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Welsh Government Unveils Final Budget for 2021-22

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The Welsh Government has unveiled its Final Budget for 2021-22 including an extra £1.1bn in spending.

The extra spending includes £630m more the NHS and local authorities, and an additional £224m for schools, housing and other infrastructure. There is also an extra £200m available for business support.

Altogether, the Welsh Government plans to spend £17bn in the next financial year.

Welsh ministers were waiting until Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced his Budget before deciding what action to take on business rates, which are devolved. The current business rates holiday, which covers retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £500,000 or below, only runs until the end of March.

In his Budget statement, Mr Sunak said the business rates holiday in England would continue until the end of June, and business rates would then be charged at a two-thirds discount for eligible businesses until April 2022.

He also announced an additional £740m for Wales through the Barnett formula, which provides for increased grants to devolved administrations where there has been an increase in spending on devolved matters in England.

Announcing the extra £1.1bn in spending this week, the Welsh Government said it was setting aside £224.5m for infrastructure spending, including £147m for housing and £30m for schools.

Local authorities, along with Natural Resources Wales, will receive an extra £8m for flood protection and to repair damage caused by the winter’s floods. A further £20m will go towards cycle paths and walking routes, bringing the total being spent on active travel to £75m.

The extra £630m that is going towards the NHS and local authorities includes £380m for NHS services, £206m for social care and school adaptation, and £50m for contract tracing. There’s an extra £18.6m for public transport and £10.5m for vulnerable people.