Budget to build a better Wales

Cynon Valley AM Vikki Howells has welcomed the Welsh Labour Government’s draft budget aimed at sustaining the fabric of Welsh life and building a better Wales.

The outline draft Budget 2019-20 has been developed against the backdrop of continued austerity and the shadow cast by the ongoing uncertainty associated with Brexit.

It is also the first Welsh Budget to include revenues raised from Welsh rates of income tax as Wales gains the partial power to set and vary income tax.

The Welsh Government’s revenue plans include:-

  • More than £500 million extra for health and social care – this includes £220 million to meet the Nuffield gap and an additional £287 million for services, pay and performance;
  • An additional £50 million for social care in 2019-20, £30 million of which will be allocated from the health and social care funding;
  • £15 million additional funding for schools; and
  • A package of £12.5 million of measures to help tackle child poverty.

The draft budget contains measures aimed at protecting some of the most vulnerable residents in places like Cynon Valley such as:-

  • More than £3m to help parents meet the everyday costs associated with sending their children to school, including school uniforms and sports kits;
  • £7m to provide thousands more children with free school meals in Wales;
  • Funding totalling £12.5m to help tackle child poverty.  This includes additional funding to expand the Discretionary Assistance Fund, which is struggling to meet demand, largely as a result of the UK Government’s draconian programme of welfare cuts; and the
  • Continued funding of the Supporting People programme which has already been cut in England.

Vikki Howells AM said:-

“Communities in Cynon Valley continue to face ongoing cuts as a result of decisions made by the UK Government.

“In these difficult times I am proud to support a Welsh Labour Government that remains committed to doing all it can to support people across Wales.

“I regularly speak to local people whose lives are being made difficult by the failing policies of the UK Government. The announcements in this “bread and butter” budget are aimed at helping these and assisting the most vulnerable in our society.”