Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford will today (8 August) visit the National Eisteddfod to speak about two important matters affecting Wales – Brexit and funding challenges for public services.
He will speak about the impact of Brexit on children, young people and their families in his annual Eisteddfod address at an event sponsored by Children in Wales, the national umbrella body for organisations and individuals who work with children, young people and their families in Wales.
The speech follows a period of intense debate, throughout the UK, about the type of Brexit deal the UK Government can negotiate with the EU before leaving in March 2019.
Professor Drakeford said:
‘Wherever we have the opportunity, we are arguing for a Brexit which protects Welsh jobs, Welsh businesses and Welsh public services.
“I believe the impact of Brexit is already being felt in people’s everyday lives.
“The price of Brexit internationally is reflected in the continuing devaluation of the pound. That is how investors around the world take into account our declining economic prospects. That devaluation works its way into inflation and higher prices at the till for families in Wales.
“If families are trying to manage on welfare benefits which have been frozen, then the very conditions which created Brexit in the first place – the sense of being cut off from the mainstream and being abandoned to bear the burden of austerity alone – are being intensified.”
Professor Drakeford will later talk about the funding challenges facing public services in the eighth year of austerity and budget cuts from the UK Government.
He will say: “The additional tax and borrowing powers devolved to Wales go some way to enable us to continue funding our essential public services and mitigate the consequences of a continuing programme of austerity from the UK Government, which shows little sign of ending, despite the damage it has done to public services and the wider UK economy.
“A number of difficult choices lay ahead. The Welsh Government is committed to leading that work, in partnership with local authorities, the third sector and others, to make sure that we deliver the funding and policies for the benefit of the people of Wales, for the services they rely on and for the communities where they live.”
The Finance Secretary will be speaking on Wednesday, 8 August 2018 from 1.30pm at the WCVA Building at Baltic House, Cardiff Bay and from 3.30pm on the Welsh Government stage in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay.