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  • "
    Crossbenchtory wrote:
    Mervyn James wrote:
    What about getting rid of Welsh MP's on the gravy train in London, we could save a few quid there. Welsh people endorsed and voted for an Assembly, just get with it. There is no argument to be made for a return to English rule again, we voted an Assembly in because they said Cardiff was 'Fort Apache' and they only used their 'welsh office' as an area to teach errant English politicians a lesson, until we kicked them out..... they had no respect for Wales, and still don't because Wales is Labour held territory, its the politics of sour grapes from Tories. But they still have no chance of getting in here. 3 generations have ensured that. We cannot all be wrong.
    Um, you can all be wrong and I would submit that you are all wrong.

    The assembly was set up by a labour government to ensure one thing and one thing only and that was to ensure that there would always be a minor labour power base somewhere in the UK irrespective of whether or not there was a labour government in Westminster. In that aim they have succeeded as Wales is now, effectively, a one party state because the population is either too stupid, or too brainwashed, to vote anything but socialist.

    And that is why Wales is an educational, health and economic basketcase!
    Unfortunately, that seems to be the case.
    Also, I would take issue with Mervyn James that Welsh people endorsed the Assembly.
    Most people didn't vote and those that did moistly voted against it, especially in the main areas such as Cardiff ,Swansea and Newport.
    The actual vote was manipulated to ensure a 'yes' result, which as stated above, has resulted in a one party state.
    Unless we get the 'chip off our shoulder' we are doomed to failure.
    I am making sure that my children get a good education and won't have to rely on the state.
    If they stay in Wales they will be net contributors to the feckless and work shy
    dependants that we are creating on a large scale with no self esteem and no future.
    My father was a Labour voter and a member of the party. I unlike the sheep have never voted for them because he did. I made up my own mind and got off my backside and did something with my life, instead of languishing in the past, blaming Margaret Thatcher for everything, as quite a lot of contributors on here seem to do."
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Gwent health board facing £100m budget gap

Free Press Series: Gwent health board facing £100m budget gap Gwent health board facing £100m budget gap

GWENT'S health board is warning that it will need to close an eyewatering budget gap of at least £100 million during the next three years, in order to balance its books.

The sobering estimate of the financial challenge facing Aneurin Bevan Health Board is reported in its medium term plan.

And the plan cautions that the estimate is based on a number of assumptions regarding issues like the costs of drugs and Continuing Healthcare, the treatment needs of the population, and on the health board breaking even this year.

On that basis, the estimate of the financial challenge to the end of 2016/17 is put at just over £107m.

But the report states: "This is considered a conservative estimate when compared to previous years, and with other health board peers. It is therefore important to note that the scale of the financial challenge may be materially greater than this assessment, but is unlikely to be lower."

That £107m is assessed as being around four per cent of the total expenditure over the three-year period 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17.

One factor that could make the figure even greater however, is if the health board fails to break even this year. Currently, it is forecasting an overspend for 2013/14 of £5.6m, which if previous arrangements were followed would require it to borrow the deficit sum from the Welsh Government, repaying it the following year.

Issues such as wage awards and the fluctuating costs of agency and locum staff could also have in bearing over the size of deficits in the next three years.

But the health board is that ongoing root-and-branch reviews and reorganisations of services and work patterns will help deliver the savings required to bridge the budget gap, while acknowledging that the challenge is huge.

Major shake-ups in the way key services such as A&E, neonatal, paediatric and obstetrics are provided will be announced next week, and these could help reduce costs, but even more wide ranging changes in the way the NHS in Gwent operates will be required.

The health board has already, over the past five years, saved more than £150m in order to cope with the financial challenges of shrinking NHS Wales budgets.

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