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Chancellor's caused uncertainty for first time buyers in Wales says Welsh minister

Mark Drakeford was questioned in the Senedd about how he'd respond to the Chancellor's tax-break for first time buyers. Credit: Senedd TV

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford says he will reflect on how to respond to the Chancellor's decision to exempt first time buyers from stamp duty, unless they're buying a home worth more than £300,000.

If he takes no action, the tax break will end for Welsh first time buyers next April, when stamp duty will be replaced in Wales by Land Transaction Tax, payable on the purchase of all properties worth over £150,000.

Professor Drakeford was asked by the Tory Group AM Mark Reckless if Welsh first time buyers would have to rush to buy their homes.

They will not be knocked over in the rush because the number of first time buyers in Wales, who are buying home worth £300,000, means that it will be perfectly possible to form an orderly queue.

I will do my best to resolve the uncertainty created by the Chancellor today by coming forward with proposals that I will [first] reflect on.

– Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford AM

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Welsh Government's capital budget boosted

Here are the changes to the Welsh Government's Treasury funding announced in the budget. Capital funding for improvements to roads, schools, hospitals and other projects, gets the biggest boost:

  • 2017/18: £1.7 billion (up from £1.6 billion)
  • 2018/19: £1.9 billion (up from £1.7 billion)
  • 2019/20: £2.1 billion (up from £1.8 billion)
  • 2020/21: £2.2 billion (up from £1.9 billion)

But resource funding, which covers year-on-year spending, is mostly unchanged since the Spring Budget.

Transporter Bridge in bid for £10m

Credit: Newport Council

Newport City Council is to submit a bid for £10 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to carry out work on the iconic Transporter Bridge.

The Bridge, which can be seen from many points across the city with its huge metal structure and gondola used to carry vehicles across the River Usk, is now closed for the winter season.

The Heritage Lottery Bid would be used to carry out repairs, restoration of the gondola, improvements to the site and building a new visitor centre

The bridge is one of five remaining operational transporter bridges worldwide and is the most complete original structure of all the remaining Transporter Bridges.

The council bid for funding would be up against projects from across the UK and there is no guarantee a bid will be successful.

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