The Finance Minister Rebecca Evans and Local Government Minister Julie James have joined forces with the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) to call on the UK government to end austerity and provide a much-needed boost to public services.
In a joint letter to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury they urge the UK government to recognise the rising costs and pressures faced by public services and press for the necessary funding and flexibility to address these concerns.
The joint letter states:
“Whilst we welcome the increases to health spending announced last year and more recently, this has to be matched with increased investment across all public services.
“Local services have done all the heavy lifting during austerity with some services seeing real time reductions of up to 60%. We want assurances that these local services will receive new investment to meet the growing demands during this time of unprecedented uncertainty.
“We urge you to invest in the future of the UK now and provide the much-needed boost our public services deserve.”
In the letter local authority leaders also joined the ministers in expressing their deep concerns on the lack of detail available for replacement EU funding.
“Wales is a significant beneficiary of EU funding which is vital for our agriculture, businesses, higher education and the regeneration of disadvantaged communities across Wales.
“Once again we are calling for the UK government to keep its promise of ‘not a penny less’ than we would have expected within the EU and we are equally clear that the Welsh Government must retain autonomy in the development and delivery of successor arrangements with devolution being respected at all times.”
The Finance Minister will be reinforcing these messages with the Chief Secretary when she meets with him and devolved administrations’ finance ministers in London tomorrow.