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Welcome to Wales Today. Our top stories:
The Chancellor' delivered his budget.
What does it mean for working people and the wider economy?
People are going to have to accept that they retrain,
evolve or develop their skills on a regular basis through their
There'll be billions more for social care in England.
There's an extra ?200 million coming to Wales.
I'll be speaking to the man writing the cheques.
And why aren't there more women or people
Heading to London - forced to retire later,
they're protesting about changes to their pensions.
I think it is organised theft by the government.
There is no other way of describing it.
In tonight's sport, despite Wales' Six Nations defeat to Scotland,
Rob Howley names an unchanged side to face Ireland.
And the Welsh schoolgirl who plays for an England boys team.
Charlotte Harris from Ystrad Mynach is aiming to play
In his first budget, the Chancellor said investing
in training and big projects will improve living standards
but he's been criticised for not backing specific projects for Wales,
But Philip Hammond has given the Welsh Government an extra
?200 million to spend over the next four years.
Our economics correspondent Sarah Dickins has been looking
at how the budget will affect people working in Wales.
The products they design her enable other companies to become more
efficient, more productive. This is what the Chancellor is wanting of
the UK economy, to be leaner, perform better. The only sustainable
way to raise living standards is to improve our productivity growth.
Simply put, higher productivity means higher pay, investment in
training and investment in infrastructure will start to close
this gap. The latest official figures show that in the UK the
amount we produce each hour is 30% less than workers in the States. And
35% less than workers in Germany. So
productivity in the UK is underperforming. That might be
because we are not a skilled or our machinery is less efficient, but the
bad news for Wales is that when we go to work, we produce even less
than other parts of the UK. 29% lower than the UK average.
Businesses in the Swansea Bay area had hoped that the Chancellor would
give the go-ahead for a city deal for the region, promising greater
investment. That didn't happen today. We were very disappointed
that after hopes were raised last week, there wasn't a single
announcement in the budget today about moving that project forward.
That's a project that would be transformational for the economy of
West Wales. How does Wales catch up? This is a company that always has to
be ahead of the game to win business. It's done that by
continually improving the way it does things and growing its people
skills. In an attempt to increase productivity across the UK, the
Chancellor is investing skills training and particularly in new
vocational exams. It's too early to know if the Welsh Government will
follow. Anything that's developing on the training front has to be
commended and encouraged. We are still catching up in the UK from a
legacy of perhaps even decades of lack of investment in developing
people to come into engineering and manufacturing. There's no doubt that
the wheel has turned with that. These engineers are employees and
therefore there is no change today in what they will pay in National
Insurance and income tax but for nearly 2000 people in Wales who are
self-employed, they will see what they pay in National Insurance rise
by 1% in the pound from April next year. In effect, a tax increase.
Young, low income self-employed people, which there are a lot of,
because it's the only way they can be employed. Window cleaners, people
who clean your drives, you know, there's lots of small self-employed
people only earning just above the minimum wage. The Chancellor said
that an employee earning ?32,000 a year generates more than ?6,000 in
National Insurance for the Treasury. A self-employed person on the save
money only contributes ?2300 a year. The Chancellor is narrowing the gap.
There are more people working now than ever and it is estimated a
large proportion of those new workers are self-employed. I know
that 60% of women are self-employed on low paid. So it doesn't equalise
out the discrepancy between male and female pay. The previous Chancellor
launched the northern powerhouse and Philip Hammond gave the go-ahead to
a Midlands engine strategy, although there was no announcement for a city
deal for Swansea today. The UK Government says it is committed to
signing it as soon as possible. That could help to close the gap between
Wales and the rest of the UK. Let's speak to our parliamentary
correspondent David Cornock. So nothing today on
Swansea's City Deal? The Chancellor told MPs a week ago
that he hoped that city Last week the Chancellor told MPs
he hoped the Swansea deal would be completed by today,
but it wasn't. And there's the added complication
that the UK Government's adviser on the deal,
the former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine,
was sacked last night. Alun Cairns, the Welsh Secretary,
told me the deal isn't ready. He preferred to talk
about what was in the budget - ?200 million a year
for the Welsh Government And he had his own ideas on how
to spend the extra cash. Last week the Chancellor told MPs
he hoped the Swansea deal I think there's a challenge
for the Welsh Government on how they spend the money,
bearing in mind they get ?120 or around that for every ?100
they spend in England so there is a challenge,
are they now going to use this extra money to support small businesses
through a business But of course there is also
the extra efficiency gains we need from the health service,
education, in order to make sure that every penny is spent
at the sharp end for patients, Last week the Chancellor said
he hoped to conclude The call is mine as to when it's
going to be signed but from the challenge session that we had
ten days ago, I didn't Lord Heseltine at the time didn't
think it was ready but we haven't just stalled on that,
I have officials in Swansea today working on trying to get
the plan into place. I'm doing everything possible
to work with the local authorities, to work
with the businesses involved. I want to sign this as soon
as possible but I'm not prepared to sign any deal,
I want to sign a deal that will work for businesses in the area
and will really raise the living Last week you praised
Lord Heseltine's great expertise, He was extremely helpful
and important to the He underlined some concerns that
I've seen in the proposals that had come forward,
he set a direction, but officials We are determined to get this deal
signed as quickly as possible He played an important part
in the challenge session, He set a direction and on that basis
we are working to sign the deal The answer to the question that Alun
Cairns neatly sidestep is that Lord Heseltine was sacked for voting
against the government over Brexit in the House of Lords. He was due to
visit Swansea today. That was cancelled. But Alun Cairns and
officials in the Treasury insists the deal is making good progress and
it will be signed as quickly as possible.
As predicted, the Chancellor announced a ?2 billion investment
for social care in England to help deal with the pressure
The Welsh Government will get funding as a result but it can spend
There are calls tonight for it to go to fund social
Time for a matinee in Cardiff. This care home opened last year, offering
a deluxe service. Including in-house hairdressing, beauty treatment and
chiropody, for ?1500 a week. Around double the UK average cost. The food
is excellent, all the staff are very carefully -- caring. It is a
wonderful place. It removes you from the problems of today. They are
friendly it is like a home from home. You don't feel like you are in
an institution. This kind of quality costs big money. Something that's
hard to find in the publicly funded part of the social care sector. It
is expensive. But the quality is there. In your basic home, the care
is good, but you can't put the extra quality in. That's what the
difference is and that's why funding should be much, much better than
what it is and the government should be looking to support our frail,
vulnerable and older people. Wales has a relatively bigger and faster
growing elderly population than the rest of the UK and lots of people
with chronic and complex health conditions. A few years ago, when
public spending budgets tightened, the Welsh Government made some cuts
to the NHS but held steady adult social care budgets. But despite
that, councils say there is now a funding black hole in those budgets
that needs filling. A report out today says the increasing elderly
population in Wales means spending per older person has fallen by
nearly 13% in real terms since 2009. It says they will need to be an
extra ?134 million per year spent on adult social care by 2021 just to
get back to where spending per head was in 2009. It's a long-term
problem. This is not going to be a matter of a one-off sum of money to
help. This requires a longer term approach over the next decade or
more. Today's budget means an extra ?50 million a year for the Welsh
Government's day-to-day spending. There's no pressure to use it on
social care. The pressures on social care will double in financial terms
over the next ten years. As the impact of an ageing population
becomes clearer, it's now over two ministers in Cardiff Bay to decide
if that is where today's extra money should go.
The man who can answer that question is with our political
That man is Mark Drakeford, the finance secretary. An awful lot of
that money in England is going on social care. Are you going to do the
same in Wales? We have invested in social care over the years in Wales
so we are not in the same position as they are in England, we are in a
much better position. But I did urge the Chancellor to take note of the
pressures in social care and that will be on the list of issues we
will discuss as a cabinet. So it would be a bit odd if you don't
spend a significant part of it on social care. You know the pressure
the system is under. The pressures in social care are real and we have
tried to recognise them already but we as a cabinet will look at all the
different priorities in Wales, in education, health, local government,
and then we will use the modest amount of money we've had today to
the best effect to meet the needs of Wales. You will also come under
pressure to help companies struggling with business rates.
Already pressure from the Conservatives at Westminster for you
to do more than you have already done. We've already done far more
than the Chancellor has announced today. We've made ?20 million worth
of Welsh Government money available next year to help small businesses.
The total amount we get from the Chancellor this year for this is ?12
million. We have already gone far beyond what the Chancellor has
provided. No giveaway budget, clearly, from the Chancellor. He is
preparing a war chest for Brexit, isn't he? He is a cautious man, you
are a cautious man. Brexit is the shadow that lies across this
project. The dog that didn't bark. He did not mention the word but he
undoubtedly believes the Brexit will do damage to the UK economy, that
there will be holes to repair, that there will be damaged in and he is
using that budget to prepare for that is eventuality. Thank you very
much. Much more to come before
seven o'clock: Despite Wales' Six Nations defeat
to Scotland, Rob Howley names And the Welsh schoolgirl who plays
for an England boys' team. The Ystrad Mynach teenager aiming
to turn professional. A report which asks who runs
Wales has found women are still significantly
under-represented at the most senior The Equality and Human Rights
Commission says despite some improvements since 2014,
the position has not changed as much At this lunch in Bridgend,
business people have Among them, two women
who have their own businesses. Between main course and pudding,
I took them aside to find out why they think women are still not
making it to the top My background is local authority
and I feel there were men within the authority that were less
qualified, less experienced than myself, getting
the jobs I was applying for. I set up my business with a business
partner, another lady, and I don't think I would have done
it on my own because I don't think A lot of women go off on maternity
leave to raise children and senior management positions either require
more time or they are not flexible. So I think if there was more
flexible working and more support, you would see a lot more women
in senior management positions. Just 6% of chief executive
at Wales's top 100 Only 26% of councillors
in Wales are women. And with less than half of disabled
people having any sort of job, One thing is actually to say very
clearly that you want We have seen the number
of people applying, women, ethnic minority people,
disabled people, the number of people applying for public
appointment in Wales has increased Probably in response to the fact
that there has been great encouragement of diversity
in public sector boards. Another area of progress
is in schools. Rachel Webb is one of a growing
number of female headteachers. I asked her why education
is bucking the trend. We have seen a huge difference over
the last ten years. We had a ministerial visit last week from a
woman. I can't understand why. I'm just very grateful it's happening
because we have always fought for women having equal rights.
To mark International Women's Day, these women from Swansea
were presenting their ideas on equality and the Wales
they want to see when they take their place in the workforce.
Today's report suggests we are still a long way off that vision.
Barclays has confirmed it's closing its mortgage centre
in Cardiff next year with the loss of 180 jobs.
144 of the posts are being moved to Liverpool and Leeds.
Staff at the centre in the Llanishen area of the city have been given
the option of redundancy or applying for relocation.
The move is part of a major restructuring
The first pump storage power station for more than 30 years is to be
built near Llanberis in Snowdonia after receiving the go ahead
The project involves turning two slate quarries at Glyn Rhonwy
into reservoirs and pumping water between them when electricity
is cheap, to be released when demand rises.
The developers say it'll help meet carbon reduction targets.
Developers who left a housing project near Wrexham unfinished
almost ten years ago are being urged to complete construction.
A petition has been presented to Parliament to urge the company
to finish the job at Cefn Mawr or hand over the site to new owners.
Harron Homes says it wants to ensure the land is developed in a way
that meets the needs of the local community.
It's not the case that there is nothing that can be done,
even if Harron Homes don't want to act themselves,
they can give it to the local authority or a housing association.
But what isn't right is the way they are just sitting
on land like this and not fulfilling an obligation.
Hundreds of women from across Wales have been protesting in London
against changes to the state pension scheme, which have raised
One Welsh MP says those worst affected are destitute and are
Following decades working in the public sector,
62-year-old twins Leslie Stubbs and Sheila Porter from
Carmarthenshire were hoping to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
But changes to their state pension age have left them incensed.
I think it's organised theft by the government.
There's no other way of describing it.
We are of a generation that have actually been discriminated against.
We didn't have the Equal Pay Act in 1970, then to suddenly feel
discriminated against now on the basis of your age,
because that's what it is, because if we'd been born in 1951
No two cases are the same but the group most affected
are women born on or after the 6th of April 1951.
It's estimated that amounts to around 135,000 people in Wales.
For decades the state pension age for women was 60 but between April
last year and November next year, it increases to 65.
They are going to food banks, they are losing their homes,
some women are selling their homes in order to survive,
living off savings that are rapidly running out.
One of the groups campaigning against the changes is WASPI,
Women Against State Pension Inequality.
This was one of several coaches from north and south Wales that
Women born in the 1950s have been an easy group to target and we have
Today I have come dressed as Emily Pankhurst because well over
a hundred years ago she was fighting for women's rights and we've come
here today to basically do exactly the same.
Many campaigners say they had no or very little warning
of the changes to their state pension.
A former Conservative pensions minister says the government should
I had hoped that having a female Prime Minister,
we might have got some better understanding of the position faced
by women who, let's face it, have lost out in pensions
Thousands of people have gathered here today at Westminster
The Department of Work and Pensions says it has no intention
of changing its plans but the women here intend to
Football, ice hockey and rugby in tonight's sport.
The Wales coach says it's a chance to redeem themselves.
Rob Howley is sticking with the same side that lost to Scotland
for Friday's Six Nations game against Ireland.
Howley has resisted calls to bring in fresh faces
Unlike Wales, they can win the title.
We've got, I suppose, the opportunity to go out at home
in front of our home supporters and deliver a performance which,
first and foremost, the players are proud of and, equally as
important, for the supporters to support that.
It's going to be a huge game on Friday night.
Football, and Wales Women have finished 6th in the Cyprus Cup
It finished goalless after 90 minutes but Jayne Ludlow's side
Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock criticised Craig Noone
and Declan John for the part they played in conceding a late
Kenneth Zohore put the Bluebirds ahead, then Derrick Williams pounced
Ice hockey next, and she's a Welsh schoolgirl who plays
At just 13, Charlotte Harris from Ystrad Mynach is aiming to play
full time in the lucrative, professional leagues in Canada.
She represents England's junior ice hockey team
It's a physical sport but Charlotte Harris is fearless.
She trains with men seven years older than her.
The Cardiff Devils Under-20s are twice her size.
I first started out with boys teams and you eventually get to the point
where you are so used to playing with boys, annoying the boys,
and then you want to get to their standard and you just want
Three years since taking up the sport, Charlotte is now good
enough to play on the international stage, but with no Wales team
she was spotted by England and the 13-year-old is now selected
ahead of boys for the Under-14s side.
She wants to play hockey all the time.
She's got the mini sticks and a net at home.
She's better on skates than she is walking to be honest.
I sometimes cringe and think, my goodness, that boy is massive
and if he knocks her, but she takes it in her stride.
Charlotte spends 15 hours a week on the ice in Cardiff
and for a handful of teams in Sheffield and Nottingham.
She also represents GB girls at Under-16s.
Her coach is in no doubt she will be good enough to make
She's at the highest level known for her age.
Give another four years or whatever the Olympics are now,
And playing overseas could be tempting too.
Charlotte wants to prove herself against the best in the professional
leagues in Canada but admits persuading her parents
No, not tonight all this week. The weather is turning milder. North
Wales enjoying the better of the drier weather today. Further south,
a lot more cloud with patchy rain. Tonight, the rain will clear. Mist
and fog forming but it should be a frost free night. Temperature is no
lower than six Celsius. Tomorrow we do have high pressure building from
the south and also a weather front which is just sitting across
southern parts of the British Isles. That will bring some rain later
tomorrow night but for much of tomorrow it is looking pretty
decent. We start the day on a breezy note, some sunshine but cloud will
start increasing from the south as we head into the afternoon. It is a
pleasant day to be out and about with temperatures getting up to 13
or 14 Celsius. Through tomorrow night, we will see quite a bit of
cloud at first. At the end of the night we will see rain pushing in
from the West. It will be patchy in nature. Again, some low-level cloud,
mist and fog with temperatures no lower than five Celsius. As we head
towards the end of the week, high-pressure sitting across
mainland Europe. That means quite unsettled weather on Friday and the
weekend. Some rain at times but there will be some sunshine to look
forward to as well. The Chancellor, Philip Hammond,
has announced an extra ?200 million for Wales over the next four years
in his budget today. And let's have a last word
on that with our political Jamie, an interesting political
donation is whether the Conservatives have broken a
manifesto promised not to raise National Insurance contributions for
the self-employed. Tonight, the Conservative Welsh Secretary Alun
Cairns says not. His deputy says they have but it's not an
unreasonable change. In Cardiff Bay, there's ?200 million, the
expectation is that it will go towards social care, like so much in
England. Broadly, I don't think anyone was expecting a giveaway
budget. So close to starting the Brexit process. That is exactly what
we got today. I'll be back with an update at 8pm
and after the BBC News at 10pm. From all of us on the
programme, good evening. You can still see her -
but it has to be supervised.