And NHS faces biggest challenge of all over next four years, warns Auditor General
The Welsh public sector is facing unprecedented levels of financial pressure - with a funding drop of 12.4% (£1.9 billion), in real terms, by 2014-15. At the same time, services are facing rising demand and expectations. In his A Picture of Public Services 2011 report, the Auditor General sets out what the current and the future challenges are for Wales and assesses how well public services are already responding, as well as what more needs to be done.
The biggest test will be for the NHS in Wales, which receives the toughest financial settlement in the UK and faces a funding gap in the order of £440 to £570 million by 2013-14 . Like the NHS, Welsh councils will also face funding pressures with an expected 7% real-terms drop in revenue from the Welsh Assembly Government by 2013-14. While they fare better than elsewhere in the UK, budgetary constraint will lead to some council services facing a significant squeeze.
Public services will need to be realistic about their plans to bridge the funding gaps. In particular, efficiency savings alone are unlikely to be enough, particularly in the short term.
To view the full press release follow this link
A Picture of Public Services 2011 - A view from the Auditor General