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13 February 2018

'Vacant land tax' to be used to test Wales Act powers - CHC's response

It has been announced this afternoon by Mark Drakeford, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, that the Welsh Government will put forward its 'vacant land tax' idea to test the Wales Act 2014 powers. Since announcing a shortlist of four new tax ideas alongside the draft Budget in October 2017, the Welsh Government has been examining the case for each of these ideas.

Although the vacant land tax idea will be used to test the Wales Act powers, work will also continue on each of the other 3 tax ideas (social care levy, disposable plastics tax and tourism tax).

Aaron Hill, CHC's Assistant Director of Policy and Public Affairs said: “Access to affordable land is vital for housing associations to build affordable homes and to meet Welsh Government’s 20,000 homes target. We welcome recognition from the Finance Secretary that more needs to be done to help housing associations and others to secure land to build homes.

However, the devil will be in the detail of these proposals, and there is a danger that a tax could be counter-productive and lead to higher costs or, in fact, decrease supply. The policy will require careful scrutiny, and we will be working closely with Welsh Government and the National Assembly throughout this process to ensure that housing associations can deliver the homes Wales needs.”

Read the full story on Welsh Government's website.