Opposition calls to save Welsh grant

Welsh health minister Jane Hutt has fended off calls for the
annual £5.6m special grant for carers to continue to be
ring-fenced rather than absorbed into the general rate support
grant from 2005.

All three opposition parties at the Welsh assembly – which
together hold 30 seats, the same as Labour – made the call when
Hutt introduced her third annual report on the Welsh Strategy for

Conservative member Jonathan Morgan said: “Allowing councils
discretion on how they spend the money could destroy the benefits
produced so far by the grant scheme.”

Liberal Democrat member Kirsty Williams added: “Services which
have been developed would fade to nothing.”

Hutt said she had already extended the ring-fencing by two years
to 2005 and promised to consider research about the way the grant
has been implemented.

“I will raise the concerns directly with the social services
leads in the local authority cabinets,” she said.

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