Friday, 22 September 2017

Percentage NHS spending shows limit of Welsh Powers.

A report has claimed protection of health funds in Wales  could make libraries and leisure centres unaffordable

A review by the Wales Governance Centre and Wales Public Services 2025 said about 56p in every pound spent by the Welsh Government on public services could go to the NHS within four years.
The two Cardiff University-based think tanks said under current UK government plans, the Welsh Government should expect another 3% cut to its budget for day-to-day spending by 2021-2022, on top of a 11.5% cut since 2010.
Welsh ministers have promised to protect the NHS, schools and adult social care, meaning local authorities take a bigger hit.
The share of the Welsh Government's revenue budget the NHS receives could rise to 56%, if ministers find the money needed to keep up with a predicted growth in demand, the report has warned.
Cuts to Welsh councils have been smaller than in England, but spending on unprotected services - such as libraries, roads and culture - could reach 50% by 2021-2022, the study estimated.
It added: "There may not be a single tipping point but continued attrition would call into question whether the full range of services we have now is affordable."

First Minister Carwyn Jones said it was the "inevitable" consequence of Westminster cuts to Wales' budget.

Mr Jones told BBC Radio Wales:
 "We know how important health is and we have got to the point where it takes most of our expenditure.
"But we have experienced austerity since 2010 and it is taking more of a decreasing budget."
Speaking to BBC's Good Morning Wales programme, he called on the UK government to support public services, saying finances were being "squeezed".
Lets face it we are not going to get any more Money from Westminster and even if Jeremy Corbyn was in Number 10 it would be be unlikely that we would see any substantial change in theBarnett formula the mechanism used by the Treasury in the United Kingdom to automatically adjust the amounts of public expenditure allocated to Northern IrelandScotland and Wales to reflect changes in spending levels allocated to public services in EnglandEngland and Wales or Great Britain, as appropriate. 
Only an increase in powers would probably see changes in Barnett and neither the Tories or Labour are likely to do so.
What the Wales Governance Centre predictions  shows is the limited  scope of the current devolved powers.
Indeed I suspect that it was decided to devolve the NHS to Wales because t would become our problem not through any desire to boost devolution.
So what can we do?
The  Conservatives say he problems facing the Welsh NHS were "the product of nearly two decades of Labour mismanagement".
Tory finance spokesman Nick Ramsay said: 
"Successive Labour administrations have singularly failed to get a handle on worsening public health, long-term workforce planning, and wasteful practices - all of which have been compounded by chronic underfunding."
So Mr Ramsay seems to be saying that the way to end wasteful practices is to increase the NHS budget.
I doubt any reforms which increased NHS efficiency will make a huge saving that would lower the NHS budget to under 50% though it would be welcome.
What the figures show  however is not only the rising cost of NHS provisions un Wales, but how very little real powers are devolved here.

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