At a glance: Spending review Wales

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Pile of money
Image caption,
The UK coalition government announces its spending review later this month

The shape of future public services will become clearer in the later when the Welsh Assembly Government and centrally funded services learn the scope of cuts to be outlined in the Comprehensive Spending Review by the UK coalition government.

Many organisations and sectors have been preparing for and anticipating the cuts. BBC Wales rounds-up the most relevant news, features and viewpoints so far.


The Welsh Assembly Government has warned that the country is facing "very serious times" and has said it is preparing for revenue cuts of 3% year on year, and capital cuts of 10%.

And Wales could be more vulnerable to spending cuts than other parts of the UK because of the high proportion of people employed in the public sector, figures suggest.

Official statistics show that 344,000 people in Wales work in the public sector, or some 27.5% of all employees.

The leaders in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland issued a joint declaration, saying the coalition's cuts are "too fast and too deep" and may put the economic recovery at risk.

Around 52,000 jobs could be lost in Wales due to public sector cuts, according to a report from accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). That's 4.3% of total jobs in Wales - could go by 2015.

In Swansea, there are fears that the workforce could be badly hit by cuts as so many people work in the public sector. BBC News' Wales correspondent Colette Hume visited the city to find out more.

With half a year before the Welsh assembly elections, what impact will the spending review have on the outcome? BBC Wales' Welsh Affairs correspondent Vaughan Roderick has been finding out.

Around the country, BBC Wales has been gathering views on the impact and opportunities presented by the spending review.

Concerns have been expressed about the impact any cuts to housing benefit will have in Wales. Six Welsh charities have urged the UK Government to rethink proposed cuts to housing benefit.

They said the measures were "all stick and no carrot" and that they would hit the most vulnerable hardest.

BBC Wales political reporter Aled ap Dafydd has detailed the projects which could be under threat from spending cuts.

Local authorities in Wales have warned they face a £609m budget deficit over the next three years if predictions of cuts prove accurate.

Councils, such as Blaenau Gwent, have warned that cuts to services are "inevitable".

Health boards in Wales have said they are facing cuts of £380m by next April and have warned the total could be higher.

Staff and patients in Wales have been told by Wales' chief medical officer that they must do their bit to try to save NHS Wales money.

As many as 40,000 front-line police jobs will be at risk in Wales and England if expected budget cuts of 25% go ahead, the Police Federation has said.

In Wales, police forces have warned of tough times ahead amid fears over job cuts in front-line roles.

The Arts Council of Wales has said it will maintain funding levels for 2010/11 but is deliberating holding on to an unallocated pot of £1m as a buffer against expected cuts for 2011/12.

The director of the Institute of Welsh Affairs has said spending on the arts could help Wales out of recession.

There have been widespread reports that S4C's budget will be cut by at least a quarter by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Steve Thomas, chief executive of the Welsh Local Goverment Association, wrote: "The collapse of the banks has left a mess to be swept up and it looks like public sector spending is both the dustpan and the brush."

Kate Watkins, of the Wales NHS Confederation, wrote: "We're asking the public to have an open mind when it comes to how services will be delivered. There are ways we can do things better, but in a different way."

"The hope, and expectation, is that the macroeconomic benefits of returning the UK to a more sustainable fiscal situation will result in an overall higher level of growth than we would otherwise enjoy, and that is our best recipe for recovery," argued David Rosser, head of the Confederation of British Industry in Wales.

Lynn Hine, partner in charge of government and public sector services in Wales at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: "There is no doubt that local government and the public sector in general face swingeing budget cuts. The leaders of these organisations face significant challenges in putting in place the foundations for a very different future from the first decade of the 21st Century."

"The answer to the current round of cutbacks is not to try and squeeze more and more from a broken system, but instead to have the courage to look at the problems differently and improve performance by connecting things, not separating them," wrote Andy Middleton, managing director of the Pembrokeshire-based TYF Group.

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