Public service workers comment on Welsh government budget

Tanya Palmer. Photo credit: Natasha Hirst


Commenting on Welsh Government’s announcement of its budget settlement for 2020/21, Tanya Palmer, UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary said,

For the first time in recent memory, public service workers will breathe a sigh of relief that for once, the headlines will not be about further service cuts and job losses. The additional money is to be welcomed, particularly given the recent devastation caused by the storms.

“Communities have been crying out for investment in their local public services.

“Ten years of severe spending cuts by Westminster starved Welsh government and Welsh councils of money. As a result, libraries, youth clubs and leisure facilities shut across Wales and 28,100 public service workers lost their jobs.

“One of the reasons why our NHS is so stretched, is councils have not been given the funds they need to invest in social care focused on keeping people in their own homes and out of hospital.

“One reasonable settlement doesn’t undo the cumulative effect of nearly a decade of Westminster austerity, or signal its end. Public services remain at crisis point in Wales. If you want quality public services to meet the growing needs of our communities, that needs sustained investment and an end to the unpredictable budget setting timetable from Westminster.”

Notes to editors:

  • According to the ONS Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey 28,100 council jobs were lost between Q1 2010 and Q1 2018 – equivalent to losing the seven largest private sector employers in Wales
  • For every 6 council jobs in Q1 2010 there are only 5 in Q1 2018
  • Link to UNISON’s report: Audit of Austerity


Alastair Gittins, UNISON press officer on 07816 53 83 97