£300m boost for the Welsh NHS in Budget

The ‘Fairer, Better Wales – Investing for the future’ Draft Budget aims to protect the public services that matter most to the people of Wales.

Despite a challenging settlement which has seen the Welsh Budget cut by 8% in real terms over five years, and 4.5% revenue cuts to come – a wide range of services will be protected by the Welsh Government including health, social services, schools and Further Education for the financial year ahead.

  • £200m to support NHS services – hospitals, community and primary care;
  • An extra £30m for older people and mental health services;
  • An additional capital boost of £33.5m for new infrastructure in 2016/17, new equipment and the maintenance of the NHS estate, over and above the £220m Health and Social Services Capital Programme;
  • Protection of our funding in Public Health services; and
  • An increase in the Intermediate Care Fund from £20m to £50m, which enables the NHS and Social Services to work together to support older and vulnerable people by helping them to maintain their independence in their own home, prevent hospital admission and facilitate early discharge from hospital.

This investment means spending per head on health in Wales is on track to remain higher than in England for 2016-17.  This will be boosted by an additional £21m for social services, through the local government Revenue Support Grant (RSG).

Schools funding will continue to grow by 1% more than changes to the Welsh Budget overall – almost £40m extra for next year to continue the new momentum in Welsh education. Nearly £35m of this will support frontline schools spending through councils.

The investment in schools and social services through the RSG gives an important boost to local government in these tough times and ensures that once again local authorities in Wales receive a more favourable settlement than their counterparts in England.

The Further Education budget is protected from cuts, with a further £5m to create an additional 2,500 apprenticeships.  An extra £10 million will ensure that no Welsh student has to pay more for their degree than if they had been students in 2010-11.

Universal benefits which people value dearly, including free breakfasts, free school milk, free swimming, free prescriptions and concessionary fares are all safeguarded next year.

With the additional capital funding for health, the Draft Budget sets out plans for allocating over £230m new capital investment to support economic and social  infrastructure across Wales.  £166.5m of the new capital investment will be allocated to projects to drive sustained economic growth, support housing, the environment and to create jobs, including transport schemes and flood defences.

For more information on the Welsh Government budget CLICK HERE