CIH Cymru welcomes announcement of extra £400million for Wales following autumn statement
Following the autumn statement CIH Cymru welcomed the additional £400m as a result of infrastructure investment and reiterated their pre-election call for housing to be seen as a fundamental part of national infrastructure.
This afternoon the Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced his plan for Westminster spending on the basis of the financial forecast provided by the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR). The Chancellor recognized the challenging economic climate, revising the UK government’s previous intention to be in budgetary surplus by 2020-2021 to a commitment to deliver on this during the next parliament.
For Wales, an extra £400million over five years will be received via the Barnett formula from infrastructure investment. The Chancellor also announced that city deals would remain a focus to boost economic growth across the UK, including the regions of Swansea bay and North Wales. In addition the Chancellor announced an increase in the national living wage, up to £7.50 p/h and on universal credit a reduction in the earnings taper down from 65% to 63%.
Matthew Kennedy, policy and public affairs manager at the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru commented:
“It has never been more important to invest in housing and recognise its role as a fundamental piece of infrastructure. We welcome the extra £400million realised for Wales in today’s autumn statement. We would also reiterate the call from our pre- election Agenda for Change that housing is a part of our national infrastructure and significant investment in housing has a huge impact on health, communities and the strength of the economy.
Despite the announcements made by the Chancellor on an increase in the national living wage and a reduction in the earnings taper for universal credit, the welfare changes being implemented such as the cap on housing benefits at local housing allowance rates will have a detrimental impact on thousands of families in Wales.
Combined with the considerable fall in resources available for housing-led community regeneration within Welsh Government’s own budget it combines to paint a worrying picture for the prosperity of Welsh communities and individual wellbeing. It is absolutely vital that Welsh Government look at how this money can be used to boost resources for community regeneration initiatives which have provided positive outcomes within some of the most deprived parts of Wales in recent times.”