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Via .@welshconserv

Today’s announcement from Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond reinforced a commitment to back Wales, with faster broadband rollout and a continuation of Budget promises.

Mr Hammond revealed his spring statement in the House of Commons this afternoon, in which he unveiled plans to accelerate the rollout of full fibre broadband in North Wales.

The statement also pledges to launch a UK-wide review on the Aggregates Levy with the intention of future devolution, and to explore a potential reform to VAT refund rules with the aim of reducing administrative burdens and improving public sector productivity.

Mr Hammond also revealed his plans to make available an extra £100m for police forces across England and Wales to tackle knife crime, as well as supporting an M4 relief road by considering a further £300m for the project.

The Chancellor said: “The Government is committed to ensuring that our economy works for all parts of the UK; to achieve higher living standards, improve productivity and ensure the UK economy is prepared for the future.”

This Spring Statement is committed to building on last year’s Budget, which saw the Welsh Government benefit from a £550million budget boost, a public living wage increase to £8.21, and £120m for a North Wales Growth Deal.

Commenting on the statement, Shadow Minister for Finance, Nick Ramsay AM, said:

“Today’s announcement is the latest in a run of good news for Welsh funding thanks to UK Government.

“Thanks to the UK Conservative-led Government’s efforts to balance the economy, Wales will receive more than £16bn a year by 2020, and now the Welsh Government must focus on ensuring that this money is being used effectively.”