Spending on public services in the UK is coming under increased pressure, with budgets facing a possible further squeeze from next year.
Welsh families, businesses and politicians have been counting the cost of today's Budget, as they look to balance their own books.
A new task group will meet for the first time today to try and stop the decline of Cardiff Airport.
Wales has lost more than £2bn from job cuts and shrinking pay packets accoring to the TUC.
It has used government figures over the last five years to calculate what it is calling the national pay packet.
But what does it mean to all of us as we work out our weekly spending?
– Martin Mansfield, Wales TUC General Secretary
Over the last five years, workers in Wales have taken a massive hit in their pay packets, while thousands more have had to reduce their hours or take lower paid work. Many people have lost their jobs altogether.
Taken together, our pay and jobs crises have shrunk Britain's total annual pay packet by more than £50bn, with workers in Wales losing £2.3 billion altogether. It's no wonder businesses are struggling when so much demand has been sucked out of the economy.
Shrinking wages are hitting people's living standards, holding back businesses and damaging our growth prospects.
The Welsh pay packet has fallen by 8.1 % since the recession began in 2008, according to the TUC, with total pay across Wales falling by more than £2.3bn. The union has released figures on the Welsh economy to coincide with the launch of its Britain Needs a Pay Rise campaign.
The TUC says wages failing to keep pace with inflation, reduced working hours and the replacement of middle and relatively well-paid public sector jobs with lower paid jobs in the private sector, have contributed to the fall.
This is how the different sectors of the British economy have performed in the first three months of this year:
- Agriculture, forestry and fishing - Fell by 3.7 percent compared with 0.5 percent contraction in the previous quarter.
- Construction - Output decreased by 2.5 percent capping off a 5.9 percent decrease in the year to March 2013.
- Production - Grew by 0.2 percent following a decrease of 2.1 percent in the previous quarter. This growth was driven by mining and quarrying, and electricity supply.
- Services - 0.6 percent growth was the driving force behind the growth in overall GDP. This picture of positive growth was seen across the sector.
The Treasury have tweeted reaction to the latest GDP figures:
Chancellor:“Today’s figures are an encouraging sign the economy is healing. Despite a tough economic backdrop, we are making progress. (1/4)
The deficit is down by a third, businesses have created over a million and a quarter new jobs, and interest rates are at record lows. (2/4)
We all know there are no easy answers to problems built up over many years, and I can’t promise the road ahead will always be smooth…(3/4)
Finally the Treasury tweeted: "…but by continuing to confront our problems head on, Britain is recovering and we are building an economy fit for the future."
Britain has avoided a triple-dip recession according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The figures showed that GDP grew by 0.3 percent in the first three months of this year.
A recession is defined as two or more consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.
The Welsh Local Government Association says the Budget means there are tough times ahead for local communities, with reduced public services and welfare cuts.
The outlook is bleak given that public spending on day to day activity will continue to reduce over the coming years. Reductions to the Welsh Block were already set out in the Chancellor's autumn statement. Local public services in a number of areas including education and early intervention, roads and transport, planning, and housing are proven activities that influence economic growth in a positive way.
– WLGA Spokesperson Cllr Aaron Shotton
Many people will face further reductions in living standards in the coming years. Changes to the welfare system will mean that some of the most vulnerable people in our communities are going to be left high and dry at a time when local public services will be squeezed as never before. This Budget is a missed opportunity but along with colleagues from across Wales, councils will step up to the plate and support growth and services in our local areas.
Jane Hutt, the Welsh Government's Finance Minister, said "we're very constrained and disappointed by this Budget."
"There's no new real money for capital spending - there's cuts to our revenue budgets", she said.