Welsh Secretary responds to Autumn Statement
This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Chancellor's measures are set to drive growth forward in Wales.
Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones has today (5 December 2012) welcomed the measures announced in the Autumn Statement which will enhance growth opportunities and help to rebalance the economy in Wales.
Businesses and individuals in Wales will benefit from the cancellation of the planned fuel duty rise in January 2013 and the delay until September of the planned inflation increase which was due in April. The average driver is set to save £40 a year, and hauliers £1,200 a year.
The 193,000 Small and Medium sized businesses (SMEs) based in Wales will benefit from a temporary increase in the Annual Investment Allowance from £25,000 to £250,000 for two years. This coupled with an additional one per cent reduction in the main rate of corporation tax to 21% from 2014 will continue to improve the country’s competitiveness.
The rise in Personal Allowance to £9,440, over and above the increase of £1,100 announced in the Budget earlier this year, will mean 13,000 people in Wales will be lifted out of tax altogether. The move will benefit 1.1million people in Wales.
The Enterprise Zones in Ebbw Vale and at Haven Waterway will receive 100 per cent enhanced capital allowances for plant and machinery to support growth and investment.
As a result of the measures announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer today, Wales will benefit from an additional £227million of capital funding. This will bring the total amount of additional funding granted to the Welsh government during this Spending Review period to £674million.
Welcoming the announcements, Mr Jones said:
The Chancellor has today in his Autumn Statement underlined this government’s commitment to stabilise the economy and drive growth UK-wide.
The announcements made today will have a strong impact in Wales. From businesses to individuals, the Autumn Statement demonstrates that this government promotes investment and rewards hard work.
I know that the decision to cancel the planned fuel duty rise will be widely welcomed across Wales, not least in the most rural parts of our country where the car is not just a luxury, it is a necessity. The average price of a litre of petrol is 10 pence per litre cheaper than it would have been if we had continued with the tax increases planned by the previous government. This decision will give a significant helping hand to families and businesses alike, as will the increases in state pension, and support offered to SMEs through the increase in Additional Investment Allowance.
We have remained committed to working with the Welsh government on funding options for improving the M4 in South Wales. These are being considered alongside discussions on the recommendations of the Silk Commission and recent announcements on Welsh funding. The government will respond formally to Part 1 of the Silk Commission’s report in the spring.
This government continues to prioritise businesses and growth and I am pleased that the Enterprise Zones in Ebbw Vale and Haven Waterway will receive 100 per cent capital allowances.
We are putting the measures in place for growth and the Welsh government will receive an additional £227million of capital funding as a result of this Autumn Statement. I would urge them to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in high quality infrastructure and help us drive growth in the Welsh economy.
The latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (November 14 2012) show that the employment level in Wales has increased by 13,000 over the last quarter. The increase in the employment rate in Wales was double the average increase across the UK as a whole. Total unemployment in Wales fell by 5,000 over the last quarter and by 14,000 over the last year.
This government will continue to put the conditions in place to support families and business, while stabilising the economy and supporting long-term economic growth across Wales and UK-wide.
In other measures announced today, Newport is set to become a superconnected city and benefit from a share of a £50 million pot of funding to improve its digital infrastructure. Swansea University will also benefit from a £38 million partnership to build an Energy Safety Research Institute (announced in November 2012).
Notes for editors
For more information on the Chancellor’s announcement, go to: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/