Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced the Spring Budget and it is great news for Britain, great news for the environment and great news for Wales.
We are going to see an extension of the Energy Price Guarantee for an additional three months to the end of June.
Revolutionary changes in affordable childcare are going to make it much easier for people to get back into the workplace.
There is going to be a continued freeze in fuel duty and a cut in the price of a pint in the local pub. £20bn is being spent to enable heavy industry to decarbonise and that is going to benefit Wales, which has a high net project involving companies in North Wales.
But Wales is going to benefit from a lot more.
There’s going to be £20m for a new breakwater at Anglesey, there’s going to be a new low tax investment zone for Wales and most importantly of all, there is going to be money for great British nuclear to take forward nuclear power in this country – and Wales has got two of the best sites in the UK.
This government is delivering on the five pledges we made to 1) reduce inflation, which isn’t just coming down by half but is going to be slashed from over 10 per cent to under three per cent by the end of the year;
2) to reduce debt as a proportion of GDP;
3) to grow the economy;
4) to stop small boats crossing the Channel and coming into this country – and we have already passed legislation about that last week;
5) to bring down NHS waiting lists, which the UK Government is doing in England.
We have made sure the Welsh Labour Government has the money to do the same in Wales and I look forward to ministers in Cardiff Bay getting on with the job.
Chepstow and District Swimming Club is facing a dramatic rise in charges (£300 per month) to keep hiring the pool at Chepstow Leisure Centre.
This proposed increase is a threat to the survival of the club and its accessibility to young people as I am told fees will have to go up to cover the costs.
The club has very few outgoings other than pool hire and therefore no obvious cost savings to be made – so it is members who will have to plug the gap.
I have written an urgent letter to Monmouthshire County Council asking if the higher level of increase can be reduced to a more manageable level.