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  1. ITV Report

Budget 2018: Welsh Government to get extra £550m

Credit: PA

The Welsh Government will get an extra £550m between now and 2021 as a result of spending announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in this year's budget.

The Welsh Government's budget for 2019/20 will go up by more than £400 million as a result of today's announcements, taking it above £16 billion.

In addition there will be £120 million for the North Wales Growth Deal - a scheme which aims to use government funding to channel nearly £700m worth of public and private money into a series of projects aimed at boosting the North's economy and creating thousands of jobs.

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Mr Hammond began his budget by telling voters "their hard work is paying off and the era of austerity is finally coming to an end."

My Budget sends a clear message to the people of Wales – your hard work is paying off.

Thanks to the UK government’s careful stewardship of the economy, the public finances are in a much stronger position and national debt is falling.

– Phillip Hammond MP, The Chancellor of the Exchequer

The people of Wales deserve to see the real-life benefits of this cash boost.

On top of the Fiscal Framework, this money will ensure the Welsh Government now has more means to grow the economy, attract investment, maintain its public services and support hard-working people across Wales.”

– Alun Cairns MP, Secretary of State for Wales

The Chancellor announced extra services for mental health support but this only applies in England.

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It was announced the Welsh Government will get increased borrowing powers.

It can currently borrow £1bn for big infrastructure projects and that will increase by £300m.

The UK Government says it's for "supporting the delivery of the M4 relief road."

Philip Hammond also announced £400m of extra funding to schools in England.

He announced £675m to help councils adapt to changing shopping habits and a cut to business rates for smaller businesses. Again, this fund applies in England only.

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There was disappointment in at least one of the Welsh Government's demands. The Chancellor confirmed that progress would continue on devolving Air Passenger Duty to Northern Ireland despite the administration there being suspended.

Ministers in Cardiff have called for it to be transferred to Wales too but the UK Government has repeatedly refused and there was no sign of any change to that today.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said the Budget provides no evidence austerity is over” adding "it’s very disappointing as far as Wales is concerned.”

Any suggestion this Conservative government’s failed policy of austerity is over – as the Prime Minister claimed just a few weeks ago – on the evidence of this budget, is wrong.

There is little else in the UK Budget for Wales, besides confirmation of the 70th anniversary NHS funding consequential which we were already expecting and a few other crumbs from the table.

At the very best this is a ‘treading-water budget’ while we await the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

It’s very disappointing as far as Wales is concerned.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Finance Secretary

Plaid Cymru responded to the budget with criticism calling it a "fantasy pre-Brexit Budget based on imaginary numbers."

Wales remains an afterthought for Westminster, with transformative infrastructure projects in our nation scrapped for the sake of feeding the overheating economy of the south east of England.

The only place austerity is set to end is in the rhetoric of Westminster politicians. The people of Wales will be feeling its impact for years to come.

– Plaid Cymru leader, Adam Price