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Wednesday, February 17, 2021

MP welcomes £650m support from UK Government for Wales

Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes (pictured) has welcomed the announcement that the UK Government has provided the Welsh Government with an additional £650 million to support people, businesses and public services affected by Coronavirus.

He says the funding brings the total allocated to the Welsh Government since the start of the pandemic to £5.85 billion. 

That, he says, is on top of all of the other UK Government support packages including the furlough scheme, the Eat Out to Help Scheme and the different business loans.

In recognition of the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic and in response to calls for flexibility, the Welsh Government will also be able to carry over any of the £650 million not spent this year into the 2021/22 financial year on top of their existing tools to transfer funding between years.

However, Mr Baynes has called on the Welsh Government to now re-examine its proposed Local Government Funding Settlement for 2021-22, in which he says Wrexham Council is set to receive the second lowest funding increase in Wales of 2.3%.

Mr Baynes commented: “I’m very pleased that the UK Government continues to support Wales through the pandemic. This additional funding boost highlights the value of our United Kingdom. 

"It’s important now that this funding gets to businesses and individuals in Clwyd South and across Wales as we look to rebuild the UK economy.

“I would urge the Welsh Labour Government to spend some of this money on a more generous support grant for Wrexham Council which currently has the second lowest settlement in Wales despite having to deal the Covid crisis. The proposed increase of 2.3% for Wrexham compares to an average increase in South Wales of 4.17%, thereby reinforcing the unfairness of the North-South divide.

“This means that, with the heavy burdens of Covid-19, flooding, snow, increased social care and many other factors, Wrexham County Borough Council will be forced to increase Council Tax on residents by 6.95%, despite being a well-run Council. I therefore hope that the Labour Government in Cardiff will look again at the funding settlements for Wrexham Council.”

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