The Welsh Assembly will be shielded from any immediate cuts the Tories would want to make to the public sector if they win the general election, conservatives have claimed.
The Treasury grant would be spared and the spending plans for next year’s Assembly Government will be unaffected, the party said.
A similar promise for the budget for Scotland was made by shadow chancellor George Osborne (pictured) – the Barnett formula can be used if devolved areas of policy get the axe, he said.
Assembly opposition leader Nick Bourne said: “The budget is protected in relation to Scotland, it will be protected in relation to Wales. The debt isn’t suddenly eradicated by this announcement. It’s a debt that’s going to have to be dealt with whoever is in power. It does give us the option here, which I think is a useful option, in that we don’t have to implement all of those (cuts) in year one.”
But the Tories have also promised to protect NHS and international development funding from any cuts, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams said, adding: “One has to wonder how they are putting together a deficit reduction plan and what that would contain.”
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