The Welsh Labour Government has announced its spending plans for the next year with a budget heavily aimed at protecting services in local communities like Ogmore, despite the continued austerity funding from a UK Tory Chancellor.
Seven years of austerity from damaging Tory cuts have had a damaging effect on families and communities throughout the whole of the UK. Wales has taken repeated hits from the Tories, and we have seen the block grant (annual funding) here in Wales reduced by £1.2 billion, slashing the money available to us to spend on vital public services. This is a political choice made by the Tory government in London, not a necessity, and we need to change the government in Westminster.
Below is a very brief summary of the main announcements in our Welsh Budget, and it shows how even in very difficult times a Welsh Labour Government can make a difference, doing our best to work together with local authorities and others to protect our vital public services.
This Budget over the next 3 years will see additional funding for our Welsh NHS – £230m for 2018/2019 and £220m for 2019/2020; Protection for our social care and our education services; no cuts to the ‘Supporting People Grant’ with an additional £10m allocated in each year; £70m investment over 2 years for the flagship childcare offer and an extra £10m in each year towards tackling homelessness.
The Capital plans over the 3 years will see £340m released as part of our £1.4 billion investment to build 20,000 affordable homes; Continued investment in our children’s education with an extra £40m towards our ‘21st Century Schools Programme’ – building new schools for our pupils; An extra £90m for our NHS Wales Capital Programme; Capital funds have also been ear-marked in reserves to buy new rolling stock for the new Wales and Borders franchise.
Ogmore Assembly Member Huw Irranca-Davies welcomed the Budget and said: “This Government continues to demonstrate a determination to protect our communities. A heavy focus on health, social care, education, affordable housing shows a clear commitment to protecting our most vulnerable residents. Also great news is the continuation of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2018/2019. This Budget will try and provide stability for local services in Ogmore and across Wales.”
More information about how the Welsh Government is funded and a Budget overview can be found online at http://bit.ly/2gmhLbQ .