The Welsh Government's finance minister Jane Hutt says she's disappointed by the Budget. Her main request for more money for 'shovel-ready' construction projects was not granted. And the minister says the prospect of another £10 billion of Welfare cuts across the UK is 'horrific'.
“This is a disappointing Budget which will not support economic growth in Wales. What we wanted was a Budget for jobs and growth, with significantly increased or at least, brought forward, capital expenditure. he Chancellor did neither.
“The lack of action on fuel duty will impact on all Welsh citizens and particularly hit hard our rural areas. The prospects of a further £10 billion of cuts to the welfare budget in the next Spending Review are horrific. I want to reassure people that I will continue to do my very best to mitigate the worst impacts and protect the most vulnerable.
– Finance Minister Jane Hutt AM
I welcome the announcement of Enhanced Capital Allowances in our Deeside Enterprise Zone and the additional funding for ultra-fast broadband in Cardiff. It is also welcome news that the UK Government will work with the Welsh Government to consider the electrification of the Cardiff Valley rail lines and will increase support for the armed forces”.
“The Welsh Government does not support the Chancellor’s plans to pay Welsh workers less than workers in other parts of the UK and we would encourage the UK Government to close the gap in income between different parts of the UK, not make it worse".
Responding to George Osborne's announcement on regional pay for civil servants, the TUC President in Wales Andy Richards says strikes can't be ruled out. He said there was no justification for regional pay
Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd says the UK Government has ignored calls for action on fuel prices.
He is calling for a fair fuel regulator which would prevent high prices at the pump and stop the Government receiving a windfall from higher prices
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Assembly, Andrew RT Davies AM welcomes 'a budget that rewards work, backs business and will support the economy, while benefiting tens of thousands of families the length and breadth of Wales.' And he hit out at criticism of it from the Welsh Government:
The Welsh Government’s refusal to accept the huge advantages within (the budget) smacks either of politically motivated rhetoric or a complete lack of understanding.
Important announcements on broadband, increased funding for the Deeside enterprise zone and further consideration of valleys rail electrification should be welcomed by all. It is now up to Labour ministers to stop scaremongering and work constructively with the UK Government on each of these measures.
And he set out how the extra £11.7m coming to Wales as a result of the budget should be spent:
The additional funding made available today should also be prioritised on areas so far ignored by the Welsh Government, notably further support for homeowners who have been denied a council tax freeze or the introduction of a much-needed cancer drugs fund in Wales
Welsh Lib Dem MP and Government Whip Jenny Willott says her Cardiff Central constituents will benefit from the Budget.
– Cardiff Central MP Jenny Willott
This Budget is good news for Cardiff. The Chancellor announced that our city will receive £12 million for ultra-fast broadband, and that Westminster will work with the Welsh Government to look at electrification of the Valleys railway lines.The Coalition is doing all this whilst making sure that rich pay more. The Government is introducing measures that mean the richest in society will pay five times more than they currently do through the 50p highest rate of tax. This Budget has the Lib Dems stamped all over it.”
The Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan says Chancellor’s Budget Statement will continue to support families, business and long-term economic growth. She says it will have a fair and positive impact on Wales and highlighted the capital allowances for the Deeside enterprise zone.
– Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan
We are committed to giving the Welsh Government funds and support to build strong enterprise zones in Wales, making enhanced capital allowances available, starting with Deeside. This will support growth, create jobs and enable funds for machinery investment to be available from 1 April 2012. Subject to receiving strong and robust business cases from the Welsh Government, we will look to agree funding for additional sites in Wales. Funds of up to £12 million have been granted for the already announced Cardiff broadband ‘super-connected city’ project".
Plaid Cymru's MP Jonathan Edwards reacts to George Osborne's budget and plans for regional pay for civil servants.
More from the Shadow Welsh Secretary, Peter Hain:
Not only did this budget fail the fairness test, it did nothing to boost jobs and growth in Wales. There was no word on rail electrification in Wales, while the announcement on the Deeside Enterprise Zone showed the Chancellor playing catch up with the Welsh Labour Government. Meanwhile, his move towards regional pay will be a body blow to thousands of hard working public servants in Wales. And while communities across Wales suffer, the amount of tax paid by the richest people has been cut.
Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards is criticising Budget proposals on Regional Pay . The Chancellor has said some Government Departments will have the optlon to allow local pay when the current public sector freeze ends . Mr Edwards warns this is the introduction of Regional pay by the back door
Shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain described the budget as 'bad news for Wales: wrong choices, wrong priorities, wrong values, out of touch, same old Tories.' He also added,
George Osborne’s economic policies have failed in Wales. What we desperately needed to see was a Budget for jobs and growth, focusing every penny available on helping hard-pressed families on middle and low incomes. What we actually saw was a budget that hit the poorest hardest. Pensioners having their personal allowance frozen will hit thousands of older people across Wales while millionaires enjoy a multi-thousand pound bonanza.