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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.

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Pressure on Welsh Government to do more on business rates

The Treasury's released the Budget details in its 'red book'. Credit: HM Treasury

There's been instant pressure from Welsh Conservative MPs for the Welsh Government to do more about business rate relief.

But the Welsh Government is expected to argue that they have already committed the money they'll receive as a result of the business rate measures announced for England today.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford is pointing out that it's up to the Welsh Government to decide how any extra money is spent.

The Treasury has now released the detailed report, know as the Red Book, which supports todays Budget speech. It reveals that the Welsh Government is expected to get £15 billion from the Treasury 2017/18. That's £200 million more than was planned for the same financial year in George Osborne's last Budget.

'Extra £200 million for Wales' says Hammond

The Chancellor says his Budget includes an extra £200 million for the Welsh Government to spend.

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