23 November 2023 – today’s press releases

  • Autumn Statement: NHS budget slashed by £5bn next year
  • Net migration figures: Conservatives need to accept that their approach isn’t working
  • Welsh Lib Dems leader calls for funding of the arts in Wales

Autumn Statement: NHS budget slashed by £5bn next year

The Conservative Government is cutting annual NHS spending by almost £5 billion in real-terms, figures buried in the small print of today’s Autumn Statement have revealed.

Jeremy Hunt has cut day-to-day spending in cash terms for NHS England in 2024-25 from £165.9bn in his March Budget to £162.5bn in the Autumn Statement, a cut of £3.4 billion.

In real-terms, that will leave the NHS budget £4.7 billion (2.9%) lower compared to 2022-23. It comes despite the Conservative government handing £3.8bn a year of tax cuts to the banks.

Jeremy Hunt also failed to mention GPs, dentists or ambulances once in his Autumn Statement today, despite the crisis facing patients and local health services across the country.

Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Sarah Olney MP:

It beggars belief that this Conservative government is slashing funding for the NHS while giving billions of pounds of tax giveaways to the banks. It just shows they have got their priorities completely wrong.

Jeremy Hunt failed to mention GPs, dentists or ambulances once in his Autumn Statement, showing just how out of touch he is.

Patients around the country are waiting months in pain for treatment and weeks to get an appointment with their GP. You can’t fix the damage the Conservative Party has done to our economy without fixing the damage they have done to our NHS.

Net migration figures: Conservatives need to accept that their approach isn’t working

Responding to the latest migration statistics, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

These statistics are yet more proof that the Conservatives are failing to keep to their promises on migration.

Public confidence in the system has been shattered, yet the Conservatives seem determined to just make everything worse.

From making it harder for the NHS and British businesses to recruit the workers they need, to pursuing unworkable, inhumane asylum policies while the backlog remains sky high. Not to mention the seeds of division they have stoked in the process of all this.

The Conservatives need to accept that their approach isn’t working. Instead, they should be tackling their failures, listening to businesses, and finally treating everyone with dignity and respect. The new Home Secretary needs to show he’s serious and get on with it.

Welsh Lib Dems leader calls for funding of the arts in Wales

This week in the Senedd, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has called on the Welsh Government to support the arts in Wales.

Organisations across Wales such as Theatr Hafren, the Mid Wales Opera and the Impelo have all lost funding.

Funding allocation is designated by the Art Council of Wales, however Jane Dodds has called on the Welsh Government to provide interim support to these organisations to prevent further damage to the cultural ecosystem in Wales.

Commenting, Jane Dodds MS said:

We as a nation rightfully pride ourselves on our rich culture, and a key part of this is our achievements in the arts.

Wales’ achievements have placed us on the map as a country rich in art, however we are at risk of losing this reputation.

Organisations across Wales like the Wyeside have seen their funding slashed, whilst others have lost theirs entirely.

But by extending a helping hand the Welsh Government can take a proactive stance in ensuring that the arts are able to thrive here in Wales.

It is vital that we secure the future of the arts in Wales, not just for now but also for future generations.

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6 Comments

  • Hasn’t this statement shown the paucity of ideas and strategies in government, and also left a whole section of the economy – the self employed and owners of SMEs completely adrift, bereft of support and even of understanding of the disastrous rise in costs, especially the great commercial electricity bill rip-off. Other countries controlled price rises (around 6-8%) , in the UK we let them raise bills elevenfold. Standing charges are a blatant con. More than ever the huge number of self employed and SME operators need a party in government to represent them. Will the LDs rise to the challenge and engage with what should be a natural constituency for them.

  • Steve Trevethan 24th Nov '23 - 9:29am

    Might our party promote a positive, assertive, generally sound and citizen caring set of socio-economic policies in a lively, catchy form?

  • @ Steve Trevethan “Might our party promote a positive, assertive, generally sound and citizen caring set of socio-economic policies in a lively, catchy form ?”

    Indeed it might, Steve, but I leave it to you to assess whether past recent performance is the best indicator of future performance.

  • nigel hunter 24th Nov '23 - 2:23pm

    Migration and there way of doing it.They can do the same thing over and over for it hammers the problem in peoples minds that it is an intractable problem.It gains peoples support for the next election.A lie said over and over becomes true in peoples minds.Brainwashing.As done in the 1930s.

  • Steve Trevethan 24th Nov '23 - 3:28pm

    A tip of the hat to Mr Raw!

    Might working on relevant, attractive economic policies, especially those which are fair to younger voters, be a better use of time and other resources than merely moaning about an inept, asset striping government?

  • And a tip of the hat to you too, Mr Trevethen. Indeed it might…….. but…..

    I’d add two further factors as necessary ingredients for success. When the party that I first joined way back in 1962 did well…. which on occasion it did…. it had the benefit of a UK wide focus going far beyond what is now referred to as ‘the Blue Wall’. It also had the benefit of lively charismatic Leadership which attracted widespread support, attention and respect throughout the whole of the UK.

    The trouble with relying on temporary success in ‘blue wall’ restricted areas is that the tide in the deep blue Tory sea inevitably and eventually comes back in again. My old friend Michael Meadowcroft had a bit to say about this on LDV a few days ago.

    My preference is for a radical party to provide a critique (and hopefully some solutions) to what has become an increasingly divided society run by the few ‘Haves’ at the top who dictate and dissimulate to the many more unhappy dissatisfied ‘Have Nots’ at the bottom.

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