The spending review 'confirms the challenge' facing the Welsh Government, according to the Finance Minister. Jane Hutt says she was pleased to hear the Chancellor describe plans to improve the M4 as 'impressive' and that he would announce steps to give Welsh ministers borrowing powers soon.
But she says that changes announced today would mean the Welsh Government's budget for 2015-16 will be £280m lower when inflation is taken into account than its budget for 2014-16.
It’s also worth remembering that these cuts come on top of those we have already had to manage since 2010 - so by 2015-16, our Budget will be lower by £1,680m in real terms than it was in 2010-11.
I have repeatedly called on the UK Government to boost the funds available for capital investment so this is a disappointing capital settlement – which does not increase the funding available – will do little to boost the economy. This is a missed opportunity.
Jane Hutt has also described funds for capital investment as 'disappointing' and 'a missed opportunity' to boost the economy.
Our capital budget in 2015-16 will be a third lower in real terms than in 2009-10. And almost £180m of our capital, which is an unprecedented 12% of the total, is subject to restrictions and can only be used for loans and equity investments. This means that there is a cut in the funding available for real capital investment from 2014-15 to 2105-16 of more than 5% in real terms.
These are difficult times but as a responsible government we are resolute in our commitment to stand up for the interest of Wales.
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