No money for Wales from UK Government’s energy cost rebate for England, First Minister says
The First Minister has said that Wales has been told it will receive no new money as a result of the UK Government’s plan for an energy costs rebate in England.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week announced the rebate for residents in band A-D properties in England, after the energy price cap was hiked.
He said at the time that devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would receive around £565 million of Barnett funding as a result of the Council Tax Energy Rebate in England.
But Mark Drakeford today said that this was not the case.
“Last week the Treasury said Wales would receive £175m from its English council tax rebate plan,” he said.
“Just as we’re finalising our plans to tackle the cost of living crisis, we’ve learned there’s no extra money for Wales.
“We will continue to work to support those who need it the most.”
The UK Government have denied the claim, saying that Wales will receive £180m under the Barnett Formula.
1/ The Welsh Government will receive £180m of Barnett consequentials as a result of the Council Tax rebate announced by the Chancellor. https://t.co/EAYtXCPr4N
— Simon Clarke MP (@SimonClarkeMP) February 9, 2022
Wales usually gets its population share of any money spent in England only by the UK Government.
Scottish Cabinet Secretary Kate Forbes said that Wales’ predicament “echoes the position for Scotland”.
“Nevertheless, we will honour our commitment to allocate £290m to deal with the cost of living crisis in Scotland, with details announced tomorrow,” she said.
“It will require us to revise the latest budget position I set out to the Scottish Parliament last week.”
Last week the energy regulator Ofcom announced that the price cap will rise by £693, with average bills climbing to £1,971.
Welsh Conservatives had called on the Welsh Government to use any money received to fund a similar programme in Wales.
Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies, said: “As the British economy continues its recovery from the pandemic, we must confront the global inflationary pressures caused by the world economy coming swiftly back to life.”
“With Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay set to receive £175m as a result of the Chancellor’s action plan, it’s vital they use this money immediately to fund tax rebates and create a discretionary fund for local authorities to use on households who do not meet the criteria.”
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