Clarity needed on impact of cuts to public services as “something doesn’t add up” - Peredur Owen Griffiths MS

Plaid Cymru has hit out at Welsh Government for “bypassing scrutiny” over the proposed cuts to the budget.

At the start of August, the First Minister issued a statement confirming that Welsh Government’s budget was up to £900m lower in real terms, and that he’d be happy to answer questions in the Senedd.

Other Ministers have conducted media interview to discuss the cuts, including Eluned Morgan, who confirmed there is ‘no question’ that ‘there will be an impact on the public’.

However, following the first four weeks of Senedd business being published, it transpired that the government have not scheduled any discussion about their budget during this period.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for Finance, Peredur Owen Griffiths MS has said that this “bypassing” of scrutiny is “staggering” and that the public needs reassurance of what services may be cut, ahead of what could be another hard winter.

Peredur Owen Griffiths MS, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for Finance, said:

“The lack of transparency of the proposed cuts is staggering. At £900 million, this is no small matter and yet we do not have detail over how this figure was derived, let alone how it’s going to impact our public services.

“Back in March, the Finance Minister warned that the value of the budget had reduced by ‘up to £1 billion’ due to inflation, yet six months later the figure hasn’t changed even though the rates of inflation have – something doesn’t add up.

“Over the summer, we’ve had a written statement from the First Minister, and he and other Ministers have given media interviews about the proposed cuts – but no opportunity for us, as a Senedd, to scrutinise this gaping hole in the government’s budget.

“On this, the first day back to the Senedd, we would expect time to discuss this further, but with nothing scheduled for the next four weeks, it will only bring more and more uncertainty for those worried about another hard winter. Councils have already pared many of their services to the bone, and now they are left without knowing what further cuts they might be forced to make to valued public services.”