What does George Osborne's Budget mean for Wales?
- 20 March 2013
- From the section Wales politics
So, how was it for you and yours? Economists and political geeks are now poring over the small print from George Osborne's fourth Budget.
As expected, I've already been asked on air: what does it mean for Wales?
The answer: it depends on how you are, how much you drive, drink or smoke, whether you're an employer or an employee, and how much you earn.
The Wales Office has been doing the maths, so you don't have to. It says the cancellation of the fuel duty rise will save the typical motorist £25, van driver £50 and haulier £750. (There are apparently 1.8 million motor vehicles in Wales - you learn something every day).
A new scheme to encourage people to buy their own home - the "help to buy mortgage guarantee" will apply UK-wide. The Wales Office says this will mean the average homebuyer having to save a £9,000 rather than £18,000 deposit.
A total of 1.1m taxpayers in Wales will benefit from the increase in the income tax threshold to £10,000 from next year. The Wales Office says 12,000 "low income individuals" will no longer pay income tax.
You will remember that 18 months ago, the chancellor promised to work with the Welsh government to improve the M4. How's that one coming along, I hear you cry.
Today the Treasury said: "The [UK] government is continuing to discuss options for funding improvements to the M4 in South Wales with the Welsh government."
And as spring begins this week, you are probably wondering whether the UK government has delivered on Nick Clegg's promise to respond to the Silk commission on devolution "before the spring of this year."
Actually, you've probably got better things to do, but the Treasury promised today that it was assessing the Silk commission's recommendations and "will be reporting on progress in due course".
That leads to the second question of the day: never mind what the Budget means for you and your family, what does it mean for the Welsh government? It will get £161m more to spend on capital projects between now and the 2015 general election and another £2m through other funding. But it will lose £59m from its day-to-day revenue budget due to a squeeze on Whitehall departments.
The Wales Office says that's only one fifth of the equivalent cut in most English departments, and the Welsh government is protected by the decision to protect NHS spending in England. So the Barnett formula still applies and yesterday's suggestion by the Press Association that devolved governments faced similar cuts is wrong.
That won't of course, prevent the Welsh government from complaining about its "disappointing" funding from Westminster. That's politics.
One more "stat" for you; 1,647 motorists in Wales drive vehicles built in 1973 and will be spared road tax as they celebrate their 40th birthday. Fire up the Quattro! (or as we're talking 1973, should that be the Granada?)