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Welsh Treasury and fiscal reform

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The Wales Act 2014 and Wales Act 2017 devolved taxation and borrowing powers to the Welsh Government and National Assembly for Wales.

The 2014 act fully devolves:

  • stamp duty land tax
  • landfill tax.

Land transaction tax will replace stamp duty land tax and landfill disposals tax will replace landfill tax. These will be the first specifically Welsh taxes in almost 800 years.

Legislation was introduced in the National Assembly in 2016 for the replacement taxes with an implementation date of April 2018.

Income Tax

The Wales Act 2014 and Wales Act 2017 allow for the partial devolution of income tax, enabling the National Assembly to set tax rates. This will be implemented from April 2019.

Non-domestic rates

As part of the programme of fiscal and funding reform, non-domestic rates were also fully devolved from April 2015. This change did not require primary legislation and therefore it was not included in the Wales Act 2014.

Borrowing

The Wales Act 2014 gives the Welsh Government new borrowing powers to invest in capital projects. These will commence alongside the introduction of fully devolved taxes (expected in April 2018). Ministers will be able to borrow to invest in all devolved areas of responsibility. Under the Wales Act 2017, the total borrowing limit will increase to £1bn, with an annual limit of £150m, alongside the partial devolution of income tax (expected in 2019). Early access to borrowing powers has been granted to help finance improvements to the M4.

The Wales Act 2014 also provides for up to £500m of borrowing to support revenue spending to help manage budgetary fluctuations that may occur as a result of tax devolution.

Devolving taxes to Wales enables us to develop a tax system that is simpler, fairer and supports jobs and growth. It allows us to take decisions affecting the Welsh economy in Wales.

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