The Welsh Liberal Democrats have today set out the steps they would take to cut down waste in the Welsh Government. Throughout the election, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have run a waste watchers campaign, exposing a different example of the waste and inefficiency of Labour and Plaid Cymru in government on each day of the campaign.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats are the only party to have published a costed manifesto which sets out clear spending priorities. In addition the Welsh Liberal Democrats will take the following action to root out Government waste so that the money we do spend makes a real difference:
· Publish each item of expenditure over £25,000, as in Scotland and Westminster.
· Reduce the number of Council grants to reduce administration costs.
· Reduce bureaucracy for schools and phasing out the many prescriptive ring-fenced grants.
· Scrap the General Teaching Council and invest the money in a Quality Teaching Programme.
· Reduce the burden on colleges by reducing auditing, inspection and data collection.
· Crack down on the 1 billion pounds of waste in the NHS by establishing an Office for Health Spending to monitor rigorously budgets and hold trusts accountable.
· Develop a Welsh ‘locum bank’ to save money on hiring locums from agencies and making it easier for the health service to fill temporary gaps in provision.
· Ensure that hospitals are seen as the last resort. We will prioritise investment in community facilities to ensure that people get better treatment and at a lower cost.
· Scrap the subsidy for the Ieuan Air North-South airlink.
· Streamline inspection of farms by co-ordinating and minimising the number of visits.
Kirsty Williams, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:
“When every family, charity and business is making every pound stretch that little bit further, Wales needs a government that does the same. Instead, Labour and Plaid Cymru have turned waste and inefficiency into an art form.
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats have consistently exposed real examples of waste in opposition. The UK Government’s NHS McKinsey report cost them £46k but Labour and Plaid in Wales paid £500k for theirs. They’ve wasted £8 million pounds subsidising the Ieuan Air North South Air Link. They ran up £500, 000 of wasted expenditure on International Business Wales credit cards.
“Today, we set out what we would do to cut down on waste. The first step of any government serious about cutting waste would be to publish all items of expenditure over £25k. They do it in Westminster and in Scotland. Only Labour and Plaid in Wales have refused to take even this small step to cutting waste.”