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Wales: Spending to be slashed

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Spending on public services in Wales will be cut to deal with a £900 million gap in its £20 billion budget. First Minister Mark Drakeford is asking ministers to find cuts not from themselves and their high expenses but from public spending: the people of Wales must pay. 

A statement from Drakeford on WalesOnline blames everything on the UK government. Nothing is ever his fault. An underspend of about £155 million last year went back to the UK Treasury because it cannot be carried forward. At the time the Welsh government was blamed for “poor record keeping and mismanagement of public accounts”. Nothing has been learnt.

There is no mention yet of where the cuts would fall. All areas are threatened. Perhaps Drakeford could save money by reversing plans for a big increase in Senedd members – that would save at least £12 million a year. Turnout for Senedd elections is under 40 per cent anyway. And the latest plans for a blanket 20 mph urban speed limit will cost £32 million over 5 years.