In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - The Draft Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill »We are committed to ensuring that out-of-control and dangerous dogs are dealt with effectively.Learn more »
Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has given a clear message to NHS managers to take action in response to the recent NHS Wales staff survey
- Minister supports International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
- Porth Eirias set to be major North Wales attraction
- Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
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- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
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.
National minimum standards for regulated child care »These standards determine whether child minding and day care settings are providing adequate care for children under the age of 8.Learn more »
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Repealing air quality ‘Further Assessments’ from Part IV of the Environment Act 1995
- Equality Impact Assessment of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan for Wales
- Consultation on the Equality Impact Assessments for the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes in Wales
- Development of a national standards and outcomes framework for Children and Young People's advocacy services in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
29 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
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.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
Writtten Statement - Write off of Back Dated Business Rates for Split and Merged Business Property
There has recently been some interest in the backdated rating liability for businesses located in ports.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) value properties for the purposes of charging business rates and assigning rateable values every 5 years based on the rental values of business properties.
In 2007 - 2008 the VOA undertook a revaluation of the rating lists for ports in England and Wales which resulted in a change to the basis upon which ports were valued and listed for non-domestic rating, so as to make the valuation practice for ports consistent with that established for other businesses. Consequently, instead of ports being valued and listed as one property, with the port owner being liable to pay the rates, the individual business premises located in the ports were listed and valued individually, and the occupier of each property became liable to pay the rates. This is similar to the approach used for businesses occupying airports or shopping centres for example.
The affected businesses in Wales were issued with rates bills backdated to 1 April 2005 totalling around £4 million, and in 2008 the Assembly Government (and, in England, the UK Government) passed legislation to allow the payment of the back-dated component of the revised rates liability to be made by instalments over 8 years.
Fewer than 90 businesses located in ports in Wales were affected by this rating review, and around 50 of these have paid their backdated liability in full. The remainder are either paying their bills by schedules of instalments agreed with local authorities, or have yet to make payments.
Earlier this year, the UK Government froze the repayments being made in the financial year 2010-2011, for backdated liability in respect of relevant properties in England at an estimated cost of around £50 million. The Assembly Government had the choice of replicating this course of action, and any subsequent English action, the cost of which would have been met from the UK Government central rating pool, or accepting a consequential increase to its budget of around £2.9 million in line with the Barnett formula. At that time the Assembly Government determined that the most cost effective use of this money would be to accept the consequential and to use it to partially offset the effects of the reductions in public expenditure imposed by the UK Government, thereby helping to protect jobs and essential public services.
The UK Government has now introduced primary legislation via the Localism Bill, which will give it power to make regulations cancelling the backdated business rates liability for all split properties in England (business premises split in to more than one property and valued separately) appearing on the 2005 rating list, which have backdated rates bills of at least 33 months, and where the change to the list was made before 1 April 2010. Ratepayers with similar backdated liabilities, but whose entry on the valuation list is changed after 1 April 2010 will not have their backdated rates bills cancelled. Also, ratepayers who today have their valuation amended and backdated to 2005, would still have to pay their backdated rates, as would any ratepayer whose property is split and incurs a backdated liability after 2008.
The estimated cost of the suspension and writing off of the back dated liability in England is around £175 million. The subsequent consequential for Wales is around £10 million and the Treasury has already included this sum for consequential funding within the spending review.
The Assembly Government did not request that the Welsh Ministers be given the regulation making power within the Localism Bill to cancel the backdated liability, as if they were to use this power, it would be necessary to forego the additional funding received in the spending review, and the cuts to expenditure would therefore be even greater than those announced in the spending review. Given the financial pressures and the unwillingness to date of the UK Government to implement a fair basis for allocating funding to the Assembly Government as recommended by the Holtham Commission, the Assembly Government has to make difficult decisions on how best to maximise the limited resources available for the benefit of the people of Wales.