The Welsh Government’s budget motion for the Final Budget 2016-17 will be debated in plenary on 8 March 2016. The National Assembly’s Finance Committee has published the following scrutiny report on the budget. The main changes between the Welsh Government’s Draft and Final Budgets are as follows: Revenue - £2.5 million allocations from reserves.
- £2.5 million top up revenue funding for Powys, Ceredigion and Monmouthshire local authorities.
The Final Budget reverses a planned cut of £374,000 to the Welsh Books Council. This funding is transferred from the “Sectors” budget line. Capital- £100 million and £20 million financial transactions (loan) allocations from reserves.
- £50 million for investing in transport networks
- £10 million for the Intermediate Care Fund
- £10 million for the Welsh Ambulance Service
- £10 million for obstetric, neonatal and paediatric developments across Wales
- £10 million for the 21st Century Schools and Education programme
- £5 million for the Green Growth fund, £3 million for Warm Homes Arbed and £2 million for the Coastal Risk Management Programme.
- In terms of loan funding £10 million for Land for housing scheme and £10 million for the Town Centre Loan Fund
The Draft Budget originally announced a reduction of £41.1 million for the Higher Education Council for Wales (HEFCW) compared to 2015-16 funding for the higher education sector. The Final Budget reduces this to a £20 million decrease. The technical transfer of £21.1 million from HEFCW’s budget, to budget line from which tuition fee grant is now paid will no longer go ahead in 2016-17. The Final Budget documentation also commits to providing a further £10 million funding to the HEFCW budget: £5 million for part-time provision and £5 million for research. This transfer is planned to be shown in the 1st Supplementary Budget 2016-17 rather than in this Final Budget. The Finance Committee has also scrutinised the budgets of the Assembly Commission, Wales Audit Office and Public Services Ombudsman for Wales which are referred to in the budget motion.