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Regional Directors May Blog

Government continues in Wales despite the general election.

Martin Warren
The whole country has been taken over by the build up to the General Election in June and there is an assumption that nothing can or will happen whilst politicians are in purdah but here in Wales it is business as usual with devolved government elections having taken place this time last year. The results of the local elections have shifted some political power within Wales but the labour led Welsh Government continues to forge ahead with its policies and aspirations.

Mark Drakeford, Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Local Government, is driving forward the agenda for tax devolution with Land Transaction Tax and Landfill Disposal Tax being readied for implementation by this time next year. Whilst the rates to be applied will not be clear until the autumn the infrastructure is slowly but surely being put into place. The Chair of the Welsh Revenue Authority, Kathryn Bishop, has been appointed and the 4 Board member positions are expected to be announced shortly. Wales has a tremendous opportunity here to build a better system than that of the UK from almost a greenfield site and I will be in close support through this process on behalf of ICAEW.

Meanwhile Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates, having spent his first year being seen at almost every opportunity and speaking and listening all around Wales, is working up to some critical decisions particularly for the economic infrastructure. The M4 relief road enquiry, an A55 improvements study, the Circuit of Wales, the West Wales Creative Industries Hub, a third Menai Crossing and the rail franchises are just a few of the tasks laid out before him. Not to mention the creation of a Development Bank for Wales.

So no shortage of political activity here in Wales much of which is critical to the Welsh economic future. If you are interested in how this is progressing and have views on what is being done or should be done, then please get in touch directly with me so that I can voice the views of the membership: martin.warren@icaew.com I’d love to hear from you.

Martin J Warren FCA

Director for Wales