More Than Half a BILLION for Wales in Chancellor’s Budget

Wales will benefit from over half a billion pounds in additional funding for the Welsh Government, as well as £120 million for a North Wales Growth Deal, the Chancellor has announced in the Budget today.

This year’s Budget is a result of the UK government’s balanced approach to the country’s finances, meaning the Welsh Government will have more spending power, while keeping taxes low and debt falling.

 

Today’s announcements for Wales include:

  • More than £550 million of extra money for the Welsh Government, meaning its budget will have grown to over £16.1 billion by 2020.
  • £120 million for a North Wales Growth Deal, generating investment, jobs and prosperity in the region.
  • Continuing to support a Mid Wales Growth Deal, working with the Welsh Government, businesses and local councillors to agree a deal.
  • Supporting the delivery of the M4 relief road by reviewing the Welsh Government’s borrowing powers.
  • Giving Welsh councils the freedom to build more council homes by removing the borrowing cap on housing.
  • Appointing a dedicated manager from the British Business Bank in Wales, for the first time, to help to reduce geographical imbalances in small businesses’ access to finance.

 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:

“My Budget sends a clear message to the people of Wales – your hard work is paying off.

“Thanks to the UK government’s careful stewardship of the economy, the public finances are in a much stronger position and national debt is falling.

“This means we have more money to invest in Wales’s future – including £550m of extra funding for the Welsh Government and £120m for a North Wales Growth Deal.” 

 

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

“Today’s budget shows the scale of ambition the UK Government has for Wales.

“From the clear support for a North Wales Growth Deal, reviewing borrowing capacity to deliver critical infrastructure projects, and the additional half a billion of spending power, this is a Budget that clearly backs Wales’s future prosperity.

“The wider package of announcements made today show that we are getting the important things right – backing hardworking people and unlocking key infrastructure. Taken together, these measures are proof positive of a UK Government that is building on a strong foundation for Wales’s economic prospects as part of a stronger United Kingdom.”

 

The Chancellor set out his Budget against a backdrop of positive economic news across Wales. Since 2010, 151,000 more people in Wales are in employment and in 2016 it had one of the highest productivity growth rates across the UK.

The people of Wales will also benefit from measures to tackle the cost of living:

  • Fuel duty has been frozen for a ninth successive year. As a result of these nine years of freezes, by April 2020, the average car driver will have saved a cumulative £1,000 compared with the pre-2010 escalator.
  • The National Living Wage will also rise next year to £8.21 per hour, with the current rate benefitting around 81,000 workers in Wales. An additional 20,000 people will also benefit from changes to the Minimum Wage, which will also increase to £7.70 per hour.
  • The Personal Allowance will increase to £12,500 and the Higher Rate Threshold will also go up to £50,000, meaning people will keep more of what they earn.

 

 

On the announcement of an additional £550million to the Welsh Government’s budget:

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

“The Welsh Government regularly calls for a boost to their  budgets and yet again, the UK Government has increased the Welsh Government’s budget to over £16 billion pounds a year. A new funding boost of over half a billion pounds is a financial package that can deliver real change across Wales.

“The people of Wales deserve to see the real-life benefits of this cash boost. On top of the Fiscal Framework, this money will ensure the Welsh Government now has more means to grow the economy, attract investment, maintain its public services and support hard-working people across Wales.”

 

 

On the announcement of the review of the Welsh Government’s borrowing powers:

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

“The UK Government knows that sound infrastructure is the thread that ties Welsh prosperity together, preparing Wales, and the UK as a whole for long-term success.

“The decision announced today to review a £300m extension to the borrowing powers to the Welsh Government for key projects like the M4 relief road is a strong signal of the importance we place on supporting long overdue development of the road network in Wales.”

 

Marking the £120million investment from the UK Government in a North Wales Growth Deal:

UK Government in Wales Minister, Mims Davies MP said:

“The UK Government’s programme of City Deals and Growth Deals has helped local areas to thrive through innovative partnerships between central government and local decision makers.

“Today’s promise of a £120million investment from the UK Government for a growth deal for North Wales should now focus the minds of the leaders across the region to take their offer to the next stage, to energise them to attract the required investment from key private sectors, and enable us to achieve our joint ambition of bringing long term prosperity to North Wales.”

 

Responding to the announcement that there will be a 50p coin struck to mark the UK’s departure from the EU:

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

“Based in the heart of south Wales, The Royal Mint is a great British institution that has been producing British coins that have recorded the passing of history, changes in monarchs, national themes and important events for over 1000 years.

“As we mark the 50th anniversary of its operations in Wales, I’m delighted that the Mint will be marking another significant milestone in our history with the striking of a 50p coin that marks the UK’s departure from the European Union. I look forward to seeing the coin struck in Llantrisant over the months to come.”

 

 

On the continued support of a Mid Wales Growth Deal:

UK Government in Wales Minister, Lord Bourne said:

“The UK Government has invited the mid-Wales region to bring forward proposals for a mid-Wales growth deal. Our Ministers are currently talking to partners and to businesses across Powys and Ceredigion to build momentum and interest in a bid. We are also keen to see increased cross border links – in particular into the Midlands Engine to ensure the heart of Wales is fully connected into the economic powerhouses of the UK.”

 

On the announcement of £200million investment in the UK’s rural digital infrastructure

UK Government in Wales Minister, Mims Davies MP said:

“For the UK economy to thrive, it is vital we make smart investments to ensure our digital infrastructure is world class and fit for the future. And as we saw when we moved from dial-up to broadband, full fibre presents colossal opportunities to transform our lives and our economy.

“Full fibre connections are the gold standard and the further £200million investment announced for the UK’s digital infrastructure today is the next step to getting Wales better connected.”

 

On the announcement of a £315million Industrial Energy Transformation Fund

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:

“I have long-championed support for businesses in Wales, holding regular discussions with industry and listening closely to concerns about high energy costs. The announcement of a £315million Industrial Energy Transformation Fund shows the UK Government’s commitment to helping high energy businesses based in Wales like Tata Steel to keep pace with competitors elsewhere.”