Welsh Government Budget – Welsh Liberal Democrats Lay Out Priorities Ahead of Budget

Ahead of the Welsh Government’s budget, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have outlined the areas in which they would like to see further progress by Labour and Plaid Cymru including an increase in funding for NHS dentistry, a greater commitment around capital investment for home insulation and the protection of Natural Resources Wales’ budget from cuts.

  • The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been campaigning to reduce inequalities in dentistry and raise spending per person to similar levels to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • On insulation the party have highlighted that under Labour’s current scheme it could take up to 135 years to insulate every household in Wales in fuel poverty and that improving insulation is vital to not only tackling climate change, but to save families money and reducing NHS spend on cold-related illnesses.
  • Finally on Natural Resources Wales funding the party is concerned that cuts to the real terms budget of the Environment Agency in England could feed through to Natural Resources Wales despite the ongoing sewage dumping scandal.

Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

We understand the enormous challenges facing the budget right now as inflation continues to impact the economy, however there are a number of areas we think Labour and Plaid Cymru are not being ambitious enough.

Firstly we want to see more money put into NHS dentistry to bring it closer in spending levels per person to Scotland and Northern Ireland. With massive backlogs in NHS dentistry and a growing two-tier system of who can afford to go private or not its clear we need to see this addressed.

Likewise investing in insulation now will save the Welsh Government money in the long term. The poor condition of housing in Wales has left families vulnerable to recent price hikes. A strong insulation programme would create jobs, tackle climate change and reduce NHS spending on cold-related illnesses.

Finally we want to ensure that cuts to the Environment Agency in England are not replicated in Wales. With sewage dumping in our rivers, lakes and seas out of control, the last thing we need to see is Natural Resources Wales hampered further.

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This entry was posted in News and Wales.
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4 Comments

  • Gwyn Williams 8th Feb '23 - 11:42am

    Ed Davey has been very thorough in saying how any increase in expenditure is to be paid. Either one has to say what is going to be cut or who is going to pay more in tax.
    The Welsh Labour Government can easily dismiss any call for increased expenditure by retorting “how is it to be funded?” To regain credibility the Welsh Lib Dems need a policy on taxation as well as expenditure.

  • Peter Martin 8th Feb '23 - 1:08pm

    “Ed Davey has been very thorough …..Either one has to say what is going to be cut or who is going to pay more in tax. “

    This is true for devolved governments like Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. They don’t issue their own currency. They are fiscally constrained by what they can raise in taxation, what support they receive from Westminster, plus what they can borrow on the open market.

    However it isn’t true for a Westminster government which does issue its own currency. Government creates money by spending it into the economy and it destroys it when it receives it back in taxation. Therefore the more it spends the more taxation revenue it receives. It doesn’t really need to borrow at all but does pretend to. It has control of its own monetary policy.

    It is mistake to think that when taxation revenues are high there is more spending money available to government. Government should conduct its fiscal policy in a countercyclical way to minimise inflation at the peak and recession in the trough.

    The ability of the Westminster government to control its monetary policy in a way that the devolved governments cannot does give it a significant political advantage. This is often overlooked when calls are made to devolve as much responsibility as possible to the English regions and constituent countries of the UK. The responsibility will be devolved but the political and economic power will not.

  • Mel Borthwaite 8th Feb '23 - 5:05pm

    So,
    spend more on dentistry,
    spend more on insulation,
    No mention of what budgets the Liberal Democrats would will cut to to enable the extra spending in these areas….
    Sorry, but the Liberal Democrats need to do better than this if the Party really wishes to be taken seriously.

  • Well I don’t think we need an extra 36 members of the Senedd, so that would save a few quid – may be wrong, but Tories are putting the cost of that at £75m over five years.
    And Cardiff Airport has already wasted £52m purchase and £40m written-off debt, all for the sake of ‘having an airport’.

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