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Black: Labour-Plaid budget ‘perverse’

2011 Chwefror 1 4:44 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have responded with amazement to the publication of the Labour-Plaid budget which has ignored Welsh Liberal Democrat proposals to focus the budget on building a new Welsh economy based on high quality jobs and improving schools.

Commenting Peter Black AM, Welsh Liberal Democrats Shadow Finance Minister said:

"Since the draft budget was published in November we have seen two reports that are highly critical of educational standards in Wales and new figures which revealed that Wales spends £604 less per pupil on education than in England.

"Wales deserves better than this, the budget should prioritise the two areas that can make a real difference to the Welsh economy now and in the future; education and jobs. This is the way that we will ensure growth in the Welsh economy and provide the high skilled jobs that we need."

Ends

Notes to editors: The Welsh Liberal Democrats have proposed amendments to the budget that amendments would establish:

  • A Welsh Pupil Premium, targeting additional funding for education at the most disadvantaged pupils in Wales from nursery to age 16. Schools will be able to decide for themselves how best to spend the fund. It could be used to reduce class sizes, hold after-school activities, catch-up classes or pay for classroom assistants.
  • A Jobs and Growth Innovation Fund to help Wales build a modern, entrepreneurial economy for the future, based on high-tech jobs and new ideas.

The Innovation Fund will be used to invest in schemes such as a business-graduate mentoring scheme, encouraging universities to patent ideas and capitalise on them.

"The perverse reaction of the Labour - Plaid government is to carry on regardless, ignoring all the evidence that urgent investment in our schools is needed.