Wales reacts to Budget ups and downs

Welsh families, businesses and politicians have been counting the cost of today's Budget, as they look to balance their own books.

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Rise in council tax expected as Powys decides budget

The council say the situation is 'unprecedented' Credit: ITV News

Powys County Council will meet again later to decide their budget, after adjourning their decision in February.

It needs to make £20m savings in the next financial year, and £40m by April 2017, which could mean a rise in council tax of up to 4.95% and hundreds of job losses.

The council say strengthened security is in place, following a disruptive incident involving protestors at the last meeting.

Today is the final deadline for a decision to be made, ready to have services in place at the start of the next financial year in April.

As well as increases in council tax, proposals include reducing public services, and cutting the number of staff at the council.

The meeting is due to start at 10.30am.

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Monmouthshire Council to discuss budget proposals

The council needs to make £9 million worth of savings next year Credit: PA

Monmouthshire council will meet today to decide how they can make cuts to their budget.

Ideas suggested by councillors so far include dimming some street lights and raising the cost of school meals.

The authority needs to save £9m in its budget for the next financial year and £20m over the next four years.

The council asked members of the public for their ideas last year and said it was looking seriously at some of them.

These included setting up a lottery, which could raise money for specific projects, increasing the price of school meals and reducing street sweepers.

Councils across Wales are currently reviewing services in response to a reduction in their budgets from the Welsh government.

Cardiff council due to discuss budget cuts

Local authorities across Wales are facing budget cuts Credit: ITV Wales News

Wales' biggest council will meet today to decide how millions of pounds of savings will be made to its budget.

Last week, Cardiff council's cabinet approved a report which looked to save almost £50m from its budget for the coming financial year.

The report includes proposals which would cut the equivalent of around 600 jobs and raise council tax by nearly 4%.

The council may face cuts of around £120m over the next three years.

Earlier this week, Powys County Council postponed their decision until March.

Caerphilly Council tax to rise by 3.9 per cent

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Councillors at Caerphilly Council have approved budget proposals Credit: ITV News

Caerphilly County Councillors have approved a series of budget proposals for the forthcoming year at a council meeting this evening, which will see savings across the council for 2014/15 in excess of £14.2 million pounds.

Councillors also approved plans for a 3.9% increase in Council Tax, which in monetary terms equates to a 69 pence per week increase for a Band D property in Caerphilly county borough.

Members also supported plans to further increase the Living Wage by an additional 20 pence per hour, which will ensure that thousands of the council?s lowest paid staff earn at least £7.65 an hour, an increase of 20 pence from £7.45 as currently.

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Welsh Government announces money for housing and transport

The Welsh Government has revealed some of the big-spending capital projects they will focus on in the next 3 years.

One of the key areas was improving transport, with plans to improve the Brynglas tunnels and A55, and £62 million to create a South East Wales metro system.

They have also allocated £170 million to housing - the majority of which will help first time buyers in a Help to Buy scheme.

£38 million will be spent on Health facilities - including building the final phase of Noah's Ark Children's Hospital.

Owain Phillips has a closer look at where the Government's going to be spending its cash.

Plans show the potential of metro network

Plans have been released showing what the South East Wales metro system could potentially look like in the future.

Today the Welsh Government announced £62m for phase one of the scheme to create a metro system and improve bus and rail links

In the long term, the system would offer the potential to travel to various areas in south Wales with proposals including rapid travel in and around Cardiff, new routes between central Cardiff and the north west of the city, and a new light rail system.

This is what the metro system could look like in the future

£174.5m for 'Help to Buy Cymru' scheme

Among the funding announced by the Welsh Government Finance Minister Jane Hutt this morning is £174.5m for a 'Help to Buy Cymru' scheme, to help people to purchase new build homes.

Housing:

  • £174.5m for Help to Buy Cymru - a new shared equity scheme for Wales to help people to purchase new build homes
  • £20m for the Social Housing Grant - to provide smaller properties to support families who have been displaced as a result of reductions in housing benefit

Transport:

  • £40m for dualing of the A465 between Gilwern and Brynmawr
  • £40m for improvements to the M4 Brynglas Tunnels
  • £17m for improvements to the A55 in North Wales

Others:

  • £38m for health facilities - including the final phase of the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales
  • £6m for Flying Start - to ensure a further 3,000 children and their families benefit
  • £70m for ARBED ECO - a scheme to improve the energy efficiency of Welsh homes focusing on those in fuel poverty

Metro plan aims to connect Cardiff, Newport & Valleys

£175.5m of the Welsh Government's infrastructure investment will go towards transport and flood defences.

It includes £62m for Phase 1 of a new scheme to create a South East Wales metro system through better bus and rail links.

The system could be similar to the Metrolink, which connects the wider Manchester region. Credit: PA

The metro scheme aims to connect Cardiff, Newport and the Valleys as part of a wider city region.

The Welsh Government says it will commence this year.

£3.5m funding is allocated for 2013-14, with £28.7m for 2014-15, and £29.8m for 2015-16.

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