Scrutiny of the Welsh Government Draft Budget 2024-25

Tuesday February 6th, 2024

In January, WEN’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager Dr Jessica Laimann gave evidence to the Senedd’s Finance Committee on Welsh Government’s Draft Budget 2024-25 on behalf of WEN Wales and Wales Women’s Budget Group. This session followed a joint response in November 2023 from the two organisations by Laimann and Hannah GriffithsWales Women’s Budget Group Coordinator.

The resulting report by the Finance Committee, released February 2024, contains a number of recommendations advocated for by WEN and WWBG. See below for an overview.

“Recommendation 14. “The Committee recommends that the Minister publishes the remaining two gender budget pilots and works in collaboration with the Wales Women’s Budget Group / Women’s Equality Network to mainstream gender budgeting across the Welsh Government.”

Recommendation 22. The Committee recommends that the Minister provides further information to explain how the Draft Budget protects core frontline services funded and delivered by local authorities, particularly in terms of social care and education

Recommendation 33. In relation to the Discretionary Assistance Fund, the Committee recommends that the Minister:

▪ publishes information on the number of submitted and successful applications, including a breakdown by gender; and

▪ reviews the process of making the payments to ensure gender equality.

Recommendation 36. The Committee recommends that the Minister should review the childcare model:

▪ to assess its effectiveness and to ensure it enables the full time employment of parents; and

▪ to ensure it provides adequate support for women to access further and higher education…

Recommendation 38. The Committee recommends that the Minister reviews the rollout of the Warm Homes programme to ensure it reaches those in need as soon as possible.”


Update: In March 2024 Welsh Government published their response to the Finance Committee’s report, accepting each of the recommendations noted above except for Recommendation 33, which it accepted in principle.


The Equality and Social Justice Committee also released a report featuring recommendations by WEN and WWBG:

“Conclusion 1. We are frustrated at the slow pace of progress in mainstreaming gender budgeting processes. We note that these concerns are not new and that our predecessor Committee expressed similar concerns in 2019-20. We expect to see gender budgeting mainstreamed as part of the process for formulating 2025-26 budget spending plans at least 6 months out from publication of the Draft Budget 2025-26. This should include providing clear examples that demonstrate the impact of gender budgeting on spending decisions in budget documentation and other evidence provided to Senedd Committees on the Draft Budget 2025-26.

Recommendation 5. The Welsh Government should provide clarity and certainty on the implications of reductions to the equality, inclusion and human rights BEL for the sector including details of the likely impact on programme delivery. This information should be provided ahead of the debate on the Final Budget scheduled for 5 March 2024.”