The Welsh Government have published their final Budget for 2021-22, building on their determination to protect public services and our economy, to build a greener future and to create a more equal Wales.
The Welsh Government have adopted a targeted and responsible approach to provide effective support in the course of this fast moving pandemic.
- This has allowed businesses in Wales to access the most generous support package in the UK at the same time as guaranteeing free school meal provision through to Easter 2022.
- The changes confirmed today are focussed on providing the right support to protect lives and livelihoods in the months ahead.
- NHS and local government partners need certainty for the next phase of their heroic response to this crisis. This final budget confirms over £630m for those services to support the next 6 months of their COVID response.
- This global pandemic has shaken the foundations our economy and we need to act now to inject jobs and demand into a recovery that takes root today.
- This final budget also includes a capital stimulus of more than £220m to move this work forward. This includes plans to ramp up house building and their ambitious schools building programme to help create jobs.
- Wales’s hardest hit businesses need certainty too. When the Chancellor on the funding Wales will get as its share of the English position on rates relief and grants, the Welsh Government will move urgently to announce the next steps for Wales.
- The Final Budget also sets aside £200m in reserves for additional business support next year to respond to the evolving challenges of the pandemic.
- Over £10m will be dedicated over 6 months to continue the current relaxation of the Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) – rules to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on households suffering extreme financial hardship, alongside measures aimed at maximising household income and improving financial resilience.
Key changes between draft and final Budgets
- Allocations totalling more than £930m have been made within the Final Budget which are broadly broken down into three main categories:
- An extra £682.2m for COVID-19 including £630m to extend contact tracing and protect core NHS services and support local authorities for the first six months of 2021-22. This funding will:
- Support world-leading vaccination programme so we can protect as many people as quickly as possible;
- Boost testing capacity;
- Bolster successful contact tracing programme;
- Extend the Local Government Hardship Fund and support our social care services and schools;
- Provide extra support for apprenticeships which are a crucial to our economic future
- Maintain vital public transport provision
- And extend the Discretionary Assistance Fund to ensure Wales’ most vulnerable get the support that they need.
- A capital package of more than £220m to inject jobs and demand into a recovery that takes root today stimulating demand in the economy in the short to medium term – including
- £147m to ramp up house building
- £30m for the Welsh Government’s ambitious schools building programme to help create jobs.
- £20m for Active Travel to further extend investment in active travel infrastructure to enable the delivery of additional schemes over and above our existing pipeline.
- £8m for local authority flood measures, including to support repair work to damaged assets following flooding in December and January.
- £4.5m for community facilities, including £3.5m to allow the delivery of additional pipeline projects in the Community Facilities Fund that would not be possible within the existing budget and £1m of additional FTC investment through our Community Asset Loan Fund programme.
- £3m investment in the Cultural Estate, recognising the challenges associated with the ongoing maintenance of historic buildings.
- £2m investment in sports building and facilities which boost local construction businesses and supply chains, as well as delivering positive and lasting impact on community participation and performance
- £10m for the Strategic Road Network to support four specific schemes that are designed to ease congestion, and therefore emissions, at “Pinch-points” on our SRN.
- A number of modest allocations relating to matters arising since draft Budget including providing £11.2m to manage post-EU transition and £2.6m for post-EU farm support and to deliver remaining commitments under existing EU-funded schemes up to 2023.