Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes (Wales) Act 2017

The Act includes provision for introducing a “Land Transaction Tax” (LTT) to replace the UK Stamp Duty Land Tax in Wales from April 2018 and measures to tackle the avoidance of devolved taxes. The Bill sets out:

  • the key principles of LTT, such as the types of transactions that will incur a charge to LTT and the person liable to pay LTT;

  • the procedure for setting tax rates and bands;

  • how the tax will be calculated and what reliefs may apply;

  • specific measures to tackle devolved tax avoidance;

  • the application of the Act in relation to leases;

  • the specific provisions applicable to a variety of persons and bodies in respect of LTT;

  • the provision for making a land transaction return and for the payment of the tax; and

  • duties on taxpayers to make payments and pay penalties and interest in certain circumstances.

Further detail about the Act can be found in its accompanying Explanatory Memorandum.

The Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes (Wales) Act 2017 became law in Wales on 24 May 2017.

Legislation in Progress – current Bills

Public Health (Wales) Bill

The Public Health (Wales) Bill utilises legislation as a mechanism for improving and protecting the health and wellbeing of the population of Wales. It comprises a set of provisions in discrete areas of public health policy:

The Bill proposes to introduce changes that:

  • Re-state restrictions on smoking in enclosed and substantially enclosed public and work places, and give Welsh Ministers a regulation-making power to extend the restrictions on smoking to additional premises or vehicles;
  • Place restrictions on smoking in school grounds, hospital grounds and public playgrounds;
  • Provide for the creation of a national register of retailers of tobacco and nicotine products;
  • Provide Welsh Ministers with a regulation-making power to add to the offences which contribute to a Restricted Premises Order (RPO) in Wales;
  • Prohibit the handing over of tobacco and/or nicotine products to a person under the age of 18;
  • Provide for the creation of a mandatory licensing scheme for practitioners and businesses carrying out ’special procedures’, namely acupuncture, body piercing, electrolysis and tattooing;
  • Introduce a prohibition on the intimate piercing of persons under the age of 16 years;
  • Require Welsh Ministers to make regulations to require public bodies to carry out health impact assessments in specified circumstances;
  • Change the arrangements for determining applications for entry onto the pharmaceutical list of health boards (LHBs), to a system based on the pharmaceutical needs of local communities;
  • Require local authorities to prepare a local strategy to plan how they will meet the needs of their communities for accessing toilet facilities for public use; and
  • Enable a ‘food authority’ under the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013 to retain fixed penalty receipts resulting from offences under that Act, for the purpose of enforcing the food hygiene rating scheme

The Bill was introduced on the 12th of September 2016.

The Bill is currently at stage Post-stage 4.

The Solicitor General on behalf of the Attorney General, Counsel General and the Secretary of State for Wales wrote to the Chief Executive and Clerk of the Assembly to advise that they would not be referring the Public Health (Wales) Bill to the Supreme Court under sections 112 or 114 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.

Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill

The Bill makes provision for a new statutory framework for supporting children and young people with additional learning needs. This is to replace existing legislation surrounding special educational needs and the assessment of children and young people with learning difficulties and / or disabilities in post-16 education and training.

The Bill also continues the existence of the Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales and provides for children, their parents and young people to appeal to it against decisions made in relation to their or their child’s additional learning needs, but renames it the Education Tribunal for Wales

The Bill was introduced on the 12th of December 2016. It is currently at Stage 2.

Stage 2 began on the 7th of June. Dates for Stage 2 consideration are yet to be agreed. No proceedings may be taken at Stage 2 until the financial resolution has been passed by the Assembly. The financial resolution for this Bill is expected to be moved following the summer recess.

Trade Union Wales Bill

According to the Explanatory Memorandum accompanying the Bill, the purpose and intended effect of the Bill is “to ensure the continued and effective delivery of public services”. It seeks “to support the social partnership agenda, through which the continuous improvement of key public services in Wales can be delivered”.

The Bill proposes to introduce changes that dis-apply certain provisions of the UK Government’s Trade Union Act 2016 as they apply to devolved Welsh authorities. The provisions to be dis-applied are as follows:

  • the 40% ballot threshold for industrial action affecting important public services;
  • powers to require the publication of information on facility time and to impose requirements on public sector employers in relation to paid facility time;

  • restrictions on deduction of union subscriptions from wages by employers

The Bill was introduced on 18th of January 2017. It is currently at Stage 3.

Stage 2 began on the 10th of May 2017. Stage 2 consideration took place in the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee on the 15th of June.

Abolitions of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights (Wales) Bill

According to the Explanatory Memorandum accompanying the Bill, the purpose and intended effect of the Bill is to end all variations of the Right to Buy and the Right to Acquire.

The key purposes of the Bill are to:

  • abolish the right of eligible secure tenants to buy their home at a discount under Part 5 of the Housing Act 1985 (Right to Buy);
  • abolish the preserved right of eligible former secure tenants to buy their home at a discount under section 171A of the Housing Act 1985 (Preserved Right to Buy);
  • abolish the right of eligible assured or secure tenants of a registered social landlord or private registered provider to acquire their home at a discount under section 16 of the Housing Act 1996 (Right to Acquire);
  • encourage social landlords to build or acquire new homes for rent, the Right to Buy, Preserved Right to Buy and Right to Acquire will not be exercisable by tenants who move into new social housing stock more than two months after the Bill receives Royal Assent, subject to certain exceptions;
  • provide for at least one year after the Bill receives Royal Assent before the abolition of the Right to Buy, Preserved Right to Buy and Right to Acquire for existing social housing stock comes into force.

Further detail about the Bill can be found in its accompanying Explanatory Memorandum.

The Bill was introduced on the 13th of March 2017.

The Bill is currently at Stage 1.

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