“Have you got your priorities right, First Minister?” asks Welsh Conservative Leader
Expanding the Senedd and the 20mph law change featured several times in the Senedd yesterday afternoon.
Yesterday’s First Minister Questions saw the usual robust exchanges, with Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew Davies MS challenging the First Minister in this initial question if ‘the health budget be afforded any form of protection under the current discussions that are going on in Government’, adding “I fully accept there are challenges across the whole of the United Kingdom, but Wales is the only country where all health boards are in some form of financial special measures.
He went on, “You really do have to ask: have you got your priorities right, First Minister? There is a petition, as we’ve heard, on the Petitions Committee website against the 20 mph blanket ban that has come in, up to 162,000 signatures. You are proposing to put another 36 politicians into this institution, at a cost of £120 million, and yet, when I offer you a simple chance to offer some comfort to those in the health service and those who depend on the health service that it would be afforded some form of protection in the budget round, you choose not to take that opportunity to offer that protection.
“So, have you got your priorities right, First Minister?”
The First Minister replied, “Let me repeat everything that we have done over this summer is designed to protect the health service. So, if he wants an answer on that, he’s got it.
“Everything we are doing is designed to help the health service in the difficulties that they are reporting; let nobody be in any doubt of that. And of course, the £92 million that the health service will save as the result of fewer road accidents is itself a help to the health service during these difficult times, and that’s every single year that they will benefit in that way.
“Equipping the Senedd to make sure that it can do the job that we are asked to do, dealing with a £20 billion budget, dealing with the powers that we now have to raise taxes, dealing with the powers that we have to legislate for people in Wales, making sure that this institution is fit for the responsibilities that we exercise and will be so into the future, that is an investment in all our public services to make sure that the decisions that are made here are the very best decisions that can be made.”
Spotted something? Got a story? Email [email protected]