Powys politicians see positives and negatives from the Budget

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

POWYS politicians have given differing views to Wednesday’s Budget announcement by Chancellor Phillip Hammond MP.

Wales is set to get an extra £1.2 billion over four years because of extra spending on projects in England – under the so-called Barnett formula.

The cash amounts to a rise of around two per cent in the Welsh Government’s budget.

The main points of the budget are:

n Stamp duty to be abolished immediately for first-time buyers buying properties worth up to £300,000 which will be devolved to the Wales Government in April 2018.

n Tobacco will continue to rise by two per cent above Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation, the equivalent to 28p on a pack of 20.

n Duty on beer, wine, spirits and most ciders will be frozen.

n Fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel cars is scrapped.

n Tax-free personal allowance on income tax to rise to £11,850 in April 2018.

n Higher-rate tax threshold to increase to £46,350.

n National Living Wage to rise in April 2018 by 4.4 per cent, from £7.50 an hour to £7.83.

n £3 billion for Brexit planning.

UK government ministers would “begin formal negotiations towards a north Wales growth deal” and “consider proposals for a Mid Wales growth deal”, working with local partners and the Welsh Government.

Montgomeryshire Conservative AM, Russell George, said: “I am delighted the Chancellor has made a commitment to a Mid Wales Growth Deal. I’m hopeful that the Welsh Government will follow with a commitment also in the coming weeks.

“This is something which I have been calling for over many months and I’m pleased that the issue has now been given national prominence.”

But Liberal Democrat AM, for Brecon and Radnor, Kirsty Williams, was not so enthusiastic and believes the budget contained little positive news for Wales

Kirsty Williams AM said: “My initial impression is that this is a disappointing budget, with very little for Wales, growth forecasts collapsing, and no real action on the public sector pay cap.”

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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