My boyfriend is from Mexico and he says it should be "siempre cuando", and not siempre que, he said siempre que sounds like I am saying " we will hire the new teacher always when we have the budget" and not as long as we have
Siempre que means both whenever or as long as but whenever doesn't take the subjunctive but as long as does.
Siempre y cuando... is also a way to say "as long as", you're right. It is a bit more emphatic and I would say a bit more colloquial. Siempre que... is also a way to say this and also used in Latin America. They are synonyms.
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