- Posted by: Lesley Griffiths MS
- Category: News
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An extra £165m for the NHS, a £227m increase for councils and an additional £40m to directly help with the cost-of-living crisis are some of the measures outlined in the Welsh Government’s Draft Budget for the upcoming financial year.
Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd, Lesley Griffiths, has welcomed the Welsh Labour Government’s spending plans for 2023-24 which help to protect public services and the most vulnerable in the face of a perfect storm of financial pressures.
Building on the three-year spending plans set out last year, Welsh ministers have taken difficult decisions to reprioritise funding from within budgets to maximise support for the public services, people and businesses most affected by the cost-of-living crisis and recession.
Lesley Griffiths MS said: “The Welsh Government will continue to use every penny at its disposal to invest in key services for the people of Wrexham and Wales, however, we can’t escape the fact we are living through tumultuous times.
“A series of damaging economic choices by successive Tory Governments in Westminster means the UK is in recession, inflation is at a 40-year high and energy prices are soaring as living standards fall.
“Despite the challenging backdrop, I’m pleased the Welsh Labour Government is maximising all its resources, balancing short term needs with longer term changes, whilst also delivering Welsh Labour’s manifesto aspirations for a stronger, fairer, greener nation.”
The Draft Budget includes:
- An extra £165m for NHS Wales to help protect frontline services;
- An additional £227m for Welsh councils to help safeguard local services – including schools – and deliver the Real Living Wage in social care. This funding also contributes to the wider £460m two-year business support package which was announced on Monday [12 December].
- Further support for education, with an extra £28m to:
- strengthen the further education sector;
- improve standards in schools;
- support children whose families are on lower incomes;
- help children and young people with additional learning needs.
- The full £117m consequential from education spending in the Autumn Statement, which has been provided to local government to fund schools.
- Funding to support Wales’s ongoing humanitarian response to the war in Ukraine and the thousands of people who have sought safety and sanctuary in Wales – £40m will be allocated in 2023-24 and £20m in 2024-25.
- £18.8m for the Discretionary Assistance Fund, which provides lifeline emergency cash payments to people facing financial hardship.
- £40m to support a sustainable and greener public transport system, which will help Wales on its journey towards Net Zero by 2050.
The Welsh Government’s budget is worth up to £1bn less next year than when it was originally announced, and up to £3bn less over the three-year spending review period from 2022-23 to 2024-25.
As a result of the UK Government’s post-EU funding arrangements, Wales also has a £1.1bn shortfall in funding, compared to the EU structural and rural funds.
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