Wales is facing economic, demographic, social and environmental pressures that together are putting huge strain on our public services.
Wales Public Services 2025 (WPS2025) is currently leading a ground-breaking programme of work on Wales’ public finances: understanding the fiscal challenges faced and examining how what we spend – and how we spend it – can support the transformation needed across our public services.
Our story so far
WPS2025 launched in 2012 as an independent voice aiming to stimulate public debate about how Wales’ public services could be different in 10 to 15 years. Between 2012 and 2014 we championed two themes: the financial and demand pressures facing Wales’ public services, and public innovation as a key response.
Under a fresh partnership, established in 2015, between Cardiff University and five national bodies in Wales (the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), the Welsh NHS Confederation, Community Housing Cymru and SOLACE Wales, and hosted by Cardiff Business School, we are undertaking an ambitious programme over the period 2015-18 to investigate the implications for our public finances and services of dramatic changes, for example:
- Cuts in the day-to-day spending on devolved public services in Wales;
- An ageing population – the over-65s population of Wales is proportionately higher and growing faster than the other UK countries;
- High levels of poverty – a higher percentage of people in Wales are in poverty compared with the other UK countries;
- An environment which is subject to growing pressures;
- New tax powers – Wales is about to take on a range of new tax powers which will change the way public services are financed;
- Brexit – which could have significant implications for public finances and services in Wales.
We work with a range of partners including the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Public Policy Institute for Wales, the Wales Governance Centre, the Bevan Foundation and have also worked on specific projects with the Health Foundation, NESTA and others.
Here at WPS2025, making a difference is important to us. This is not just research for its own sake, we continue to be passionate about the transformation of Wales’ public services so that the best possible outcomes can be achieved for people across the country.
We are delighted that public innovation is being intellectually and practically championed by the Y Lab Wales, also hosted here at Cardiff University. To see our earlier reports on public innovation, please see here [link].