- Posted by: David Rees MS
- Category: News
Aberavon AM has welcomed the Welsh Labour Government draft budget, aimed at sustaining the fabric of Welsh life and build a better Wales.
This week saw the announcement of the first Welsh Budget to include revenues raised from Welsh rates of income tax as Wales gains the partial power to set and vary income tax.
The outline draft Budget 2019-20 has been developed against the backdrop of continued austerity and the shadow cast by the ongoing uncertainty associated with Brexit.
The Welsh Government’s revenue plans include:
- More than £500 million extra for health and social care – this includes £220 million to meet the Nuffield gap and an additional £287 million for services, pay and performance
- An additional £50 million for social care in 2019-20, £30 million of which will be allocated from the health and social care funding
- £15 million additional funding for schools
- A package of £12.5 million of measures to help tackle child poverty.
The draft budget contains measures aimed at protecting some of the most vulnerable residents in communities across Aberavon:
- More than £3m to help parents meet the everyday costs associated with sending their children to school, including school uniforms and sports kits.
- £7m as we move to provide thousands more children with free school meals in Wales.
- The budget contained a measures totalling £12.5m to help tackle child poverty. This includes additional funding to expand the Discretionary Assistance Fund, which is struggling to meet demand, largely as a result of the UK Government’s draconian programme of welfare cuts.
- Continued funding of the Supporting People programme which has already been cut in England.
The Welsh Government also announced plans to exempt care leavers from paying council tax until the age of 25 and new rules to remove charitable relief from independent schools and private hospitals in Wales, bringing them into line with state-funded schools and NHS hospitals for the payment of non-domestic rates.
David Rees AM said:
“In these difficult times the Welsh Labour Government has once again produced a Budget that remains committed to doing all it can to support people across Aberavon. This budget will continue to provide investment in education, social services and healthcare across the area.”
“I will be keeping a keen eye on the greater detail of the budget that will be announced later in the year to ensure that previous government commitments are delivered; for example the £18m earmarked for Tata Steel’s development of the new power plant and ensuring that we get a fair local government settlement in Neath Port Talbot, on par with the rest of Wales, despite the cuts we have received from the UK Government.”