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Welsh Conservative leader criticises Cardiff Bay Government’s £150k spend on ‘woke’ jobs

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The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies has criticised the Labour-run Government in Cardiff Bay after it’s claimed they spent £150,000 on four diversity officers last year.

The spend has lead to accusations that they are more interested in “woke” issues than dealing with everyday problems like the cost-of-living.

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A Freedom of Information request by the Welsh Conservatives revealed that “there are four staff in roles which have responsibility solely or predominantly for diversity issues in the Welsh Government”. Supported by colleagues across the organisation, the total sum spent on salaries for these staff during 2021-2022 was £151,436.62.

The figure only includes salaries and does not include other use of public money for the roles such as employer national insurance, pension contributions, and resources like computers.

The grades, salary ranges, and average salaries for the pay bands of the four staff are:

  • Team Support: Salary range £21,300-£24,630; Average is £22,963
  • Part-time Executive Officer: Salary range £25,860-£29,430; Average is £27,370 (Full-time)
  • Senior Executive Officer: Salary range £40,100-£47,470; Average is £43,437
  • Grade 7: Salary range £51,380-£61,440; Average is £56,072

However, the Welsh Government Employer Equality Report for 2020/21, released last month, revealed that pass rates for Fixed Term Appointment schemes in its civil service were lower for:

  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic applicants compared to White (12% compared to 18%);
  • applicants from a minority sexual orientation compared to heterosexual (11% to 18%);
  • and disabled applicants compared to not disabled (15% to 18%).

It admitted: “Overall (as an average across all schemes) we, generally, did not meet the new targets agreed in 2021”.

The Welsh Government workforce by race is 91% white and only 3% declared themselves to be of a different ethnicity. 6% did not declare or preferred not to say. The report also revealed that fewer than 200 of the 2,700 external applications to work in the Welsh Government were from non-white people.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies MS said: “£150,000 is not going to solve the cost-of-living crisis – but spending money on redundant, woke jobs shows a complete lack of perspective and priority within the Labour Government when it comes to spending public money.

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“Not only that, it seems that having diversity officers is not producing positive results, with any progress being very slow.

“I think spending this much money on this many people to tell the Labour-run Welsh Government that they should hire people based on demographic characteristics rather than on merit and the content of their character suggests something is deeply wrong within its recruitment practices, or that it is more concerned with virtue-signalling than achieving actual results.”

(Lead image: Welsh Conservatives)

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