Magazine article Public Finance

First Budget Set for New Tax Regime

Magazine article Public Finance

First Budget Set for New Tax Regime

Article excerpt

* Wales' draft budget has been issued along with a pledge to provide greater certainty for public services as austerity continues.

It is the first budget to coincide with the country's new tax-raising powers, which take effect from April 2018.

Welsh finance secretary Mark Drakeford issued two-year revenue plans for 2018-19 and 2019-20 to provide stability for local government and the health service. Alongside these, three-year capital plans, worth almost ?5bn, were published.

Drakeford criticised the UK government's "flawed policy" of austerity, which was putting Welsh spending under continued pressure. By the end of the decade, the Welsh budget would have been cut by ?1.2bn or 7% in real terms since 2010, he said.

"On top of this, the UK government's ?3.5bn of unallocated cuts to public spending for 2019-20 continue to cast a shadow over our plans for the future - this could mean a further cut of up to ?175m to the Welsh budget depending on where the unallocated cuts fall," he added.

The budget included an additional ?230m for NHS Wales next year and a further ?220m for 2019-20, protection for social care and education spending, ? …

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