Plaid Cymru calls for Wales to be given powers to introduce a windfall tax on large property developers
Plaid Cymru has renewed its calls for the Welsh Government to be given the necessary powers to introduce a windfall tax on the profits of large developers.
The move follows comments made by the Minister responsible for housing, Julie James MS, during an interview with BBC Wales.
In response to a question of whether she feels she has been doing enough to “hold property developers’ feet to the fire?” with regard to getting them to pay towards the cost of fixing defective buildings she said that “I can’t threaten them with windfall tax levies and so on.”
A UK Government spokesperson told the BBC “building safety is a devolved matter” but the Welsh Government does not currently have the power to introduce such a tax.
Responding to the minister’s comments, Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for housing and planning Mabon ap Gwynfor MS said: “Having the necessary power to introduce a windfall tax on the profits of property developers would give us extra tools to solve the problems created by poor builds.
“Unscrupulous developers must pay for what is clearly their fault. The problems created by poor builds can often trap owners into poor quality flats and houses with no recourse, which has been the case with the cladding scandal.”
On Thursday the minister had urged the UK Government to extend its England-only agreement with developers, which commits them to repairing defective buildings they were involved in building.
Last month thirty-five of the biggest property developers in the UK agreed to pay £5 billion towards fire safety remediation costs in England after UK ministers warned those who do not sign up for the voluntary pledge could be banned from carrying out new construction projects.
Ms James said the current “unilateral approach” to building safety makes it harder to ensure developers take their responsibilities to contribute towards the costs of fixing building safety issues in Wales seriously.
In a statement to Members of the Senedd, the minister added she was “deeply disappointed when the Secretary of State for Housing, Levelling Up and Communities Michael Gove announced an England-only developer pledge last month.”
“The Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Local Government and Housing, Shona Robison and I have repeatedly called on the UK Government to adopt a UK-wide approach to the pledge.
“The UK Government’s unilateral approach to building safety issues makes it harder to ensure all developers take their responsibilities to contribute towards the costs of fixing building safety problems in Wales seriously.
“It inhibits our ability to hold developers and manufacturers to account for fixing their mistakes and it runs counter to the recent Review of Intergovernmental Relations.”
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We have the power to curtail the activities of carpetbagging Volume House Builders already! Planning permissions for large sites should be split up into smaller tranches where local builders can compete. Put site services, roads, utilities etc., out to tender. Then share out the plots so local developers & self builders can get in on the act. Volume House Builders buy centrally, employ few locals & often at poor rates, do little or no training. They do not build for local need & the locality will get little economic benefit from their activity. It’s not rocket science but it needs… Read more »
You are dead right, but big business and government at national and local levels have been seduced into dealing with as few suppliers as possible – supplier rationalisation – a solution designed for lazy people who can’t or won’t manage a number of variables. It needs to stop.
I look forward to Plaid calling for the same in respect of multi national venture capitalists who are siting industrial size and scale wind turbine sites across Wales, within 700 metres hones, scarring communities and landscapes. Energy and money flowing one way – out of Wales.To date Plaid are condoning this exploitation.
After years of asking and being ignored, is it not about time we used any laws to impose these things in our country, and if it is questionable, then go ahead and let Westminster take us to court to stop us. Then it will be visible to all, that our Gov is being prevented from acting in our interests by London. Stop asking, start acting, now. We need a more confrontational attitude, Scotland and N Ireland have shown, this is the only way to get results, and or respect.
Mabon is wrong when he claims that – “Having the necessary power to introduce a windfall tax on the profits of property developers would give us extra tools to solve the problems created by poor builds.” This is just a case of making “someone” pay for the bad building practices of others. The government, both UK and Cymru, needs to make building regulations more robust and stop the dithering over matters where there is ample empirical evidence of hazards and their causes. That would enable good practice to proceed unimpeded by any extra and unwarranted tax while others would have… Read more »
Developers plead poverty to avoid building a proportion of affordable homes as outlined in Local Development Plans. I have never seen a developer in Wales build the proportion of affordable homes required. So how will you get them to pay more tax? Redrow will just leave Wales. Problem is that big corporations have government’s over a barrell.