Local Senedd Member for Monmouth, Nick Ramsay who is the Shadow Minister for Economy, has expressed disappointment over the debate on the Supplementary Budget which took place on 24th June in the Senedd.
Speaking after the debate, Nick called it a “missed opportunity”, and renewed the Welsh Conservative call for a full Emergency Budget to face the economic crisis caused by Coronavirus.
Mr Ramsay, speaking later said: “The Supplementary Budget doesn’t do enough to protect both lives and livelihoods.
“It was an opportunity for the Welsh Government to show a complete change in gear in how it prioritises its finances.
“Instead, it’s another missed opportunity because it seems that the Welsh Labour-led Government hasn’t grasped that Covid is both a health and an economic crisis, and consequently, Labour has let Wales down.”
During his contribution to the debate Nick raised his concerns about the position of local authorities : “The Minister will be aware of the very challenging settlement currently faced by local government despite Barnett consequentials from the UK Government. And I appreciate that the Welsh Government has allocated money to support local government, but councils across Wales are still having to make difficult decisions. This leaves local councils with more questions than answers, and still having to make difficult decisions. Whilst some allocations have been made, the impact of COVID-19 has been overwhelming on local communities. This needs to be recognised and further supported, particularly as the lockdown is eased.”
In conclusion Nick said: “Wales is now at a crossroads. As policy starts to diverge between us and England, there will no doubt be a gap in the levels of consequentials received, and the Welsh Government's financial modelling and forecasting is absolutely crucial moving forward. Should policies continue to diverge, the Welsh Government will have to plug the gaps in funding lost from the UK Government, a political choice with a financial cost, you might say. What urgent discussions are you having, Minister, with your colleagues about how the divergence of policies will impact departmental budgets and, more importantly, what discussions have you started having about perhaps plugging some of those gaps? “