Autumn statement: doing the sums for Wales

 

The Welsh government reaction to today's autumn statement is in - just in time for BBC Wales Today.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "It is good to see the UK government have listened to our call for extra infrastructure investment - we have been pressing the case for some time and are pleased that they have responded.

"Despite this extra money, it must be remembered that our capital budget in 2014-15 will still be 39 per cent lower in real terms than it was in 2009-10. The fact is we will still be experiencing deep cuts that will only hinder us in our attempts to boost economic growth.

"The additional capital allocations are smaller in comparison to the additional £500 million capital investment we announced yesterday for the A465 and the 21st Century Schools Programme.

"The Chancellor has also announced a 3 per cent cut in real terms to our revenue budgets meaning we will have to make some very difficult funding choices.

"The reality of this Autumn Statement is Wales is still facing a very tough public spending environment for years to come."

The UK government disputes the arithmetic and says Wales is one of the relative winners on day-to-day (revenue) spending. Its decision to protect the health budget in England has protected a large element of the Welsh government's budget.

It says Wales will get an additional £52m in revenue spending over two years - but during the same period will lose £85m from what's known as its "resource DEL budget", a net loss of £33m on my maths.

The Wales office says this reduction - 0.15 per cent next year and 0.48 per cent the following year is far lower than the one per cent next year, followed by two per cent, in unprotected English departments.

Labour and Plaid Cymru say that's giving with one hand and taking with the other. Here's the Treasury green book if you fancy some light bedside reading.

Carwyn Jones welcomed the UK government's decision to ditch the idea of regional pay in the public sector and George Osborne's commitment to explore options for improving the M4 (a commitment made last year too).

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

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