Millions of families and businesses across Wales will continue to be supported by the UK Government through a Budget that ‘meets the moment’, the Chancellor said this week.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday 3 March, Rishi Sunak set out a three-part plan that protects jobs and livelihoods through the next stage of the crisis, starts the work of building our future economy and begins fixing the public finances once we are on the way to recovery.
As part of the next stage of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs, he announced the furlough and self-employment support schemes would be extended until the end of September, alongside a six-month extension to the £20 Universal Credit uplift, a one-off £500 payment to eligible Working Tax Credit claimants and Covid-19 related income tax exemptions for employees.
The Chancellor also set-out an extension to the VAT reduction for the tourism and hospitality sectors and provided a £740 million boost for Wales with additional funding for the Welsh Government through the Barnett formula.
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said: “This is a fantastic budget for Wales. As well as continuing to protect hundreds of thousands of jobs and livelihoods through the pandemic, the Chancellor has shown that the UK Government is building back better and greener and that Wales is central to those plans.
“The continuation of furlough, self-employed and business support, the Universal Credit uplift, the hospitality VAT cut and the fuel duty freeze will provide vital certainty of people and businesses in Wales in the months ahead, while the announcements of the Centre for Rail Excellence, hydrogen hub and investment in growth deals will bring thousands of high-skilled jobs, signalling Wales’s place as a centre for innovation and the industries of the future.
“As we have seen over the past year, the strength of the United Kingdom has never been more important to Wales and we will continue to provide vaccines, Covid testing and Armed Forces support which are key to lifting restrictions and reopening the Welsh economy. Today’s Budget delivers for every part of Wales and paves the way for brighter times ahead.”