Education and skills must be priority in forthcoming budget - Williams

2011 Medi 20 5:33 PM

Kirsty Williams indoor portrait July 2011 (Kirsty Williams)At the Liberal Democrat Conference in Birmingham Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has set out her party's priorities for the forthcoming Welsh budget.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

"It is nothing short of a scandal that as the schools performance gap between Wales and Scotland, England and Northern Ireland continues to grow, Labour still spends £600 less a year educating Welsh children than those living in England.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats will not back any budget that does not make progress towards closing the funding gap with England - starting with the poorest children who need the extra help the most.

"My fellow AMs were not elected to the Assembly to turn our backs on the desperate need to improve education funding in Wales or to re-boot the Welsh economy and provide training and hope for those without work.

"We will also not vote for a budget that neglects the need to tackle unemployment and boost the economy by incentivising employers that take on new trainees. Those were our priorities during the election and they will be our priorities at the next budget.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats will be the strong, responsible voice of constructive opposition that Wales needs.

"We will judge each issue on its merits, afraid neither to support the government nor to oppose it, where we judge that to be in the best interests of the people of Wales.

"Our priority now is to work to advance the policies that we fought the election on."

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