What is the 2018-19 forecast figure for Welsh Government reserves, and will the Cabinet Secretary explain the reasons for this level of unallocated reserves?
Details of the amount of unallocated resources in 2018-19 are set out in Table 5.2 of the final Budget 2018-19 narrative published on 19 December 2017. As I indicated in my statement about the draft Budget on 3 October 2017, 2018-19 is also the first year of operation of the new Welsh reserve. I was able to plan the final Budget 2018-19 on the basis of making the best use of that flexibility. The opening balance of that reserve will be confirmed in my report on the 2017-18 outturn to the Finance Committee which I will provide in due course.
By maximising the full range of flexibilities available to us, negotiated as part of the fiscal framework, I am able to deploy the benefits to help protect public services against the worst of the cuts during the difficult years ahead and invest in our infrastructure priorities for Wales.