Further powers unveiled

The UK Government announces full devolution of business rates to Wales and the power to create new Welsh taxes.

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New financial powers for Welsh Government

The UK Government has described the package of financial powers transferred to Wales as 'unprecedented.' It says the changes could put the Welsh Government in control of £3bn of tax revenue. The new details announced today are:

  • Business rates (or non-domestic rates) which are already partly-devolved will be fully devolved.
  • Power to create new Wales-only taxes with the UK Government's agreement.
  • The creation of a 'cash reserve' for the Welsh Government to manage tax revenues

There's also more detail of the income tax powers on offer. Subject to a referendum, the Welsh Government would be given control of 10p in every pound collected but could only raise or lower the three rates together.

These changes follow the earlier headline announcements made by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister at the beginning of November:

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax and Landfill tax
  • Borrowing powers
  • Limited early borrowing powers to begin work improving the M4
  • Income tax referendum

FSB welcomes business rate transfer to Wales

The Federation of Small Businesses has 'warmly welcomed' the announcement that business rates (or 'non-domestic rates') will be fully devolved to Wales:

The full devolution of powers over non-domestic rates to Cardiff Bay now opens the way for the reform of the current Welsh business rates regime, which is the most onerous for small businesses in any constituent nation of the UK.

There is now no barrier to the Welsh Government reforming the business rates system to support small firms on high streets across Wales. Some work has already been done in this area and we would call for the rapid adoption of the recommendations of Professor Brian Morgan’s report into business rates, particularly his call for rates to be locally retained.

– Iestyn Davies, Federation of Small Businesses Wales

Jane Hutt reacts to tax varying powers announcement

"What's important is we're getting this legislation onto the statute book - and of course for a future Assembly, and all political parties, they will then be gearing up for how they respond" says Finance Minister Jane Hutt AM.

"The important point is that we have got the referendum - that's such an important decision for the people of Wales"

"I think that's what people what to know... that they've got that opportunity to vote for it."

Alexander: Wales income tax powers 'a massive change'

"I think it is reasonable to say that we should have a similar model of devolution of income tax in different parts of the United Kingdom" says Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP.

"I think it's a model that gives a lot of power to the Welsh Assembly".

"I think it's also right though, to say that we want to protect the proper functioning of the labour market across the UK, and that means the structure of the tax system - particularly the income tax personal allowance... should be organised UK-wide".

"I recognise that it's not quite what Silk recommended, but it's also a massive change from the current situation in Wales.

"It's a new power, it's one that offers huge economic opportunities as well as greater financial accountability to the people of Wales."

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