Dyfodol i’r Iaith have sent a series of critical comments on the Government’s draft Budget to the Assembly’s Budget Committee. The organisation challenges the very basis upon which the spending cuts to the language have been proposed, and calls upon the Welsh Government to reconsider these damaging proposals which contradict their own strategic aims and legal duties.
Dyfodol states that the draft Budget shows that the Welsh Government receives more funding annually from London and that cuts to the Welsh language are totally unnecessary.
The Government will receive 4% more money by 2019-20, and the sum will increase yearly until then.
The figures used by the Government to justify the cutbacks is based upon inflation at a level of 3.6%. This is far higher than the maximum of 0.5% seen during 2015 and also higher than Trading Economics’ forecast of 2.1% by 2020. Cutbacks to spending on the Welsh language will be increased with inflation, in spite of the fact that that the Welsh Government’s budget is, in fact, increasing. This is clearly a decision based upon a lack of priority and vision for the Welsh language, rather than any economic necessity.
Heini Gruffudd, Dyfodol’s Chair said “In introducing these cutbacks, the Government is contradicting its own policy commitments to the Welsh language. At this key time, we are faced with shameful cuts to Welsh language culture, arts and broadcasting. At the same time, projects aimed at promoting the language are being cut and cancelled, while growth in Welsh language education remains unsatisfactory. Not much imagination is required to foresee the devastating cumulative effect all of this will have on the aim of increasing the use of the language.”
“Rather than imposing cuts on these key areas, the Welsh Government needs to present a comprehensive programme, which puts due emphasis on promoting Welsh language use in all aspects of family, social and cultural life in addition to promoting its use within the workplace. This will simply not be possible without appropriate funding.”