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Understanding devolution in Wales
Understanding devolution in Wales

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7.1 Raising taxes for the first time in 800 years

In 2018, the first Welsh taxes in 800 years were levied by the Welsh Government. These were landfill disposals tax and land transaction tax, replacing landfill tax and UK stamp duty land tax respectively.

The levying of these taxes necessitated the creation of the Welsh Revenue Authority which operates independently of the Welsh Government and is scrutinised by the Welsh Parliament.

From April 2019, the Welsh Government set the Welsh rate of income tax. Ministers could choose to vary the rate or keep it the same as the rates in Northern Ireland and England. Taxes are still collected in the same way by HMRC.

In 2018, the Welsh Government began to examine four new tax ideas. These are: vacant land tax, social care levy, disposable plastic tax and tourism tax.

This is a screenshot of some financial information from the Welsh Government. It shows areas where, on the website, information boxes can be revealed about various tax developments from recent years. A diagram at the bottom of the screenshot shows numerous income streams – Welsh Block Grant, Non-domestic rates, Welsh Rates of Income Tax, Land Transaction Tax, Landfill Disposals Tax, Borrowing – all leading into a block labelled 'Welsh budget'. Within this diagram, Welsh Rates of Income Tax, Land Transaction Tax and Landfill Disposals Tax are specifically labelled as 'Devolved Taxes'.
Figure 11 Fiscal devolution (you can find a link to more information in the Further Reading section)