In this section
Section highlightThe People’s NHS Part of an initiative to engage the public in creating a safe and sustainable health service for the future.
Spreading the word »Action on the ground to increase learning materials in the medium of Welsh.Learn more »
First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
People from across Wales with an interest in the Welsh language are being asked to take action on its future in a national online conversation.
- Local Government Democracy Bill approved
- Minister welcomes report which could change shape and structure of education delivery in Wales for the better
- First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
In this section
- Business and economy
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- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
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- Improving public services
Welsh languageWelsh-language technology and digital media action plan
The action plan sets out our commitment to drive developments in the field of Welsh-language technology and digital media.Learn more »
In this section
Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
The Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-2023 »The 3rd phase focuses on ensuring that older people in Wales have the resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face.Learn more »
- A new vision for a National Youth Work Strategy
- The future delivery of education services in Wales
- Consultation on Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development
- Draft industrial and commercial sector plan
- Waste Prevention Programme
- Building Control system and Approved Document supporting regulation 7
In this section
Section highlightReview of the Planning Enforcement System
The research covers 18 recommendations for the future Welsh enforcement system.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
WIIP Pipeline »
The June 2013 pipeline includes key infrastructure investment data for both the Welsh Government and Local Government schemes.Learn more »
Written - Non-Domestic Rates Help for Welsh Business
I am pleased to announce that the Welsh Assembly Government intends to implement measures to help Welsh businesses with their rates bills. The action I propose is in line with that announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in respect of England, yesterday.
Under the current arrangements non-domestic rate bills for 2009-10 are set to increase by 5%. This is in accordance with the statutory provision in the Local Government Finance Act 1988 that the business rates “multiplier” – which determines the level of annual increase - should not rise by more than the retail price index (RPI) for the September preceding the rating year.
Since last September there has been a very rapid reduction in the RPI and I propose to bring forward regulations under the 1988 Act that will allow Welsh businesses, if they wish, to pay an annual increase of only 2% in 2009-10 with the remaining 3% spread over the following 2 years, 2010-11 and 2011-12. We will be discussing the details of the revised arrangements with the Treasury; the Welsh Local Government Association and Welsh Business. I propose to have the regulations needed to implement these changes in place in July.
This is a very welcome development. The Assembly Government made representations to the U.K. Government over the increase in the multiplier late last year, in the context of the discussions we have been having with Welsh business and other partners over combating the effect of the recession at our Economic Summit meetings.
As I have made clear on numerous occasions non-domestic rating functions are not fully devolved and the Assembly Government would have had to bear the cost of any unilateral action it took to reduce the multiplier increase. Every 1% reduction in the level of increase would represent a cost of around £8m in forgone revenue to the U.K. Government Exchequer. Yesterday’s announcement by the Chancellor in respect of England means that this will no longer be the case. The U.K. Government will meet the cost of the deferment in non-domestic rate income arising from these changes.
The changes I am proposing will reduce the rates bill in 2009-10 for potentially around 100,000 businesses in Wales by some £24m overall. They come in addition to the £20m in rate relief we are already giving to small businesses in Wales and the temporary increases in rates relief on empty properties in 2009-10 that I have announced and which come into effect from today.
The additional costs to local government resulting from the changes will be met centrally. We will be discussing the issue of costs with Local Government as soon as possible.
The amount of overall support for local authorities’ unhypothecated spending that the Assembly Government provides through Aggregate External Finance (which comprises revenue support grant and redistributable non-domestic rates) approved under the 2009-10 Local Government Revenue Settlement will remain unchanged.
The proposals will not require local authorities to re-bill businesses in their area as a result of these changes. Once the necessary regulations are in place billing authorities will write to all businesses in their area offering them the option to defer payments. Until then businesses will need to keep paying their business rates in the normal way.
My officials will be writing out to local authorities within the next few days providing them with more details of these changes.