Magazine article Public Finance

Cuts All Round for Welsh Departments

Magazine article Public Finance

Cuts All Round for Welsh Departments

Article excerpt

The Welsh Assembly Government published its draft budget for the next three years this week, with all departments set to experience a real-terms reduction.

Overall public funding for Wales will falJ by £860m next year and by £1.8bn by 2014/15, with only investment in schools, skills, social services and health protected from some cash decreases.

Revenue spending on health and social services is to be cut by 6.3% in real terms over the next three years. Cash funding will be frozen for two years, and increased slightly in 2013/14.

Spending on children, education and skills will drop by 5.9% in real terms over the budget period, local government and social justice by 7.1% and sustainability and housing by 9.6%.

The reductions come on top of an almost 40% cut to capital spending (or £667m) across Wales by 2014/15 announced in last month's UK-wide Comprehensive Spending Review.

Laying down the draft budget on November 17, the Welsh Business and Budget Minister Jane Hutt said the WAG was On record as stating our opposition to the speed and depth of cuts imposed by the UK government at this crucial phase of recovery from recession'. …

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