Legislation to introduce a landfill disposals tax in Wales – one of the first Welsh taxes in almost 800 years – has today received Royal Assent.
Landfill disposals tax will replace the current landfill tax in Wales when it is devolved in April 2018. The revenue raised will help fund public services in Wales.
At an official sealing ceremony, the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill became an Act of the Assembly. It is the final of three Acts to establish tax arrangements in Wales.
A Bill receives Royal Assent when Letters Patent under the Welsh Seal signed with Her Majesty’s hand signifying her Assent are notified to the Clerk of the Assembly.
The First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones applied the Welsh Seal to the Letters Patent at the sealing ceremony, which was also attended by Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“This Act is another important step in our devolution journey as we prepare for the introduction of tax powers in April 2018.
“Next year will see the further maturing of devolution as we take on responsibility for raising a proportion of our budget to spend on public services in Wales.
“Landfill disposals tax and land transaction tax will be the first Welsh taxes for almost 800 years. Wales is at the forefront of waste policy and landfill disposals tax is an important element in achieving our ambitious goal of a zero waste Wales.”
Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said
“This Act has been developed through a collaborative approach and with cross-party support.
“There is a clear public interest in ensuring the new tax systems we are creating for April 2018 are recognisable to those who will have to operate them on a daily basis. There will be similar processes and an approach to tax rates which will provide stability and reassurance to businesses.
“This Act is designed to be up to date, simple and clear to apply, reflecting established practices and will be relevant to Wales.
“However, a key difference between the existing landfill tax and landfill disposals tax is that our Act enables tax to be charged on unauthorised disposals of waste in order to provide a financial deterrent against undertaking this activity. Unauthorised disposals of waste blight our communities; they are a potential source of tax evasion and place legitimate waste businesses at a disadvantage.
“This activity is unacceptable; I want to encourage individuals to take their waste to a registered landfill site and pay a fair share of tax which contributes to the funding of our public services in Wales.”
The Welsh Government is also establishing a Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme, which will support local projects which promote or improve the social or environmental wellbeing of communities affected by the disposal of waste to landfill.
Professor Drakeford added:
“I would like to thank all those who have helped us shape this Act and look forward to continuing to work with them as it is implemented.”