NHS big winner as further details of 2019-20 draft Welsh budget revealed

(Title Image: BBC Wales)

The detailed line-by-line proposals in the 2019-20 draft Welsh budget were revealed earlier today (xls).

The Winners

There’s an extra £287million for core NHS services alongside an additional £45million in capital spending. Just under £2million extra has been made available to substance abuse services.

An additional £45million in revenue funding has been made available to local government alongside £20million in capital, but the distribution of that extra money remains a bone of contention. An additional £8.4million has been added to the children & communities budget alongside an additional £2million for financial inclusion.

The various inspectorates (Care Inspectorate Wales, Estyn, Healthcare Inspectorate Wales) have seen a collective £1.3million increase to their budgets following a cut last year.

The Valleys Task Force has received £12.5million in capital spending, while an additional £35million has been made available for social housing grants.

Entrepreneurship will be boosted by £3.6million (seemingly coming directly from Business Wales’ budget) while regional economic development will receive an additional £2.5million. Transport for Wales will see their budget increase by £15million with an additional £16.2million in capital funding on top of that.

Bus support grants and youth concessionary schemes will receive an extra £3million combined.

There’s an additional £2million for tourist marketing and an additional £1.3million for science programmes. The Tech Valleys initiative will receive £10million, while employability and youth engagement programmes will get an extra £5.7million.

Capital spending on active travel programmes will increase by £20million and there’s also an additional £26million for “local transport priorities“.

Teacher training programmes will receive an additional £15million alongside an additional £3.7million for FE colleges and £1.4million for HEFCW (universities body). The school improvement grant has been boosted by £8.7million, while the pupil development grant has been boosted by £3.6million.

Waste management programmes will get an extra £17.1million in revenue and capital spending, while the troubled Natural Resources Wales body will get an extra £3.4million in revenue and capital combined.

The Losers

There’s no additional money for affordable housing, homelessness, the fire service, community support officers or the police (which receives a proportion of their funding from the Welsh Government) – all their budgets have been frozen (meaning a “real terms cut”).

The major heritage bodies (Cadw, National Museums etc.), the National Library, Sport Wales and Wales Books Council have also had their budgets frozen – though Cadw will receive an extra £3.8million in capital funding.

The independent living fund has been eliminated, while Help to Buy Wales has seen a cut of £930,000.

Business Wales will see a £3.6million cut (which, as said, might be going directly on entrepreneurship), while business development programmes will see £700,000 cut. The flood defence budget has been frozen.

The Welsh Government and Senedd’s running costs have also effectively been frozen.

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