Scrutiny of the Welsh Government Draft Budget 2018-19: Evidence Session 3

Nov 15, 2017 | Articles, Assembly Business | 0 comments

Plenary Wednesday 15/11/2017

11:44:52
Gareth Bennett AM

Gareth Bennett AM

Party: United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)

Spoken Contribution – 11:44:52 Watch this contribution on Senedd TV Thanks, Chair. I think, from what the Minister, or the leader of the house, just said, Eluned Morgan is responsible for skills. Will she be responsible for Communities First legacy funding and the other employability programmes, like Communities for Work, PaCE and Lift?
Julie James AM

Julie James AM

Title: Leader of the House and Chief Whip Party: Welsh Labour

I think that’s you.
Gareth Bennett AM

Gareth Bennett AM

Party: United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)

Sorry—it’s the wrong one.
Alun Davies AM

Alun Davies AM

Title: Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services Party: Welsh Labour

Yes, that’s me, unfortunately. I’m afraid I will be dealing with all of those issues. Can I say that, in terms of taking these matters forward, I’d follow on exactly the points that Julie was making in the previous response? I think it is important that we look hard at how equalities are going to impacted by decisions that we take and that we do full equality impact assessments on all of these decisions, so that whatever decisions we take are shaped by the knowledge of its impact on different people within our community. The issues that Julie described in terms of people with disabilities, young people, for example, will certainly be guiding the decisions that I now take in terms of Communities First and the legacy programme.
Gareth Bennett AM

Gareth Bennett AM

Party: United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)

Thanks. What’s the cumulative total of funding for Communities for Work, Communities for Work Plus, PaCE and Lift in 2018-19?
Alun Davies AM

Alun Davies AM

Title: Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services Party: Welsh Labour

The total allocation is just under £16 million. I think I’m correct in saying that we have already allocated funding for this and it will be entirely within the prevention and early intervention Bill, which is part of the wider early intervention, prevention and support action budget line. And can I say, in tackling these issues, I worked with Julie on these matters in our previous portfolios—me from a point of view of further education and Julie as the then skills and employability Minister—and also bringing into my mind is the work on the Valleys taskforce, because I’m very, very concerned? I read the Bevan Foundation’s recommendations in the ‘Prosperity without poverty’ report last year, and I thought it was very, very striking, some of the points that were made in that report about how we, as a Government, need to be very, very mindful, not only about the equalities impacts of negative decisions we could take in terms of stopping doing things, ameliorating decisions that we take, but also how we focus our proactive work in terms of economic development, our policy on the economy, and how we then look at interventions, such as my previous portfolio in education, as well as some of the more social policy initiatives that we take. My approach, as I tried to outline in our previous session is to focus very much on the eradication of poverty, and we know that poverty doesn’t affect everybody equally. We know, for example, that poverty will affect women in a way that is far more profound in many of our most deprived communities than it does men. So, therefore, how does that guide our decision making? How does that take us in a direction to deliver social policy that is actually designed to address the real needs of people in our communities? So, I think the conversations we’re having at the moment on equality have to be absolutely profound in terms of where we’re going and what we want to do, and I think—and this is something that Carl, actually, was very, very clear on in all of our private meetings when we were debating these issues—that they have to be rooted in equality and not simply go through a policy gateway box-ticking exercise, but philosophically rooted in a determination that equality has to be a key outcome of what we seek to achieve.
Gareth Bennett AM

Gareth Bennett AM

Party: United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)

Thanks.