Welsh Government unveils draft Budget
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans has unveiled a draft Budget with plans to invest more than £8 billion for the Welsh NHS alongside ambitious projects to help combat climate change.
In the first budget following the declaration of a climate emergency in Wales, there is significant new funding for low carbon transport and housing and support to restore Wales’ natural environment. This budget also protects major ongoing funding for renewable energy, the development of zero carbon technologies and access to nature.
The 2020-21 draft Budget will see the Welsh NHS receive an inflation-busting increase of £342 million next year, alongside an almost £200 million boost for local government. Core funding for local authorities will grow to almost £4.5 billion, boosting resources for schools, social care and other local services.
There will also be additional funding to tackle poverty, including extra support for disadvantaged pupils, and investment for town centre regeneration in a budget that delivers real term increases for all Welsh Government departments.
This budget also confirms that Welsh rates of income tax will be unchanged for next year, maintaining the pledge not to raise tax rates this Assembly term. It also focuses on longer-term, preventative measures to promote the wellbeing of future generations.
The UK government’s September 2019 spending round provided funding allocations for one year only. Following this announcement, like for like funding for Wales next year will be £300 millon lower compared with 2010-11.
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:
“This draft Budget delivers on our promises to the people of Wales and invests for the future of our planet.
“Despite a decade of austerity, we have consistently prioritised our NHS. Our plans will confirm a £37 billion investment in the Welsh NHS since 2016.
“As we take on the climate emergency, I am protecting our existing investment and delivering a new £140 million package with support for low carbon transport and a National Forest for Wales.
“Funding increases for other vital public services, such as schools and local government have also been secured in this year’s budget. Ministers have also worked across government to focus on long-term, preventative measures such as mental health investment in line with the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
“Even though our like for like funding remains below 2010 levels, this budget strives for a greener, equal and prosperous Wales.”
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