Mark Drakeford, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government
The second annual report about the implementation and operation of the finance provisions in the Wales Act 2014 is today laid before the National Assembly.
Under section 23 of the Act, Welsh Ministers and the Secretary of State for Wales report every year about the progress made to put into effect the provisions under Part 2, until the first anniversary after the final provisions have been implemented.
This report also provides the latest update about progress on the implementation of the Welsh Revenue Authority.
The Wales Act 2014 establishes a range of financial powers for Wales, including the devolution of stamp duty land tax and landfill tax; borrowing to support capital investment and to manage budgetary fluctuations arising from tax devolution and the ability to legislate for the Assembly's budgetary procedures.
It also provides for the creation of new devolved taxes on a case-by-case basis and for the future introduction of Welsh rates of income tax. The target date for implementing the majority of the new powers is April 2018.
Significant progress has been made over the past year on all aspects of the fiscal reform agenda – the Wales Audit Office's report Preparations for the implementation of fiscal devolution in Wales, published earlier this month, highlights the progress made. This is a complex area of work, as the Auditor General has recognised, but the Welsh Government understands the key challenges ahead and has plans in place to successfully deliver fiscal reform for Wales.
Important milestones during 2016 have included the passage of the Tax Collection and Management (Wales) Act, which establishes the Welsh Revenue Authority, and the introduction this year of the Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes (Wales) Bill and the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill. Land transaction tax will replace stamp duty land tax and landfill disposals tax will replace landfill tax from April 2018.
Over the last few months, I have been leading negotiations on behalf of the Welsh Government with the UK Government on a fiscal framework, which will set out how the Welsh block grant will be adjusted following the devolution of stamp duty land tax, landfill tax and the partial devolution of income tax. These discussions have been constructive and are progressing well.
Throughout this programme of work, the Welsh Government has benefited from the advice and support of many individuals and organisations. I am grateful for their assistance and look forward to continuing to work with them in the coming years.
The second annual report is available at: