- 15 updates
The main civil service union, the PCS, has welcomed the Welsh Governement's decision not to end the system of giving civil servants automatic annual pay rises until they have moved from their starting salaries to the top of their grade. which the union regards as the rate for the job.
Mr Williams said the system of increases is a contractual right. Nearly, 5,700 civil servants work for the Welsh Government. Their starting salaries range from £17,000 to £54,500. The guaranteed annual pay rises on top are worth up to £3,250 for lowest paid and £12,300 for highest paid.
A few senior civil servants are paid more but don't qualify for the guaranteed pay rises. On Wednesday, the Chancellor set out why he felt it was right to scrap the scheme throughout the civil service
The Welsh Government says it has no plans to scrap the system of automatic pay progression for its civil servants. The Chancellor announced on Wednesday that he was getting rid of guaranteed annual salary increases in the Civil Service.
Today the Welsh Government said that won't apply to most of its staff, whose pay and conditions staff are decided in Wales. The only exception is for the most senior civil servants but they are already not eligible for automatic increases.
The decision only applies to Welsh Government employees. Civil Servants such as DVLA workers who are employed by a Whitehall department will be affected by the Chancellor's ruling.
Our Political Editor, Adrian Masters, talks to the newly appointed Education Minister, Huw Lewis AM.
Robert Lloyd Griffiths is from the Institute of Directors in Wales. He was hoping to see an announcement on upgrades to the M4 in today's Spending Review. He says that change is needed to help promote better access for businesses in Wales.
S4C's government funding for 2015/16 will be unchanged at £6.7 million, which will be a cut once inflation is taken into account. The Welsh language channel has also had cuts of 1% and 2% this year and next, which were announced in the Budget.
Most of the channel's money now comes from the licence fee. An agreement reached with the BBC in January means S4C faces further cuts in that funding.
- 2013-14 - £76.3 million
- 2014-15 - £76.0 million
- 2015-16 - £75.25 million
- 2016-17 - £74.5 million
Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith says the further cuts set out by the Chancellor represent 'an admission of failure to tackle the deficit.' And he criticised the lack of specific news on an M4 relief road.
He blamed the Welsh Secretary David Jones for that delay, saying his 'determination to block' borrowing powers for the Welsh Government was 'holding back Wales.'
The spending review 'confirms the challenge' facing the Welsh Government, according to the Finance Minister. Jane Hutt says she was pleased to hear the Chancellor describe plans to improve the M4 as 'impressive' and that he would announce steps to give Welsh ministers borrowing powers soon.
But she says that changes announced today would mean the Welsh Government's budget for 2015-16 will be £280m lower when inflation is taken into account than its budget for 2014-16.
Jane Hutt has also described funds for capital investment as 'disappointing' and 'a missed opportunity' to boost the economy.
In its response to the Chancellor's Spending Review, Plaid Cymru highlights recent comments by member of the Shadow Cabinet about spending after 2015 to accuse Labour of falling into a 'political trap' laid by the Chancellor.
The Treasury says the Welsh Government will get £1.5 billion to spend on capital projects like building roads, schools and social housing in 2015/16. That's £0.2 billion more than it's getting this year and £0.1 billion more than it's already been told it will get next year.
The increase in real terms is 0.3%. It does not include finance for relieving congestion on the M4 around Newport. That would be paid for under a deal allowing the Welsh Government to borrow money that has not yet been finalised.
A senior Welsh Conservative source says it's 'regrettable' that negotiations between the UK and Welsh Governments on borrowing powers for the Welsh Government weren't concluded before the Chancellor's spending review
In his speech, George Osborne said he would make an announcement on 'impressive' plans for an M4 relief road shortly. It's thought those plans are linked to Welsh Government borrowing powers as recommended by the first report of the Silk Commission.
The UK Government's response to the Silk Commission report was due in the spring but has been delayed while talks continue between the Treasury and the Welsh Government. The source said:
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Spending on public services in the UK is coming under increased pressure, with budgets facing a possible further squeeze from next year.