The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru have agreed a 2-year, £210m Budget agreement.
In announcing the deal Welsh Government said “The deal includes ensuring no cuts to the Supporting People grant; £15m to improve vital north and south links on the A487 and A470 and a £40m boost for mental health funding over 2 years.”
“There is an extra £20m-a-year for higher and further education and £6m for a young farmers’ grant scheme over 2 years.
“There is additional funding for the Welsh language; for Wales to deal with the impact of Brexit, including support for businesses and for music in schools. The agreement builds on the one struck between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru last year.”
It also includes:
– a £7m development fund for undergraduate medical training in North Wales
– £2m to remove the tolls on the Cleddau bridge in Pembrokeshire in 2019-20
– £3m to support the design and development of a third Menai bridge crossing
– a further £2m for the secretariat and investment support for a new ‘Arfor’ economic region in West Wales.
Welsh Government Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said: “We are pleased we have been able to agree this 2-year deal with Plaid Cymru, which secures the whole of our Budget.
“This agreement builds on the one reached between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru last year and includes a series of recurrent allocations for the Welsh language, arts, end-of-life-care, mental health, higher education and Visit Wales.
“We have also been able to agree capital funding to take forward the new integrated healthcare centre in Cardigan and the results of the feasibility studies into a national art gallery and football museum in North Wales, which were agreed as part of last year’s agreement.”
Adam Price, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for finance, business and the economy, said: “This is a Budget Agreement that will deliver for people and communities in all parts of Wales.
“It protects the vulnerable, invests in our young, and innovates for all our futures. This is a pan-Wales budget agreement, from the Cleddau to the Menai from Wrexham to the Rhondda, from culture to agriculture, from energy and transport to education and health – new ideas for a new Wales.”
Commenting on the Agreement leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew Davies, said: “This budget deal is the latest charade in the Plaid-Labour love-affair and significantly sees both parties break a number of election promises to the people of Wales.
“Despite the well-publicised vows to the electorate only three months ago and being in government in Wales, the Labour Party has once again failed to take any action on public sector pay or tuition fees.
“Following the loss of 14 election deposits in June and nearly twenty per-cent of their Assembly Group since 2016, it’s clear Leanne Wood and Plaid Cymru have done this in a last-ditch attempt to remain relevant, and in doing so sacrificed their political principles.
“In March 2016, the Plaid leader said her party could not support a government that backs the M4 relief road but this budget provides the platform for the Welsh Government to press ahead.
“Both parties have given up on their political principles on tuition fees, public sector pay and M4 for another cosy backroom deal.”
The full budget agreement document can be found here on the Welsh Government site.