THE CSR settlement means that for the Welsh Government, revenue expenditure will be down by less than 2 per cent in real terms each year, less than the three per cent they were planning for. Overall, the budget will be reduced by 12% over 4 years; the Government were planning for 16.5% over 3 years. Despite the obvious glee with which ministers have been playing the victim card, Wales has a better settlement than the UK overall.
This week, we have seen crocodile tears from a Labour party that is in denial both about the mess they created and the measures needed to get us out of that mess. It is pretty clear that the Welsh Government had decided what its response would be before the announcement was even made. Now it needs to get on with making the best of it in the interests of the people of Wales.
The next five years will be tough, of that there is no doubt. But this is not the doomsday scenario that many were predicting. It is three years since Labour’s Finance Minister admitted that cuts would be coming. WAG’s own plans would suggest that they have considered more substantial cuts than they now find necessary.
The First Minister now needs to show some leadership and ensure that his Ministers concentrate on making the savings required, in a way that minimises the impact in Wales.
Kirsty goes on to push for more efficient spending and an end to gimmicks at election time - what she calls "happy meal politics".
She also stresses the need for the Welsh government to show that devolution can work in advance of the referendum next year.
Read the full piece at WalesOnline.
Crossposted from Liberal Democrat Voice, an independent, collaborative website run by Liberal Democrat activists. Helen is a contributing editor at the site.