Budget 2021: ‘Clear gaps in funding’ for Wales

Finance minister, Rebecca Evans, has said the Chancellor’s Spending Review contains ‘clear gaps in funding’ where the government has failed to invest in Wales.

The Welsh government has made clear that it prioritises Coal Tip remediation and funding rail infrastructure in the lead up to the Budget, but no new investment or significant additional funding has been announced for these areas.

It has now stressed that it will focus on delivering a Welsh Government Budget in December that builds a ‘Stronger, greener, fairer Wales’.

Rebecca Evans said: ‘This UK government Spending Review hasn’t delivered for Wales. Vital funding priorities, such as the long-term remediation of coal tips and greater funding in rail infrastructure, have been ignored.

‘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.

‘The fact remains that there are clear gaps in funding where the UK government should be investing in Wales and it has chosen not to. Arrangements for replacing EU Structural Funds remain unclear but what we do know is it falls well short of the £375 million we were receiving – these are funds that support skills, businesses and decarbonisation. HS2 is expected to have a negative impact of £150 million per year on the Welsh economy, while the failure to back a long-term solution for Wales’ coal tips could create an additional financial pressure of at least £60 million per year.

‘The limited measures announced by the Chancellor to help households grappling with the increase in the cost of living don’t go nearly far enough. Further steps should be taken to target support to lower income families struggling as a result of the cut to Universal Credit, the future increase in National Insurance contributions, and spiralling energy prices.

‘While there can be no doubt that we have been left with some difficult choices I am determined to deliver a Budget that builds a stronger, greener, fairer Wales – helping public services and our economy recover from the pandemic, and moving us closer towards being a zero-carbon nation.’

Photo by Jonny Gios


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