Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams has criticised the Labour-Plaid Welsh Assembly Government for presiding over a sustained increase in spending on external consultants.
Research by the Welsh Liberal Democrats has revealed that the spending on external consultants has increased every year for the past six years increasing from just £1.9 million in 2004 to a staggering £11.9 million last year (2009/10).
WAG spend on external consultants by year:
2004/05 £1.9 million
2005/06 £2.5 million
2006/07 £4.3 million
2007/08 £4.6 million
2008/09 £11.2 million
2009/10 £11.9 million
The continued rise in external consultants calls into question the ability of the Welsh government to deliver efficiency savings of £50 million in Central Services and Administration as set out in their budget last week, over three years.
Kirsty said: “The people of Wales will be appalled that spending on external consultants has soared under Labour-Plaid and is continuing to rise at a time when they should be directing money into front line services.
“As spending on consultants has increased, the total number of civil servants working for the Welsh government has more than doubled in the last ten years.
“People will soon grow tired of the First Minister’s crocodile tears of the Welsh budget settlement when he is failing to get to grips with wasteful spending.
“When governments at all levels have to make difficult decisions about spending, the Welsh people need the Labour-Plaid Government to get serious about rooting out waste and inefficiency so that front line services do not suffer. It seems that Labour and Plaid Cymru are oblivious to the tough times we are facing.”