William Eichler 30 August 2019

Welsh ministers call for ‘end of austerity’

Local government leaders across Wales have joined with ministers to call for an end to austerity.

In a joint letter to the chief secretary to the UK Treasury, Wales’ finance minister Rebecca Evans and local government minister Julie James urged Westminster to give public services a ‘much-needed boost’.

‘Local services have done all the heavy lifting during austerity with some services seeing real time reductions of up to 60%,’ they wrote.

‘We want assurances that these local services will receive new investment to meet the growing demands during this time of unprecedented uncertainty.’

Backed by the Welsh Local Government Association, the ministers also expressed their ‘deep concerns’ over the lack of detail available for replacement European Union (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,’ they wrote.

‘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.’

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