Jane Hutt, Minister for Finance
In my Written Statement of 5 December I set out the broad implications for Wales of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement. This Written Statement describes the allocations that will be made to Welsh Ministers’ budgets as a result of the small increase to the Welsh Government’s budget that arose through the Autumn Statement.
The overall allocation arising from the Autumn Statement is £76.502m in 2014-15 and £115.147m in 2015-16. This comprises both revenue and capital funding, and the majority of the capital funding is for repayable ‘financial transactions’. This small increase, which comes after three and a half years of budget cuts, means that the Welsh Government still faces very tough decisions in delivering our priorities of growth and jobs, tackling poverty, protecting the vulnerable and ensuring high quality services for the citizens of Wales.
Below the headline figures, it is important to understand that in order to fund some of the Chancellor’s policy announcements each Whitehall Department had its budget top-sliced.
The implication for Wales is that we cannot match all the policy announcements made by the Chancellor for England without also replicating the top-slice.
The Chancellor made several announcements about Non Domestic Rates (NDR). Welsh Ministers have lobbied the UK Government for some of these concessions, which are in line with our focus on growth and jobs. I have therefore allocated the full NDR-driven consequential of £54.626m in 2014-15 and £37.778m in 2015-16 for NDR measures in Wales. The Minister for Economy, Science and Transport will make a further announcement about this allocation.
In line with the Welsh Government’s determination to continue to drive up educational standards a revenue allocation of £12.1m in 2014-15 has been made to the Education and Skills MEG. The Minister will make an announcement about how this resource will be deployed.
The majority of Capital allocated through the Autumn Statement is for Financial Transactions (£5.750m in 2014-15 and £38.640m in 2015-16). Ministers are developing proposals for optimising this funding. The remaining capital allocation (£4.025m in 2014-15 and £2.415m in 2015-16) will be retained and then allocated in line with the priorities of the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan.