Cabinet meeting: 13 June 2022
Minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet on 13 June 2022.
In this page
- Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS
- Rebecca Evans MS
- Vaughan Gething MS
- Lesley Griffiths MS
- Jane Hutt MS
- Julie James MS
- Jeremy Miles MS
- Mick Antoniw MS
- Dawn Bowden MS
- Hannah Blythyn MS
- Julie Morgan MS
- Lynne Neagle MS
- Lee Waters MS
- Eluned Morgan MS
- Andrew Goodall, Permanent Secretary
- Des Clifford, Director Office of the First Minister
- Will Whiteley, Deputy Director Cabinet Division
- Toby Mason, Head of Strategic Communications
- Jane Runeckles, Special Adviser
- Madeleine Brindley, Special Adviser
- Alex Bevan, Special Adviser
- Daniel Butler, Special Adviser
- Ian Butler, Special Adviser
- Kate Edmunds, Special Adviser
- Sara Faye, Special Adviser
- Clare Jenkins, Special Adviser
- Owen John, Special Adviser
- Andrew Johnson, Special Adviser
- Mitch Theaker, Special Adviser
- Tom Woodward, Special Adviser
- Emily Edwards, Special Adviser (item 7)
- Christopher W Morgan, Head of Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
- Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat
- Catrin Sully, Cabinet Office
- Tracey Burke, Director General, Climate Change and Rural Affairs
- Jo-Anne Daniels, Director General Education, Social Justice and Welsh Language
- Reg Kilpatrick, Director General, COVID-19 recovery and Local Government
- Judith Paget, Director General Health
- Andrew Slade, Director General, Economy, Treasury and Constitution
- Helen Lentle, Director Legal Services
- Peter Ryland, Chief Executive WEFO
- Helen John, Deputy Director Borders Infrastructure Delivery
- Gawain Evans, Director Finance
- Sharon Bounds, Deputy Director Financial Controls
- Frank Atherton, CMO
- Rob Orford, Chief Scientific Adviser for Health
- Sioned Rees, Director Health Protection
- Liz Lalley, Director Recovery and Restart
- Christopher Warner, Deputy Director COVID -19 Restart 21 Day Review
- Tom Smithson, Deputy Director COVID-19 Review
- Neil Buffin, Deputy Director Legal Services
- Andrew Charles, Deputy Director Sustainable Futures
- Rosemary Iles, FOCUS Principal Project Manager
- Jon Luxton, Specialist Disability Policy Adviser
Item 1: Minutes of previous meetings
1.1 Cymeradwyodd y Cabinet gofnodion y 23 Mai / Cabinet approved the minutes of 23 May.
Item 2: First Minister’s items
Debate on the report of the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform
2.1 The First Minister referred to the Debate on the report of the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform, which had taken place the previous Wednesday in the Siambr, where the motion been approved.
Item 3: Senedd business
3.1 Cabinet considered the contents of the Plenary grid and noted voting time was scheduled for 5:50pm on Tuesday and around 5:55pm on Wednesday.
3.2 It was noted that, so far, one topical question had been tabled on the announcement of the future of the Cardiff to Anglesey Public Service Obligations flights.
Item 4: Supplementary Budget
4.1 The Minister for Finance and Local Government introduced the paper, which asked Cabinet to approve the First Supplementary Budget of 2022 to 2023. The paper outlined the proposed approach and set out the main changes since the final budget had been published in March. The intention was to publish a second supplementary budget in February 2023.
4.2 The previous couple of years had been exceptional with the large amount of additional resources available in-year and allocations had been made via supplementary budgets. However, this year unallocated reserves were at a more conventional level as a result of UK government settlements and the approach taken to allocating resources in the draft and final budgets for 2022 to 2023.
4.3 The focus of the first supplementary budget would be mainly technical in nature. It reflected changes as a result of the UK government’s Spring Statement and main estimates, along with budgetary changes to reflect the implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 16 on leases and a general allocation from reserves in respect of the Government’s response to the war in Ukraine. There would also be changes to financing plans to reflect the savings from not borrowing for capital purposes in 2021 to 2022.
4.4 The Welsh Government had received additional funding of £567.3 million in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Spring Statement. This excluded £180 million carry forward for the council tax rebate, which had been included in the Final Budget. The additional funding comprised of £27.8 million fiscal resource, £200 million non-fiscal resource and £339 million general capital.
4.5 The majority of changes in the supplementary budget related to a technical reclassification of budgets to reflect the adoption of IFRS 16 from 1 April 2022 across the public sector. IFRS 16 was noted to be an accounting standard which required the majority of leases, other than those for low value items or for less than one year, to be treated in the financial statements comparably to owned assets.
4.6 In respect of IFRS16, the government’s capital budget had increased by £284 million relating to new and renewed leases already planned for 2022-23; non-fiscal resource had increased by £85 million, with a corresponding decrease in fiscal resource of £80 million. These adjustments reflected the information provided by departments and would flow through to MEGs in this supplementary budget. There was no effect on overall spending power.
4.7 After taking into account these changes and specific transfers to and from UK Government Departments, the total additional funding was £63.9 million fiscal resource (revenue) and £7.5 million capital, which would be added to reserves.
4.8 It was acknowledged that it was still possible to announce additional funding decisions after this budget was published, which would be regularised in the second supplementary budget.
4.9 The aim was to publish the budget on 21st in advance of the debate scheduled for 12 July.
4.10 Cabinet approved the paper.
Item 5: Coronavirus Restrictions: 21 day review due by 16 June 2022
5.1 The First Minister introduced the paper, which asked Cabinet to note the latest position regarding Coronavirus infection rates.
5.2 Cabinet was reminded that any restrictions relating to COVID-19 within the Coronavirus Control Plan were for the purpose of preventing, protecting against, controlling or providing a public health response to the incidence, spread of infection or contamination. There must be a threat to public health and the restrictions had to be proportionate in what they were intending to achieve. All such restrictions had expired on 30 May.
5.3 The paper outlined the public health situation. The latest results from the ONS Coronavirus Infection Survey estimated that between 22 to 28 May, 1.30% of the community population in Wales had COVID-19. This equated to one in 75 people.
5.4 The number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospital currently occupying a bed was 152. There were 6 ICU beds occupied by patients with confirmed cases of the virus.
5.5 The advice from the CMO, outlined within the paper, indicated that there seemed to be no reason to step back from the current position of no legal protections, but there was a need to continue to advise the public that the risk of infection remained and precautions should be considered when in high risk situations.
5.6 Given that the public health situation appeared to be stable, Cabinet agreed to maintain the current response level, but there was a need to be mindful that cases were increasing in Scotland and Northern Ireland and the new variants of Omicron were becoming dominant in Portugal.
5.7 Cabinet noted the paper and agreed that officials should take into account comments made by Ministers.
Item 6: Any other business
UK government’s Rwanda Asylum Plan
6.1 It was noted that the Welsh Government had a watching brief on the case before the Court of Appeal to try to pause the removal of refugees to Rwanda, pending full arguments on the legality of that policy. The judgement was expected later that afternoon.
Item 7: Update on the Disability Rights Taskforce CAB(21-22)100
7.1 The Minister for Social Justice introduced the paper, which invited Cabinet to note the work of the Disability Rights Taskforce.
7.2 Cabinet approved the paper.