"Bare minimum budget too timid to make the difference that Wales needs" –Peter Black
Responding to the publication of the draft Welsh Government budget Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrats' Shadow Finance Minister said:
"Welsh Liberal Democrats have two over riding objectives for this draft budget: to improve education funding in Wales and to re-boot the Welsh economy and provide training and hope for those without work. Sadly, this 'bare minimum' budget is far too timid to make the difference that Wales needs.
"With just one in five children on free school meals, the poorest children, achieving 5 good GCSE's A*-C, this budget should have taken seriously the need to close the £604 per pupil schools funding gap for children, directing extra help to the children that need it most. The modest increase in schools funding is welcome but does not begin to provide the kind of resources Welsh children need and deserve.
"Labour continues to promote the same failed public sector programs aimed at tackling unemployment. As long as the budget ignores the need to encourage private sector jobs by incentivising employers that take on new trainees, it will fail to provide the boost the Welsh economy needs.
"As we analyse and debate the draft budget over the coming weeks, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to press the case for education and skills to receive the priority they deserve."