What the UK Government’s Budget means for Cardiff North and our Welsh Labour Government’s plan to move Wales forward.
The Chancellor’s budget last week was a budget for the profiteers and not the people. It was a budget to boost the Chancellor’s own ambitions, not to secure the long-term economic future of our economy. It in no way addressed the country’s deep-rooted inequalities after 10 years of Tory austerity and was a gut punch to our hard-working public sector staff who’ve been on the frontlines of this crisis.
Here’s a snapshot of what the UK Government’s budget means for Cardiff North.
A Cliff Edge: Furlough & Universal Credit
The Chancellor extended furlough for a further 6 months. Whilst the extension is expected to reduce unemployment in Wales, waiting to announce this extension at a time of political convenience meant many businesses had already taken tough decisions, jobs were lost and families struggling.
The Chancellor may well have heeded Labour’s calls to cancel the cut to Universal Credit for over 5,000 families in Cardiff North but they now face a cliff-edge of uncertainty in 6 months’ time when it’s due to end. Labour has called for the uplift to remain in place until Universal Credit is replaced.
Real Terms Pay Cut for Covid Heroes
There was no recognition for public sector workers in the Chancellor’s budget who’ve been at the forefront of the coronavirus response in the heart of our communities. There was no real rise in England for those who’ve cared for us and kept us safe. Cardiff North has a high percentage of public sector workers and a real terms pay cut in light of their continued efforts is insulting – I’ve called for fair funding from UK Government to come to Wales to put this right.
A Welsh Government Safety Net
Where the UK Government has failed or dithered, the Welsh Government has stepped up with decisive leadership and weaved a much stronger safety net to protect the people of Wales.
- Over £2bn allocated to provide the most generous support package of business support anywhere in the UK with an extra £200m set aside for further business support that can be matched to the next phase of the pandemic.
- Welsh Government has provided more support to businesses than it has received in funding from UK Government.
- Business rates relief extended by 12 months as opposed to 3 months in England.
- £72m education catch up programme – more generous than the support offered in England.
- A Cultural Recovery Fund.
- Free School Meals in and out of term until Easter 2022.
- £500 bonus to carers that was shamelessly taxed by UK Government.
Welsh Government received an additional £735m in funding from the UK Government largely arising from the extension of business rates relief, business grants and Covid funding. But as this was for 2021/22 only, with no covid-19 related funding for the years after 2021/22 in the budget and with UK Government spending plans likely to reduce the Welsh Budget by £600m a year in 2022-23 this could mean a very difficult outlook for the people of Wales and Cardiff North.
A Welsh Labour Budget to Move Wales Forward
Our Welsh Labour Government recently announced their budget to move Wales forward. Including over £600m more in Covid support for our NHS and local services, £147m boost for housing programmes and millions more to build schools, colleges, cycle routes and more.
Together we are moving Wales forward.