Training: Understanding and influencing public spending

Democracy The Senedd
Photo: Bevan Foundation
EventsEvent Date: Oct 7th, 2021Time: 9:15 - 13:00

Join us for the first in a series of training sessions which look at how organisations can engage effectively with Wales’ policy process. 

What’s it about?

Almost all organisations are affected the Welsh Government’s budget, whether it’s paying into it via certain taxes, benefiting directly from grants and allowances, or by service users accessing services.  Many organisations’ campaigns call for additional resources.

But how well do you understand the budget process? And how do you influence it?

Why you should attend

This unique half-day training session will give you unparalleled insights into Welsh public finances, delivered by experts in the field. It will equip you with an understanding of the opportunities and constraints that affect your activities, highlight the best ways to try to influence spending decisions and inform you about key terms.  If you’ve ever wondered how the Barnett formula is calculated or what is a MEG then this is for you. 

The session will cover:

  • where the Welsh Government’s funds come from
  • trends in and pressures on expenditure
  • the budget cycle
  • scrutiny and approval.

Draft agenda 

1. Welcome and introduction 

2. £21 billion: where does it come from? – Guto Ifan and Cian Sion, Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University

This session will explain the role of the UK Government’s spending review and the importance of the Barnett formula. It will also outline the importance of devolved income tax and other devolved taxes. 

3. £21 billion: where does it go? – Guto Ifan and Cian Sion, Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University

This session will look at expenditure in the 2021-22 budget. You’ll understand the different components of the budget such as resource and capital expenditure, main expenditure groups and budget expenditure lines.

4. How budgets are prepared – Matt Wellington, Welsh Treasury

This session will outline the process of forming the Welsh Government’s budget, helping to identify the points where your campaign can seek to influence budget decisions.

5. Planning your campaign

Small group task 

6. Scrutiny and approval – Peredur Owen Griffiths MS, Finance Committee Clerk

How the draft budget is scrutinised in the Senedd, with an opportunity to ask a Member of the Senedd about the budget process.

Practicalities

The training will be delivered online, between 9.15 am and 1.00 pm, and delivered via Zoom.  There will be time for questions and discussion with experts as well as short breaks away from the screen. The number of places is limited to ensure that you have an opportunity to contribute. 

The delegate fee is a highly-competitive £149 per person, with a 33% discount for Bevan Foundation subscribers (£99).  Please note that booking fees are payable in addition to the delegate fee. 

Book Now

The Presenters:

Guto Ifan

Guto is a researcher on the Wales Fiscal Analysis (WFA) programme within Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre. His interests include public finances, fiscal policy, and tax devolution in Wales, and he writes and comments regularly on commentary and analysis on the Welsh Government budget, public services, and the Welsh economy.

Cian Sion

Cian joined the Wales Governance Centre in 2018 as a researcher on the Wales Fiscal Analysis (WFA) programme. Since then, he has led the team’s work on local government finance and social care, and contributes to the centre’s regular publications on devolved taxation and public expenditure in Wales.

Matt Wellington

Matt has been Head of Budget Policy and Delivery in Welsh Treasury for the last three years, where he leads on the annual budget process with a focus on strengthening the link between investment and outcomes. This includes multi-year Spending Reviews, longer term budget policy and the Budget Improvement Plan.

Peredur Owen Griffiths MS

Peredur is Member of the Senedd for South Wales East following his election in 2021 and is chair of the Finance Committee. Prior to he election, he worked for Cytun and Christian Aid, having previously worked in financial services.

Peredur will be joined by one of the clerks to the Finance Committee.

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