The Minister said CIPFA members had:
“responded to the financial challenges by continuing to deliver high-quality services, supporting our communities and playing your part in helping to revive our economy”.
In her speech the Minister said:
“The Spending Review was another example of the UK Government’s sleight of hand approach to fiscal management, seemingly giving with one hand but taking away with the other. Everyone will suffer as a result of this announcement, but the most vulnerable will suffer the most.
“The Chancellor proudly announced that ‘we are in this together’, a statement that will sound pretty hollow to the millions of people on low incomes and benefits across the UK who will be deprived of a further £12 billion, on top of the cuts already imposed over the past 5 years.
“In Wales, we will do all we can to lift people out of poverty, by supporting the economy to create well-paid sustainable jobs and by providing people with the skills they need to find work. Helping them to help themselves, not punishing them for the failure of a policy of fiscal austerity by the UK Government which has resulted in the weakest economic recovery on record.
“We will also do all that we can to protect public services, an area that the UK Government seemingly also believes should be punished for their policy failure. Since 2010, the UK Government has overseen a 15% cut in public sector employment and with real terms pay cuts continuing for the rest of this decade. This cannot continue without further impacting the provision of services to the most vulnerable.”