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Saturday, September 08, 2012

Spending cuts and Government priorities

Today's South Wales Evening Post contains a rather bizarre response from the Welsh Government to the revelation by Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, Kirsty Williams that the use of agency staff by the health service is an expensive and inefficient use of scarce resources.

Instead of seeking to answer the charge their unnamed spokesperson instead launches into a tirade about the unrelated cuts being faced by the Welsh Government's budget.

There was a rather similar accusation in a letter in the same edition from Labour Assembly Member, Mike Hedges. He claims that 'all cuts to public expenditure in Wales are a direct result of the cuts imposed on Wales by the Conservative and Lib Dem coalition at Westminster.'

What all this misdirection fails to acknowledge of course is that cuts have only been necessary at all because of Labour's mismanagement of the economy including a failure to properly regulate the banks. In addition they allowed a huge structural deficit to develop in public spending.

Of course they have acknowledged this themselves. After all the last Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling planned cuts in public expenditure roughly comparable with those of the current Government.

The big difference between Labour's plans and those being implemented by George Osborne however, is that Labour would have made deeper cuts in the Welsh Assembly's budget, whilst their cuts to the Welsh Government's capital expenditure would have been deeper and faster than those currently in place.

It is funny how neither Mike Hedges nor the Welsh Government spokesperson mention any of this.
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