According to the Wales Office, the knock-on effect of spending plans for England announced in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement will mean an extra £100m for the Welsh Government over the next two years. But the Welsh Finance Minister Jane Hutt has tweeted that the picture is more complicated:
Today’s Autumn Statement does not take away the challenges we face #AS2013
There have been small revenue increases for Wales but those increases hide further reductions #AS2013
The combination of cuts and increases mean that there are no easy decisions #AS2013
The Welsh Government should introduce free meals for all infant school pupils in Wales, according to the Liberal Democrats. They say that an extra £54m will go to Wales as a result of spending on the scheme in England. Education Spokesman Aled Roberts says:
Free school meals not only encourage positive eating habits and help to improve concentration in the classroom, but would also mean significant savings for families.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats understand the financial strain families are under and we are doing all we can to help people in difficult times. Families spend around £430 on school meals in a year. We want the Welsh Labour Government to introduce free school meals to ease the pressure families in Wales are under.
– Aled Roberts AM, Welsh Liberal Democrats
This policy would ensure that every infant school pupil can sit down to a hot, healthy lunch with their classmates every day. It will help with their studies and also ensure they are receiving a healthy diet.
The Welsh Labour Government claim that offering free school breakfasts is enough. They are wrong. While the scheme has merits, take-up is very low. Figures show that only around 22% of pupils are currently arriving early to school to receive their free breakfast. Offering free school lunches would mean it reaches every child.
Welsh Lib Dems say Autumn statement will mean £233m in extra money for Wales; Welsh Govt’s funding to increase by £192m over next 2 years.
The Wales Office has been setting out how some of the changes announced by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement will benefit Wales.
The Chancellor George Osborne says there'll be a net increase in budget for Welsh Govt.
Welsh Govt sources are expecting standstill: real terms cut + extra money from spending on business rates & free school meals in England
George Osborne has told the Commons the OBR forecast for growth in 2013 upgraded from 0.6% to 1.4%, for 2014 upgraded from 1.8% to 2.4%.
George Osborne has been interrupted by the Speaker while delivering his Autumn Statement:
Blimey -- can't remember a budget or mini-budget ever being interrupted by the Speaker before.
here we go - Autumn Statement and Osborne gets up: first words "Britain's economic plan is working but the job is not done"
"WE need a government that lives within its means in a country that pays its way in the world" Osborne saying his plan has worked
Delivering his Autumn Statement, George Osborne has told MPs: "Britain's economic plan is working but the job is not done."