Earlier today I took the opportunity to question the Secretary of State for Wales about the changes to the Wales' block grant from Westminster, and on the impacts the cuts to this grant have has on Wales.
Madeleine Moon (Labour, Bridgend): If he will estimate the cumulative real-terms change to the Welsh block grant over the present Parliament.
David Jones (Secretary of State for Wales): The protections placed on health and education have insulated the Welsh Government’s resource budget from the extent of reductions faced by many UK Departments. In addition, the Welsh Government’s capital budget will increase in real terms by 8.4% next year and 2.4% the year after.
Madeleine Moon (Labour, Bridgend): Does the Secretary of State not recognise that the Welsh Government’s budget has been cut by 10% since 2010—a cut of £1.6 billion? Their capital budget to date has been cut by a third, which has impacted horrendously on front-line services. In my Bridgend constituency alone, that has meant £30 million-worth of cuts in front-line services. Does the Secretary of State not recognise the damage of these cuts to the people of Wales?
David Jones (Secretary of State for Wales): All parts of the United Kingdom are having to bear their part in repairing the economic damage that was sustained as a result of the downturn in 2008. However, I am sure the hon. Lady would recognise that since 2010 the United Kingdom Government have provided an additional £737 million to the Welsh Government, and it is up to the Welsh Government to live within their means.