The Labour Welsh Government unsurprisingly won the vote and absolved themselves of any blame despite 19 damming reports from the Wales Audit Office regarding their failures to management money since devolution began.
The debate did however raise some issues that could help avoid such catastrophic failures of financial management in the future.
Firstly it had to be scheduled in Opposition time, not Government time proving as if we needed additional confirmation that no Welsh Government Minister has learned anything from the AWEMA farce of the past 12 months.
Secondly Conservative Suzy Davies asked whether the type of financial scrutiny debate it needs to be a regular feature of Assembly business from now on – the Welsh Government is culpable but if the 19 reports are anything to go buy the opposition needs to up it game as well.
Thirdly the point was raised by former Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones that Wales is more dependent on grants than any other devolved administration , he said ‘That is, of course, very important, but the auditor’s report also says that the use made of grants in Wales in very much higher than in other countries—he refers specifically to other devolved Governments, such as those in Scotland and Northern Ireland. He is, in fact, saying that we depend more on grants and use more of them than is the case with others. Naturally, when that happens, examples of mismanagement also increase.'
A fair point and one that should surprise nobody, Jane Hutt called Grant giving the 'Welsh Way' which sums up the prevailing attitude in Wales and sadly shows why if we want a more successful, enterprising Wales there is a lot of work to do to change ingrained attitudes of dependence that are.
The full transcript of the session is here