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  1. Nick Powell

Finance Minister: Chancellor's 'smoke and mirrors' can't hide cut for Welsh Government

The Treasury has confirmed that the Welsh Government's budget will fall by 4.5% in real terms as a result of the Chancellor's spending review. Modest cash increases in the revenue budget, which finances day-to-day expenditure will be more than cancelled out by inflation.

  • 2015/16: £12.9 billion
  • 2016/17: £13.0 billion
  • 2017/18: £13.1 billion
  • 2018/19: £13.2 billion
  • 2019/20: £13.3 billion

However, there's better news for the Welsh Government's capital budget, which pays for new roads, schools and hospitals. That's going up by 4.7% -a cash increase from £1.5 billion to £1.7 billion by 2020. So the Chancellor's promise of a budget totalling £15 billion will be kept and he's also committed to keeping overall spending in devolved areas 15% higher in Wales than in England until the next Westminster election.

People will not be misled by this smoke and mirrors approach to public finance: this is the slowest recovery in living memory and family and national prosperity is being held back on a daily basis. Today’s Spending Review shows that the people of Wales will continue to suffer from the Chancellor’s failure to meet his own fiscal targets. He gives with one hand and takes away with the other.

Although today’s commitment towards a funding floor that will ensure that in future public spending in Wales is at 115 per cent of the England average is welcome this is unhelpfully restricted to this Parliament. We haven’t got fair funding yet and it is essential that there is an inter-government agreement on the way forward. The devil is very much in the detail as to how this will work in practice.

– Finance Minister Jane Hutt AM


One month to organ donation opt-out system

Today marks one month to go until Wales will become the first country in the UK to introduce a new soft opt-out system for organ and tissue donation.

The Welsh Government is continuing to raise awareness of the legislation change, which will come into effect from December 1. Credit: Welsh Government

It will mean that you have given 'presumed consent' for your organs to be used after your death, unless you say otherwise.

Those who have had life-saving transplants are hoping that the new legislation will mean a shorter wait for donors.

"I believe that the change to the law on organ donation gives more choice to individuals as you can opt in, out or do nothing and have deemed consent for donation. It will empower people to decide what they want to happen after their death, taking the pressure off their loved ones at such a terrible time. It is the kindest and greatest gift you can give once you have gone."

– Kayleigh Old, lung transplant recipient

Organ donor numbers rise in lead up to new law

Credit: ITV News

The number of organ donors is rising in the lead up to Wales' historic change in the law.

An official report also says the number of people in Wales who die waiting for a transplant is falling.

More than 100,000 people have signed up to the donation register. From December a system of 'presumed consent' will be in force.

WATCH: Parents of Britain's youngest organ donor raise awareness of new law

£46m 'to boost infrastructure and the Welsh economy'

Some of the money will fund training facilities at Airbus. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images

The Welsh Government has announced a package of over £46 million capital investment during 2015-16 which, it says, will boost infrastructure, skills and promote economic growth across Wales.

£2.7 million will be in invested in Airbus and Aerospace training facilities for high level training and on-going support for aerospace manufacturing.

North Wales is also set to benefit from an investment of £2.7 million for transport developments. This includes investment in the Llangefni Link Road and the Northern Gateway Highway Infrastructure.

£33 million will be allocated to support businesses across Wales.

The need for targeted investment in infrastructure is well rehearsed and is central to the priorities set out in our Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan.

Infrastructure investment is one of the main contributors to growth and jobs and has a positive impact on the economy.

– Jane Hutt AM, Finance Minister
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