Autumn Statement 2013

George Osborne has delivered his latest assessment of the state of the economy in the Autumn Statement, announcing growth forecasts for the coming years are 'significantly up'. A net increase in budget for the Welsh Government has also been promised.

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No decision on business rates, school meals in Wales

The Welsh Government hasn't yet decided whether or not to follow moves set out in the Autumn Statement. In England, business rate rises will be capped at 2%, a relief scheme will run for another year and high street firms will get £1,000 discount. Primary school children will get free meals.

There will be extra money for Wales springing from those spending decisions, but it's up to ministers here what happens with business rates and they haven't decided yet if they'll follow George Osborne's example or not. Similarly there's no decision yet on free school meals for Welsh pupils.

Sources within the Welsh Government acknowledge that its budget will increase by £100m as a result of today's announcements. But they say that if ministers decide to match moves on business rates and free school meals, it'll amount to a budget cut.

How much extra money for the Welsh Government?

When it comes to extra money being given to the Welsh Government as a result of spending announcements made by the Chancellor, you might be confused to see two figures being used. Some are saying the total is £233m over the next two years, others are saying £100m.

UK Government sources say that the increases do add up to the higher figure but that the Welsh Government is right to say cuts and other changes bring the real total down. Chief amongst these is that the Welsh Government doesn't get extra funds (known as consequentials) related to business rates.

Both governments believe£100m is more accurate and that amounts to virtually no change on a £15bn total budget. UK Government sources say that's a good result for Wales; Welsh Government sources say that after a real terms cut of £1.7bn since 2010 difficult decisions will still have to be made.

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Employment expected to rise by 400,000 in 2013

Private businesses will create 3.1m more jobs by 2019, the OBR says. Credit: PA Wire

George Osborne says employment is expected to rise by 400,000 in 2013. Unemployment is forecast to fall from 7.6% this year to 7% in 2015 and 5.6% by 2018.

The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts that private businesses will create 3.1 million more jobs by 2019, more than offsetting reductions in public sector workforce.

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