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Jane Hutt responds to UK Government Budget

Finance and Government Business Minister Jane Hutt has yesterday responded to the UK Government’s Summer Budget.

As a result of the UK Government’s austerity programme, the Welsh Government’s Budget is £1.3bn lower in real terms in 2015-16 than in 2010-11.

The Finance Minister said yesterday:  

“I called for investment in our infrastructure, backed by business in Wales to boost the economy and continue to invest in schools, health and housing. We haven’t seen that today.

“Despite today’s £4m consequential, we are still £46m down on the Final Budget we agreed last December.  The Welsh Budget has been hit year on year since 2010, resulting in our Budget being lower by 8%in 2015-16 than in 2010-11.  On top of this, only last month the Chancellor announced a further cut of £50m to our in-year Budget. In advance of the Budget I wrote to the Chancellor to say that the in-year incremental cuts we’ve already had, including on capital, makes planning difficult – this is bad news for business and our public services.

“Whilst we cautiously welcome the National Living Wage and have in fact already delivered it for NHS staff in Wales, it is unlikely to cover the cuts to tax credits for most families.  Let’s be clear freezing working age benefits for four years will hit low income households hardest.

“Our initial estimates show that around 5,000 households in Wales will be affected by the lowering of household benefit cap to £20k.   A further 1,200 claimants in Wales could be affected by the changes to the entitlement of Housing benefit for 18-21 year olds.  

“We welcome the commitment to the ‘funding floor’ to deliver fair funding for Wales and will expect immediate action to secure this as part of the Spending Review.”

 

Channel website: http://gov.wales

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