The autumn statement: what does it mean for Wales?

 

George Osborne's capital promise was welcomed by the Welsh government although it said it still faced budget cuts

The chancellor has sat down and some of the finest brains around - and your correspondent - are ploughing through the jargon trying to work out what the autumn statement means.

This is the Treasury's take on what it means for Wales. The Wales Office estimates that Wales's share of extra investment spending in England will be worth £227m for the Welsh government in the two financial years between now and April 2015.

There will be an extra £52m "of positive Barnett consequentials for resource budgets" which, loosely translated (I think), means the Welsh government benefits from spending changes in England.

Overall - adding in last year's announced changes - the Welsh government will have £674m more to spend during the course of this spending review, which ends in April 2015.

Those are UK government figures, and ministers in Cardiff Bay will doubtless point out that the extra cash is a relatively small addition to its £15bn annual budget, a budget which has already been cut.

The Welsh government can choose how to spend the extra money. It told me its priorities could include improving schools, better flood defences and more social housing.

There were other snippets of Welsh interest. According to the Treasury, Swansea University energy safety research institute will benefit from a £38m research partnership.

Newport will be able to bid for a share of £50m cash to deliver super-fast broadband to smaller cities (Cardiff has already won funding for this).

Two new enterprise zones - at Ebbw Vale and Haven Waterway (Pembrokeshire) will be able to offer "100% capital allowances for investment in plant and machinery" - potentially useful tools to attract business to those areas.

George Osborne also announced that the UK government will deliver its response to the Silk commission's proposals to give Wales some tax-varying powers next Spring.

 
David Cornock, Parliamentary correspondent, Wales Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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