THE Welsh Government's draft budget for the next financial year has been voted through the Assembly, despite concerns around cuts to areas including social services.

This evening the Assembly voted 27 to 16, with seven abstentions, to back the draft budget for 2019-2020, which was revealed in October.

Although local government in Wales faced a £20 million cut in April, with some seeing their budgets fall by up to £1.3 million, in the initial draft budget, last month finance secretary Mark Drakeford announced an extra £141.5 million would be handed out to councils over the next three years. How this funding will be allocated is yet to be revealed.

Plaid Cymru abstained on the vote as part of a two-year deal with Labour following the 2016 Assembly Election.

But Plaid AM Rhun ap Iorwerth said he was not satisfied with the document, calling it "an austerity budget twice over".

And Welsh Conservative AM Darren Millar called the budget "a missed opportunity for Wales", saying he was concerned not enough investment was being put into areas including education and support for business.

But an amendment presented by the Welsh Conservatives stating the budget "does not meet the needs of the Welsh people", was defeated by 16 votes to 33, with one abstention.

Speaking at the end of a two-hour debate, Mr Drakeford said he understood there were concerns about cuts, but there was no way of increasing funding for specific areas of the budget without making cuts elsewhere.

The full budget will be revealed later this month.

Of the extra £141.5 million, £6 million will be handed out during the current financial year to help pay for repairs as a result of Storm Callum, while an extra £4 million will also be invested into social care. Meanwhile, £7.5 million will go towards teachers’ pay and £50 million will go to councils’ capital funds.

In the next financial year £54 million will be handed out to ensure no council faces a cut of more than 0.5 per cent, as well as for children’s social care and other schemes. And in 2020-2021 another £20 million will be dished out.

In October’s settlement Monmouthshire County Council was one of just five councils in Wales to see its funding cut by one per cent – a £936,000 fall on this year.

The council will therefore be among those set to benefit from the extra cash next year to cut this decrease by at least half.

Both Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent councils faced 0.5 per cent cuts, representing drops of £1.31 million and £528,000 respectively.

Newport City Council was to see its budget increase by £336,000, or 0.2 per cent, while Torfaen’s funding increased by £151,000, or 0.1 per cent. But both of these represented real-terms cuts when inflation is taken into account.