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Tax powers to be devolved to Welsh government

24 Sep 2014

Finance Minister for Wales, Jane Hutt, has revealed plans for an initiative to allow the Welsh government to collect its own taxes for the first time since the 13th century.

The Welsh government has been unable to vary taxes or borrow money, instead receiving its budget from the Treasury. However, powers over business rates, stamp duty land tax and landfill tax are now due to be devolved to it.

Ms Hutt announced that a Welsh Revenue Authority, responsible for ensuring taxes are collected, would be created. She said that Wales would be able to "shape taxes which are better suited to Welsh circumstances and proposals".

A consultation will run until 15 December, with a bill due to be published next July and the new powers due to begin in 2018. There will also be a ‘taxpayers charter’ designed to outline the rights and responsibilities of both citizens and the authorities.

An inquiry called the Silk Commission, set up last November by the UK Government, recommended devolving tax powers to Wales, including authority to vary a portion of income tax by the year 2020 if approved by a referendum.

Meanwhile, support for Welsh independence has fallen to its lowest recorded level, according to a poll for BBC Wales.

The survey, carried out soon after Scotland voted to remain in the Union, found that only 3% of Welsh citizens wanted to Wales to be independent. However, there was more support for the idea of more powers being devolved to the Welsh Assembly, with 49% in favour.