Today (23 November 2016) at Autumn Statement, the Chancellor set out announcements which will build an economy that works for everyone, in Wales and the whole of the UK.
The UK government’s decision to focus on infrastructure spending means that the Welsh Government’s budget will increase by more than £400 million through to 2020-21, giving it even greater spending power to boost productivity and promote growth in Wales. This is in addition to the £500 million the Welsh Government will be able to borrow to invest from 2018.
It will be for the Welsh Government to set out how it intends to use this additional funding.
Autumn Statement also includes a range of measures that will directly benefit people across Wales.
By freezing fuel duty for the seventh year running, the UK government will help save the average driver in Wales up to £10 every time they fill up their car. The National Living Wage is increasing from £7.20 to £7.50.
The Chancellor’s decision to increase investment in research and development by £2 billion a year by 2020-21 should benefit thriving universities and research centres in Wales.
The UK government is also making further investment in digital infrastructure such as fibre broadband and 5G – this will ensure that businesses across Wales are well placed to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by new technologies, and reap the benefits of greater connectivity.
Cities in Wales will also see the impact of UK government support to unlock their potential, with talks progressing well for a city deal with Swansea, building on the success of the £1.2 billion deal for the Cardiff Capital Region. The UK government will also consider proposals for a growth deal for North Wales.
Additionally, the government will meet its manifesto commitment to increase the personal allowance to £12,500. Over the last Parliament, 1.2 million individuals in Wales saw an average gain of £521, due to an increase to the personal allowance.
Finally, Wales is benefiting with more than £3 million of LIBOR funding raised from fines levied on banks being distributed to good causes, including a further £1 million for the Wales Air Ambulance.
Wales, like the rest of the UK, will benefit from the decisions set out in today’s Autumn Statement as the UK government builds an economy that works for all.
Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns said:
“The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was good news for Wales. Not only does it help build an economy that works for everyone across Wales and the rest of the UK, it provides a significant over £400 million uplift in the Welsh Government’s capital budget. This comes as a result of the Chancellor’s decision to focus on infrastructure, and will allow the Welsh Government to make decisions that will help people across Wales.
It is an Autumn Statement that contains measures that will help people all over Wales, making it easier for them to save for the future, giving people on the National Living Wage a pay rise and supporting the pioneering work of Wales’ great universities by investing in research and innovation.”