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Welsh Government sets out tax priorities

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The Welsh Government has published a Tax policy framework update and Tax policy work plan setting out a number of tax priorities for the five-year Senedd term:

  • no increases in the Welsh rates of income tax (WRIT) ‘for at least as long as the economic impact of coronavirus lasts’ – with a report on WRIT expected alongside the Draft Welsh Budget on 20 December 2021;
  • reform of council tax;
  • autumn 2022 consultation on a new tourism levy;
  • consideration of local rates of land transaction tax (LTT).

The Tax policy work plan report notes the lack of progress following requests to the Treasury to devolve further tax powers to the Senedd, including proposals to develop a new vacant land tax and devolution of air passenger duty.

The Welsh government also intends to publish its views on the future of land transaction tax alongside the draft Budget. The report suggests the Welsh government may be contemplating taking further action on second homes, considering ‘if LTT has a role to play in providing an advantage to people buying homes for permanent occupation’.

The Welsh government is also seeking increased regulation-making powers which would enable it to respond quickly to changing circumstances that have an impact on Welsh taxes – for example, court judgments, avoidance behaviour or changes in equivalent English taxes which could undermine the position in Wales. Following its Enabling changes to the Welsh Tax Acts consultation in 2020, a Bill to enable to the Welsh government to make changes to the Welsh Tax Acts is to be introduced in the Senedd in December 2021, with Royal Assent potentially envisaged by autumn 2022.

Issue: 1552
Categories: News