|Alun Davies AC|
|Llyr Gruffydd AC||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|Mike Hedges AC|
|Neil Hamilton AC|
|Nick Ramsay AC|
|Rhun ap Iorwerth AC|
|Matthew Denham-Jones||Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr Rheolau Cyllid, Llywodraeth Cymru|
|Deputy Director Financial Controls, Welsh Government|
|Rebecca Evans AC||Y Gweinidog Cyllid a’r Trefnydd|
|Minister for Finance and Trefnydd|
|Sharon Bounds||Pennaeth Rheoli a Chofnodi Cyllid, Llywodraeth Cymru|
|Head of Budgetary Control and Financial Policy, Welsh Goverrnment|
|Ryan Bishop||Dirprwy Glerc|
|1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau||1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest|
|2. Papurau i'w nodi||2. Papers to note|
|3. Ail Gyllideb Atodol Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer 2018-19: Sesiwn dystiolaeth||3. Welsh Government Second Supplementary Budget 2018-19: Evidence session|
|4. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod a'r cyfarfodydd ar 20 Chwefror a 7 Mawrth 2019||4. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting and the meetings on 20 February and 7 March 2019.|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:01.
The meeting began at 09:01.
Ocê, bore da, bawb. Croeso i gyfarfod y Pwyllgor Cyllid. Gaf i eich atgoffa chi bod yna glustffonau ar gael ar gyfer y cyfieithu neu i amrywio lefel y sain? A gaf i atgoffa Aelodau hefyd i ddiffodd y sain—a rwy'n tsiecio fy mod i wedi diffodd y sain—ar y dyfeisiau electronig? A gaf i ofyn oes gan unrhyw Aelod unrhyw fudd i'w ddatgan?
OK, good morning, everyone. Welcome to the meeting of the Finance Committee. Can I remind you that headphones are available for the interpretation or to amplify the level of sound? Can I also remind Members to turn off their mobile phones or put them on silent? And can I ask whether any Member has any declarations of interest?
Gaf i jest dweud ar y record roeddwn i'n aelod o'r Llywodraeth, wrth gwrs, pan oedd ambell ran o'r gyllideb yma'n cael ei dylunio, felly?
Can I just put on record that I was a member of the Government when parts of this budget were being designed?
Wrth gwrs. Diolch am nodi hynny. Gaf i hefyd nodi ein bod ni wedi derbyn ymddiheuriad oddi wrth Rhianon Passmore?
Of course. Thank you for noting that. Can I also note that we've had apologies from Rhianon Passmore?
Yr ail eitem ar yr agenda yw nodi cyfres o bapurau. Fe welwch chi fod cofnodion cyfarfod 17 Ionawr a 23 Ionawr 2019 o'n blaenau ni i'w nodi ynghyd â dau lythyr gan gadeirydd y Pwyllgor Newid Hinsawdd, Amgylchedd a Materion Gwledig—un at Weinidog yr amgylchedd ac un at Weinidog yr economi—y ddau'n ymwneud ag amseru cyflwyno ymateb y Llywodraeth i gyllideb ddrafft 2019-20. Ydyn ni'n hapus i nodi'r pedwar papur yna? Diolch yn fawr.
The second item on our agenda is to note a series of papers. And you can see that the minutes of the meetings held on 17 January and 23 January 2019 are in front of us, along with two letters from the Chair of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee—one to the Minister for the environment and the second to the Minister for the economy—both to do with the timing of the Welsh Government's response to the draft budget for 2019-20. Are we happy to note those four papers? Thank you very much.
Ymlaen â ni, felly, at brif eitem y cyfarfod y bore yma, sef y sesiwn graffu ar ail gyllideb atodol Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer 2018-19, ac mae'n bleser gen i groesawu Rebecca Evans, y Gweinidog Cyllid a'r Trefnydd atom ni, ynghyd â'i swyddogion: Matthew Denham-Jones, sy'n ddirprwy gyfarwyddwr rheolaeth ariannol, a Sharon Bounds, sy'n bennaeth rheolaeth gyllidebol a pholisi ariannol gyda Llywodraeth Cymru. Croeso i chi eich tri.
Mi wnaf i gychwyn, os caf i, ac awn ni'n syth i mewn i gwestiynau, os ydy hynny'n iawn. A gaf i ofyn—? Yn amlwg, mae'r gyllideb yma yn dyrannu dros £500 miliwn o refeniw a chyfalaf, ac mae hynny'n rhywbeth, wrth gwrs, rŷn ni i gyd yn ei groesawu, ond gaf i ofyn sut mae'r Llywodraeth yn sicrhau eich bod chi'n gallu gwario'r arian yma yn effeithlon ac yn effeithiol?
We will go on, therefore, to the main item of this meeting this morning, which is the scrutiny session on the second supplementary budget of the Government for 2018-19, and it's a pleasure to welcome Rebecca Evans, who is the Minister for Finance and Trefnydd, along with her officials: Matthew Denham-Jones, who is deputy director for financial controls, and Sharon Bounds, who is head of budgetary control and financial policy with the Welsh Government. Welcome to all three of you.
I'll start if I may, and we'll go straight into questions, if that's okay. Can I ask—? Clearly, this budget does allocate over £500 million in revenue and capital, and that, of course, is something we welcome, but can I ask how the Government is ensuring that it is able to be spent efficiently and effectively?
Diolch yn fawr iawn, Cadeirydd. Good morning, committee. The Welsh Government is clearly committed to ensuring that we deliver value for money on all of the allocations that we make throughout the financial year. And value for money and basing our decisions on robust evidence is very much at the heart of what we do.
The supplementary budget aligns our spending very much to 'Prosperity for All' and our programme for government. And, in making decisions that relate to spend, officials, at every point in the process, will look at it through the lens of the future generations Act, for example, to ensure that we are delivering value for money in that respect.
Many of the announcements that are made in the second supplementary budget have already been—. All the announcements have been made by Ministers prior to that through the financial year. So, clearly, the process would have been developed and there would have been opportunities again for Members to be scrutinising Ministers on those decisions throughout the year.
The items that are in the second supplementary budget account for around 3 per cent of our overall budget, but they are, nonetheless, clearly scrutinised at Government level in the same way to ensure that value for money.
It will be a various mixture. So, some of it will be allocated for future spend. So, there were items in the second supplementary budget relating to the self-build fund, for example—so that's allocated but not yet spent. So, it would be various—. I don't know if you have specific questions related to items of spend within the budget.
Just a general comment that you can allocate money quite easily. Allocating money is a very simple thing to do. It's actually reaching a stage where it's actually spent within the financial year, or where it's actually committed within the financial year—that becomes much more difficult for any organisation. It's not a criticism of Welsh Government—any organisation that's dealing with money during the year. I just wondered whether it would all be spent and/or committed by 31 March.
If I just come in here. Yes, our intention, obviously, would be—that's why we're allocating the money. We do a report for the committee on our outturn, which is available after the accounts, and that will include information about how much is actually, then, being either spent or committed.
And we do have ongoing discussions with Ministers about underspends within their departments, so there's the expectation that underspends will be reported back to the centre so we can look across Government at priorities and pressures, and then, also, take into consideration, obviously, the Minister's own personal priorities within that department.
Okay, thank you for that. We know that devolved tax forecasts are up £10 million, which is positive news. That's been highlighted previously, of course, in the stuff accompanying the budget for next year. There's no change to the £1 billion receipts in non-domestic rates, and I was just wondering, really, when were forecasts last updated? Maybe you could tell us that, and when are the next forecasts expected?
Thank you for that question, and as committee's aware, the local taxes are dealt with in a very different way to the Welsh taxes. So, the NDR figure that appears in the budget is the amount of our allocation to local government expenditure that is financed by NDR rather than a total sum of the NDR, which has been achieved within that year. There's no in-year adjustment to the amount of spending financed by NDR, and that's, as I say, part of the fixed process, and that does provide some certainty, then, to local authorities in terms of their level of central support. It is set using a forecast of revenues during the year in question, and I'll ask officials to give a little bit more detail on that, together with information about adjustments in respect of the prior years, and, of course, the balance carried forward to the NDR account. So, any difference in outturn from the forecast made in the previous year will affect the balance on the account and the provision to finance local authority expenditure in future years. The short-term risk related to that is actually carried by the UK Government, because the account is held with the UK Government. I don't know if officials want to give some detail on the forecast information.
Yes, just to say that we, as the Minister's outlined—though we take forecasts as part of the process around setting local government settlement at the start of the financial year, those amounts are then fixed. We do keep them under review, and there are various, I think two, stages of in-year returns, from local authorities that inform us on the domestic rates that are being collected. If there's any material difference there, which would actually affect seriously the revenues coming into the authorities, we can make an adjustment then. However, usually, we don't find that that is the case and, therefore, any under or over-collection gets wound into the next financial year's calculations. So, there's this pooling arrangement.
[Inaudible.]—external funding is financing, isn't it? But it's bound to not be the right number because you'll have some new businesses starting up and you'll have some businesses, like pubs and hotels, for example, converting back into domestic properties. So, you'll have a lot of these changes, but unless you have a major closure, such as one of the big manufacturing plants, or you have a major shopping centre being brought on-line, the amounts will be relatively low.
I think there are some interesting things we could potentially explore in future relating to NDR—not relevant, I know, to the second supplementary budget as such. But local authorities within city regions, for example, are very keen to explore with Government whether they could keep additional NDR raised, if they can demonstrate that it is raised as a result of the work specifically of the city region and so on. And we're open to having those discussions.
Of course they are. I speak on behalf of Swansea—it'd be wonderful, and it'd be even better for Cardiff. But if you'd done that 10 years ago, the major losers would be places like Ynys Môn.
Yes, that is a discussion that we can have at a later stage, you're right, but that's a valid point, Mike, yes. I note that borrowing is being reduced by £49 million, and you're drawing down £50 million from the Welsh reserve. I'm presuming that's a bit of a straight swap, but maybe you could enlighten me as to whether that's true or not. And does the reduced borrowing reflect that funds aren't needed for the M4, maybe, and which projects is the remaining borrowing supposedly going to be funding? Do you have any information you can give us about the use you'll be making of that?
So, the final budget for 2018 had planned capital borrowing of £125 million. Of course, that is the full annual limit, and, inevitably, within the year there will be some changes to that. So, you'll see it reflected through the additional £57 million of consequentials that were received by the Barnett formula. Our withdrawal of the £50 million from the Wales reserve follows our principles of looking to use the cheapest capital first, rather than to pay to borrow funds. I would say, overall, we don't borrow to necessarily fund specific projects; we borrow to expand our ability to make capital expenditure.
In terms of the M4, clearly, no decision has yet been made on that, and we would hve to explore the financial implications of that in—well, give further information as to that in due course, should the decision be made to proceed.
—but I suspect that might be a complete waste of time. In terms of the financial planning and the financial strategy that you're following, Minister, it's no surprise to the committee that you tell us that the supplementary budget follows, clearly, 'Prosperity for All', and is informed by the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. The committee would expect you to say that, but can you give us examples of what that actually means in practice?
So, in terms of working closely to ensure that we do follow the principles and the ways of working of the future generations Act, we've had some very good discussions in recent times with the future generations commissioner. I know that she's been very complimentary about our approach to budget setting, in the way in which it is inclusive. We do think about the long term, and we can demonstrate that we do that through work with people and communities, taking a preventative approach to try and stop problems happening in the first place, and also taking a much more joined-up, cross-Government and cross-public sector approach to the budget. Some specific examples of that, which you'll find in the second supplementary budget, would be our additional investment of £3.7 million for minority ethnic, Gypsy/Roma/Traveller learners, for example, together with funding of £4 million for free school meals, which supports our ambitions to ensure that all children have the best possible start in life. You'll have seen allocations made within the health department, for example, clearly, again, also aligned with these goals. And £4 million for further work on the public sector broadband aggregation, which will improve digital connectivity within communities as well. So, all very much focused on delivering the aspirations of the future generations Act, whilst also consulting with the commissioner in the way that we work.
You'll be aware that the majority of the adjustments are made in the second supplementary budget—for example, amounts drawn down from the Wales reserve, allocations to and from different parts of Government, transfers within and between MEGs, for example. So, funding decisions, as I say, are fairly limited within the second supplementary budget, but all of those decisions, when advice is presented to Ministers, are done within the context of the future generations Act explicitly in the advice that we receive.
Of course, I was involved in some of those conversations about some of those grants, and I don't remember any conversation about either the future generations Act or 'Prosperity for All' in any of those conversations, but we won't pursue that this morning.
This supplementary budget—I accept your point, Minister, about that this is a supplementary budget not a budget, and therefore there are limitations on some of those matters. But there is a considerable resource being allocated in this supplementary budget, and the examples you've given us are relatively minor in financial terms, and I'm interested in the conversation that takes place with spending Ministers about how their objectives and how their requests for funding actually meet the objectives of the future generations Act. You will know that my criticism of 'Prosperity for All' is that it doesn't contain any objectives at all, that it's simply a narrative about what the Government would like, and as a narrative there's nothing wrong with it, but it doesn't give objectives, very hard, clear targets for the Government to meet during its time in office. So, I'm interested, therefore, in your approach as a finance Minister to ensuring that all Ministers actually do pursue the preventative agenda.
I'm not sure that the commissioner was as complimentary as perhaps you suggested in terms of the preventative spend and the Government's understanding of preventative spend. You will be familiar with her evidence to this committee and to others on the draft budget, and the Government itself accepted that its understanding of preventative spend was a work in progress—I think that was the euphemism used. So, there is, therefore, I think, a need for the Government to actually prove its case in a more fundamental way. Providing relatively small grants I don't believe actually does that.
I acknowledged in the evidence that I gave to the Finance Committee, in relation to the final budget 2019-20, that, actually, the well-being of future generations Act is an evolutionary process in terms of the way in which we embed it into our thinking, and into the way in which Government works in the round. You'll certainly recall from receiving ministerial advice that there is an explicit requirement that the well-being of future generations At is explored, and that the advice presented to Ministers is done very much through the lens of the well-being of future generations Act, the five ways of working and our future aspirations, which very much come to life within that Act.
So, are you content that the pace of that evolution is what it could be or should be?
We're certainly keen to develop the programme of engagement with the commissioner, but also the way in which we embed this more fully into our financial decisions within Government. As I acknowledged in the evidence, there is more work to do on this, but I think that we do have a good story to tell at the start.
So, the Act received Royal Assent in 2016, I think I'm right in saying, and this Government's mandate will run out in 2021, which will be five years after Royal Assent. So, I presume that you would anticipate being able to meet the objectives, whether it's the presentation of financial information, or in terms of the structure of the budget, by the end of this Government's mandate.
The future generations Act is, by its very definition, very much a long-term Act but designed to change the way that we act now in order to leave the world that we want, I suppose, for the people of the future, and of tomorrow. I certainly expect that we will continue to improve the way in which we can demonstrate our adherence to the Act and what's expected of us through the spirit of the Act as well, through the way in which we make financial decisions across Government and the way in which we're able to demonstrate that. But, as I say, it is an ongoing process, and something that we're very keen to improve and develop.
But we are, of course, scrutinising you, not future generations, and with all due respect, Minister, I think we need a bit more meat on that particular bone. I would hope that you would be able to write to the committee at least with your ambitions or expectations during your term in office, and this Government's mandate, to be able to say what actions you will be specifically taking according to what timetable in order to meet those demands, because I think simply saying, 'This is a long-term measure' is an inadequate response to both the demands of the legislation and the demands of transparency and scrutiny.
I would disagree that a second supplementary budget is not a transparent budget. As I said earlier on, many of the decisions that are put before people in the second supplementary budget have been made by Ministers in-year and have been scrutinised in the Chamber. A number of these things, for example, I announced in the draft budget. The opportunity was there to discuss those and debate those in the Chamber.
But my point was about the future generations Act and its impact upon your decision making as a Minister. And my question was: would you be able to write to the committee to outline your approach, a timetable, and your objectives for how you will meet that? I accept that's not an explicit part of the second supplementary budget process; I accept that—
But, as a Minister, you should be able to provide the committee with that information.
Thank you. And I suppose our role in relation to the fact that you're referring regularly to the fact that individual announcements have been made, and have been discussed, potentially, previously—our role here is to have that oversight of the collective impact that those changes are having, really. Rhun, you want to come in.
Just the same issue. All of us would support the ambitions of the future generations Act. We want the world to be a better place for future generations. One of the criticisms of the notion of having such an Act was that it was potentially going to be rather ambiguous. Now, what we're teasing out today is that the ambiguity is seen in budget lines, or lack of budget lines that we can attribute to decisions that have been because of the welfare of future generations Act. Just so we know what we're looking for, should we be able to see figures that are greater or smaller or different or non-existent, or there specifically because of decisions that are taken in light of that Act in the near future?
So, what we should be able to see is when Ministers make decisions within their departmental budgets, for example, that the decisions that have been made have been very much through the lens of the future generations Act. So—
That's the nebulous, 'Yes, I've thought about the future generations Act.' What's the evidence of spending decisions having been measured structurally against the demands of that Act?
As I say, when officials present advice to Ministers, it is explicit within that advice how the advice and how the actions that the Minister has been invited to consider and invited to take do meet the well-being of future generations Act in ways such as planning for the long term, preventative measures and so on. So, it's very much explicit in the advice that is received.
Okay. Thank you. Mike. Or are we going to Alun? Sorry, you've agreed between yourselves.
Yes. I'm interested in the—. Some of the allocations, as we've said, are quite significant in this budget, and a lot of them are around sustaining and supporting direct spend, in terms of, you've given the example of school meals, and also the NHS pay settlement. Do you have an analysis that you can provide to the committee with the impact of that on future budgets, and if you are accepting the recommendations of the review body on doctors and dentists' remuneration, how would you expect to be able to fund that fully for health boards?
With regard to the NHS pay settlements, as you'll see, additional funding has been made in this second supplementary budget for the costs of the agenda for pay changes. That's the award for nurses and other non-medical NHS staff, and it's a three-year deal. So, provision has been made in the 2019-20 budget to meet the costs of the award next year, and, obviously, the costs of 2021 will form part of our planning for the budget during the course of this year, which will start shortly.
With regard to the doctors and dentists' award, £24 million has been made available to meet the additional costs of that, which were above the 1 per cent public sector pay baseline. And provision has been made in the health and social services main expenditure group for the recurrent cost of this year's award in the next financial year.
Okay. I understand that. But, at the same time, you're announcing additional funding for winter pressures. Now, it shouldn't be a surprise to the Government that winter provides for additional pressures. Now, it's not a surprise to this committee, and, therefore, we are surprised that the Government isn't necessarily planning for that in terms of overall budgetary approach. Because providing additional funding, with the first frost of the autumn, does give the impression of poor planning, poor management and a bit of a panicked response.
This isn't additional funding from the centre—it's an additional allocation made by the health Minister from within his own MEG. And I think that, given the timing, nature and duration of winter pressures—they can vary year by year, and they vary across different health boards as well. So, I think it's entirely appropriate for the health Minister to maintain some kind of flexibility, in order to be able to respond in an agile way to those particular pressures, year on year.
That's a hospital pass for the health Minister. Okay, we'll take that up with the health Minister. But in terms of where we are today, what you're saying is that the NHS didn't receive any additional funding in this year for winter pressures at all.
There was £4 million that came from—in this supplementary budget, for social services winter pressures, which I think added to an allocation made within that MEG of £10 million, to bring it to £14 million overall. There was no additional funding specifically for winter pressures in this budget from central reserves.
Thanks, Chair. The latest available information shows an aggregate deficit of £76.4 million amongst the health boards. Are in-year or historic deficits taken into account when making the allocations of the supplementary budget?
Thank you very much for that, Nick. And no additional funding has been needed to be allocated from reserves or from the centre to the health and social services MEG to support NHS deficits. That, again, is being managed from within the health Minister's MEG. The NHS outturn for 2018-19 is expected to be a significant improvement on the previous year, and the residual deficits that are still being reported by the four health boards in escalation can be managed from within that MEG, as set out in the draft budget last year.
In terms of next year, so 2019-20, we are optimistic that the number of organisations in deficit and the level of the overall deficit will be reduced further from what we have seen in this current year. All NHS organisations have submitted their plans for the next financial year, and they are currently being reviewed by officials. There do remain challenges in Betsi Cadwaladr and Hywel Dda health boards, as you'll be very aware, and it was expected that some provision will need to be made in the health and social services budget next year, for continued overspends in these health boards. But officials do work closely with those health boards, and their finance departments, to seek to support them.
I'm trying to get to the bottom of this, because, in terms of carry-forwards, the amount of capital and revenue carried forward has been reduced, but is that because departments, especially health, have got their own reserves? So, we're carrying two sets of reserves—we're carrying a general reserve, which is relatively low, and a health reserve, which is relatively high, so that health can never overspend, because it's got a huge reserve that can give money out.
I'm not quite sure which carry-forward the Member's referring to. The reserves in this supplementary budget are laid out—I think £38 million, £36 million revenue, small amounts of capital. They're just held now to the end of this financial year, as a contingency, and they will be added to our main reserve. There isn't a multiyear health reserve held in the health MEG to take account of—
Perhaps I can make myself clear: we know that we've got reserves carrying forward, with the underspend this year going into the general reserve—the figures you've just mentioned. What I'm saying is: have we got money in health, which is now, effectively, a health reserve? And, if health doesn't spend that this year, will it also be held and carried forward in a health reserve? And are we actually running two sets of reserves—the general reserve, which is relatively low, and a health reserve, which seems to be able to find £17 million, £18 million, without any difficulty?
Clearly, the Minister for health has made a number of allocations from his own MEG within year. Anything that remains underspent, or remains unspent at the year end, will roll into our overall underspend, and go into the Wales reserve, not be held in health.
So, you could actually commit £20 million or £30 million at the end of the year, which isn't actually money that has gone and been spent anywhere, but that's then given to one helath board or another against future pressures, for example.
No, it would need to be committed in an accrual accounting sense. That's the basis that we budget on.
—take it further? It's in an accrual account, so it's down there, but all 'accrual' means is that you've committed it to do something. He could put it forward as committed, in your accrual account, to do some support or whatever in the future year—sorry, it's down as accrual this year, but the money isn't spent until the next financial year.
In cash terms, that's correct, but the accounts of the body in question would need to satisfy them and the auditors that the money was genuinely committed in that year and that the activity that it was there to fund—there was a genuine liability there.
Sorry, I'll finish on this point. But you can do that with any capital scheme, can't you? For example, if a hospital has got a magnetic resonance imaging scanner, it wouldn't want another one. So, all you have to do is say, 'Well, this is given to you to pay for an MRI scanner. It's in your accrual as having gone out as expenditure for that', and then it's not returned to the centre.
In that circumstance that you outline, you would have had to actually have placed an order for the scanner and actually have it be delivered in the year. You couldn't just say 'yes' to carry it forward to the next year.
No, but you could—. You could just say—. Writing an order for an MRI scan, when you know you've got the money—. The normal problem in most health boards is knowing you've got the money. Once you know you've got the money, writing an order should not be that difficult, surely. And you've got it spent on 29 March—which is a big day in this country at the moment—and then the bill comes in some time in April or May.
Well, I'll just say that all the accounts are audited by the Wales Audit Office and they'll have to satisfy them that it's legitimate to accrue that expenditure.
Given that we're on reserves—sorry, Mike, I'll come back to you in a minute. Nick, sorry, we've hijacked this question from you now—but given that we're on reserves, I think it's important to ask—. Clearly, the reserves are much lower than they were at this point last year—significantly lower—so I'm just wondering whether you're confident that you have sufficient reserves.
Yes, the reason why reserves are different this year from last year is because, in the previous financial year, we were looking to set up the Wales reserve, which we have now, in terms of the multi-annual reserve, which was a new tool for us at that point. So, that's why reserves were so much higher at that point in order to transfer money to that to try and maintain the maximum reserve that we could.
So, you're comfortable with the current level of reserve, then—that's the question I'm asking.
Yes, we're comfortable that it will meet any unexpected pressures before the end of the year—clearly, as comfortable as we can be.
That's all right. Going back to the issue of the health boards and the deficit that you mentioned, and tying in, in a way, with Alun Davies's earlier line of questioning about long-term sustainability and future generations, I see there's £24 million included for the special measures support at Betsi Cadwaladr. We seem to have, through countless budgets and through countless supplementary budgets, this extra funding given, pushed on—I don't know what you want to call it—or offered to the health boards to get them out of these deficit situations, but we seem to be continually in those deficit situations year after year.
I think you said earlier that you were looking to a point where we would get out of—I think I might be putting words into your mouth, so correct me if I'm wrong in a bit—when we might actually get beyond this situation with the health boards. Is it sustainable over the longer term to constantly throw money at the health boards? And with regard to this specific pot of money and this particular budget, leaving aside the future, what measure are you putting in place to make sure that this money does lift the health board onto a better footing and how can we have any confidence that we won't just be in the same position again next year?
So, just to clarify my comment earlier: it was that I would expect an improved position next year, as compared to this year in terms of the overall deficit carried by health boards in Wales. But with regard to the additional £24 million for Betsi Cadwaladr university health board—again, that’s not money from the centre, it’s money that the health Minister has allocated from within his own MEGFootnoteLink, and it’s specifically for the development and implementation of the sustainability plans for orthopaedics and ophthalmology. Of the £24 million, £19.5 million has been allocated to help to improve referral-to-treatment times performance by the end of March 2019. So, in terms of what expectation we have, it is that the health board will reduce the number of people waiting over 36 weeks and, subsequently, the number waiting over 52 weeks by the end of March 2019, and for the numbers waiting to be less than the March 2018 position. So, there’s a very specific focus for that additional funding.
So, on a more general point, again tying in with the earlier line of questioning, in terms of the allocation of this pot of money for orthopaedics, I think you said, has the future generations legislation being utilised or been consulted on in any way in terms of making that pot of money available to the health board?
So, when the health Minister would have had advice on this, it would have included advice in terms of how this meets with future generations priorities as well, because that is part of every piece of advice that Ministers get in terms of making decisions of this sort.
Okay. There’s been a technical change in the budget with the reclassification of research and development spending from revenue to capital, which was also included in the second supplementary budget last year. Aside from moving between categories, are there any implications for this?
No, this is a technical change required by HM Treasury in terms of the way that the European system of accounts 2010 classifies certain R&D activities as capital now for budgetary treatment. So, it’s a technical change.
That’s tying in with changes across the UK in terms of the way that classification is done. Yes.
It's across Europe, actually. It's a European standard, and a statistical one.
Turning to another perennial, the M4, there’s £27.8 million included in this supplementary budget for completion of the statutory process around the M4. My suspicion is that those will be burial costs mostly, but could you tell us what the money has actually been spent on and what it's proposed to be spent on, and what further activities are required for preparatory work, given that we're currently in a state of limbo whilst the Minister is considering this decision? Is any of this money going to be spent during that period, apart from contracts that have already been let and so on? Because, clearly, the decision could go either way, and there’s no point in throwing good money after bad if the decision isn’t adverse or negative.
Thank you for raising that issue. I can confirm that the allocation has been made available for the completion of the statutory process, as you say, and essential activities that would allow the project to continue, should the decision be made to make the orders. Because there are several things, when you take value for money into account, that need to continue and to be happening now to prepare for the potential of a positive decision. So, one example would be the ecological survey data. That needs to be continuous over a number of years in order to provide the information that's required were the M4 relief road to go ahead. That activity has been under way for some time now. So, if there was a pause in it for any reason, then clearly that would have implications for the timescale of the project and, again, knock-on implications for the overall cost of that project.
Another example would be utility diversions, which involve materials with long lead-in times, and they pose high levels of risks to the construction programme. So, halting any of those contingent preparations with utilities could incur significant costs and programme implications, should the scheme proceed, again. So, there would be resultant timing delays to work on the construction and so on. So, again, this is making sure that we do have value for money and so forth there.
Expenditure also covers matters like planning inspectorate and legal costs to complete the statutory process that you referred to, particularly on the Network Rail interface agreements, reimbursement of NRW costs, and also necessary support of the affected businesses to develop measures in order to mitigate impacts, should the scheme proceed. So, there are a number of pieces of work that are ongoing.
So, of this £27.8 million—say, for example, that the Minister were to decide not to go ahead with the current project, would there be a significant pot of money left, then, that it would be possible to allocate to other things, or is all this money already committed?
My understanding is that this money is committed and is being spent within this financial year on these particular items.
Were there to be any underspends to come back, obviously, it would go back into our reserve.
No, I haven't had discussions on the M4. I haven't seen the report. The only discussion that I've had with the First Minister on the M4 was his advice to me that, in due course, I would need to consider financial issues should the orders be made. That was when I was invited to take on this portfolio, and he was describing to me the kind of role that I would have.
So, since December. It's two months since your appointment, isn't it—the thirteenth? I remember. [Laughter.] So, in that time, you haven't had any discussions with the First Minister, and you have not instructed your officials to undertake any financial planning in the event of a decision being taken on the M4.
I have had discussions with—. I've had no discussions with the First Minister on the M4. I haven't seen the inspector's report. However, I have had discussions with officials on the M4. I've had discussions that have looked at the current proposals, and I've explored where cost savings could be made should the project go ahead and so forth. So, I have taken an interest in this at an appropriate level, but, clearly, no decisions have been made, and I have had no discussions pertaining to any decision.
So, you are not taking any financial planning to go ahead with the M4 at present.
There's clearly work going on, exploring the planning and the costs and where cost savings could be made and so forth, because this has been a long and ongoing piece of work for Government.
Continuing with this for a minute—UK Government has suggested that it would consider increasing the Welsh Government's capital borrowing limit by £300 million to fund the M4 relief road. In the event that this is needed, in the event that the project goes ahead, does the Welsh Government see this as necessary, and how suitable are the current borrowing plans in the long term? This is a huge project and would gobble up a considerable part of the borrowing allocations that are available to Welsh Government, so it's a massively important decision for the longer term.
So, you're right that it is a hugely important decision in the longer term. So, one of the avenues I would be exploring, for example, would be the costs of the programme and what that might mean for our ambitions more widely across Governments for other kinds of projects as well, because, clearly, there is a fixed amount of money available to us. But in terms of the £300 million that the UK Government has referred to, I would say it really is not the role of the UK Government to be stipulating how Welsh Government spends any of its money, even if it is loan money, for example, or borrowed money. That is because it's for Welsh Government to put proposals to this National Assembly for decision, rather than seeking any kind of input from the UK Government on our spending plans.
Overall, obviously, we have a comprehensive spending review taking place this year, so I'll be having discussions with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Within those discussions, I would expect to be raising our annual and aggregate capital borrowing limit with her, as preparations move forward to that spending review.
Yes, but the UK Government does potentially have a role to play in this, doesn't it? The scale of the project is such that it completely swamps your current borrowing powers, and if those powers are to be expanded—and the amount of money that you can borrow is to be increased—then you will need Treasury consent for that.
I'm more than happy for Treasury consent to increase our borrowing capacity. However, I don't think that there is a role for Treasury to increase our borrowing with strings attached to it.
No, I agree. It's not for the United Kingdom Government to set the priorities of Welsh Government within the powers, which have been devolved, but if you do need more money in order to complete this project, and having considered this as something that is worth while, then you have to persuade the UK Government that your allocation should be increased if they've already said that they're favourably inclined towards this decision. How do you see that impacting on the longer term? You wouldn't be concerned about having to increase your borrowing limit beyond the £1 billion that you can currently spend.
Clearly, we have to take prudent decisions in terms of the level that we borrow, because eventually all borrowing has to be returned. Clearly, we will be mindful of that, and also mindful of any capital spending decisions that we take within the broader programme of our work. But, certainly, I'm keen to continue having these conversations with Treasury about our borrowing limit, but within the context of it being a decision for Welsh Government as to how we spend it, with the agreement of the Assembly.
So, at the moment, you've got no reason to believe that this extra £300 million would be necessary should the project go ahead?
No, okay. And, lastly, then: £112 million has been allocated to business finance funds and, of this, £92 million is financial transactions capital. We explored this issue very comprehensively with Mark Drakeford last year. How is the Welsh Government mitigating the risk associated with the need to repay this funding if used? And what will this money be spent on?
Thank you very much for raising the issue of FTC, which I know is of particular interest to the committee. With regard to the £112 million, £92 million financial transactions capital has been allocated to rescue and restructuring, so there's £10 million of that; £40 million to the tourism fund; £40 million to the commercial property fund; and £2 million to the business loan fund. Clearly, by definition, it is a more risky kind of finance. So, Welsh Government does seek to manage the risk associated with the repayment of that by ensuring that robust business cases come forward and are developed. We certainly are keen to ensure that we have robust monitoring in place. I know that Matthew might have more detail on it.
Yes, just to say, clearly, we've got a basket of different schemes that we've invested in financial transactions, the largest being Help to Buy—Wales. Part of the agreement with Treasury currently is that we repay 80 per cent of those funds, so there are others where we're able to balance off any additional risks in, say, business investments with other types of investments. One of the things we're clear about, when we scrutinise the investments, and when Ministers bring them forward, is that they're aware that there's that 80 per cent repayment target as a minimum.
What are these commercial property investments? Can you tell us anything about those?
Don't worry. I don't expect you to know absolutely every line of detail.
So, if I can just say, that's another fund that's being developed with or managed by the development bank. I think its target is to develop commercial property across Wales, especially outside Cardiff and the M4 corridor, where there's less appetite for the private sector to be able to go it alone.
So, these are speculative investments, they're not property investments for a specific purpose, like, for example, the developments currently going on in Alun Davies's constituency?
It's a fund available at the development bank to be applied to develop property, rather than us speculating ourselves or asking the bank to go out. So, applications are received for funding from that fund.
Can I just have one question on that? Where's the other £20 million coming from?
Is it—the general capital amounts? From the capital reserves.
And you talk about that only 80 per cent has to be paid back—80 per cent of the amount of cash that's borrowed without any interest rates attached to it.
It's 80 per cent of the ringfenced pots that Treasury put within the budgeting framework for financial transactions.
I'll give you a practical example, then: if we had £100 million in there and we were paying it back in five years' time, would we be paying back £80 million, or £80 million plus 2.5 per cent or 3 per cent interest per year to get the amount we pay back?
Eighty million pounds would go back to the Treasury.
Fine. The student loan fund—I speak about that every year, and I know you're going to say that it has no current effect on Welsh Government, but it has an effect on the Treasury, which has an indirect effect on the Welsh Government. It's gone up again by £240 million. That's not that abnormal. I have a view on the student loan fund—my daughter's in university and a recipient of some of this, so I declare a very tiny interest in it. But I think the point I'm trying to make is: at what stage do think this is going to have an effect on the Treasury's ability to provide funding for Wales?
Well, we're aware that the UK Government is currently reviewing its own policy around student support and higher education finances. Clearly, we don't have to follow where England goes, by any stretch of the imagination, but we're monitoring that closely. In terms of the £240 million that you see before you in terms of the additional non-cash funding required to accommodate our current forecast, that is very much because of the increase in the threshold last year from £21,000 to £25,000 and, as you know, the original non-cash requirement was £107 million. So, it is a greater pressure on the Treasury, as you say.
Sorry, the point I'm trying to make is that the Treasury's got this thing hanging over it. It's like any other debt it's got. That's one of the first calls on the Treasury. Even at £107 million, every 10 years, it's going to go up by £1 billion. At some stage, that becomes a material—. And that's just £1 billion for Wales. Working out that Wales is about 5 per cent of Britain, we're talking about £20 billion every 10 years on a British level. We see no sign of it stopping to increase, never mind anything else. At some stage, these numbers are going to get so large they're going to affect the Treasury's capacity to provide money for Wales. Is that a matter that concerns you?
I completely appreciate the point that you made. I think what sits behind it is a strongly felt political and policy view in terms how we do fund our young people, in terms of supporting them with their ambitions for university education. Clearly, the point you made about the ongoing and increasing pressure on Treasury is clearly a concern in terms of the impact it might have on us in an indirect way in future years.
Okay. Can I first of all welcome the additional money for local government—something I was asking for earlier on in the year? Why was it only £50 million general capital and £70 million additional capital resources? Why couldn't more have been found?
As you say, it's £50 million general capital as part of a £100 million, three-year grant, and £100 million in general capital grant, again over three years. That's £50 million in the first year, £30 million in the second, and £20 million in the third—so, the first year being this financial year.
I think this is a reasonable amount that we have been able to find for local government, but it doesn't come on its own—it's part of a package of support that we are seeking to provide for local government. You will be aware that, just in the last couple of weeks, there's been an announcement that we will change our intervention rate for the capital schemes under band B of the twenty-first century schools programme, for example, and that reduces very much the pressure on local authorities' capital budgets as well. So, we are exploring creative ways in which we can support local authorities with their capital ambitions beyond school building.
You're tempting me, because I'd love to discuss the way we fund capital. I'll just say that I think that, rather than using the MIM in order to borrow money, if we actually supported local authorities with more money so that they could borrow from the public works loan board it would actually be cheaper. But that's not what we're discussing today, so I'll just make that comment and stop.
The Wales self-build fund: over how many years are you expecting—? If I wanted to borrow £15 million from the Welsh self-build fund today, over how many years would you expect me to pay it back?
I'd expect you to have a very nice house for that price in the Wales self-build fund. [Laughter.] I think we would be looking—. So, further details on the self-build fund will be coming forward through the Minister for housing in due course, but my previous knowledge of this in my previous portfolio is that the Wales self-build fund is to start that process. So, it allows the individual to purchase the plot that is already with the planning permissions on it and so forth and then start to build the house. When the house is built, you'd expect the individual then to move over to a traditional mortgage. So, it's not a long-term relationship with the individual who's going through the self-build process.
Take my fictitious £15 million; I've bought this plot of land in Blaenau Gwent and I'm going to build a house and I got planning permission, and I'm now in a situation—. It's believed that the mortgage companies will accept all of that transferred over and they'll view the value of the property as such—including the land—to be what we paid for it, and when that happens then that £15 million will come back into the Welsh Government, which they can reuse. Will there be any interest charged on it?
So, there are two parts to the capital for this programme. There's £10 million general capital provided to the local authorities as loan funding, and that will be recycled by the local authorities over the course of 15 years, and then £30 million financial transaction capital, which is projected to be recycled through the Development Bank of Wales approximately seven times over the course of that period, resulting in an estimated £210 million of investment. But, as I say, the housing Minister will be providing more detail on this proposal. So, I don't think it would be appropriate for me to go into that detail.
I don't want to go into detail, I just want to know: am I paying any interest on this fictitious £50,000 for my plot in Blaenau Gwent, or am I getting it interest free?
Yes. A note on that will be useful. Alun just wants to come in as well, I think.
Yes. I'm always tempted by local government, and I do declare, obviously, an interest in this. The funding that you described, that you referred to, was agreed by myself as Minister and the former First Minister with the WLGA, and it was provided to local government on the basis of local government agreeing and giving a firm undertaking to pursue a reform agenda. Can you confirm, Minister, that that remains the view of this Government?
Well, clearly, if the funding was agreed with local authorities on the understanding of a particular agreement, I would ask the current Minister to be exploring that with them. I'm not familiar with the detail that you describe, but I'll certainly raise it with the current Minister.
Can I ask a general policy question, then? When we lend money to individuals, do we lend it and then expect it to be paid back in cash or do we expect to receive any interest on it?
When we lend money to—. So, why don't we take Help to Buy, for example, in terms of how we lend money, if you like, to people? Well, then, yes, we would be expecting there to be interest through the increasing value of the house and we are actually starting to see receipts now coming through from the Help to Buy programme.
Diolch. I have a number of questions on other changes in the supplementary budget, some on central services and administration, but I'll start, if I can, with Brexit. There are a number of transfers and other allocations made in relation to dealing with transition and so on. Could you talk us through some of the main aims of what you were trying to do relating to Brexit preparations and the supplementary budget?
So, specifically through the European transition fund, there has been a great deal of work going on through departments right across Government to work with stakeholders to identify projects that will support our transition to a new relationship with the European Union, and I know the committee has had a long list of these over the course of time to explore, from red meat benchmarking, for example, the work that we're doing with Airbus and Ford on skills, and various other aspects of funding, which I can talk to you about in more detail if required. I'll be making some further announcements now on the EU transition fund in the very near future, and on this occasion now we've really asked that there is a strong focus on preparing, potentially, for a 'no deal' Brexit, and to ensure that the projects that do come forward would be appropriate in any circumstance. So, there'll be a number of announcements being made in due course on that. But, overall, the purpose of the fund is not to supplement the work that's going on through individual MEGs. So, a lot of the work to prepare for Brexit is almost absorbed now in our day-to-day functioning in departments. So, certainly, the EU transition fund isn't the full extent of our work to prepare for Brexit. It's over and above what else we're doing.
We'll await that further statement. You say you're reacting to the increasing possibility of a 'no deal' Brexit. Could you give us a description of how that risk profile of the potential exposure of Welsh Government finances has been changing over time, either in administration costs dealing with Brexit, or in business support needed and so on?
So, there has been work in looking across Government at our own skill mix that we have here to ensure that we do have the right people and the right kind of roles to support us through the transition period. There has been a voluntary exit scheme within Welsh Government, which you'll actually see referred to within the second supplementary budget. So, that, whilst lowering our staff bill overall, actually did create, then, some headroom to recruit people into key positions in order to support the work through the transition period. We also had additional funding from the UK Government through its budget process. So, in December 2018, the UK Government informed us that we would have a £30.1 million Barnett consequential as a result of the UK Government's spend on Brexit. This is £10 million more than we received last year, so we're currently exploring how best to deploy that. The decision was made with the previous money related to Brexit that, actually, we would be using it for Brexit purposes within our own budget, but, again, I refer to the point I made to Neil Hamilton about consequentials being used in the way that best meets our own pressures and our own ambitions.
Is it likely to be enough, or is the Welsh Government likely to have to dip into other pots?
I think the kind of Brexit that we have will clearly have a huge impact on budgets. A 'no deal' Brexit has been referred to and described as catastrophic many times, and I know that it will be hugely challenging for Welsh Government. So, certainly, we would be looking to UK Government for significant additional funding in the event of a 'no deal' Brexit. The Chancellor has referred to the spring statement as potentially being a major fiscal event—so, code, I suppose, for an emergency budget, depending on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, again. So, we would expect there to be significant funding from the UK Government in order to help us support our organisations and businesses and so forth through a difficult period.
We would hope so too, but given that this is all a bit of a moveable feast, lacking in any certainty on hardly any level, are you happy that you have enough flexibility built into Welsh Government's finances to deal with demands in the short term?
We've been careful over a number of years to ensure that we do have the maximum within our reserves and precisely for difficult periods that we find ourselves in. So, there is that, but, clearly, we would expect a greater input from the Treasury were there to be a 'no deal' Brexit.
Another—. There are many potential elements where there could be stresses and strains on Welsh Government finances and access to finance. Our future relationship with the European Investment Bank is one. I know a House of Lords report recently pointed to the significant role played by the EIB in investing in the UK over the past 20 years, in particular the last 10. Drying up of those funds would potentially leave a hole for us. What is the financial planning that you have in place to deal with the drying up, potentially, of that source?
Well, we've been very clear all along—and I know that we were, jointly, in our 'Securing Wales' Future' document—that Wales should remain a subscribing partner in the EIB precisely, or partly, for the reasons that you've described and the fact that we've been beneficiaries of billions of pounds over the years. And the UK Government's proposed £200 million fund, which they think will plug that gap, clearly, is completely insufficient.
But we've also benefited from a serious amount of expertise from the EIB over time as well—so, supporting us with the development of the metro proposals and so forth. That's been an extremely useful source for us. Clearly, we want greater clarity from the UK Government in terms of a future relationship with the EIB, but, again, it will be a huge blow were we not to be able to access that level of funding and the expertise that goes with it.
Thank you for that—straying somewhat away from the supplementary budget, and I apologise for that, but back to it. A couple of things on central services administration: £1.4 million has been allocated to the National Procurement Service, which we were told recently is going to be wound up. Could you explain the objectives of that bit of funding?
Yes. So, the funding for the National Procurement Service is very much in order to transition it to the smaller and more focused service, which was described when the previous Minister made a statement on this in September. There is a great deal of work ongoing at the moment to respond to the concerns that were raised about the previous focus, if you like. So, looking at what stakeholders told us about wanting a much more locally focused service, or regionally focused service, and so forth. We've had some significant agreement with key local government and NHS Wales organisations on a smaller pipeline of national contracting activity. So, we would be looking to develop around 30 agreements rather than 60. So, there's lots of work currently going on to take us to that point where we do have the new service.
A draft plan is currently being developed and it would be the aim to publish that in the fairly near future. And we would expect to see new structures within the organisation start to come into place around spring. So, at the moment, this is about responding to the concerns that were raised, and transitioning us to a new service with new priorities.
Okay. And finally from me, a significant sum of money—£9.5 million—has been allocated for reshaping the workforce. Could you please tell us what kind of reshaping you can buy for £9.5 million?
That is part of the voluntary exit scheme that I referred to earlier, whilst also creating new positions to respond to the challenges of Brexit. Any further detail?
Just to say that, yes, the £9.5 million, as the Minister's outlined, is for a voluntary exit scheme. And as I think we said earlier, there are two aims there, really; one was to reduce the overall staff costs of the Assembly. That's in line with the budget settlement that exists for future years for the central services administration MEG, but also to attempt to create some headroom to bring new skills into the organisation. The scheme is ongoing at the moment; it's currently being reviewed, so we haven't got figures yet on what would be saved or what the actual cost will be, but this provides for a large amount of staff that we feel would create that headroom.
Just to put it in some sort of context, what's the equivalent figure been for voluntary exit schemes over the past few years? Presumably, when you have this kind of thing, it isn't a one-off.
Shall we provide more information on the voluntary exit scheme, and also the new capacity that we've been able to create with a specific focus on Brexit?
Are you anticipating savings, then, or is that unknown at the moment in terms of the voluntary exit scheme?
Given that you suggested that you're making headroom for potentially other people to come in, then I was just wondering.
As I say, the results of the scheme, it's still out there for offers to be made to staff, so there will be, I would imagine, savings from that process.
But a note on that would be useful. And just on—. Given that we're on savings and central services and administration as well, I note—. I think it's £2.4 million has gone into central services and admin from invest to save. I'm just wondering: is that part of this process that we've been discussing now, or is this for some other sort of initiative?
Yes, the invest to save fund, which has run for many years, sits within the central services administration MEG, so it mainly provides funding to other public bodies—local authorities, health boards—for them to make savings.
So, it's not an invest to save investment in central services—it's to increase the size of the invest to save pot.
That's correct, yes.
Okay, and how content are you that the invest to save pot is delivering to its maximum potential at the moment? I know you report on it annually, but I'm just wondering if you have any thoughts about whether it could be improved or changed in any way.
I think there's—. I have met with officials to discuss invest to save, and one of the things that I suppose I find slightly frustrating about it is invest to save—. Very often, the projects have very good results, very exciting results, but then how do we mainstream what we've been able to achieve there?
Yes. So, investing to save—so that what we've learnt just becomes part of the normal way that we do things. That's the challenge, and that's what I'm keen to explore.
You might say it's not for today, but when will we get the annual accounts for invest to save and innovate to save?
We're supposed to receive an annual report on invest to save, but I don't think we've ever received one on innovate to save. So, it would be nice to see them at some stage.
—or something when you intend to table that. Yes. Okay. Thank you. Well, any more questions? No. There we are. Thank you very much, Minister, and your officials. We appreciate very much your presence today, and the evidence you've given us. Clearly, we'll be reporting in time for the debate and, obviously, your contribution today will very much inform that process for us. As always, you'll be sent a copy of the transcript to check for accuracy. So, with that, can I thank you, the three of you, for your presence? Diolch yn fawr. Thank you.
bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod a'r cyfarfodydd ar 20 Chwefror a 7 Mawrth yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).
that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting and the meetings on 20 February and 7 March in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi).
Cynigiwyd y cynnig.
And can I therefore propose in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi) that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting, and for the meetings of 20 February and 7 March 2019? Are Members content? Diolch yn fawr. There we are—we'll move into private, then. Diolch.
Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 10:14.
The public part of the meeting ended at 10:14.
Cywiriad / Correction:
This statement is incorrect as it was money allocated from the centre.