Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Finance and Government Business
HM Treasury released its latest Country and Regional Analysis of public expenditure this morning, showing that expenditure on services in Wales in 2014-15 stood at £9,904 per head, 11 per cent higher than the UK average.
The more detailed figures show that spending per head on health in Wales was higher than in England in 2014-15 and also grew faster in Wales over the latest year than in any of the other UK countries. Combined spending per head on health and social services was £172 or 7 per cent higher than in England in 2014-15. In addition, spending per head on education in Wales was 4 per cent higher than in England.
Whilst care needs to be taken when making direct comparisons with other parts of the UK, these figures are a useful snapshot of spending levels. They demonstrate the fact that we continue to invest more than England in health & social services and on education, testament to the value we place on our key public services.
Investing in the Welsh NHS is a key priority for this Government. That is why, since we published our final Budget for 2015-16 last December, we have provided nearly an additional £150 million for the Welsh NHS this year. Despite the unprecedented 8 per cent real terms cut to our budget since 2010-11, we maintain our focus on the services that matter most to the people of Wales.
However, we are ambitious for Wales and we want to do more to create modern, world class services. To make this possible it is vital that we secure fair funding from Westminster. The UK Government has committed to announce the details of a funding floor to deliver this alongside the forthcoming Spending Review. We have made it absolutely clear to the UK Government that the floor will need to provide a transparent and robust mechanism which puts the funding of Welsh public services on a firm and sustainable footing for the long term.