£680m Covid cash boost for Wales

Wales’ public services will receive a cash boost of more than £682m to support their COVID efforts over the coming months, the First Minister announced today.

The package includes more than £635m for the NHS and local councils to help them support the people of Wales over the next six months.

This significant funding boost will support our world-leading vaccination programme so we can protect as many people as quickly as possible; boost our testing capacity and bolster our highly effective contact tracing programme.

The package also includes an additional £206.5m for the Local Government Hardship Fund, supporting vital social care services and ensuring schools are able to adapt to their new ways of working.

A further £10.5m will extend the Discretionary Assistance Fund, providing support for the most vulnerable people in Wales during these difficult times.

In addition, we are strengthening support for apprenticeships, which are a crucial part of our economy with an extra £16.5m investment and providing a further £18.6m to maintain vital public transport provision.

First Minster Mark Drakeford said:

“Throughout the pandemic, the role of our public sector partners – our NHS and local authority colleagues – has been nothing short of heroic. In a uniquely Welsh way, the public sector has worked together to protect the people of Wales.

“This significant package of investment we are announcing today will help support our crucial public services during the toughest of times until this crisis is over.”

Finance Minister Rebecca Evans will provide further details about the additional funding when she publishes the Welsh Government’s final Budget tomorrow (Tuesday March 2).