Dyfodol i’r Iaith has called for an emergency meeting with the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, to explain the Government’s intention to cut spending on the Welsh language. This call comes in wake of the Government’s draft budget, which outlines the intention to cut £1.6 million (19%) from the Welsh language budget.
Although the Government has by now confirmed that additional funding will be available for Welsh in the community, what little spending there is on the Welsh language is still set to plunge.
According to Dyfodol, this cut totally undermines the Government’s commitment to the Welsh language, as this money has been earmarked for initiatives and projects which make a real difference to the language. Dyfodol i’r Iaith wishes to see an increase in funding to support new Welsh speakers of all ages to use the Welsh language within the very areas that are essential to its future; the home, the community, shops, businesses and social life.
The Government has managed to increase spending in several areas, but not on the Welsh language.
Heini Gruffudd, Dyfodol’s Chair said, “We can never reach the goal of a bilingual Wales without the Government’s enthusiastic support. We need far-reaching programmes to promote the use of the language and to increase the number of Welsh speakers. If we do not safeguard this essential element, any enforcement measures, such as the language standards, will become increasingly irrelevant.”
“We will be pushing for a meeting with the First Minister as soon as possible to secure a full explanation of the situation and to emphasise the importance of this funding to the growth of the Welsh language.”