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Written Statement - The Final Budget 2015-16

Jane Hutt, Minister for Finance and Government Business
Today I have published the Welsh Government’s Final Budget for 2015-16, which reflects the investments we are making to protect key public services, including significant new funding for health and schools.

Since we published the Draft Budget 2015-16 on 30 September there has been  detailed scrutiny of our proposals by the National Assembly for Wales.  This scrutiny has culminated in the Finance Committee’s report on the Draft Budget 2015-16, which was published on 11 November.  I have considered the recommendations in detail and am responding to the Chair of the Finance Committee separately.  

Whilst there are a number of important issues which have emerged through the scrutiny of our spending plans, not least of which is consensus around the importance of investing in preventative approaches, we are confident that our spending plans will enable us to deliver our Priorities for Wales.  For this reason, the Final Budget 2015-16 reflects only minimal changes from the Draft Budget 2015-16.  Further detail on these changes is provided in the Final Budget 2015-16 Explanatory Note.  

Today I am also publishing an update of the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan Project Pipeline, which provides a clear picture of infrastructure investment across Wales.  This is the sixth update and demonstrates our continued commitment to a strategic approach to our investment decisions, to maximise potential collaborative opportunities and to increase certainty to our delivery partners as they plan for the future.

The latest project pipeline now incorporates almost 370 investments across both public and private sectors, including in the non devolved areas of rail and energy, with a value of more than £40bn.  Since June 2014, this reflects an increase of 50 projects captured and an increase in project value of £6bn.  The range of information captured from the private sector has also been expanded and, for the first time, details of water infrastructure investment across Wales have been published.