Welsh cabinet secretary for finance calls for funding to be protected post-Brexit

25-11-16

PRESS RELEASE

25 November 2016

Welsh cabinet secretary for finance calls for funding to be protected post-Brexit

Addressing public service finance leaders at the CIPFA Wales Annual Conference (Thursday 24 November) Mark Drakeford, the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance, said funding for approved structural and investment projects must be continued after Brexit.

At the event which brought together the top figures in public finance in Wales, Mark Drakeford said that while he had received assurances from the UK government that Wales will continue to receive funding, they must work to guarantee its protection.

In his address, Mark Drakeford said:

“The decision to leave the EU is the single biggest issue to face the UK in a generation. Wales must be involved in the negotiation process to ensure we can get the best possible deal for Wales and the three million people living here.

“Infrastructure investment is one of the key areas we are working to protect. It is central to the Welsh Government’s ambitions and is vitally important for business confidence and for the long-term economic wellbeing of people and communities in Wales.”

Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive, CIPFA, commented:

“Public servants in Wales have faced one of the most challenging periods and have had to make tough decisions to achieve financial stability. Given Brexit, it is likely that budgets may be even more constrained.

“Therefore, it is hugely important that the Welsh Government plays a key role in the Brexit negotiation process to not only identify the risks but also to promote the opportunities of wider reform.”

ENDS

For further information and for photos of Mark Drakeford’s address please contact Saskia Black on 020 7543 5830 or email E: corporate@cipfa.org

Further information

In his address, Mark Drakeford also discussed Wednesday’s Autumn Statement and the additional capital funding announced by the chancellor. He said:

“Although the chancellor’s announcement didn’t go as far as we had hoped, it provided some extra capital investment which goes some way to restoring the cuts we have seen to our budget over recent years.

Wales has shown there is an alternative to austerity. In our draft Budget last month, we provided confidence and assurance to the construction sector, investors and businesses at a time of economic uncertainty by publishing four-year capital spending plans, putting the Welsh economy on a firm footing.

We will consider how we use the additional funding announced in the Autumn Statement to support our investment priorities, which are set out in Taking Wales Forward. We will make an announcement about this in the near future.”

 

About CIPFA Cymru Wales Annual Conference

On Thursday 24 November 2016, public finance professionals, politicians and decision makers gathered in Cardiff at what was the biggest public sector conference in Wales, an intensive single day conference providing a programme with plenary sessions and streamed optional workshops, as well as an evening of entertainment.

More than one year after a UK election and nearly six months into the new term for the Welsh Government, Wales’s constitutional makeup is still evolving with the prospect of greater powers and public services looking much different. Meanwhile, the main reference point continues to be challenging financial and economic conditions and limits to the amount of public finance which will be available. The conference linked these themes by focusing on the empowerment of public finance professionals and decision makers in Wales to guide us confidently through the challenging financial times.

About CIPFA

CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy,  is one of the leading professional accountancy bodies in the UK and the only one which specialises in the public services. It is responsible for the education and training of professional accountants and for their regulation through the setting and monitoring of professional standards.

Uniquely among the professional accountancy bodies in the UK, CIPFA has responsibility for setting accounting standards for a significant part of the economy, namely local government. CIPFA’s members work (often at the most senior level) in public service bodies, national audit agencies and major accountancy firms. They are respected throughout for their high technical and ethical standards and professional integrity. CIPFA also provides a range of high quality advisory, information and training and consultancy services to public service organisations. As such, CIPFA is the leading independent commentator on managing and accounting for public money.