BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Wales  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 15 July, 2002, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK
Assembly budget boost welcomed
First Minister Rhodri Morgan
Rhodri Morgan was pleased with the settlement
First Minister Rhodri Morgan has welcomed plans unveiled by Chancellor Gordon Brown for substantial increases in the Welsh Assembly's budget.

Revealing the result of his spending review to MPs, Mr Brown said the assembly's budget would rise by 5.1% a year in real terms - compared to 4.4% for the Scottish Parliament.

By 2006, the assembly's budget will reach 11.8bn - this year, on the Treasury's calculations, it is 9.4bn.

Secretary of State for Wales Paul Murphy
Paul Murphy has welcomed the plan

Rhodri Morgan said it was an incredibly important day for the Assembly and pledged to get the best value for public money.

Welsh Assembly Finance Minister Edwina Hart is to make a statement to AMs on the settlement on Tuesday.

While not wishing to pre-empt the assembly's own budget in the autumn, Mr Morgan said that the money would be spent on frontline services.

The Chancellor is also making almost 500m available during the next three years to ensure the assembly can draw down European grants for the poorest parts of Wales.

Analysts had expected the Chancellor to refuse to offer this funding for Objective One projects.

Mr Morgan said this money would mean that regeneration projects could continue without other budgets being raided.

Changes forecast

The Secretary of State for Wales, Paul Murphy, said the settlement, which will hand out 10.3bn in 2003/4 and 10.9bn in 2004/5, was excellent for Wales.

"I am very pleased that the increased spending, announced by the Chancellor this afternoon, will mean that the assembly's budget will increase to 11.8bn for 2005-06," said Mr Murphy.

"It is now for the Welsh Assembly to translate this into the best possible public services for the people of Wales."

Welsh Assembly Finance Minister Edwina Hart
Edwina Hart will address the assembly on Tuesday

The increase in cash for key areas had been forecast by analysts.

Across the UK, Mr Brown has earmarked an extra 90bn for public spending over the next three years.

The budget of Welsh Assembly Finance Minister Edwina Hart is set by the Barnett formula, which links investment in Wales to spending in Whitehall departments.

The assembly can decide itself how to spend the chancellor's money.

But Plaid Cymru Treasury Spokesman Elfyn Llwyd MP described the spending review as "very disappointing indeed".

Mr Llwyd said that, despite the 5.1% increase, Wales had been sold short.

"Once again we have got to raid the meagre budget to match European Objective 1 funding," he said.

The government conducted a comprehensive review of public services in 1998, and followed it up with another in 2000, which set targets and allocated resources for the three years to 2003-4.

The 2002 Spending Review revises these plans for 2003-04 and outlines new plans for 2004-05 and 2005-06.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Wales' David Cornock
"Gordon Brown's top priority is education"
The government's plans for future spending are published on 15 July

Key stories

At the sharp end

Analysis

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

12 Jul 02 | Business
10 Jul 02 | UK Politics
14 Jul 02 | Business
14 Jan 00 | Wales
12 Jul 02 | Wales
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Wales stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes