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Wednesday, 08 November 2017 08:16

Ysgol Eirias pupils share their views on ideas for new Welsh taxes with Finance Secretary Featured

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Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford visited Ysgol Eirias in Colwyn Bay recently to hear the views of pupils about the idea for a possible disposable plastics tax.

As part of the draft Budget, the Finance Secretary announced a shortlist of four new tax ideas – a disposable plastic tax; a levy to support social care; a vacant land tax and a tourism tax. 

The shortlist has been drawn up following feedback from the public about ideas for a new tax after the Finance Secretary said he would test the Wales Act 2014 powers, which allows Wales to propose new tax ideas in devolved areas.

Further work is being carried out on all four ideas – one will be proposed to the UK Government in the New Year to test the Wales Act mechanism.

During the visit to Ysgol Eirias, the Finance Secretary watched a short film made by year 10 pupils about why they believe a plastic tax is needed in Wales. He also discussed the other three tax ideas with them.

The Cabinet Secretary also took the opportunity to launch a two week social media campaign, including an anonymous poll, on the shortlist of new tax ideas.

Professor Drakeford said:  “The power to propose new taxes is an important one, which we can use to deliver improvements for our communities. In July, we started a national debate asking people to put forward ideas for potential new Welsh taxes and received a good response.

“In the draft Budget, I announced a shortlist of four ideas for further work.  I was pleased to visit Ysgol Eirias today to watch a film prepared by pupils about why they believe a new Welsh disposable plastic tax is needed and to discuss the other ideas we are considering with them.

“The film was very engaging and we had an interesting debate about how taxes change behaviour for the benefit of communities across Wales. I’d like to thank them for the time they took in preparing the film and for their welcome.

“Today, I also launched the Welsh Treasury’s social media campaign, including an anonymous poll, about the shortlist of four tax ideas.  We have taken an open and balanced approach to our tax policy and want to build on this.

“We want to hear the views of as many people as possible and I urge people and stakeholders across Wales to get involved, share their views and help us shape future Welsh taxes.”

Tim Williams, the year 10 form teacher and teacher of religious studies at Ysgol Eirias said:  “As a school, we have placed a great emphasis on teaching our young people to try to live more sustainable lifestyles. The form class, 10W, also felt that it is important to try to reduce the amount of single-use plastic items littering our streets and getting into the oceans. 

“When Mr Drakeford invited proposals on new ideas for Wales, the form realised there was a great opportunity here for Wales to be a world leader in sustainable living; that hopefully other countries will copy too. 

“What an honour for us also to be part of the debate about the first new Welsh taxes created in Wales since the Middle Ages.”

Notes

The Wales Act 2014 provides Wales with powers to put forward proposals for the development of new taxes in areas of devolved responsibility. These must be agreed by the National Assembly for Wales; the UK Government and both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The shortlist of new tax ideas draws on the priorities in 'Prosperity for All' and the Welsh Government's tax principles.

Get involved and share your views about the four tax ideas by Friday 15 December at @WelshTreasury and @TrysorlysCymru

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Mr D Nicholls (Staff)

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