Welsh Government hopes new tax powers will help ease austerity
Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford has outlined how the Welsh Government is protecting public services against the worst impacts of austerity.
He says the Welsh budget has been reduced by £850million over the course of the last decade as a result of the UK Government’s policy of austerity.
Professor Drakeford said: “I’m aware that there is growing pressure on public bodies to deliver more for less during these times of austerity and massive uncertainty about how the UK will be leaving the EU.
"Over the next two years, the Welsh Government's budget will increase by £365m to fulfil the UK Government's NHS commitment, covering the new pay and pension arrangements. That is the good news. Our consequential for all other devolved public services - for local government, including social care, for schools, colleges and universities, for transport and business support - is just £185m over two years."
“One of the opportunities we have to help address fairness is through our new tax powers. The introduction of the first Welsh taxes of the modern era - land transaction tax and landfill disposals tax - have provided us with an opportunity to replace two existing UK taxes with alternatives more geared to the circumstances of Wales.
“With reducing budgets these devolved taxes are helping to fund public services within Wales.
“Whilst facing hard choices, the Welsh Government and local authorities will continue to work to protect our vital public services and invest in our economy, while seeking to achieve greater fairness in society.”