Paul Davies AM, the Leader of the Opposition, took the opportunity to respond to the First Minister’s Statement today (March 24) to thank our hardworking NHS Wales staff, and to offer his support to the First Minister as the Coronavirus pandemic continues.
Mr Davies – the Leader of the Welsh Conservative Assembly Group – asked whether, in light of the pandemic and the announcement yesterday of a lockdown to slow and prevent its spread, an emergency budget might be introduced to continue supporting frontline services and businesses in Wales.
He asked further for reassurance that all budgets and financial allocations would be rigorously investigated to ensure that they provided the right support at the right time.
The First Minister said that a supplementary budget would be brought forward to realign Welsh Government budgets with new and emerging priorities, and agreed with Mr Davies that each budget would be examined to make sure they were still fit for purpose, or needed realigning to meet urgent needs.
Speaking later, Mr Davies said:
“These are extraordinary times.
“Just as people across Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom are pulling together to overcome this unparalleled national crisis, we politicians must – and are, despite our widely differing party affiliations – show our unity and take an holistic approach to tackling Coronavirus.
“Because now is not the time for party politics, and I don’t think the people of Wales want to see this – certainly if my inbox is anything to go by.
“I was pleased, too, that the First Minister shared my concerns and view that all must be done to support the essential services and key workers, especially to maintain provision of education for school and childcare provision.”