Reaction to Welsh Government Budget announcement

Following the Welsh Government's annual budget spending announcement today (Monday 16th December 2019), Amanda Davies, Group Chief Executive, Pobl Group, said:

“This budget announcement comes at a time when there is still much uncertainty surrounding the political and economic environment that the Welsh Government is operating in.  

“Public spending in Wales has increased in recent years and that is welcome, but it remains at a lower level than it was a decade ago. In addition, although last week’s election result was clear, the backdrop to today’s announcement is that we still don’t know what Brexit will look like and that poses many questions and challenges for the next 12 months and beyond. 

“That said, it’s always pleasing to see more funding going into housing and social care, the areas in which Pobl Group operate. The challenge for everybody is to ensure that we get best value out of public investment. 

“We should acknowledge that Welsh Government’s spend per person on social care is the highest of the four nations of the United Kingdom.”

However, demand for services continues to grow and we have to make sure that social care funding keeps pace to ensure that the most vulnerable people in our communities get the support they need. There is no doubt that we need to see a more coherent funding link between our health care system and our social care system. Amanda Davies

“As Wales’ largest housing association, we are set to meet our target of building 3,000 affordable homes between 2016 and 2021. We welcome the continued and increased commitment of an additional £175m that has been announced today.  

“Pobl Group is committed to playing our part in finding innovative approaches to providing more affordable homes in Wales. The Innovative Housing Programme is vital in empowering organisations such as ours to face up to the challenge of climate emergency and the issue of decarbonising homes. This is a priority for Pobl, as evidenced by a number of developments that are, or will soon be, underway, including the Active Homes scheme in Neath, Parc Eirin in Tonyrefail and Gwynfaen in Swansea, and we welcome the additional funding for the programme which allows us to work collaboratively with likeminded partners.

“Setting a budget is always a difficult balancing act. Overall, this budget shows a continued commitment to tackling the issues of affordable housing, social care and the climate emergency and we welcome this approach for 2020 and beyond.” Amanda Davies