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Welsh Government calls for change after GDP figures

Welsh Government is willing to work on the lack of confidence across all sectors of the economy after the release of new GDP figures.

UK Government’s Commission on Devolution in Wales recommended that a range of financial powers should be devolved to the Welsh Government in the next few years – including full devolution of Stamp Duty, Landfill Tax and Aggregates Levy, partial devolution of Air Passenger Duty, rate varying powers for income tax and the ability to borrow.

The Office for National Statistics said its first estimate for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed the economy grew 0.3% during the first quarter of 2013.

Edwina Hart, Economy Minister, said: “These figures show that the UK economy is continuing to struggle. Whilst the Welsh Government is doing everything it can to support businesses in Wales and grow the Welsh economy, we are constrained by the macroeconomic policies of the UK Government.”

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Economy Minister Edwina Hart – Image: spark.net

The UK economy has avoided falling back into a recession after recording faster-than-expected growth in the first three months of the year.

This morning, the Finance Minister Jane Hutt hosted a business breakfast event to discuss how Stamp Duty should be reformed in Wales following its devolution to the Welsh Government.

Jane Hutt said: “Until now, the Welsh Government’s efforts have had to concentrate on making the case to show why we believe it is right to devolve decision making on certain tax powers closer to the people of Wales.

“I am now keen to discuss with businesses and others with an interest how we can design taxes that are fair, simple and effective, that support growth and jobs and, in turn, help tackle poverty.  Although we may just be at the start of the process, this is a significant and – for me – exciting first step forward.”

Annie Yang

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