Wales Specialist Reference Group
For members living in, working in, or specialising in matters involving Wales
Thank you to the members who have signed up to form part of this specialist reference group. If you are not a member, but wish to join, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name (as you are registered with us) and your membership number.
At CILEx we do our best to provide our members with as much advice and guidance as we can for our members looking to, or those who are already working in Wales. Our Practice Advice page is a great place to start if you have any questions or queries. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, or would like further guidance or advice, please get in touch with the membership contact centre via email@example.com or by calling 01234 845777.
Active engagement work
CILEx is regularly working on behalf of our members on a variety of issues. Below is some of our ongoing work for which we would like to engage with the Wales Specialist Reference Group in order to gain greater perspective and evidence from those working in Wales.
CILEx continues to develop and establish itself as a fundamental aspect of the legal services industry. We hope that the Wales Specialist Reference Group grows with us.
We have consulted with the Wales Specialist Reference Group on a number of occasions in order to provide our work with greater amounts of evidence. Examples of our work can be found below, some of which includes direct references so our SRG engagement that proves to be increasingly valuable as we engage more with those in the legal services market.
News & Updates
Finance Minister welcomes income tax powers to Wales
From 6 April 2019, Welsh rates of income tax will be devolved to Wales. This means that, for the first time, some of the money raised by income tax in Wales will stay in Wales to fund Welsh public services. So, if you live in Wales and pay income tax, Welsh rates of income tax will apply to you.
The Welsh Government will use the money raised by Welsh rates of income tax to fund public services, like the NHS and schools.
From 6 April, the Welsh Government will set its own rates of income tax to be paid by Welsh taxpayers, which means that people living in Wales could pay a different rate to those living in other parts of the UK.
However, taxpayers in Wales will see no difference to the income tax they pay in the tax year 2019 to 2020, as the rates will remain the same. Welsh Ministers have made a commitment not to raise rates during this Assembly term.
Responsibility for collection of taxes will remain with HMRC in the same way as it does now. One change that will be noticeable is your tax code. All Welsh taxpayers will have a new tax code beginning with the letter ‘C’ for Cymru.
Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans said: ‘This is a very important and exciting time for devolution in Wales. We have now reached another major milestone in our tax devolution journey.
Some £5 billion of devolved and local tax revenue will now be raised in Wales and will stay in Wales. This gives us the ability to think more widely about how tax policy can work with the Welsh Government's wider ambitions for Welsh public services such as schools, hospitals and roads.’
So, the message for Welsh taxpayers is, there is no need to do anything unless you have recently moved home, or your home address is out of date. If so, contact HMRC to update your details.
New council tax legislation introduced on 1 April 2019
This new legislation removes the power to imprison people for not paying their council tax and exempts young people (up to the age of 25) leaving care from paying council tax.
These changes are the latest in a series of measures designed to make council tax fairer, protecting some of Wales’ most vulnerable individuals from the increasing financial pressures they are facing at a time when they need it most.
Alongside the legislative changes the Welsh Government, WLGA and local authorities in Wales have made a commitment to take a more consistent and people-focused approach to debt, arrears and enforcement with the introduction of the Council Tax Protocol for Wales.
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said: ‘We know that households are struggling to cope with the UK government’s welfare reform and I want to make sure the Welsh Government and our local authorities are doing everything we can to help. This new legislation is another positive step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go.
We will continue to work closely with local authorities, the WLGA and third sector organisations to examine how the council tax system could be improved over the short, medium and longer term.
Councillor Mary Sherwood (Swansea), Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) spokesperson for Equalities, Welfare Reform and Anti-Poverty said:
‘The Council Tax Protocol for Wales is a step-change in our approach to debt and arrears and will focus on early engagement with tax payers. It also promotes closer working relationships with our partners in the advice sector and enforcement agents to ensure that problems don’t needlessly spiral out of control for vulnerable people. We look forward to building upon these measures with Welsh Government.’
Wales takes the next step to end the physical punishment of children
The Welsh Government has introduced the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill to the National Assembly.
If the bill is passed by the National Assembly for Wales, parents and other adults acting in a parental capacity will no longer be able to physically punish children – children will have the same protection from physical punishment as adults.
The bill will do this by abolishing the common law defence of reasonable punishment so that any adult acting in a parental capacity cannot use it as a defence if accused of assault or battery against a child – meaning that they can no longer legally physically punish a child.
This builds on the Welsh Government’s commitment to children’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services Julie Morgan said: ‘We are sending a clear message that the physical punishment of children is not acceptable in Wales. What may have been deemed as appropriate in the past is no longer acceptable. Our children must feel safe and be treated with dignity.’The legislation will be accompanied by an awareness-raising campaign and support for parents. It aims to help eliminate the use and tolerance of physical punishment of children in Wales.
Research published last year suggests attitudes to the physical punishment of children are changing. It found 81% of parents of young children in Wales disagreed that ‘it is sometimes necessary to smack a naughty child’ – a significant increase from 71% in 2015.
The Parental Attitudes Towards Managing Young Children's Behaviour 2017 survey also found only 11% of parents with young children reported they had smacked their children in the last six months as a way of managing their behaviour, half that in 2015 at 22%.
The Deputy Minister added: ‘More than 50 nations across the world have already responded to the international call to end the physical punishment of children.
‘As one of the most progressive nations in the world when it comes to promoting children’s rights, I am proud this Welsh Government is legislating to bring an end to the physical punishment of children in Wales, further protecting children’s rights.
‘As the international community commemorates the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child this year, it is very fitting that Wales is taking this significant step in expressing our country’s commitment to protecting children’s rights.’
The bill as part of a much wider package of support for children and their parents. This includes:
- the Parenting: Give It Time campaign, which is designed to help parents do the best job they can, providing positive parenting tips and information; and
- access to a range of services to promote positive parenting, delivered through the NHS, education services, social services, Flying Start, Families First and the third sector.
Welcoming the announcement, Professor Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, said: ‘There’s nothing reasonable about physically punishing a child. This Bill sends a clear signal that Wales is a country which protects children; a country which will afford children equal protection from physical punishment as adults; a country which promotes children’s rights.
‘This positive development is about removing a legal loophole to reflect what the vast majority of us parents believe: that physically punishing a child is no longer acceptable, anywhere.’