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Budget and Government Mismanagement demands Welsh Assembly Reality Check - Welsh Lib Dems

April 22, 2009 1:56 PM

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, Kirsty Williams believes today's budget announcement is glossing over the stark reality facing the Welsh Economy. Kirsty Williams said: "This budget reveals just how badly Welsh taxpayer's money has been managed by Labour in Westminster. With government borrowing at frightening levels and Alastair Darling's fanciful predictions of stable growth in 12 months time - we face a public spending disaster. The Assembly Government may have managed to find some funding increases within this muddled budget but the sums add up to big cuts in Wales now and huge cuts in the coming years." Alastair Darling's budget failed to remove the 2.5% VAT cut introduced just months ago and now widely believed to have failed: Kirsty Williams said: "We estimate that over the next year, £8.5bn will be wasted on a VAT cut that is doing nothing to help Wales. That £8.5bn amounts to nearly all of the cuts Alastair Darling announced today for public services, between now and 2013. Why cut vital services and jobs, in health and education for the sake of a few pence. This budget fails Wales with a lack of vision, honesty and fairness at a time when we need to make huge changes." The budget also failed to take steps to rebalance the tax system: Kirsty Williams said: "The Welsh Liberal Democrats would put £700 in the pockets of low and middle income earners by raising the tax threshold. We would do this by closing loopholes that enable big business and the wealthy to steal away money that Welsh families should be spending on food, clothing and heating bills. Labour have deserted fairness, letting families suffer because of banking failure and failing as a Government to work for the people of Wales, not just the powerful few, who this budget continues to protect."