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Welsh Budget announced

The Finance Minister Jane Hutt has announced her draft budget for 2013/14 in the Senedd.

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'Welsh Budget is for growth and jobs' claims Hutt

Finance Minister Jane Hutt has announced the draft Welsh budget for 2013/14. She said boosting the economy, creating jobs, investing in schools and hospitals and protecting universal benefits are at the heart of her proposals. There is an additional £175 million investment over the next two years.

  • £40 million on improving the Heads of the Valleys Road between Brynmawr and Tredegar
  • £25 million for improvements to the A55 Conwy Tunnel
  • £30 million for hospital improvements
  • £25 million for schools and colleges
  • £10 million on high speed broadband
  • £13 million on facilities for the 'Flying Start' programme for disadvantaged children
  • £12 million on social housing
  • £10 million on energy-efficient homes
  • £10 million on flood and coastal defence improvements

We have always said that we will do all we can to boost capital in the face of budget reductions – because we know this is vital to support economic growth and create jobs. This £175 million package of capital investment will make a real difference, by delivering longer term benefits for the economy and, vitally, better infrastructure for our key public services. It builds on the sustained programme of interventions and actions we have made in the Welsh economy worth nearly half a billion pounds, in order to support businesses in Wales during these challenging times.

– Finance Minister Jane Hutt AM

The Finance Minister said she will 'grow' the social services budget and 'protect' the health budget and funding for schools. The pupil deprivation grant, introduced after a deal with the Lib Dems to get last year's Budget passed, will be maintained, as will a range of free universal benefits.

Our number one priority is to deliver a Budget for Growth and Jobs which will create a more prosperous Wales, by encouraging economic growth and creating and sustaining jobs. Despite the Welsh Budget being £2.1 billion lower in real terms by 2014-15 than at its peak in 2009-10, as a result of cuts imposed by the UK Government , we have ensured all Welsh Government departments see an increase in funding.

– Finance Minister Jane Hutt AM

The draft budget will now be examined in detail by AMs. As the government does not have a majority in the Senedd, it will need to win the support of at least one of the opposition parties. It's likely that money will have to be found to meet some of their priorities and secure their votes.

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