1. ITV Report

Stamp Duty to be replaced by new Land Transaction Tax in draft budget

This year's Draft Budget is to be announced later today and, for the first time, the Welsh Government will be responsible for setting it's own Land Transaction Tax, replacing Stamp Duty.

The Welsh Government will now be responsible for raising money as well as spending it. Credit: PA

The Welsh Government will now be responsible for raising money as well as spending it.

Ahead of the publication of the draft budget, the Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford visited the Glan Llyn housing development in Llanwern, Newport. The development, on the site of the former Llanwern Steelworks, will provide affordable housing in the city.

The Finance Secretary visited a development site in Llanwern Credit: ITV News

He says the move to give Wales powers over its own Land Transaction Tax is a net step in devolution.

It's a very important new development in devolution. These are powers we've never had before. We are preparing the grounds for greater responsibilities which will lie further ahead.

There are risks in setting rates and bands for taxes, you could end up, if you made the wrong decision, with less money for public services here in Wales. The advice I've had from the sector is to proceed carefully, to use this period to to allow these new responsibilities to bed in.

– Mark Drakeford, Finance Secretary

When asked if the £250m in revenue is not made from the move, the Secretary said there is a safety net for Wales in the fiscal framework meaning they can borrow money over a short period of time to help smooth out any peaks and troughs, though he said he is 'hopeful we won't need to use it'.

This is the first time the budget is being delivered in two stages. This will give the Assembly a period of two to three weeks to focus on decisions which will be announced in the budget later. This will be followed in three weeks time with detailed budgets.

The Finance Secretary said protecting public services was a priority. Credit: ITV News

You can look to the budget in these really tough times, we are trying to balance the need to go on investing in our vital public services at a time when we have less money every single year to spend.

I start from the priorities my party had when we went into the last election; investing in the health service, providing 20,000 new affordable homes over this assembly term, the most generous childcare offer anywhere in the UK, I try and find the money for those things first, then I look to protect the other things that matter so much to people in our communities.

– Mark Drakeford, Finance Secretary