15:55 – Mike Hedges
This is a very sad day for Swansea East and a sad day for health, as smoking cessation, smoke-free homes, exercise classes, healthy diet and slimming programmes end. A sad day for educational attainment, as Easter exam preparation, homework clubs and family learning programmes end. A sad day for people who would have benefited from money awareness courses, utility bills advice, basic budgeting courses, and income maximisation programmes. Last year, the first supplementary budget found an extra £10 million for higher education. Will the Cabinet Secretary ask the finance Cabinet Secretary for £10 million for Communities First in this year’s first supplementary programme?
15:55 – Carl Sargeant
I’ve had many conversations with the Finance Minister, and a sign of the times is that we are moving into a different space of tackling poverty. The Member is wrong—quite clearly wrong—to say that all of those programmes will end. He doesn’t know if they’ll end; I don’t know if they’ll end. What it does mean is that we’ve got to talk to communities about how we make them more resilient for the future. I’m very aware of the Swansea clusters—I’ve visited many clusters across the whole of the UK—so it is rather unfortunate that the Member uses that type of language to frighten people as opposed to being constructive in the way he approaches this in the Chamber.