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Jane Hutt announces £55m for health and housing
The Minister announced the Welsh Government will allocate an additional £55m from reserves to the health budget and for housing schemes in 2013-14, following the publication of the Welsh Government’s Second Supplementary Budget for 2013-14, which allows Ministers to realign budgets to meet demands and pressures.
The extra £50m announced today for the health budget is in addition to the three year £570m funding package for the Welsh NHS that the Finance Minister announced in October 2013, which included £150m in the current financial year.
Since the three year funding package was announced in October the Minister for Health and Social Services has worked closely with Local Health Boards on their financial outturns. However, there remain some financial pressures. The extra £50m being announced today will be held within the Welsh Government’s budget, rather than allocated directly to Local Health Boards, to ensure that there is sufficient budgetary cover to manage these pressures.
To boost economic growth and create jobs, an additional £5m will also be invested in the Social Housing Grant in 2013-14 to provide between 60 and 100 new affordable homes across Wales. This will create or support over 100 jobs during the construction phase as well as providing longer-term economic and social benefits.
In addition, resource funding is being transferred to capital to provide an additional £4.9m for flood defence schemes across Wales. This will enable planned work to be undertaken on flood schemes already identified as a priority to reduce the risk of flooding to homes, businesses and vital infrastructure.
Finance Minister Jane Hutt said:
"The allocations I am announcing today are shaped by the Welsh Government’s Priorities for Wales, which have been set in the context of the most difficult financial times since devolution - the total Welsh budget in 2015-16 will be 10% lower in real terms than in 2010-11.
"As a responsible Government we continuously monitor opportunities and pressures across all Welsh Government budgets, to ensure that we effectively manage the resources available to us and maximise the benefits to Wales.
"Despite the challenges we currently face we are determined to promote and progress policies which boost growth and jobs, tackle poverty, protect health service users and invest in our infrastructure."