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Finance Minister Jane Hutt has made two major concessions on the spending cuts she announced in December in her draft budget for 2016/17.
The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) will get an extra £21 million for universities plus £10 million for part time studies and scientific research. The three local councils hardest hit by cuts -Powys, Ceredigion and Monmouthshire- will get an additional £2.5 million between them.
- Powys £1.93 million
- Ceredigion £0.439 million
- Monmouthshire £0.109 million
Labour does not have an overall majority in the Senedd and the Welsh Government relies on the support of the Liberal Democrats to get its budget passed. The Lib Dems are claiming today's concessions are the result of their influence.
I am delighted that we have secured this agreement. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been clear from the very beginning that there was absolutely no way we could support these unfair cuts to rural councils. We were also clear that the severe cuts to higher education were completely unacceptable. We have worked with the Finance Minister, local government and the higher education sector to put right issues from the draft budget and we have succeeded.
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