Aberavon AM delighted with Welsh Government commitment to Steel.

The Welsh Labour Government has today published its budget which indicates sources of funding and allocations of funding, some details of which were released over the weekend. The proposals include protecting funding for the Supporting People grant thanks to an additional £10m budget allocation and a £30m grant to TATA to assist in the development of a modern power station at the Port Talbot steelworks to provide reassurance to workers that the Welsh Labour Government continues to invest in the steel sector.

The Supporting People grant is a £124.4m programme by the Welsh Labour Government that provides help and support to over 57,000 people each year to live independently. While the majority of those, some 40,000, are older people it also helps those fleeing domestic violence and those threatened with or getting over a period of homelessness as well as those with mental health or substance misuse issues or learning disabilities.

The budget will also include £15m to improve vital north and south links on the A487 and A470 and a £40m boost for mental health funding over two years; an extra £20m-a-year for higher and further education and £6m for a young farmers’ grant scheme over two years; additional funding for the Welsh language; more money for Wales to deal with the impact of Brexit, including support for businesses and for music in schools. The Welsh Labour Government will also invest [delete as appropriate] £7m development fund for undergraduate medical training in North Wales / £2m to remove the tolls on the Cleddau bridge in Pembrokeshire in 2019-20.

Commenting on the news, local Welsh Labour Assembly member David Rees said: “We are all aware of the difficult financial climate that is imposed on Wales by the UK Government and their failed austerity agenda. Despite this the Welsh Labour Government are acting to protect services, this community and vulnerable residents. This budget is about fairness.”

“I am pleased to see identified in the budget £30m for the power plant at Tata Steel Port Talbot. This re-confirms the Welsh Labour Government’s commitment to supporting the Steel Sector in Wales and its belief that our steelworkers deserve certainty on the future of steel making in Wales.”

“Here in Aberavon, we have also benefited greatly in the past few years from the Welsh Governments 21st Century schools programme with new builds currently taking place at Ysgol Newydd Margam, Ysgol Gyfun Bro Dur and Ysgol Newydd Briton Ferry as well as completed projects at Ysgol Bae Baglan and Awel y Mor Primary school and I am pleased that the Welsh Labour Government has commited a further £40million to this fantastic scheme.”