The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru have today agreed a multi-million pound deal, as part of the draft Budget 2017-18.
The agreement delivers a package of spending commitments reflecting Plaid Cymru’s policy priorities amounting to £119m.
It includes an extra £30m for higher and further education; £25m for local government and £44m additional investment in the health service. The Welsh language will receive an additional £5m as a result of the Budget agreement, and funding for the arts will rise by £3m.
A full breakdown of the spending commitments is below.
The draft Budget will also reflect the joint policy areas where the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru have common ground, which were outlined in the Compact to Move Wales Forward, agreed in May. Funding allocated in the draft Budget to these commitments will ensure a rapid start to delivery on these shared priority areas.
The Budget agreement was negotiated through the formal Finance Liaison Committee set up between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.
In addition to the funding commitments, a number of other measures have also been agreed.
These include a commitment to explore the development of an all-Wales plan to increase the level of Welsh-domiciled medical students in Wales, including the development of medical training in North Wales, and exploring options to accelerate the Llandeilo bypass scheme if more capital funding becomes available through the Autumn Statement.
Welsh Government Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said:
“The establishment of the Finance Liaison Committee has been a milestone in the maturity of Welsh politics and the productive discussions we have had with Plaid Cymru have been conducted in that spirit.
"As the First Minister said at the start of this Assembly, no party has a monopoly on good ideas and we have been able to incorporate many of Plaid Cymru’s spending plans into this draft Budget.
"The Budget agreement delivers a kick start to delivery for many key policies and programmes so the people of Wales can start to see their benefits as early as possible.”
The Plaid Cymru negotiating team on the committee was led by Shadow Secretary for Business, Economy and Finance, Adam Price AM. He said:
“Since the very beginning of this Assembly, Plaid Cymru made it clear that we would use our role as Official Opposition to deliver tangible benefits for the people of Wales. In this budget deal, we have secured the biggest one year budget settlement in the history of the National Assembly. This is a £119m package that will deliver and progress many of Plaid Cymru’s manifesto commitments.
“As a result of some of the policies secured in Plaid Cymru’s budget agreement waiting times in the NHS will be reduced and we’ll have more doctors working in it. There will be more cradle to career support with the availability of 30 hours of free childcare, better investment in Higher Education and Further Education, and the creation of more quality apprenticeships.
"Plaid Cymru has also managed to secure important investment in infrastructure to improve roads, railways and cycle paths, and we will secure more investment in the arts, culture and Welsh language which is great news for all of us who want to see this nation thrive. And on top of this, the extra funding that Plaid Cymru has secured for local government will mean that the nominal cuts to Welsh council budgets for next year will be cancelled.
"We are proud to have delivered a budget that will benefit people in all parts of Wales; Plaid Cymru is delivering as an effective opposition party.”
|Plaid Cymru spending priorities included in the Budget agreement||2017-18 £m|
|HE funding/FE funding and learning pathways||30|
|Welsh for Adults/National Language Agency||5|
|Funding for end-of-life care||1|
|Funding for a pilot to end town centre car parking charges|| |
|Investment in healthcare professional education, including medical schools||7|
|New diagnostic equipment (capital)||15|
|Increase in mental health spending||20|
|Additional funding for local authorities||25|
|Additional funding for Safer Routes to Schools programme and school transport||1.5|
|Funding for eating disorder and gender identity clinics||1|
|Feasibility study into reopening Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway line||0.3|
|Feasibility into national cycleway||0.2|
|Ports infrastructure fund||2|