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  1. ITV Report

Parties clash over what Budget means for Wales

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns has called on the Welsh Government to seize the opportunities that he says the Budget has given ministers in Cardiff Bay.

Credit: PA images

The Chancellor has today set out a powerful package of measures which will help shape Wales’ economy into one that is fit for the future.

The Welsh Government regularly calls for a boost to their capital budgets and today, the UK Government has again delivered funding that can deliver real change. They must now get on with the job of using the levers at their disposal to improve the lives of the people of Wales by building the homes our country needs, building the road network Wales deserves and make real progress in improving standards across our public services.

– Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns MP

But the Shadow Welsh Secretary, Christina Rees, said it had been a budget of missed opportunities and "callous disregard" for Wales.

Welsh Labour had called on the Chancellor to end austerity and properly fund Welsh Government, enabling further investment in Welsh public services. He failed to do so.

We demanded he provide new funding to lift the public sector pay cap in Wales that is hitting public sector workers year after year. He refused.

We urged him to pause and fix Universal Credit, which is creating appalling levels of poverty, debt and desperation for families across Wales. He chose not to, instead tinkering around the edges with a broken system.

And we asked him once again to join Welsh Labour and support Welsh business, infrastructure and innovation, and to deliver on promises to back the Swansea Bay Tidal lagoon and reverse the UK Tory Government decision to cancel rail electrification from Cardiff to Swansea. On each and every one of these, he let Wales down once again.

– Shadow Welsh Secretary Christina Rees MP
Credit: PA images

Christina Rees also said that the UK Government's claim that Wales is getting an extra £1.2 billion is "pure smoke and mirrors". She said much of the money will have to be repaid to the Treasury, and that the real uplift to the Welsh budget is significantly smaller.

But the Welsh Conservatives insisted that there really is more money for Wales.

This is a budget that delivers for Wales, including a welcome £1.2 billion in additional funding.

The Welsh NHS will benefit too. Under-funded in recent years by the Labour Party, but additional investment in the English health service means that the Welsh Government has now run out of excuses to withhold the resources that frontline services so desperately need.

– Shadow Finance Secretary Nick Ramsay AM

Plaid Cymru claimed that Wales had lost out.

In prolonging austerity well into the next decade and sticking to the most economically damaging form of Brexit, the squeeze on living standards will only get worse.

There was nothing in this budget to drive up wages and nothing to push down the cost of living. For the second budget in a row, economic growth, business investment and productivity have been downgraded. The result of the Chancellor’s stubborn insistence on sticking to his failed plan is ultimately felt in people’s pockets through lower wages.

Once again the Westminster Government has delivered a City-centric budget, deliberately overheating the south east of England while Wales is left out in the cold. Our roads and railways are neglected whilst Welsh taxpayers’ money is pumped into London.

The only way we can build Wales, drive up wages and spread prosperity, is to demand the tools to do it ourselves.

– – PLAID CYMRU TREASURY SPOKESPERSON JONATHAN EDWARDS MP

A UKIP spokesperson said the Budget was "a bit of a disappointment" from a Welsh perspective, not least because there was no mention of whether the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon would go ahead.