Wales politics

Treasury plans in Welsh government programme

Media captionWales is now going to have its own means of raising money

Plans to set up a Welsh treasury are included in the Welsh government's law-making programme for the next year.

A Welsh treasury will administer the new tax and borrowing powers which are in the process of being devolved, First Minister Carwyn Jones told AMs.

He said the bill setting up the treasury would be historic, as it will be the first tax law assembly members have considered.

The taxes include control over stamp duty and landfill tax.

Mr Jones said the last full legislative programme before the next assembly elections in 2016 would "make Wales an even better place in which to work and live".

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood welcomed the creation of a treasury, and with it "extra economic levers needed for job creation".

But she argued the powers that were coming to Wales were limited and would not lead to a "government that is properly accountable".

Media captionWales is to get tax and borrowing powers

Finance Minister Jane Hutt has said the Welsh government is unlikely to start collecting taxes before 2018.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said the new borrowing powers would help the Welsh government make improvements to the M4 which is a "foot on the windpipe of the Welsh economy".

The legislative programme will also include:

  • Details of a planning bill which is designed to reform and simplify the planning process
  • A local government bill to allow councils to merge voluntarily. A consultation was launched by the Local Government Minister Lesley Griffiths on this last week on reducing the number of councils from 22 to 12
  • A bill to pave the way for the creation of the new body Qualifications Wales
  • Details of a public health consultation, including proposals to restrict the use of e-cigarettes in public places and introduce a minimum price for alcohol of 50 pence per unit

Among the laws passed so far by the current Welsh government include one introducing a system of presumed consent on organ donation, one standardising the eligibility for social services and one that allows health boards to plan their finances over a three year period.

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