Magazine article Public Finance

WAO Fears for Future of Welsh Services

Magazine article Public Finance

WAO Fears for Future of Welsh Services

Article excerpt

Spending cuts mean Welsh public services could run out of money unless there is urgent reform, according to auditors.

The Wales Audit Office this week published A picture of public services, a wide-ranging report looking at the challenges facing the public sector in Wales and lessons learnt over the past five years. It said the scale of real-terms reductions in spending remained unclear but could be £1.5bn over three years, with 'significantly sharper reductions not unthinkable'.

The WAO has urged public services to take action now. Interim auditor general Gillian Body told Public Finance that there were uncertainties about future spending. However, she added that organisations should start looking at how services are provided to achieve the same outcomes for less cost.

'We don't know whether some streams of funding are going to be particularly targeted. If the UK government pours money into defence, you can see Wales facing harsher cuts. If funding goes into devolved areas, then Wales could be in a better position,' she said. …

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