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Budget 2015 - Securing Wales' Future

Stephen Crabb: "We need to stick to our long-term economic plan so that people across Wales can feel the benefits of the economic recovery."

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb today (18 March) hailed the Budget for securing Wales’ economic recovery, its support for business and for making a making a real difference to the lives of hardworking people across the country.

Mr Crabb said the Budget showed that the UK Government rewards hard work and that its long term economic plan was working for Wales.

Stephen Crabb said:

This is a Budget to help secure Wales’ future. It is a Budget that will cement the economic recovery in Wales, that backs business in Wales and that will make a real difference to the lives of hardworking people right across our nation. It comes on the day that unemployment is falling and more people in Wales are benefiting from the security of a meaningful job, a regular wage and a better standard of living.

It is a Budget for Welsh business. The decision to cut the Severn Bridge tolls will provide a major boost to the thousands of people who cross the bridge every day. It will not only help commuters but, crucially, the 1.7 business men and women who rely on crossing the bridge in small vans for their livelihoods every year.

By beginning talks on a City Deal for Cardiff, we’re boosting our capital city’s potential to create jobs, boost growth and attract investment.

By reducing the duty on beer and spirits, iconic Welsh businesses like Penderyn Whisky, as well as smaller breweries like Tiny Rebel, can grow their businesses and export Welsh products around the world.

The further commitment the Chancellor has made to the Swansea Tidal Lagoon project has the potential to be a game changer for the Welsh and UK economy. We have a once in a generation opportunity to create a world-leading renewable energy industry based here in Wales and I am delighted that the Chancellor has reaffirmed his commitment to this important project.

But this isn’t just a Budget for business in Wales - today we have announced decisive action to put money back in people’s pockets.

By increasing the personal tax allowance, we are making sure thousands more people across Wales pay less tax or no tax altogether. The new Help to Buy ISA will help over 45,000 first time buyers get onto the housing ladder in Wales and almost the entire population will benefit from new tax-free saving measures.

It is also a budget for those living and working in rural Wales. Tax changes for farmers will boost the rural economy and the fuel duty freeze will cut costs for the 1.5million car owners in Wales. The support announced for air ambulances is fantastic news for those in remote areas that rely on this vital service.

This Budget shows that we have a Prime Minister that understands Wales, a Chancellor that listens to business in Wales, and a team at the Wales Office that delivers for Wales.

The job is not yet done, but our long-term economic plan is working and it is crucial that we stick with it so that people in all parts of Wales can truly feel the benefits of the economic recovery.

Wales Budget measures:

  • Increasing the personal allowance to £10,800 in 2016-17 and £11,000 2017-18. Since 2010, the UK government will have lifted 167,000 people out of income tax altogether in Wales. By 2017-18 more than 1.2million people in Wales will see an average real term gain of £561.

  • From April 2016, 1.2million basic rate taxpayers in Wales will benefit from a new £1,000 personal savings allowance.

  • In a boost for motorists, more than 1.5million car owners in Wales will benefit from the cancellation of the planned September 2015 fuel duty increase.

  • VAT on the Severn River Crossings will be abolished once they are in public ownership post-2018. Small goods vehicles and small buses will pay £5.40 – the same amount as cars and caravans – down from £13.10. Heavy goods vehicles and buses will pay £16.30 – down from £19.60.

  • From Autumn 2015, 539,000 ISA holders in Wales will be able to withdraw and invest money into their cash ISA without it counting towards their annual limit for the year.

  • More than 45,000 first time buyers in Wales will benefit from a new Help to Buy ISA. For every £200 saved towards a deposit for a home, the UK Government will contribute £50, up to a cap of £3,000.

  • Some 3,050 farmers in Wales could benefit from an extension to the period over which they can average their profits for income tax purposes from 2 to 5 years.

  • The Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme, which allows small businesses and charities to apply for grants of up to £3,000 to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband will be extended by 12 months. To date, Cardiff has issued 385 vouchers and Newport 64. The scheme is also set to start in Swansea by 1 April.

  • The duty rate on spirits will be cut by 2% supporting Welsh manufacturers such as Penderyn Distillery in Wales.

  • The UK Government will enter into the first phase of talks on a Contract for Difference for Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. The scheme has the potential to create thousands of jobs and inject millions of pounds into the Welsh economy through regeneration, tourism and supply chain opportunities.

  • Talks will start with Cardiff and local partners towards establishing a City Deal for Cardiff to help boost the Welsh economy. Under the scheme, cities are given specific powers and freedoms to help increase economic growth, create jobs or invest in local projects.

  • The Welsh Government will benefit from an extra £18million worth of funding through 2015-16. This brings the total amount of additional spending power granted to the Welsh Government to more than £1.3billion since the 2010 Spending Review.

  • Energy intensive industries in Wales will benefit from the early introduction of a UK government compensation scheme to ensure they remain competitive in international markets. This will see compensation for the indirect costs of the small-scale Feed-in Tariff on electricity for energy intensive industries brought forward to October this year.

  • The Skills Investment Fund will be boosted by £4million to support the development of world class skills and training in the TV, animation, video games and visual effects sectors. Eleven companies in Wales currently take advantage of the Skills Investment Fund.

  • The film industry in Wales will benefit from an increase in film tax relief to 25%. The rate is currently set at 25% for the first £20million and 20% thereafter.

  • Video games developers in Wales will benefit from a new UK wide £4million Video Games Prototype Fund to enable start-up games businesses to develop their ideas into working prototypes.

For more information on the 2015 Budget visit here


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