Wales politics

Extra £600m for Welsh Government in UK spending plans

Sajid Javid
Image caption Sajid Javid is funding the extra spending from borrowing rather than tax rises

The chancellor has promised £600m extra for the Welsh Government's budget next year in his Spending Review.

Alun Cairns, Welsh Secretary, said the UK government "is providing the biggest ever day-to-day funding settlement for Wales".

Sajid Javid promised he was "turning the page on austerity", boosting cash for health and education in England.

Welsh Government Minister Rebecca Evans said the announcement was a "pre-election distraction".

She said it failed to provide "long term, sustainable funding commitments" - and that the Welsh Government budget for 2020-21 will be "£300m lower in real terms compared with 2010-11".

The Welsh Government's budget for health, education, councils and other services stood at £18bn in 2019-20. It is mostly funded by the UK government and partially by devolved taxes including a share of income tax raised in Wales.

Additional spending in England generally results in knock on spending in Wales, through what is known as the Barnett Formula.

Treasury documents said that the cash the Welsh Government gets for day-to-day spending will rise from £11.9bn in 2019-20 to £12.4bn in 2020-21 - a rise of around £500m.

Capital funding - which is spent on buildings and infrastructure - will rise from £2.2bn by around £100m to £2.3bn over that period.

A UK government source had claimed that the increases were the biggest up-lift to Welsh block grant funding over a decade.

But Rebecca Evans said the spending round did not "even return our spending power to the levels of a decade ago".

If MPs agree to trigger an election, as requested by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Conservatives will need to return to office to implement the plans.

Labour is not expected to back an election until there is a delay to the 31 October Brexit deadline.

Mr Cairns said while it was the responsibility of the Welsh Government to spend the money as they see fit, "I urge Welsh Ministers to use this prime opportunity to focus on delivering the public's priorities - providing better healthcare, improving education and cutting the cost of living".

"The UK government is further committed to doing its part to enhance the Welsh economy, increase opportunities for Welsh businesses worldwide and make our streets safer by also increasing funding to international trade projects, defence and criminal justice," he said.

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