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Capital investment 'will help bolster' economic confidence

The joint ministerial committee at a meeting in 10 Downing Street earlier this year Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Wales' First Minister has made a fresh plea to Chancellor George Osborne for more capital investment funding.

Carwyn Jones has joined forces with Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond to make the plea ahead of today's Autumn Statement.

The ministers say that an injection of funding for new business ventures would "support the recovery and help bolster economic confidence".

Adding that they have employed a "variety of innovative measures" to increase funding for major public infrastructure projects but these cannot "fully offset" the cuts from Westminster or their impact in the three countries.

In a statement the ministers said:

"Increasing capital investment by simply cutting departmental budgets will not achieve the increase in demand in the economy that is so urgently needed. This investment must be additional.

This afternoon's Autumn Statement provides the UK Chancellor with an ideal opportunity to invest in growth, support the economic recovery and help bolster economic confidence."

Chancellor 'must hold his nerve'

Ahead of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement this afternoon the Institute of Directors in Wales has issued an overriding message that he must stick to his fiscal targets, whilst ensuring the transport and energy infrastructure and tax system provide a firm basis for economic recovery.

George Osborne is in a difficult position. The global economy has been much rockier over the last two years than most expected; growth has been weaker and public borrowing higher than we hoped.

Some would like The Chancellor to abandon his targets and embrace bigger deficits, but he must hold his nerve. It's only through controlling public debt that Britain will retain the confidence of the markets and create strong foundations for recovery.

– Robert Lloyd Griffiths, director of the IoD in Wales


Spotlight on welfare budget in Autumn Statement

Chancellor George Osborne will deliver his Autumn Statement this lunchtime Credit: Dominic Lipinski. Press Association Images

The Chancellor, George Osborne, is expected to deliver his Autumn Statement this lunchtime.

The Statement provides an update on the Government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Amongst the key points expected to be announced are deeper cuts to the welfare budget and the planned 3p fuel duty rise in January will be postponed until August.

Earlier this week, the Chancellor admitted it is taking longer to tackle the problems with Government finances than expected but said he would be sticking with his deficit-reduction programme despite being unlikely to meet his own targets on public spending.

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