What's in Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget for Wales?

What's in Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget for Wales?

10/27/2021 6:37:00 PM

What's in Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Budget for Wales?

Sunak promises £2.5bn annual boosts to Welsh government cash and £120m for levelling-up projects.

It will drop from 63% to 55%. At least 280,000 people in Wales are on universal credit.Mr Sunak said: "An additional £2.5bn per year in Barnett funding means the Welsh government is well-funded to deliver all their devolved responsibilities, while the people in Wales will also benefit from this government's commitment to levelling-up opportunity and delivering for all parts of the UK."

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The chancellor said all of the UK will benefit from the planned UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which is planned to replace EU aid."Over time" it will match EU funding of around £1.5bn a year, he said.But the Welsh government said arrangements for replacing EU cash remain unclear and it would receive less than the £375m a year in the past.

Welsh finance minister Rebecca Evans said: "While the spending review does give us some medium term financial certainty and some additional investment, it is more than offset by the inflationary and system pressures that we are facing."The budget fails to meet the scale of the challenge that families, public services and the wider economy are still facing as a result of the pandemic." headtopics.com

Image source,Getty ImagesWhat tax decisions will affect Wales?While many services in Wales like health and education are run from Cardiff, and Rishi Sunak cannot decide how money on them is spent, big decisions on benefit and tax are UK-wide.They include:

A cut to the taper rate of universal credit no later than 1 DecemberIncrease to national minimum wage for those over 23 to £9.50 an hourCuts to air passenger duty for domestic UK flightsPlanned rise in the duty on spirits, wine, cider and beer cancelled

Planned rise in fuel duty will be cancelled amid the highest pump prices in eight yearsImage source,John LambWhat was announced for Wales?The Treasury said it would provide an "additional £2.5bn per year" in funding to the Welsh government.

However, Budget documents show the cash planned for the Welsh government will increase by £2.3bn between 2022 and 2025, over three years, rather than each year.The Treasury was asked to explain further how it calculated the £2.5bn figure.Welsh government money funds services like health and schools, which are overseen by ministers in Wales rather than Westminster. headtopics.com

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The Treasury also promised £121 million from the Levelling Up Fund in 10 projects, and £460,000 of the Community Ownership Fund for three projects.The UK government said it would fund a "Veterans Commissioner for Wales", and would bring for ward £105m for the Cardiff City Region Deal to fast-track projects that range from innovation and Fintech, to manufacturing and infrastructure.

What are others saying?Plaid Cymru's Ben Lake accused the chancellor of failing to offer a "transformative Budget that would put money in people's pockets in the short and long-term as well as ambitious policies to set a global example ahead of COP26".

"£2.5bn for Wales is a good headline for the UK government. But let's put that into perspective. Wales is owed around £5bn in consequential funding from HS2, which the chancellor once again today decided to withhold from Wales."

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds said it is "shocking to see the UK government is cutting air passenger duty on the eve of COP26"."What message does this send to the world about how seriously we take our climate goals," she said. headtopics.com

Where are the levelling-up fund projects?The UK government has offered ten projects a total of £121m, including:Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage SiteRedevelopment of the Theatr Brycheiniog Arts Centre in WrexhamMontgomery Canal in North Powys

20km path from Carmarthen to LlandeiloOld College and Marina in AberystwythMuni Arts Centre in Pontypridd. Read more: BBC News (UK) »

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