By Jonathan Davies

The National Assembly for Wales has taken full control over business rates in what has been described as the “major first milestone for fiscal devolution in Wales".

The National Assembly already had some power over business rates, but now has full control.

Finance minister Jane Hutt said: “This is a major first milestone for fiscal devolution in Wales. Devolution of non-domestic rates will give Welsh Ministers new flexibilities to make use of an important economic lever. It will also put Wales on an equal basis with Scotland.

“The devolution of financial powers provides us with the opportunity to develop taxes that are based on fairness and reflect the needs, circumstances and priorities of the people of Wales. They will help us deliver our economic and social goals for Wales.”

Economy minister Edwina Hart said: “The devolution of business rates is excellent news for Welsh businesses. We have already committed to capping business rates increases at 2 per cent and an extension to Small Business Rates Relief, and these new powers will give us the opportunity to consider further steps to support jobs and growth right across Wales.”