Loss of golden opportunity – that is the view of Dyfodol i’r Iaith on the Welsh Government’s Budget. With the Government responsible for spending £18 billion in the coming year, spending on projects to regenerate the Welsh language seems disastrously short of the need.
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has already called for capital expenditure of £200 million to be shared between five Welsh counties to solve the crisis of residential and second homes. The Government’s current proposals to the Arfor fund and to build social housing do not come close to need.
Dyfodol i’r Iaith has also asked for priority to be given to teacher training and to teaching the language to teachers. There is no indication, says Dyfodol i’r iaith, that the new budget is going to give the necessary boost in this area.
Heini Gruffudd, Chair of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, said, “The need to transform the housing market in our more Welsh-speaking communities has long been clear, and the Government has accepted this. This budget will unfortunately continue the crisis.”
“The Government also knows that there is a crisis in the provision of staff with adequate language skills in primary and secondary schools. IRALE in the Basque Country received a budget of £25 million a year to teach the language to teachers, and some 1,000 teachers a year were taught the language in full-time courses over a quarter of a century.
“If we are serious about transforming the language into Welsh schools, there must be an equivalent programme to that of the Basque Country.”