Finance Minister Rebecca Evans has unveiled a draft Budget with plans to invest more than £8bn for the Welsh NHS alongside ambitious projects to help combat climate change.
In the first Budget following the declaration of a climate emergency in Wales, there is significant new funding for low carbon transport and housing and support to restore Wales’ natural environment. This budget also protects major ongoing funding for renewable energy, the development of zero carbon technologies and access to nature.
The 2020-21 draft Budget will see the Welsh NHS receive an inflation-busting increase of £340m next year, alongside a £200m boost for local government. Core funding for local authorities will grow to almost £4.5bn, boosting resources for schools, social care and other local services.
There will also be additional funding to tackle poverty, including extra support for disadvantaged pupils, and investment for town centre regeneration in a budget that delivers real-terms increases for all Welsh Government departments.
This Budget also confirms that Welsh rates of income tax will be unchanged for next year, maintaining the pledge not to raise tax rates this Assembly term. It also focuses on longer-term, preventative measures to promote the wellbeing of future generations.
The UK government’s September 2019 spending round provided funding allocations for one year only. Following this announcement, like for like funding for Wales next year will be £300m lower compared with 2010-11.
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:
“This draft Budget delivers on our promises to the people of Wales and invests for the future of our planet.
Despite a decade of austerity, we have consistently prioritised our NHS. Our plans will confirm a £37bn investment in the Welsh NHS since 2016.
As we take on the climate emergency, I am protecting our existing investment and delivering a new £140m package with support for low carbon transport and a National Forest for Wales.
Funding increases for other vital public services such as schools and local government have also been secured in this year’s Budget. Minsters have also worked across government to focus on long term, preventative measures such as mental health investment in line with the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
Even though our like for like funding remains below 2010 levels, this Budget strives for a greener, more equal and prosperous Wales.”
The spending announced today’s draft Budget means that over this five year term the Welsh Government has invested:
- £37bn in our Welsh NHS, to ensure quality treatment for all
- £25bn in Local Government funding to protect our vital public services in the face of UK imposed austerity.
- £80m for the New Treatment Fund, which has cut waiting times for new drugs from 90 days to just 10.
- More than £200m to deliver the childcare offer for working parents
- £575m to provide 100,000 high quality apprenticeships for all ages
- More than £580m to support small businesses with their rates bills
- An extra £100m to improve school standards
- £2bn on affordable housing, delivering more than 20,000 affordable homes
- More than £650m on our 21st Century Schools and Colleges to give children the best environment to learn
- More than £100m on direct business support to create jobs and support entrepreneurs
- More than £350m in flood and costal risk management activities
- More than £1.8bn to transform and maintain the NHS estate
- Nearly £200m to support household waste recycling