Fay Jones MP is urging the Welsh Government to match the decisions announced by the Chancellor in yesterday's Budget.  

Jeremy Hunt announced the contents of his first Budget in the House of Commons yesterday afternoon.

The Budget highlighted that the country’s economic outlook is more positive than many previously thought. Mr Hunt said that forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) showed the UK would avoid recession this year, despite previous predictions.

But the economy will still shrink by 0.2 per cent with the OBR warning that living standards are still expected to fall.

From a Wales viewpoint, the Welsh Government received an additional £180 million from the Treasury, although some of yesterday's announcements apply only to people living in England.  

Among the measures announced was the extension of the Energy Price Guarantee, fixing the cost of electricity and gas bills for households all across the UK. As a result, the price households pay for the energy they use will continue to be capped, as they have been since October, so that a typical household will pay £2,500.  

But the £400 winter fuel payment will not be renewed, meaning costs for households will still rise in the short term.

One of the government's headline announcements was a major expansion of free childcare.

The government will expand 30 hours of funded childcare in England to begin from the time maternity care ends - when a baby reaches nine months of age.

This will not apply to parents in Brecon and Radnorshire unless the Welsh Government chooses to apply the measure. Childcare is a devolved issue, meaning the Welsh Government will decide if people in Wales will also get more.

Mr Hunt also announced a ringfenced package of support for swimming pools, which have been facing tougher than normal electricity and gas bills – putting many in dire economic straits.

MP for Brecon and Radnorshire Fay Jones welcomed the announcement and urged the Welsh Government to show the same support. 

Speaking after the Budget, Ms Jones said:  “These are very welcome steps and I congratulate the Prime Minister and the Chancellor for stewarding the economy through extremely difficult global conditions.  It is extremely positive that inflation has peaked and that economic growth is returning to the UK. 

"What’s needed now is for the Welsh Government to match the steps that the Chancellor has introduced. Parents in Brecon and Radnorshire deserve the equivalent to parents in England and so I would love to see the same action replicated. 

"On top of this, swimming pools in my constituency have been struggling for some time.  In January, I visited Riverside Leisure Centre, a family-run business in Bronllys near Talgarth.  They talked me through their figures and how they would really struggle to remain open without government support. 

"There is nothing standing in the Welsh Government’s way.  They have the means to support businesses like this.  It is wrong that swimming pools and leisure centres in Brecon and Radnorshire should lose out while businesses in Herefordshire receive government support.”