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The Wales Act has been given Royal Assent - passing to the National Assembly for Wales some tax-raising powers including that of stamp duty.

The act - which also renames the assembly government The Welsh Government', mirroring the Scottish example - gives some income tax and borrowing powers to Wales, too, although it appears that if the principality makes any significant change to stamp duty it would have to secure the approval of a referendum.

Stephen Crabb, the Secretary of State for Wales, says: I want a lasting and fair devolution settlement that works for the people of Wales.

Last year Scotland - which already has powers over its own level of stamp duty - scrapped SDLT complete and replaced it with a progressively-stepped Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, which comes into effect in April.

It includes 10 per cent and 12 per cent thresholds of tax to be paid by purchasers when transacting a property.


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