Welsh Government formally requests powers to introduce a Vacant Land Tax

(Title Image: Wales Online)

Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans (Lab, Gower), has formally requested the necessary powers from the UK Government to introduce a tax on vacant land.

In 2018 the then Finance Minister, now First Minister, Mark Drakeford (Lab, Cardiff West), picked a vacant land tax from a shortlist of new taxes following the partial devolution of fiscal powers.

In a letter (pdf), Rebecca Evans says: “If agreed by the UK Government, the next step will be for the UK Government to consult on the constitutional implications of devolving this competence to Wales. I will provide a further update on plans for a UK consultation in due course.”

It’s hoped a vacant land tax would discourage “land banking” by developers and landowners to speculate on land values, which prevents suitable sites being brought forward for housing or other developments.

During a Senedd debate in 2018, figures quoted from 2015 estimated 7,600 homes at 400 separate sites in Wales failed to be built because of land banking.

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