LOCAL Assembly Member, Nick Ramsay, in his role as Shadow Finance Minister, last week questioned the Welsh Government on how it intended to mitigate the 2% cut to local government budgets this year.
Speaking at the Assembly Nick said:
“The 2% cut is going to cause serious hardship, but worst of all that hardship is unevenly spread and will disproportionately affect rural authorities.
“I’ve got a breakdown of the settlements for the 22 local authorities here. Ceredigion down 3.4%. My own authority of Monmouthshire down 3.1%. Powys down a whacking 4.1% – good bit of bargaining from Lib Dems there. Why is your government hell-bent on penalising rural areas of Wales?”
“You only have to look at the figures for urban areas. Cardiff down 0.1%, Newport down 0.7%, Merthyr Tydfil down 0.9%. Coincidentally, Labour local authorities.
“I think the people of Wales deserve to know why this Welsh Government continues to allow rural authorities to be hardest hit! For the part of so called fairness it’s hardly fair is it? Isn’t it time for a new local government formula that recognizes the costs associated with delivering services over a large, rural area? “