Manifesto Costings Q+A - here we seek to answer the most popular questions:
Our own costings have been vetted by two leading independent expert economists - Professors Brian Morgan and Jerry Holtham of the University of Cardiff School of Governance.
- How will you pay for your manifesto promises?
- We will receive more money from the Westminster Government.
- The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has forecast that a real-terms increase of +2.1% is expected in UK public expenditure in 2022-23.
- By using this forecast and projecting it across the five years of government we predict that the Welsh Government will roughly receive an additional £700m into its revenue budget per year.
- We will be more efficient and effective in government, saving us money
- When best practice is used as a benchmark rather than an exception, and the effectiveness of programmes are in constant review.
- It’s common in public spending that savings of 1 per cent per year can be made. We have factored this rate of 1 per cent efficiency savings into our forecasts.
- What savings are you making over the five year period?
Savings will be made by:
- Analysing more than 6,000 Welsh Government budget lines to judge which are least effective/not high priority.
- Conducting a productivity and efficiency review of the £9.2bn Health and Social Services spending which could release £300m into the revenue budget.
- Productivity and efficiency review of spending in other high budget line areas such as Housing and Local Government, Education, Economy and Transport, and Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs.
Taken together, these two sets of calculations will see over 500m released into the revenue budget in the second year of government, over £1bn released in the third year, over £1.6bn released in the fourth year, and over £2bn released in the final year.
- What will you cut?
Programmes which we review in government and are found to have a patchy evidence base will be cut. There will also be a zero-based budget review in the second year of the new administration.
- What is the zero budget review?
It’s a review based on zero-based budgeting, which means instead of starting from a traditional baseline consisting of last year’s expenditure, you start from zero and work your way up. In this way, no previous spending is taken for granted.
We will use the results of this review to meet a defined target of ending those programmes with the most limited evidence of effectiveneness.
- What has been the process of costing this manifesto?
It's been fully costed and independently verified and approved by two prominent economists - Prof Brian Morgan and Prof Gerry Holtham.
- What is a Carter-style review?
The Carter Review was conducted on the NHS in England and identified many areas in which duplication, bottlenecks and lack of productivity occurred. It identified £5bn worth of savings. Our pledge is based on 6% of this (which is the Welsh population compared to England’s population), and we aim to use similar methods of achieving these efficiency savings, which include increases in workforce productivity, decreases in administration, improving delayed transfer of care etc. These efficiency savings will be re-invested in the NHS.
- What are your plans for Capital spending?
- Plaid Cymru proposes to borrow £4 billion to support a £6bn green economic stimulus. Borrowing through UK government bonds is currently limited to £150m a year.
- The current Welsh Government has only borrowed £59m of the potential £750m over the last five years.
- Plaid Cymru would seek to raise the ceiling on such borrowing but if such an increase is not forthcoming borrowing would have to be from the capital markets via such mechanisms as the Mutual Investment Model (MIM).
- We have provided for debt servicing costs on the basis that additional UK government borrowing will not be forthcoming.
- What will the cost of servicing this debt be over the course of the 5 years?
£265m in the final year of this Senedd in 2025-26.
- Aren’t you mortgaging the Welsh government up for years to come?
No. Our plans are costed so that they are affordable and can be paid back. By investing now we will be delivering greater advantages to Wales in the future, growing our economy and creating greater receipts that will pay for future investment.