Wales politics

Wales taxes: Public called on for revenue raising ideas

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Media captionNisreen Mansour of the Bevan Foundation said the taxes would likely be "sin taxes" based on stopping harmful behaviour

The public is being asked for ideas on what potential new taxes should be introduced in Wales.

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said he wanted to "kick-start a national debate" on new taxation and was keen to hear from the public and businesses.

The Welsh Government already has powers over stamp duty and landfill tax from 2018, and income tax from 2019.

AMs have discussed new ideas for other taxes and ministers will consider a shortlist in the autumn.

Powers over stamp duty - to be replaced by a Land Transaction Tax - and the tax on landfill sites will take effect in April 2018.

Income tax rates in Wales could be varied from April 2019 as part of a deal with the UK Treasury with Welsh ministers able to cut or raise rates by 10p within each tax band.

Speaking in the assembly, Mr Drakeford told AMs the procedure for creating a new tax was "certainly not straightforward" and required approval from both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

"Sometimes you have to begin with the machinery you have, and pretty soon some of its deficiencies may become apparent, and a less cumbersome set of mechanisms may emerge," he said.

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Image caption A tax on plastic bottles could cut their use in favour of glass, says Mike Hedges

Mr Drakeford said several members of the public had already e-mailed him with ideas.

He added he was particularly interested in a levy on vacant land, similar to one which is due to come into force in the Republic of Ireland in 2019.

For the Conservatives, Nick Ramsay said it was important that the public were involved in the process but they should also "have a sense of ownership" of new taxation.

He added: "Any new tax must have the potential to improve the lives of people in Wales."

Several AMs spoke in favour of so-called "green taxes" to protect the environment which included charges on plastic bottles and polystyrene packaging for takeaway foods.

Swansea East AM Mike Hedges also called for a new tax on chewing-gum saying: "A chewing-gum tax could pay for its removal from a whole range of places including people's clothes where it's been attached to the bottom of desks."

Mr Drakeford said the debate on new taxes was now under way and that he would consider the options during the summer recess and come back with a shortlist in the autumn.

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