INVESTMENT in housing, schools, flood and coastal defences, and active travel are among the key pledges made in the Welsh Government's final budget for 2021/22, for "a recovery that takes root today", said finance minister Rebecca Evans.

She has unveiled details of a budget which is intended to support lives and livelihoods as Wales - along with the rest of the UK - begins to look beyond the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic and social damage brought by the lockdowns imposed to curb it.

The budget is intended to build on the £320m package to back the Covid Reconstruction - Challenges and Priorities programme announced by the Welsh Government last October, a further injection of £224.5m in capital funding.

Stimulating demand and jobs is the aim, with an additional £147m to boost housing programmes; an extra £30m for the ongoing 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme - focusing on supporting economic growth, sustainable jobs and training opportunities across the sector; an extra £8m to help councils and Natural Resources Wales repair damage caused by floods in December and January, and to protect communities at risk of flooding; and an extra £20m for active travel projects.

The final Budget also confirms more than £630m to support the NHS and councils' continued response to the pandemic during the next six months, a sum announced yesterday.


It also sets aside £200m in reserves for additional support for business during 2021/22, again to respond to whatever challenges the pandemic will present.

“The Budget I have published today provides our economy with an investment to help inject jobs and demand into a recovery that takes root today," said Ms Evans.

“It also provides the NHS and local government with the certainty they need to respond to the next phase of the pandemic.

“We know that our hardest hit businesses need certainty too. That’s why we repurposed budgets to provide more funding for business support in Wales, than we received as a share of the package in England.

“We will provide further clarity when our funding position is absolutely guaranteed.

“When the Chancellor confirms the funding Wales will get as its share of the English position on rates relief for next year, I will announce the next steps for Wales.

“Today’s measures build on a budget designed to protect public services and our economy, build a greener future, and create change for a more equal Wales.”