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The Welsh Government has called on the UK Government to boost infrastructure investment and end its policy of austerity in order to support growth in Wales.

First published:
20 November 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

In a letter to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford set out Wales’ priorities for the Autumn Statement on November 23.

These include:

  • Ensuring the Welsh Government’s annual capital borrowing limits are revised as part of the fiscal framework discussions;
  • The importance of securing and signing a Swansea Bay City Deal and taking forward a growth deal for North Wales;
  • The UK Government reconsidering its decision not to devolve Air Passenger Duty to Wales;
  • The case for the full removal of the Severn Crossings tolls at the end of the current concession.

Professor Drakeford said: 

“In these uncertain times, it is important that we create the conditions for a strong and secure economy. 

“Economic growth will increase tax revenues, reduce unemployment levels and strengthen the public finances in Wales and in the UK. The Autumn Statement is a prime opportunity for the UK Government to move away from its damaging policy of austerity and provide the fiscal stimulus needed to support growth.

“There are a number of areas where the UK Government can take action to provide certainty in these challenging times and help us boost growth in Wales. The importance of a city deal for the Swansea Bay city region and a growth deal for North Wales are well rehearsed and need to be taken forward as a matter of priority.

“We are also calling for our annual capital borrowing limits to be revised and for the UK Government to reconsider its decision not to devolve air passenger duty to Wales. We also want the Severn Crossing tolls to be abolished. 

“All of these are vitally important issues for business confidence and for the long-term economic wellbeing of people and communities in Wales.”

The Finance Secretary added: 

“Despite real-terms cuts to our overall budget by the UK Government, we are doing all we can to protect our public services from the worst effects of ongoing austerity and fiscal uncertainty. 

“Now is the time for a new approach – that’s why we want the UK Government to end its austerity politics and provide a much-needed infrastructure investment stimulus. 

“In these uncertain times, the Welsh Government is determined to provide stability and ambition and deliver a prosperous and secure Wales.”