Throughout last year/Early this year
Assembly Government Ministers indicate that challenging economic times lie ahead. Clear messages are given to Welsh public services that they should start their planning now for harder fiscal times in the future.
26th February 2010
The first Public Services summit emphasises the challenge of change, dealing with financial pressures and developing a collaborative, distinctively Welsh response.
18th March 2010
First meeting of the Efficiency and Innovation Board. The Board is established to lead on improving the efficiency of public services, and promoting innovation and workforce engagement in the way that services are designed and delivered to citizens
24th May 2010
The UK Government announces that it would be cutting budgets this year by a total of £6.2 billion.
22nd June 2010
The Chancellor of the Exchequer presents the June 2010 emergency budget. The budget contains an unprecedented combination of:
- tax increases – totalling more than £8bn by 2014-15;
- cuts in benefits – totalling £11bn by 2014-15;
- and further cuts in public spending – totalling £20bn by 2014-15.
The Welsh Assembly Government responds to the budget, describing the plans as “grim news for the people Wales”. Before making a decision to defer some or all of the Welsh cuts until next year – as offered by the Prime Minister – the Minister for Business and Budget explained that greater clarity was needed about the size of the cuts and how they would affect the Welsh Assembly Government’s existing spending plans.
The First Minister and Finance Minister start to consult with a wide variety of audiences on the initial planning assumptions the Assembly Government is using to plan for the coming years’ Budgets – average reductions per annum of 3% for revenue and 10% for capital. Ministers outline areas of the Assembly Government’s Budget which are to receive a degree of protection – schools, skills, primary and community healthcare, and universal benefits (concessionary fares, free school milk, free breakfasts, free prescriptions and free swimming).
6th July 2010
The Holtham Commission presents its final report on funding for Wales to the First Minister, Deputy First Minister and Minister for Business and Budget. The Commission’s report finds that Wales is significantly underfunded by existing funding arrangements.
13th July 2010
After very careful consideration, the Welsh Assembly Government decides to take as much of the 2010-11 budget cut as it can but without taking money from key policy priorities and especially without taking risks with the fragile economic recovery. The Welsh Assembly Government’s share of the cuts is £162 million, which equates to £113 million in revenue and £49 million in capital.
15th July 2010
The Minister for Business and Budget meets with the Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan and Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, together with Finance Ministers from the devolved administrations. The Minister discusses a wide range of Welsh issues with the Secretary of State and Chief Secretary including major capital projects important to Wales and the recommendations of the Holtham Commission’s report, in particular the importance of fair funding for Wales in advance of the UK Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review in October.
Progress continues in identifying where further revenue savings can be made in the Welsh budget. The Welsh Assembly Government continues to look for further savings opportunities over the coming months – but only where it can make reductions that do not lead to unacceptable consequences.
The Minister for Business and Budget sets out on a Budget Tour of Wales, meeting public sector workers to find out their views on where efficiency savings can be made and how services could be improved for those who most rely on them.
15th September 2010
Finance Minister to meet again with the Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan and Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, together with Finance Ministers from the devolved administrations.
20th October 2010
Outcome of UK Government Spending Review, which will determine the level of funding available to the Welsh Assembly Government over the next four years.
Welsh Assembly Government draft budget published, setting out how the available resources will be distributed between Ministerial portfolios and spending programmes.
November 2010 – January 2011
Assembly scrutiny of Government spending plans.
Early February 2011
Assembly Government final budget debated.