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‘Allocating £50m to bail out LHBs sends the wrong message’- Peter Black AM

2014 Chwefror 11 4:16 PM

In response to the publication of the Supplementary Budget Peter Black, Welsh Liberal Democrat Finance Spokesperson, has accused the Welsh Labour government of sending a clear message to health boards that it is willing to continue to bail them out. The Welsh government has allocated £50m in "the event that some Local Health Boards are unable to achieve a breakeven position".

Peter Black has also questioned why the Welsh government has decided to increase investment in Finance Wales despite recent criticisms aimed at the bank.

Peter Black AM said:

"Time and time again the Welsh Labour government has gone back on its word and bailed out Welsh health boards when they have overspent. It would seem the Welsh Labour government is prepared for this arrangement to continue.

"The constant cycle of health board bailouts is completely unsustainable. Yet, through this supplementary budget, the Welsh Labour government has sent the message out loud and clear that it is prepared to carry on bailing health boards whenever the have lost control of finances.

"The Welsh Labour government and health boards must demonstrate that every penny of the extra money will deliver better outcomes for Welsh patients by employing more nurses and addressing record breaking waiting times.

"I also find it bizarre that the Welsh Labour government has decided to throw an extra £32 million to this investment bank. Only recently, Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, who has been advising the government, stated that Finance Wales was not fit for purpose.

"Finance Wales has lacked focus and has left many businesses confused about what support it actually offers. It is essential that small businesses have access to funding at affordable rates and that is something that Finance Wales has simply not offered.