Wales Act 2017
|Act of Parliament|
|Long title||An Act to amend Government of Wales Act 2006 and the Wales Act 2014 and to make provision about the functions of the Welsh Ministers and about Welsh tribunals; and for connected purposes.|
|Citation||2017 c. 4|
|Introduced by||Alun Cairns|
|Territorial extent||United Kingdom|
|Royal assent||31 January 2017|
|Relates to||Harbours Act 1964|
Government of Wales Act 1998
Government of Wales Act 2006
Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011
Wales Act 2014
Status: Partly in force
|Text of statute as originally enacted|
|Revised text of statute as amended|
The Wales Act 2017 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It sets out amendments to the Government of Wales Act 2006 and devolves further powers to Wales. The legislation is based on the proposals of the St David's Day Agreement which were not included in the Wales Act 2014.
The draft Wales Bill was presented in October 2015 and faced much criticism from the public over tests for competence (also known as "necessity tests"). As a result, the bill had been put on hold by the beginning of 2016. An amended bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 1 June 2016.
One of the most important provisions is that the Act moved Wales from a conferred matters model to a reserved matters model, which is used in Scotland under the Scotland Act 1998. The Act repealed the provision of the Wales Act 2014 for a referendum in Wales on devolution of income tax.
- The ability to amend sections of the Government of Wales Act 2006 which relate to the operation of the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government within the United Kingdom, including control of its electoral system (subject to a two-thirds majority within the Assembly) for any proposed change.
- The ability to use such amendment to devolve powers to the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Ministers over areas such as road signs, onshore oil and gas activity, harbours, rail franchising, energy efficiency, and advice.
- The power to change the name of the National Assembly for Wales. On 9 October 2019 the Assembly agreed that the new name would be Welsh Parliament / Senedd Cymru. It is anticipated that this will take effect in May 2020. However, the draft legislation is currently being debated by the Assembly.
- The ability to raise or lower income tax by up to 10p in the pound
- The Welsh Government to have increased borrowing powers to support capital investment, up to £1 billion
- Extended powers over equalities and tribunals
- Creation of Welsh Revenue Authority, a tax authority for Welsh devolved taxes while HMRC collects taxes that are not devolved to Wales
The Act recognised the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government as permanent among UK's constitutional arrangements, with a referendum required before either can be abolished. The Act has also recognised that there is a body of Welsh law and it established the position of President of Welsh Tribunals.
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