- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
National Assembly for Wales – Labour AMs Joyce Watson and Eluned Morgan have slated an attempt by the three opposition parties to scupper the Welsh Government’s latest spending plans.
At the Senedd on Tuesday (7 March), Plaid Cymru members joined the Tories and UKIP in voting against the supplementary budget, which includes extra money for Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda health boards.
Following a testy debate, during which finance minister Mark Drakeford described as “extraordinarily ill-judged” Plaid Cymru AM Adam Price’s speech, the supplementary budget squeezed through on a vote of 27 For, 26 Against.
Criticizing Plaid and Tory AMs’ decision to side with UKIP members, Joyce Watson said:
“I was shocked to see Plaid and the Tories teaming up with UKIP on such an important vote. Had it been lost, key services and projects across Wales would have been at risk.”
Eluned Morgan AM added:
“I’m appalled that Plaid Cymru Assembly Members voted against the interests of their own constituents. How can they, and the Tories as well, complain about provision of vital services like healthcare and our local hospitals, and then vote against the money to deliver them? It beggars belief”.
Some of the things that Plaid, UKIP and Conservative members voted against include:
- £168.9 million to support the Welsh NHS. This sum includes £50 million to address winter pressures and to sustain and improve performance during the winter period. It also includes additional funding for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales and for Hywel Dda University Health Board in West Wales.
- £16 million for a new Treatment Fund for new types of approved treatments for life threatening conditions.
- £1m funding for the Air Ambulance Service.
- An additional £20m funding for Higher Education helping people upskill and improve their life chances.
- An additional £55.5m has been given to support construction and maintenance of the trunk road network in Wales. This is important investment to keep the Welsh economy moving.
- £4m allocated to Tata Steel for skills support, helping to secure the future of steel production in Wales.
- £30m towards achieving the Welsh Government’s goal of 20,000 affordable new homes across Wales, including money for the Help to Buy scheme.
- £100,000 to fund World War 1 commemorations.