|Wales Green Party Leader Jake Griffiths has said he is astonished’ by news that the Treasury is to confiscate unspent Assembly money from a fund that previously allowed the Welsh Government to save’ for tough times.
End of Year Flexibility (EYF) as it is known, is a process whereby if an Assembly department spends less then its allocated budget in any given year, the remaining funds are placed into a Treasury account that can be accessed in later years.
The Assembly Government had planned to utilise some EYF funds to soften the cuts imposed by Westminster, but is now unable to do so thanks to Treasury plans to write off’ the money, totalling nearly £400m.
Jake Griffiths, who is fighting to become Wales’ first Green AM this May, said:
“It’s a sign of how ruthless the Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition is in its ideological programme of cuts when it disproportionately cuts the budget of the poorest nation in the UK and then steals unspent funds which were voted by Parliament to the Assembly in previous years. The £400m in question could make a huge difference in softening the level of cuts to Welsh public services but it seems the Tory/Lib Dem coalition is determined to prevent that from happening.
“Wales is essentially being punished for saving during the good years. Upon coming to power in 2007, instead of planning ahead the Scottish National Party spent much of the EYF money that had accumulated since 1999 before the Tories had the chance to claw it back. I hope that the Governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland put up a big fight to keep this money that is rightfully theirs.”