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MS for Wrexham

AS THE UK is dragged back into recession, it’s no secret that we are living through incredibly challenging financial times.
Budgets are being stretched like never before as people struggle to make ends meet.
Despite the Welsh Government’s budget being £1.3bn less in real terms than when it was set in 2021, it is investing more in the NHS and has increased local government funding, with Wrexham Council’s budget rising by 3.2 per cent.
However, even with this additional funding, councils will still have a difficult year, exemplified by the ruling Independent / Conservative administration proposing to raise council tax in Wrexham by almost 10 per cent.
The situation is no different over the border.  Recognising the local government settlement was inadequate, council leaders and backbench MPs forced the UK Government to take a rather unusual step as it announced an extra £600m for councils in England, largely due to the significant pressure in social care.
This unexpected increase in funding in England results in consequential allocations being administered to the devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
As a result, Wales has received an additional £25m and the Welsh Government has confirmed this extra finance will be passed on to local authorities to help protect the core public services as far as possible.
While additional funding is welcome, it is unfortunately a drop in the ocean and will not make up for the years of austerity-driven cuts.
Most of the Welsh Government funding comes directly from the UK Government as a block grant. 
This means Wales is directly exposed to UK Government fiscal policy.
From 2010 onwards, the Conservative UK Government imposed more than a decade of austerity which, coupled with the pandemic, has left public services incredibly fragile. 
Brexit also continues to have an impact – despite assurances Wales would not be a penny worse off, valuable European funding streams have been lost and have not been replaced.
All this combined with stubbornly high inflation, rising energy prices and underfunded public sector pay increases quite simply means the Welsh Government’s settlement is not sufficient to meet all the demands.
If the budget had just kept pace with the growth in the economy since 2010, the Welsh Government would have an additional £3bn to spend on public services and support for people and businesses in Wrexham and across Wales in 2024-25.
As always, if you’re a constituent in Wrexham and there is an issue I could help you with, please contact me via email: or call 01978 355743.

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