Labour-Plaid coalition budget pulls the plug on Wales' economic future - Kirsty Williams

October 5, 2009 4:37 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have raised serious concerns over the Budget released today by the Labour-Plaid coalition government.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said: " This budget will pull the plug on Wales' economic future. With a £7.2 million cut to 'Business start-up, grow, prosper and invest 'and savage 5% cuts to further and higher education funding, along with a £60.5m drop in capital spending on economic development, our economy will be starved of support when it needs it most. The argument for keeping public spending high during a recession is to stimulate economic activity this budget ignores that logic and slashes the very funding that will create the skill base, infrastructure and environment in which business can flourish. Wales' young people and entrepreneurs will be damaged most by this budget. "The Welsh Liberal Democrats will not be able to support this budget in its current form."

Ends.

Notes: * Economic Development Capital spending down £60,593m on 2009/10. (37m expected capital drawn forward 2009/10 & 23m as a result of Westminster funding) " The Lifelong Learning and Providers budget provides funding for the learning that takes place in 6th Forms, FE Colleges, adult community learning centres, workbased learning locations and Careers Wales. The learning that it funds includes A-level courses, vocational provision, community provision such as Welsh for Adults, apprenticeships and Skillbuild it therefore develops the skilled workers for the Welsh economy and the qualified sixth-formers entering university. The budget will require an average efficiency gain across the post-16 sector of around 5 per cent. The budget of Careers Wales will be increased by £0.8 million (with a further ESF contribution on top) as part of the measures to counter unemployment. The budget also includes funding to drive the strategic changes in the provider network through the transformation agenda. " p30 Draft Budget Final report * ' Business Start up, grow , prosper and invest ' - capital down £4.7m, revenue 2.5m - circa 4% drop on 2009/10 funding (C&R).

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