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

They think it's all over. It is now.

Welsh Secretary David Jones and his deputy Stephen Crabb have been answering MPs' questions for the last time before the summer recess.

Read full article

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 16.

    #15 My apoogies - I went through a Georgr Orwell phase in my youth. Hence the nom de plume.
    I guess the syndico-anarchists come from Homage to Catalonia.
    For those that find life too short to read it, Life of Brian, with its People's Front for Judea (PFJ) and JPF will give the flavour.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 15.

    14 Not me boxer, but your post on syndico anarchism had me pressing the search button! :o)

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    Comment number 14.

    #11 Does anyone on this site understand what this might mean? Even after adding some punctuation, I remain baffled.

    FTR I am not being pedantic, or flaming, I just don't understand it, beyond the usual message of not liking Westm

  • rate this
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    Comment number 13.

    Devolution is proving your lot wrong, is benefiting Wales which infuriates your....

    Benefiting Wales? how?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 12.

    ... it's not just disgruntled English taxpayers dispozest, we the Welsh taxpayers feel much the same when looking in on Cardiff Bay of Plenty !

  • rate this
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    Comment number 11.

    10: You allude with your backwards agenda of Assembly falure. In fact Devolution is proving your lot wrong, is benefiting Wales which infuriates your Anti gaggle no end hence the constant negativity out of frustration and seeing most nations aren't faced with Westminster withholding their fiscal levers the WG have made positive strides despite the obstacles deliberately put in it's way. ?:)

  • rate this
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    Comment number 10.

    The problem with capital spending is that the results generally have to be staffed and/or maintained - that takes revenue the Welsh economy consistently doesn't generate. Very little of WAG's investment can be considered sustainable.

    We have seen a plethora of loss-making vanity projects and white elephants all effectively being subsidised by an increasingly disgruntled set of English taxpayers.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 9.

    Excellent news about increased school spending - anyone know when they are finally going to build the school in Pontprennau. Not only will that increase educational opportunities for the next generation but it will also significantly increae the value of my house - oops, have I said the wrong thing???

  • rate this
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    Comment number 8.

    Then I take it back Boxer.

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    Comment number 7.

    #2 'the dualing of our A465'
    Alf, for some reason you assume I shall be compaining.
    FTR I think it is very good news. Like most residentsof this corner of Wales, I have been scared on the 465 by the morons who think leaving their headlights off saves fuel. A good fast safe route that will also keep some traffic out of the Malpas tunnels. What's not to like ??

  • rate this
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    Comment number 6.

    ...finances on what they need, ensuring that sustainable growth occurs through consumers spending, manufacturers making (with less tax and redtape based in the UK), increased employment and starting the whole happy cycle all over again. With the government keeping out of it, it runs based on supply and demand and increased personal accountability and less centralised interference in private lives.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 5.

    ... and moves to put it's continued growth on a surer footing. The only way that politicos can encourage growth, as they cannot create it except artificially and as a thin vapid veneer, is to cut business and personal taxes, reduce 'red-tape' and reduce central governments size and responsibilities. The individual/household is the basic economic block and is best placed to spend their personal...

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    "The fact is we will still be experiencing deep cuts that will only hinder us in our attempts to boost economic growth."

    When will politicos realise you cannot publicly spend to create sustainable, strong foundationed growth? Creating growth with public expenditure is building a house on sand. China is slowly changing it's economic model as it realises this...

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    Comment number 3.

    Welsh govt makes plenty of mistakes so Alf's right to give credit where due. Borrowing through the back door for A465 and the school improvement programme shows initiative. Fixing the M4 will cost a billion so not surprising it takes longer. They could do it if they tolled the M4 relief road but you can imagine the outcry from the bleeding hearts and Welsh Labour lacks the guts to take them on.

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    Comment number 2.

    Hey Boxer what about the dualing of our A465. Don't you think that is wonderful news. See there is a way forward. All you need is drive. Though you and your friends will probably complain about that.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 1.

    A commitment to improve the M4 'when conditions are right' is meaningless. Keep quiet until at least there is a list of schemes, say the extra junction in Cardiff North, with a predicted cost, and an imminent arrangement to prioritise them, and a date to start the first one, with a commitment to use parliamentary time where necessary.

 

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