Ahead of the Welsh Government’s budget, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have outlined the areas in which they would like to see further progress by Labour and Plaid Cymru including an increase in funding for NHS dentistry, a greater commitment around capital investment for home insulation and the protection of Natural Resources Wales’ budget from cuts.
· The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been campaigning to reduce inequalities in dentistry and raise spending per person to similar levels to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
· On insulation the party have highlighted that under Labour’s current scheme it could take up to 135 years to insulate every household in Wales in fuel poverty and that improving insulation is vital to not only tackling climate change, but to save families money and reducing NHS spend on cold-related illnesses.
· Finally on Natural Resources Wales funding the party is concerned that cuts to the real terms budget of the Environment Agency in England could feed through to Natural Resources Wales despite the ongoing sewage dumping scandal.
Commenting Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:
“We understand the enormous challenges facing the budget right now as inflation continues to impact the economy, however there are a number of areas we think Labour and Plaid Cymru are not being ambitious enough.
“Firstly we want to see more money put into NHS dentistry to bring it closer in spending levels per person to Scotland and Northern Ireland. With massive backlogs in NHS dentistry and a growing two-tier system of who can afford to go private or not its clear we need to see this addressed.
“Likewise investing in insulation now will save the Welsh Government money in the long term. The poor condition of housing in Wales has left families vulnerable to recent price hikes. A strong insulation programme would create jobs, tackle climate change and reduce NHS spending on cold-related illnesses.
“Finally we want to ensure that cuts to the Environment Agency in England are not replicated in Wales. With sewage dumping in our rivers, lakes and seas out of control, the last thing we need to see is Natural Resources Wales hampered further.”