This week the Senedd will be debating the Welsh Government’s final budget, the final chance members to scrutinise the Welsh Government’s priorities and spending plans before the new financial year.

As Shadow Minister for Finance, I will be speaking in the debate, holding the Welsh Government to account and ensuring that the concerns that many in Wales have will be heard.

I want to begin by highlighting some of the positive steps that this budget takes.

I welcome the increase in funding allocated for the NHS here in Wales, especially at a time where our health service is under increasing pressure.

However, the increase in funding that our health service has been receiving is proving to be too little too late. For every £1 spent in England on health and social services, the Welsh Government receives £1.20, yet only £1.05 has made it to our frontlines here in Wales.

This has led to a lack of resilience in the Welsh NHS, leading to increasing pressures on both staff and patients.

I was also disappointed to see that the Welsh Government has not listened to calls to implement the same childcare support in Wales as the UK Government does in England.

In England, parents can claim up to 15 hours per week of free childcare for children over the age of nine months from this September.

In stark contrast, parents in Wales receive no support until their child is three years old.

This will create huge disparity between parents in Wales and England, especially among women whose career can be held back as a result of having to look after children due to the incredibly expensive cost of childcare.

This is especially disappointing considering the fact that Wales got £180 million worth of consequentials as a result of the support being implemented in England.

I was also disappointed to see that Ministers have still not passed on tax breaks for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector despite receiving consequentials from the UK Government.

Sadly, the harsh cuts to the rural affairs budget remain, with farmers once again seeing support reduced, despite seeing rising pressures on their livelihoods.

Ministers need to stop this short-term, knee-jerk policy making and implement long term spending plans to boost the Welsh economy and support Welsh families across Wales.