CLWYD West MP David Jones has given his thoughts on the Budget 2021.

Mr Jones "warmly welcomed" the measures outlined by chancellor Rishi Sunak on March 3.

The Budget delivers an additional £740 million for Wales. The total additional funding for Wales for 2021-22 is now £2.1 billion.

Mr Jones said this funding enables the Welsh Government to provide further support to people, businesses and public services.

“The announcements made by the Chancellor will continue to provide families and businesses in North Wales, and throughout the country, with the support required as we begin our recovery from the coronavirus outbreak, while, importantly, ensuring that, as we look to the future, the nation’s public finances are also able to recover," He added.

“I am very pleased that the chancellor has put support for jobs and livelihoods at the very top of his agenda.

“In particular, the extension of the furlough scheme until end of September, the expansion of financial assistance provided through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to cover a further 600,000 self-employed individuals, as well as the continuation of the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift, are all measures that will no doubt be warmly received by families across the country.

“The support for businesses is equally welcome, especially for the tourism and hospitality sector, with measures such as the freeze on Alcohol Duty and the 6-month extension of the 5 per cent reduced rate of VAT.

“The Fuel Duty freeze will also be well received by the many rural businesses and residents of North Wales.

“Additional funding announced for the North-Wales Growth Deal, as well as the steps taken by the Chancellor to incentivise investment through the new super-deduction, will help to boost productivity, create jobs, and drive future growth in North Wales."

Mr Jones added: "I also welcome the additional £740 million provided by the chancellor to the Welsh Government.

“However, this funding must be used to support Welsh businesses through a continuation of the Business Rates holiday as well as grants, similar to the Restart grants announced by the Chancellor in England, to support businesses as they re-open. It must not merely be added to the already considerable reserves amassed by the Welsh Government throughout the course of the pandemic.

“This is a Budget that protects jobs, families and livelihoods; which supports businesses as they begin re-opening and commence their recovery from the pandemic; champions the importance of the Union; and provides sound foundations for future growth and prosperity."

The Budget confirmed the following measures:

  • Individuals and businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continue to be supported by the UK Government through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, self-employment grants, loan schemes and VAT cuts. Devolved administrations have received Barnett funding to provide support in areas of devolved responsibility.
  • A new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme to make available loans between £25,001 and £10 million, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery.
  • Extension to the VAT cut to five per cent for hospitality, accommodation and attractions across the UK until the end of September, followed by a 12.5 per cent rate for a further six months until March 31 2022.
  • Six-month extension of the £20 per week Universal Credit uplift in Great Britain, with the Northern Ireland Executive receiving additional funding to match the increase. A one-off payment of £500 to eligible Working Tax Credit claimants across the UK.
  • Fuel duty will be frozen for the 11thconsecutive year.
  • Alcohol duties will be frozen across the board for the second year running saving drinkers £1.7 billion.
  • Alcohol duties will also be frozen UK-wide for the second year running, saving consumers £1.7 billion over the coming years.

Some of the key elements of the Budget relating to Wales included:

  • The Budget confirmed an additional £2.4 billion for the devolved administrations for 2021-22 through the Barnett formula. This is an additional £1.2 billion for the Scottish Government, £740 million for the Welsh Government, £410 million for the Northern Ireland Executive. Devolved administrations will also receive £1.4 billion of funding in 2021-22 outside the Barnett formula.
  • £4.8 million to support the development of a demonstration hydrogen hub in Holyhead, Anglesey.
  • Up to £30 million for the Global Centre for Rail Excellence in Wales.
  • Three City and Growth Deals – in North-Wales, Mid-Wales and Swansea Bay – will receive funding more quickly.
  • Publication of the prospectus for the £4.8 billion UK-wide Levelling Up Fund, providing guidance for local areas on how to submit bids for the first round of funding starting in 21-22.