The budget marks a significant milestone in Wales’ devolution as from April 2018 the country becomes responsible for raising a proportion of its own revenue from two new taxes – land transaction tax and landfill disposals tax – to be spent on public services.
The Welsh government is publishing two-year revenue plans for 2018/19 and 2019/20 in a bid to provide certainty and stability for the local government and the health services as they plan for the future.
The Welsh government’s three-year capital plans – worth almost £5bn – have been published, boosting infrastructure investment across Wales.
The capital plans will make use of £375m of borrowing over three years to deliver large-scale strategic investments, with borrowing requirements set to be reviewed every year.
The draft budget also includes the recently announced agreement with Plaid Cymru, which will bring stability to Welsh public services and allow the £15bn budget to proceed.
- Garden town developments to be sped up by £2.5m boost
- Council agrees key stage in 1,000 affordable homes project
- Council to spend £64m on affordable housing
The Welsh government’s revenue plans include:
- an additional £230m in 2018/19 and £220m in 2019/20 for NHS Wales
- protection for social care and education
- no cuts to the supporting people grant – an additional £10m will be allocated in each year to maintain 2017/18 levels
- investing £70m over two years for the flagship childcare offer
- an extra £10m to tackle homelessness in each year.
Capital plans over the three years include:
- releasing £340m – as part of the £1.4bn investment – towards the flagship commitment to build 20,000 affordable homes
- £50m to develop a new rail station and park-and-ride facility in Llanwern
- an extra £40m to accelerate the 21st-century programme
- an extra £90m for the NHS Wales capital programme
- capital funding will be earmarked in reserves to buy new rolling stock for the new Wales and borders franchise, subject to the outcome of the procurement process.
Professor Drakeford said: “This is a new budget for Wales and marks another important milestone in our devolution journey as we prepare to take on new tax and borrowing powers from April.
“Rather than just setting out our revenue and capital spending priorities, this draft budget is the first to outline the decisions we have taken to raise a proportion of our own revenue to support public services.”