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Public Expenditure

Volume 512: debated on Wednesday 23 June 2010

10. What her most recent estimate is of the level of public expenditure per capita in Wales in 2010-11. (3043)

The latest public expenditure statistical analysis published by the Treasury in April included data up to 2008-09, in which identifiable public expenditure per head on services for Wales was £9,209 while the UK average was £8,206.

Would the Minister agree that it is the quality of public money spent that matters, not the amount? Will the Government concentrate on quality rather than quantity?

My hon. Friend is entirely right. The former Government seemed to regard it as a matter of success that they spent money that the country could not afford. We recognise the need for Wales to be properly funded, but yesterday’s Budget statement provides a firm foundation for good-quality jobs in Wales.

May I join the Secretary of State in paying tribute to Lord Walker? I do so genuinely, but I am led to reflect on the fact that, since 1987, the Conservative party has not had a shadow Secretary of State or Secretary of State who represented a Welsh seat.

On the issue of law-making powers for the Welsh Assembly: after the boundary changes, what is the Secretary of State’s opinion of how many Members the Assembly ought to have?

Bizarrely, the question appears to be addressed to my right hon. Friend, whereas in fact I am answering. We must await the report of the Electoral Commission, when in due course that issue will be considered.